Microsoft Talks about New Office Word Web App Features and UI

New UI Jan 2014

Microsoft yesterday published a new blog post discussing new features and user interface updates to Microsoft Office Word Web App. As you know, this is the web version of Microsoft Word, offered free of charge to everyone. The update includes a fresh new look and feel, footnotes, and even a new way to interact with Word and get things done! Continue reading

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WordFx App in the Store for your Word Cloud

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Here is now such an app you’ll not be using daily, but you’ll appreciate it when you need that very one effect you can only get from it. WordFx creates a Word Art from your supplied text as a Word cloud. It’s a good analytical tool if you need to know your most used words, you need to see trends on a subject matter etc. You’ll be surprised how much you are biased to certain words. Just give this app a pile of text, it will create a visual cloud accentuating the most used words in bold and color. This is a nice tool to have in your toolbag. Read more about the app as follows:

Description
Wordfx allows you to create stylized word clouds from the text you provide. Create a word cloud from a special speech, web page, or document. Customize your Wordfx word cloud with different layouts, font, and color themes. Portray the essence and emotion of the text though the colors and fonts you select. Words that appear more frequently are given greater prominence in the resulting Wordfx word cloud.
Create a word cloud from:
- The words you select as they are spoken.
- The plain text you copy and paste from another source.
- The words you upload from a plain text file.
- The words, or short combination of words, you want included in the word cloud. Just enter the words and their weight. The weight determines the size of the word in the resulting word cloud.

Features
Create word clouds from the text you provide.
Customize your Wordfx word cloud with different layouts, font, and color themes.
Generate a stylized, Wordfx word-cloud from the words you select as they are spoken.
Type or paste plain text from another source. Then submit the text to create a Wordfx word-cloud.
Create a Wordfx word-cloud from words you upload from a plain text file.
Create a Wordfx word-cloud from the words you want included in the word-cloud. The weight determines the size of the word in the resulting cloud.

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Get this free App now while you can. Download via the app via the Source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Debunking that Surface Word Typing Video

Surface Word Typing Video Hype

There was a lot of brouhaha about typing in Word of Office 2013 on Surface yesterday around the video you see here above. I was wondering what the noise was all about. Was Surface now really that laggy as the guy claimed or is this some kind of cheap publicity stunt from haters’ camp. I didn’t have the chance to really watch the video until just a few minutes ago, and I was amazed at what I saw. Notice in the guy’s video he mentioned that if you type on any other text app or in the email app it was normal! The whole brouhaha was based on lack of knowledge of the person who created the video as what he saw was not a failure of Surface nor that of Office 2013, but what he saw was by design. In fact this is old news!

If you don’t believe me, see the following post from Paul Thurrott as early as April was this a known design issues Office 2013 on any platform, ARM or Intel! Paul even made the following video about it:

Paul’s Video of April 2012

This is a feature of Office 2013 that is called Office Animation. Because Office is now a GPU Accelerated Package, Microsoft can afford to offload most of the Screen intensive rendering to the GPU, in fact, they get proficient in GPU usage that they could afford to add screen animations like the one you saw in the video called Text Flow smoothing. The text kind-of flow on the screen. You will notice this effect a lot in Excel too and other Office 2013 applications. Of course for someone that works a lot with Office, these animations can be a hindrance than a nicety as we’ve seen, that is why the same Paul Thurrott proposed turning off the Office Animation completely in this post. This was posted as of July this year!

So there you have it, somebody using a known design feature to bash Surface. What mostly disturbed me is that the guy is a Microsoft MVP, which means he is supposed to know above average this kind of things. Going to public to tarnish a product without performing a standard industry agreed steps like calling for support, visiting the forum or twitterverse for advise. It was later discovered that he failed to download the Updates for Surface that would have alleviated this issues. What he did is sensationalism. The fact that he waited more than a minute to run Mail app is ridiculous, I don’t see the effect he was talking about, neither are a lot of people. So, Mr. MVP, you’d better invest more time to know about the stuff you profess and stop making a fool of yourself.

[Addendum: I personally will not advice turning off Office Animation especially on mobile devices like Surface until Microsoft takes a stand on this issue. The reason I said this is because it is not clear if the Registry hack that Paul proposses turned off GPU acceleration which will load screen rendering back on the CPU, and will subsequently severely impact battery life! So, wait till MS tune this screen animation thing, don’t turn it off.]