Knowledge Base

Office 2013 Frequently Asked Questions


This article answers several common questions about Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365.

Click on the section heading to expand and reveal the information you need.




Office 2013 comes in a variety of versions for home and business users, which you can get from the Microsoft Office website.

  • Office 365 - this is an annual subscription version which can be installed on five different computers and select mobile devices. It has all Office features.
  • Office Home & Student 2013 - This is the simplest one-time purchase version.
  • Office Home & Business 2013 - This one-time purchase version adds Email, calendars, and tasks by including Outlook.
  • Office Professional 2013 - This one-time purchase version adds Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

Office 365's subscription-based cloud service comes in tiers.

  • Home Premium - 20GB of OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes a month included
  • Small Business Premium - shared calendars, business-class mail, HD conferencing
  • ProPlus - Enterprise
NOTE: Office 2013/2016 and Office 365 cannot be installed on the same system. Office installed using Click-to-Run and Window Installer on same computer isn't supported External Link

Buying the standalone versions of Office 2013 will get you maintenance updates only, but staying subscribed to Office 365 will give you the big updates coming out in the future as well. There is also the Microsoft RT version of Office for ARM-based tablets, included for free on RT devices such as the Surface RT tablet. Office Home and Student 2013 RT includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Office 2013 suites are designed for use on a single PC and cannot be transferred to a different PC.

Office 2013 is the name of the traditional software package that includes individual desktop programs. It's a Standalone installation and is marketed towards home and small business users as can only be installed on the 1 PC for a one off charge.

Office 365 delivers the Office 2013 programs as part of a monthly or yearly subscription service that includes online storage, sharing, and syncing via Microsoft cloud services. It covers 5 PCs and is marketed towards Small to Enterprise business customers. It's now also marketed to University customers.

Office 365 is available in business, consumer, education, and government editions. When purchased as part of an Office 365 subscription, the Office 2013 programs and associated services are always available in the latest version.

Improvements over Office 2010:

  • User interface (UI) - Office 2013 is much more tablet touch and stylus friendly. It’s also much cleaner, the UI is less cluttered and the chrome is gone. Besides making it easier on the eyes, this probably takes some load off of the graphics processors, making the app run faster on less powerful devices.
  • Word - Documents are saved to OneDrive by default assuming you’re online and signed in to your organizational account. When signed in to OneDrive, the system remembers where you last ere in the document.
  • Excel - Excel watches your actions, recognizes the pattern, and auto-completes data entry called Flash Fill. It also recommends some suitable Charts and PivotTables so you can select the best one. Users can share workbooks by attaching them to an IM.
  • PowerPoint - When online, you can add pictures from services such as Facebook and Flickr without having to save them first to your local PC.
  • Outlook - Outlook now supports multiple email accounts OneNote: Synchronous playback of notes and recordings. You can record while you’re typing, and then go back to the note and hear what was said while you were typing.
  • Office 365 - In the past, Office 365 was all about business. In other words, Office 365 competed against Google Apps for Business, there was no Microsoft equivalent to the consumer-oriented Google Apps. That has changed. There’s now an Office 365 Home Premium, which offers software versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher on up to five PCs and 20GB of OneDrive storage.
  • Automatic Saving to OneDrive - If you’re signed in to OneDrive, the system saves documents to OneDrive by default. This is true for Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher.
    • You can:
    • Access information anywhere using your OneDrive account. The new Office is cloud-connected, and your documents are accessible from any device.
    • Keep your hands free by privately viewing speaker notes, upcoming slides, and presentation time through new features in PowerPoint Presenter View.
    • Use touch to take notes, write emails, and access features with Office 2013 and Windows 8.
    • Easily access recent documents in the cloud or from the newly designed Start screen.
    • Simply sign in to Office and documents are easily accessible. When customers come back, they pick up where they left off.
    • Capture, organize, and share information in a digital notebook, including notes, photos, web pages, and media—accessible across devices from virtually anywhere.
    • With the new Office, sign in to an application to remember personal settings and most recent work.
    • Save to the cloud with OneDrive to access documents from almost anywhere.
    • Save documents online in OneDrive when signed in to Office. When offline, documents are saved to a OneDrive folder on the local PC.
    • Office responds to touch and stylus as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse, so you can easily create, edit, and read documents and presentations.
    • An enhanced reading experience, regardless of screen size, makes it simple to zoom in and out and use touch to turn pages.
    • Format and rearrange data easily – no formulas or macros required.

