Tag Archives: Word 2013

Word 2013: Two steps back

Word 2013 is not an improvement. It’s different but not better. In fact, I’d say it’s two steps back without a step forward.

I realize that this year is 2015, so I’m late to the pity party of Word 2013 users, but my employer recently switched to Word 2013, and it has caused me trouble ever since. Even though I was certified in January as a Microsoft Office Professional for Word 2010, which is what the company was using at the time, I often struggle with Word 2013.

One thing that causes me problems is the way the document views slide around the screen, when, for example, I switch between tracking and not tracking changes. It strains my eyes. I’m training myself to close my eyes for two seconds when I turn Track Changes on or off and open them again after the document has stopped moving.

Furthermore, Word 2013 seems to have only two color schemes: light gray on white or dark gray on white. It can’t be compatible with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prescribes information technology compatibility for disabled computer users. If you use Word 2013’s Find tool, the thing you searched for will be highlighted with gray shading against the white background—unless it’s near the top or bottom of a page, in which case it might not be highlighted at all, until you click on the page, and then the little shaded box will come sliding over from the previous instance it highlighted.

Furthermore, there seem to be problems with bookmark fields. In two documents I worked on, table and figure numbers were correct, and refreshing the lists of tables and figures yielded correct numbers, yet when the documents were printed, the numbers changed. I made sure that the “Update fields before printing” box in Display options was not checked in case that was causing the problem. I also saw a paragraph return appear in the middle of a paragraph right in front of a footnote reference. Did you ever triple-click on a paragraph and have only part of the paragraph selected? I used to see this in older versions of Word (before Word 2007), and as far as I know it was a sign of document corruption. I hadn’t seen it in years, but I saw it again last week. There was an invisible return in the paragraph, and the return couldn’t be removed with the delete or backspace keys, and the only way to get rid of it seemed to be to select the text before and after it and paste it back as unformatted text. Then the return could be deleted. I also have heard that page breaks can mysteriously appear next to bookmarks.

If you have the solutions to any of these problems, please post the answer or a link to a web page that has the answer. Thank you. Meanwhile, I’ll be tearing out my remaining hair.

There are official Microsoft tutorials for Office 2013.