ICT related news and ideas

Posts tagged ‘word’

Office 2013 and online images

I have been using Office 2013 preview version for a while now on my main laptop and, more recently, on the Surface tablet and have been pretty impressed with this new iteration of the world’s most-used productivity suite. Much improved interface, effective integration with the cloud and a raft of small but very satisfying improvements in the way things work. Now it’s not for me to provide an in-depth review of all this: plenty of other more important people have done so already and a quick flick through the search engine results will provide hours of reading on the subject. I just wanted to flag up one little change that might prove useful for the hard-pressed teacher or, indeed, student, and that is the new Insert Online Picture command.


This option now appears on the Insert tab in PowerPoint, Word and even Excel next to the more familiar Picture one and gives you the dialogue as shown in the screenshot above.You can choose from your own images on Skydrive or Flickr (which you add as a source) or from Bing search or the Office.com image bank (this is basically an improved version of the old ClipArt option). There is indeed some clipart on the latter site, which is probably best ignored, but there is a surprising wealth of good photographic imagery of decent file size available there too. And this is the clever bit: it’s royalty free and can be used without worrying about rights issues. Unless you want to start selling the images, of course. The best bit of this new command is that the Bing search defaults to Creative Commons licensed images (you can click to check the details of the licensing if you’re need to), which is clever,  or you can expand it to catch any image on the web.

All of which is neatly done and potentially a time saver, especially if you are trying to stay on the right side of copyright issues. And we should all be doing that, especially if you intend to share your work on  the web.


Translation in Microsoft Word

There are lots of tools available out there to translate things and students usually choose the most desperately inaccurate one when trying to take a shortcut on their homework, so it’s not hard to spot! But, used sensibly, these tools can be useful: I have written before about the really very useful Lingro, and Germanists have the brilliant Dict.cc.

But it’s worth mentioning Microsoft’s entry into the fray with the translation facility in Word 2007. It’s far from brilliant but it’s a start, I suppose, and could be useful as a way of working within a document without going out to external tools. To turn on the facility, you go to the Review tab on the ribbon and select Translation (fourth from the left). This pulls up a vertical window on the right of your document within which you can select your languages to translate from and into. After that, if you click within any word then right click and choose Translate then Translate again (why twice??) your translation will come up on  the right hand side.

It is limited but it is functional. There is also an option to translate an entire text, but that is as dire as they come and only worth doing if you want a laugh! There is also an option called Translation Screen Tips, which is meant to provide a translation when you hover over a word. I’ve never got it to work in either Vista or Windows 7. If anyone has managed to pull off this trick, do let me know!