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Microsoft Word 2013 Welcomes PDF Reflow Integration Into Software

October 17, 2013

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Microsoft Office Word 2013 brings a host of added new features to your desktop toolkit, with this years update integrating saving and sharing files in the cloud, shared online meetings and automatic formatting of data from Excel.

An additional feature that has been added to this year’s release is the ability to open and edit PDF file types within the Microsoft word document, called PDF reflow.

Microsoft cautions users when opening PDF in word. Perfect conversions are not always possible. The PDF reflow feature works best with file types that are mostly textual – legal documentation, scientific papers or business reports.

The PDF reflow feature has been given a number of mixed reviews, some praising the seamless integration within the word file type. According to a review by PC mag, “word matched typefaces, point sizes, and other formatting flawlessly. Every text box resizes, realigns, and slides around with a finger stroke on a tablet or with the drag of a mouse on a PC”.

On the other hand, some believe that, for an average home made PDF file that was generated with Microsoft Word, this can work quite well (though there are still issues with them displaying exactly as intended), but for anything more, the PDF file format simply doesn't lend itself to be something of a professional capacity. Nasty file types should err on the side of caution, as the feature, depending on your requirements, is still in it’s primitive stages.

To convert a PDF, you open it like you would any other document:

  1. Click File > Open.
  2. Choose the location of the PDF and click browse.
  3. Find the PDF and click open.

There are some document elements that do not work so well:

  • Tables with cell spacing
  • Page colors and page borders
  • Tracked changes
  • Frames
  • Footnotes that span more than one page
  • Endnotes
  • Audio, video, and PDF active elements
  • PDF bookmarks
  • PDF tags
  • PDF comments
  • Font effects, like Glow or Shadow

The implications for the PDF industry, is that customers who are seeking to investing into software that manipulates the PDF file type, are less inclined to purchase pricey software, e.g. Adobe Acrobat software.

Do you believe that this will pull demand away from expensive software from Adobe Acrobat and programs alike?

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