If you haven’t tried the new Office 2013 yet, I’d recommend you take do. For those of you that already have a copy of Office 2013 are probably still adjusting to the new changes. Office 2013 is quite different to Office 2010. It comes with a brand new flatter style user interface, it is heavily “Cloud” driven and comes with a raft of new features. But one feature you may have overlooked is the Apps.
Yes, Office 2013 comes with a full App echo system that is referred to as Apps for Office. With Office 2013 you can download or buy apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Project directly from within the applications themselves or via the Apps for Office Store. The apps can be inserted into your documents and can be used to enhance, add value or simply be used as extended tools for use while editing your Office documents.
The Store already has a number of apps to choose from, so I’ve put together a list of 10 Apps for Office 2013.
Maps for Office (Free Trial)
Maps for Office is a great little app that allows you to insert Google Maps into your Word documents. It also gives you a number of free themes to make cool looking maps that will wow those reading your document.
One app that should be in everyone’s toolbox is the Wikipedia app from Microsoft. The app, as you’d expect, brings the power of Wikipedia directly into Word or Excel. You can search or allow the app to search Wikipedia from directly within Word or Excel. The results are nicely display in the Task pane for easy reference. This is a very useful research tool and feels amazing within Word.
Infogram for Office 2013
The Infogram for Office app is a welcome feature to the Apps for Office collection. It brings the power of Infogr.am interactive data visualisation directly into Excel 2013. Create a number of interactive charts and place them directly into your Excel documents to bring life to those dull spreadsheets. This is a great app to visual your data in an interactive way, never before possible with an ordinary spreadsheet.
Another great research tool, is the Britannica Researcher app for Office. Again, like the Wikipedia app, you can access the all the great content available on Britannica from directly within your Word document. The app is however a paid app and is available for just €3.99
The Bing Mapsis another great app for adding life to your Excel spreadsheets. The app allows you to visualise your location data within your Excel document. Simply add a few rows with your locations and statistical data and let the Bing Maps app do the rest. The map has all the controls you’d expect from an Interactive map such as zoom, pan and direction. Plotting data on a map couldn’t get much easier.
The Percentage Calculator app on the face of it may seem a little pointless – however, this app is surprisingly useful. The app is available for both Word & Excel 2013 in the form of a task pane app. It allows you to calculate most (if not all) percentage calculations and if needs be, you can insert the results into your document. Definitely worthy of being in your app toolbox.
Contextual for Word 2013
Disclaimer… I created this app myself, so of course I think this is a great app! – all joking aside, this app is built to help you add images and article references to your Word document. The app scans a selection of text or the whole document and returns contextually related content that you can then include in your document. The content that can be included consists of images and articles from around the Internet. It’s free, so no harm in adding it to your app collection!
People Graph is another data visualisation app that acts as a mini “infogram” within your Excel document. Within a few easy clicks you can visualise your data directly in Excel. Currently it offers just 3 charts with 7 different themes. But it will sufficiently perform for most related data visualisation scenarios.
Bing Image Search
Bing Image Search app for Office is a task pane app that allows you to search for images on the web from within your word document. You can set it to automatically search for images based on the content you’ve highlighted in your document or of course, you can simply search from directly within the app itself.
This is a very clever little app. The app allows you to select any image you’ve inserted in your document and apply a number of image effects to enhance the images. The enhanced images can then be inserted back into your document. Would be great to see more effects in the future – but still very useful in its current form.
The QR4Office app allows you to create a QR code and insert it into your document. This can be very useful for creating things like property listings, notice board adverts or simply for cataloguing personal items. The app allows you to customise the colour, background and size of the QR code.