In February this year, Microsoft rolled out its Office 2013 product, bringing numerous updates and several new features, such as the new start screen. One thing the Redmond-based software company failed to do was add tabs to Microsoft Office – a convenience that many of us have grown used to in our web browsers. For those of us who work with multiple documents, this would have been a huge and valuable addition to the new suite. But with this, Microsoft dropped the ball.
To save you from browsing from window to window, Office Tabs steps in – yes, the name could not get much more logical. This fills a rather basic need that Microsoft should have had the sense to do, not only in Office 2013, but back in the 2010 iteration of its flagship software package.
Office Tabs Means Business
To be fair, while Office is a popular service in almost every business, it is certainly a suite for the consumer environment as well, and resides in many homes, not to mention schools.
If you have need of multiple open documents – a problem more common than some of you may believe, then Office Tabs will feel like a gift, though not a free one, but that depends on your needs.
There are three flavors to chose from – Enterprise, Standard and Free edition. All of them have varying levels of features. Free, however, should work for the majority of customers, but businesses will need to pony up the cash and grab an Enterprise license which will lighten the company budget on a variable scale based on the number of licenses required to outfit the organization.
Your Free Office Tabs!
The free version of this add-in to your Office suite works for Word, Excel and PowerPoint and is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit Office 2010 and 2013, as well as 32-bit versions of 2003 and 2007.
The free version also provides the ability to customize Tab Length and appearance, get support for shortcuts and the ability to show or hide the tab bar.
But What Does it Look Like?
The way it looks and functions is more the bottom line to most customers … ahh … all customers. That is where this little app shines, with Chrome-like tabs that function almost exactly the same as any web browser.
This plays just like your browser, with an option to close a tab on the right and, to the further right, a choice of launching a new tab and adding yet one more.
The download is 20 MB and setup is simple, so no need to worry, and no extra bloatware is coming along for the ride during this installation.
What Are My Options?
Simply adding tabs is a nice feature, but far from a final play for your devoted use. When you get Office Tabs up and running, you will be faced with a number of options to customize the service. The Options page pops up upon a successful install and has only two tabs, but a number of features included within each.
In the left column, users will encounter options for tabs in each – each Office app can be individually customized, so if your wish is to have different options in Word and Excel, then it is an easy choice.
Customers further add flare to tabs by choosing color options, style and even setting tab width to prevent the window from being overrun as my browser currently is.
In the End
If you are someone who frequently runs multiple documents at a time, as I find myself doing with Word, then the free version will likely get you by. Corporate customers and power users will need to open their wallets, but the pricing does not break the bank. Honestly, for free, this is an easy choice. It is not using up computer resources, nor does it harm Office and can be handy even for those who use the app sparingly.