Which version of Microsoft Office you choose depends on how much you use each of the tools in the suite. The standalone versions might be the right choice for people who only use a couple of the programs and are not worried about future upgrades. The entry option is to get Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, the low-end standalone option that comes with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. If you want to add Outlook to that, you can get Office Home and Business at a premium.
If you want all the tools, you can buy Office Professional, which comprises Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

NOTE: If you take this route and avoid the 365 subscription, the standalone versions only let you install the software on one computer and won't give you future upgrades to the software beyond bug fixes.

Another option is to sign up for an Office 365 subscription which gives you the same downloadable Office apps that live on your hard drive, all future upgrades to the software while you keep the subscription, Office on Demand, 20GB of space on OneDrive in addition to the free 7GB you get now and the right to install the suite on five computers.

With this setup, you can choose Office 365 Home Premium for an annual cost. this option bundles Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

To add a couple of business tools, you can sign up for Office 365 Small Business Premium which is more expensive per year but covers five computers, which gives you all the software of the home version plus Lync and InfoPath. With the small-business version, you also get added extras like mail protection against viruses, shared calendars, high-definition videoconferencing, and the ability to create company Web sites and share documents online. There will also be packages with more business features for larger companies, but you will want to check the Microsoft website for the full options and pricing.

Essentially Office has been streamlined in its visual style in its quest to be more touch and stylus friendly for Windows 8 and tablets. Newer social features and Skype integration add new collaborative wrinkles, but replicate what's already available on PCs via other services and software. OneNote and Lync add collaborative note-taking and video-connected communications to the Office suite.

The addition of stylus support in tablet mode (inking) opens up opportunities for casual pen-based mark-ups of documents, or freehand note-taking.

Office 2013 is specifically optimized for tablet use, and even Smartphone use. The layout has been simplified and more touch-friendly button-icons have been added. While the Ribbon still remains in Word, you can opt to remove interface clutter for a cleaner view.

Other additions focus on media use and consumption. Read mode optimizes a document for tablet reading with book like page-flipping and videos can be viewed within documents. Images can be captured from a tablet's onboard camera and resized right into the doc, finger gestures can enable layout changes. A clever radial thumb-controlled button scheme in OneNote provides a quick way to adjust fonts, colours, and sizes. Windows phones will support Office via OneDrive, seamlessly updating saved changes.

How many devices will it support?

With a purchase of any of the Office 2013 standalone versions you will only be able to install it on one PC. The Office 365 subscription versions can be installed on up to five computers. You can deactivate versions and install them on other devices after that. You'll need to sign up for a free Microsoft account to use cloud-based document sharing via OneDrive.

No. You will still be able to purchase any Office 2013 edition with a perpetual license that doesn’t require any ongoing subscription fees. This version can be combined with a free Microsoft Account (aka Windows Live account) to allow online document storage and sharing.

You will need Windows 7or Windows 8 to successfully run Office 2013 on your PC or RT Tablet.

OneNote is not part of the factory installed version of Office 2013 however, it is installed on your system. Go to Desktop and you will see it listed under the Desktop applications.

Office 2013 suites are designed for use on a single PC and cannot be transferred to a different PC. Office 365 is a subscription service that includes all Office applications. It can be installed on up to 5 PCs and includes additional cloud services such as additional OneDrive online storage and Skype minutes for home use.

Your Microsoft account is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services like Hotmail, Messenger, OneDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, or Outlook.com. If you use an email address and password to sign in to these or other services, you already have a Microsoft account, but you can also sign up for a new account if you prefer. This account was previously known as your Microsoft Passport.

What is a Microsoft account?

With this version of Office, you have sign in with your Microsoft account to start a click to run installation. Please note that OneDrive can be linked linked to your Microsoft account.

Simply click on this link and fill out the web page form External Link and Microsoft will do the rest.

Office on Demand is an online service which allows you to access office programs for editing files, from a system that doesn't have Office installed. It's an Office 365 subscription service.

Office on Demand is not going to be of use if you only have Office 2013.

Office Web Apps are best suited for quick viewing and editing, while Office on Demand provides access to your full-featured Office applications.

Office Web Apps are available across a variety of operating systems, devices, and browsers, providing access to Office tools and your documents when working from non-Windows 7 PCs and earlier, from other platforms Linux, or from non-Windows Tablets.

OneDrive is an online storage service that lets you upload files to the cloud and then access them from a computer or phone. You can use OneDrive to store documents, notes, photos, music, videos or other types of file. OneDrive simplifies sharing. You can send photos and files through email, send a short link to them in a text message, or post them to a social network, your website, or your blog. Straight from OneDrive External Link. There is also a desktop app for OneDrive you can install that creates a folder on your PC that automatically syncs with your cloud folder, so you can access your files offline.

