A public service message about Windows 8 and Word 2013

Recently, I got a new laptop that runs Windows 8. Let me just say that Windows 8 for the PC makes no freaking sense AT ALL. It was clearly made for the Windows surface or phone, and Microsoft didn’t want to make different versions. It is incredibly difficult to run two programs at once on Windows 8 and not have to switch back and forth between different screens. Ross had to actually break the program in order to make it so I can have two windows open at once on my desktop. Seriously, wasn’t that why Microsoft invented Windows at all? Multiple programs running at the same time? Argh! My head is sore from all the times I slammed it on my desk while figuring out Windows 8.

To all PC users out there struggling with Word 2013 (new with Windows 8), here’s a tip about Track Changes. If you were struggling with strikethrough issues like I was (where you want a deleted word to appear in your manuscript after you’ve deleted it, just with a line through it), you can reset Track Changes to be more like the version you were used to.

Look under the Review tab in Word 2013, then find Track Changes. It’s almost in the middle, next to Show Comments. Just to the right of Track Changes, there are three drop-down menu options. The top one is Simple Markup. Click the little drop-down arrow next to Simple Markup and you’ll find a list of options. The last one is: Original. Click that and you’ll find all the reviewing options you’re used to are now back, including strikethrough.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet discovered how to make this the default and have to remember to turn it on every time I start Word 2013 if I’m marking up a manuscript. I never realized before how much I depended on strikethroughs to tell me where I (or anyone critiquing me) made changes in the manuscript. Like most Windows 8 changes for the desktop, it doesn’t make any freaking sense.

Why change Windows from the ground up EVERY SINGLE TIME they release a new version? And this version of Windows is worse because you can tell they are just catering to tablet users. Are there really more tablet users out there than lap or desktop users anymore? And you can tell by their commercials that they aren’t even pretending they give a damn about anything but tablet sales. Though I did notice that the Microsoft commercial about the Surface where people are dancing across what is probably a campus doesn’t feature anyone actually USING the tablets. Maybe they hate it too, and the dancing is actually people writhing as an agonized unit. The only commercial I’ve spotted where someone uses it is where the little girl draws and shows pictures to her absent dad. Who knows where he is. Prison? For flinging his laptop at someone in Microsoft?

Stop trying to be hip, Microsoft. The kids won’t fall for it and the older people have money. I had to import the old version of solitaire just so I could play it AND have a chat window open at the same time.

Sorry for the long computer rant. I’ll have more writerly news soon as well as updated schedules for when you can come and meet me, and we’ll rant about Windows 8 together. If you have any other hot Windows 8 tips, Word 2013 related or not, send ’em on to me. We’ve all got to stick together on this.

25 thoughts on “A public service message about Windows 8 and Word 2013

  1. Oooo, I meant to add that my work machine has only a 32-bit mobo, yet has dual monitors, and 4 configured workspaces across both screens, which means I can run up to 8 applications (Mail, browser, RSS reader, file manager, graphics program, word processor, HTML editor, etc.) fullscreen CONCURRENTLY! (And sometimes do)

  2. I don’t get it. Ofcourse you can run multiple programs on Windows 8 on the desktop just as you would in Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc..

    If you are using the Modern UI, only 1 + .25 can be displayed but other Modern UI apps are running in the background. What programs were you running where someone had to break the program?

    • In Windows 8, the picture viewer, movie viewer, music player, and PDF reader all take over the screen, making it difficult to interact with more than one at a time, making the user have to switch back and forth from the program running to their desktop, instead of seeing everything at once. I like to have a pic and a document open at once where I can see them at the same time like when I’m writing a blog post and trying to decide what pics go where. Ross had to break it so I could watch a movie from a DVD and have a document and a chat window open that I could interact with and not just have them “running in the background”.

      • I see now.. you were having trouble with the Modern UI side of things. Personally, for the kinds of things you were doing, they are best done on the Desktop. Windows 8 out-of-the-box makes the picture viewer, movie view, music player, PDF reader the default programs for opening stuff. You’ll have to tell Windows which programs you’d rather use as default instead of those Modern UI programs.

        If you don’t know how to do that, I’d be glad to write up an article to show you how..

      • I got it sorted, thanks. My gripe was that those were the default when they didn’t need to be PC as opposed to the tablet where it makes sense, just like the new startup screen doesn’t really make sense unless you’re using a touchscreen.

  3. So sorry! {{hugs}}.

    I love my windows 8. I use the normal desktop mode (far left bottom corner square) to do all my normal windows office work. Wish I could have helped. Or at least given you Fnord for a target since he works at MS still. 🙂

    • Yeah. I go straight to the desktop too, Ches, which is another thing that bugs me. Why the hell have that startup screen at all on a PC? I wish I could have it just go straight to my desktop instead of having that startup screen that was clearly meant for touchpads.
      Nah, I wouldn’t make Fnord a target while you still have a use for him. 😉 Thanks for the offer, though. Keep it in mind if he ever does you wrong. ^_^

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