Microsoft is helping you organize your Office with a new tool that aims to let you make good on at least one of your New Year's resolutions. Redmond just rolled out a new version of its Word Web App.
Word Web App is an online destination that brings the core features of Microsoft Word to the browser. The online version now includes a Tell Me virtual assistant that provides shortcuts to actions users want to accomplish, as well as support for footnotes and endnotes. There's also a new, flatter look to all the Office Web apps more in line with the user interface for Windows 8.
The idea behind Tell Me is to help people overcome those "Word moments" when they know what they want to do but can't quite remember how to do it. A good example is, "How do I apply double spacing?" or "How do I make this page horizontal?" If you don't use the tools all the time it can be easy to forget, Microsoft said in a post on its Office blog.
Tell Me How Now
Redmond picked up the technology for Tell Me when it acquired Tellme Networks in 2007. Tellme was a provider of voice services, including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise service and voice-enabled search.
Microsoft acquired the firm with the intention of offering more ways to use speech to access information, locate other people and enhance business processes, any time and from any device. Microsoft anticipated using the technology for hosted voice-enabled customer service solutions that complement its existing unified communications offerings. Word Web App, then, is a good example.
"Tell Me understands what you're trying to accomplish and helps you do it faster," Microsoft said. "So if I'm trying to make my document horizontal, Tell Me knows it's the orientation feature I'm looking for. It brings everything I need to my fingertips."
Microsoft said it's constantly looking at ways to reinvent its Web apps to help users discover and do more. With the new look, the technology giant promised a seamless experience editing documents, collaborating with colleagues and sharing files.
With footnotes and endnotes support, Microsoft said, users now have a "great way to provide more information about something without disturbing the flow of your document." Whether it's serious business like quoting an additional reference or something as silly as a joke in your story, the company said, footnotes and endnotes make it easier to provide the curious reader that extra information.
"What's great is that we've reimagined our experience for the browser to help you add, browse and format footnotes and endnotes more intuitively using the new canvas. Creating MLA-style papers just got easier," the company said. "We're also bringing you enhanced rendering support for Shapes, Textboxes and WordArt."