Microsoft WORD 2013 To Support PDF Functions

Tristan Davis is the Senior Lead Program Manager for Word, so he should know all the ins and outs of the upcoming Word product.  Called Word 2013, this new version has a lot of added functionality.

Newly supported formats are Strict Open XML and Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2.  Previously, Word 2010 could only read Strict Open XML files.  Word 2013 can now write that format.

OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) published ODF 1.2 this past January.  Microsoft belongs to OASIS and has rolled in full read, edit and write functions for this format.

The real exciting addition is PDF support.

Tristan wrote in Microsoft’s Word Blog: “First, we have added the ability to import PDF files into Word via PDF Reflow. This is an incredibly common feature request, so it’s really exciting to finally be able to enable it – with this functionality, you can transform your PDFs back into fully editable Word documents, rehydrating headings, bulleted/numbered lists, tables, footnotes, etc. by analyzing the contents of the PDF file.”

Doesn’t this seem like a cool end-all for PDF processing in Word?  Imagine saying goodbye to all those free and low-end PDF converters and rippers.  WAIT!!!!!  That is not going to happen, so stop removing your programs and get out of the Control Panel.

Microsoft says Word 2013 can Open “Edit”, Save PDF documents, but notice the quotes around “Edit”.  Microsoft added those quotes and not I.

Tristan continued “It’s worth noting that this doesn’t make Word a PDF viewer; our goal wasn’t to be a full-fidelity PDF viewer like the Windows 8 Reader app; instead, we explicitly focus on making the file editable again, even if that causes the layout to change slightly so that it behaves like a familiar Word file.”

So what this new addition to Word 2013 does is get some content from the PDF document, and does something that is highly undesirable: it changes the format and layout and only Tristan Davis knows what else.

Keep all your PDF tools as you will need them to work on PDF documents.


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