OneDrive users receive 7 GB of storage with OneDrive for free. You can purchase additional storage if needed. As an Office 2013 user, you will need to sign up for a personal account. Customers with an active Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University subscription receive an additional 20 GB of OneDrive storage per subscription. Additional storage is not available during trial periods.

NOTE: This additional 20 GB of OneDrive storage is applied to the OneDrive account that is linked to the Microsoft account used to create the Office 365 subscription account. OneDrive was previously known as SkyDrive.

You should sign in to whichever account you've used to create your Personal OneDrive account. There is no additional space allocated with Office 2013.

Microsoft already offers a free series of Google Docs-like Web apps via OneDrive. Cloud connectivity is offered through your Web browser with no software purchase and no monthly fees. The Web apps are not as rich as the full versions, but will definitely be useful for more-casual Office users or for quick edits to documents in a pinch. The apps available are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You will need to sign up for a Microsoft account to use the Web apps.

Discs are not included. The suite will be preinstalled on the PC as an active image or available for download.

Skype is an online service that lets you can call friends, family, or colleagues over the internet - through your computer, mobile phone, and other mobile devices. You can Call, video call and Instant message other people with a Skype account for free, or you can use Skype world minutes to call friends or family with or without a Skype account on their mobile phone or landline.

Skype is supported in Microsoft Lync for multiparty video chat, and within Office for collaboration on documents. The biggest impact could be in office meetings, a demonstration on an 80-inch Perceptive Pixel screen could create a giant interactive whiteboard and collaborative meet up.

No, the OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine.

No, only full versions of Office software are available.

OEM is the most affordable way to purchase Office and makes it very easy to install and use. This is the most common way for smaller businesses (less than 25 employees) to buy Office software. Volume licensing is preferred for larger businesses (more than 50 employees) due to the addition of business class functionality i.e. Imaging and server side enhancements, as well as ease of administration and the ability to move the license to replacement PC's.

What type of Windows 8 devices did you purchase? RT devices will only run Office 2013 Student. While Office 2010 and Office 2007 will "work" with Windows 8, only Office 2013 will allow you to take advantage of the full touch experience that Windows 8 offers.

Yes, by using compatibility and service packs found at www.office.com External Link

For all editions, applications are installed on the customer’s PC.

Software Assurance is only available for Volume License copies of Office.

All Office licenses purchased through your Volume License agreement.

Purchase 1 copy of Office through your Volume License agreement per endpoint device that will be accessing Office.

Internet access is required to install and/or activate all the latest releases of Office suites. Internet connectivity is also required to access cloud services if you have them set up. You will also need to connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Office up-to-date and benefit from any bug-fixes. You will be able to use the Office suite offline once it's activated, but it works better with a connection.

Most versions of the new Office for Windows PCs use Click-to-Run. This is a streaming technology that lets you begin to use Office applications before the installation has completed. The actual download speed of Office depends on the speed of your Internet connection.

The 32-bit version of Office will be installed by default. Even if your computer is running a 64-bit version of Windows, its recommend that you install the 32-bit version of Office. This is because it is more compatible with the applications and add-ins that work with Office. If you do want to install the 64-bit version of Office anyway, then make sure you install from the 64 bit installer.

NOTE: It is not possible to install both the 64-bit version and 32-bit versions of Office on the same computer.

There are several ways to get a back up for your Office product.

For more information on obtaining back-up copies visit, www.office.com/downloadoffice External Link

Back-up copies cannot be shipped to the following countries/regions: Bhutan, Brazil, China, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Iraq, Jan Mayen, Kiribati, Libya, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Saba, Samoa, Sint Eustatius, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna.

No. But there is some loose and casual help information that pops up from time to time.

Yes, while there are certain Office 365 functions that will work on older OS's Office 2013 is optimised for Windows 7 and 8.

This is an installation error that may occur when attempting to use Office 2013. To solve this problem, use this Microsoft Fix It article.

Cloud computing is the use of computing resources - hardware and software, that are delivered as a service over a network - typically the Internet.

Visit Microsoft Support External Link for help on technical issues such as.

  • Installation/de-installation
  • Product activation
  • Product use
  • Technical assistance

Microsoft experts are trained IT and development companies that can help you move to Office 2013 or develop custom solutions for your business. You can also find a listing of all of Microsoft's experts in Microsoft Pinpoint External Link.


Article ID: SLN154801

Last Date Modified: 05/23/2017 04:23 AM


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