Why Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2013?


With the release of Microsoft Office 2013 earlier this year came a lot of questions for our Software4Students fans, mainly “Why should I upgrade from Microsoft Office 2010?”.

Microsoft Office 2013 has been installed on our S4S computers for a while and we have been reading up on the changes that Microsoft have made to their flagship productivity software so we can help you understand the improvements that have been made. Not only that, Microsoft themselves gave us a run through of all things Office 2013!

So we thought we would share our insight into Office 2013 with this guide to the new additions to each of the Office applications.


The main differences between Office 2013 and other versions of the software are summarised here:

Collaboration: Communicate with your classmates, teachers and others easily. Skype is integrated with all Office 2013 tools so you can work together even if you are apart.

Office On-Demand: Student’s working from multiple devices can temporarily download an Office 2013 application from their Microsoft account, work on a document and re-upload it to their SkyDrive so you will always have the latest version of your document saved.

Cloud Computing: Save your files to the cloud via your SkyDrive where you can log in and access your files from anywhere, even devices that do not have Office 2013 installed. The SkyDrive also allows for easier collaboration with your peers as you can share links and access to your documents with others.

Functionality: Office 2013, as with Windows 8, has adopted the Metro look which provides a cleaner space allowing you to focus on your work. These Microsoft additions have also been designed with touch devices in mind and can be installed on tablets and other mobile devices.


All of the New Office apps offer a start screen which offers a selection of professional-looking templates (along with a list of recent documents) to choose from:


Microsoft Word 2013

The cleaner read mode with Microsoft Word 2013 removes the distraction of the various editing options toolbar, ideal for tablets, but still gives the freedom for users to pin a taskbar when required.

- PDF Editing: Open and edit PDF documents, incorporate content from PDFs into Word documents quickly and easily.

- Online Content: Include online video, images and other media with a simple drag and drop.

- Alignment: Align pictures and diagrams easier with the new alignment guide.

- Pin your place: If you are working on a big document such as a thesis or end of year project, Word 2013 will pin where you were working and give you the option to reopen where you left off.


Microsoft PowerPoint 2013

The star of Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is the presenter view. This new screen allows you to zoom in on parts of your presentation, privately view speaker notes, upcoming slides and your presentation time.

- Widescreen Slides: Create and edit slides in widescreen view enabling you to use all available space and know exactly how your slides will look in full screen when you are presenting.

- Add Online Content: As with the new Word, you can simply add images from social media and other online sources without saving them first.


Microsoft Excel 2013

Excel 2013 promotes efficiency by predicting your behaviour and requirements as well as being a faster tool in general.

- Recommended Charts: Excel’s Chart recommendations will guide you through the myriad of chart options available helping you pick the one you need.

- Improved Table: If you’re a data freak, you’ll be pleased to learn that Excel 2013 makes it even easier to filter PivotTable data plus Slicers make quick work of filtering even the trickiest of statistics.

- Embed Online: Embed your data and charts from Excel online to share information easily.


Microsoft OneNote 2013

This often overlooked Office application is a Student’s best friend and is the unsung here of Office 2013!

- Compose notes and drawings: create short notes and drawings on the fly and attach just about any computer file to any part of your notes (including Excel spreadsheets) so your notes take on more of a scrapbook vibe. Students can keep their PowerPoint lecture notes and hand written noes from class and keep them together in a OneNote file.

- Cloud Storage: as with all Office 2013 apps, you can save your files to your SkyDrive where they will reside safe and sound. Your notes will sync across the OneNote apps on all your favourite devices including your Windows computer, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and Symbian device – so you’ll always have them to hand.

If you haven’t already heard, Software4Students have created a new online learning platform called ExamTime where you can sign up for free to use our Mind Map, Flashcard, Notes and Study Quiz tool. Click here to sign up and learn more about ExamTime! 


Confused about the different Office versions? Visit our Microsoft Office Comparison Chart to learn more.

Have you been using Microsoft Office 2013? Leave a comment and let us know what you think below!

Top 5 Study Tips to Achieve your Study Goals


Your end of year exams may seem a long way away but implementing the right study techniques early on that will help you understand how to learn and improve memory, will ensure you achieve exam success!

Use this quick study tip guide from a brand new learning platform, to see how you can improve your study skills and get yourself on track to achieving those A's in your exams - it's just like winning an Oscar!


Preparing for Exam Success!

Your end of year exams may seem a long way away but implementing the right study techniques early on that will help you understand how to learn and improve memory, will ensure you achieve exam success! Use this quick study tip guide to see how you can improve your study skills and get yourself on track to achieving those A's in your exams - it's just like winning an Oscar!  


Study Tip #1 

  • Understand your study skills in your own words: Your teacher or lecturer can explain something to you, you can learn it from a text book, your friends can study with you, even your own notes can explain it to you but all these explanations are of little use if , by the end, you can can’t explain what you have learned it to yourself. If you don’t understand a study concept that you need to illustrate in an exam to get top exam results then you won’t be happy with your exam result. To combat this, get into the habit of explaining whatever it is you are studying, in your own words so that you understand your study notes. The key to help improve your memory is to understand what you have learned when you are studying it so don't just memorise and tick off the list, make sure you understand your theory.


Study Tip #2

  • Don’t be afraid to ask study questions: Of course, depending on what you’re studying, it may be quite difficult to get into a position to understand a concept, theory or other information you need to learn for your exams. This is where it is invaluable to ask questions of your teachers, lecturers or other educators. Don’t be afraid of asking a ‘stupid’ questions—there really is no such thing when it comes to study and learning! Embrace your curiosity, for as William Arthur Ward said: “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” Doing so will allow you to fill in the blanks and better prepare you for exams.


Study Tip #3

  • Quiz yourself:  Once you feel you understand a concept or a topic it is important to test yourself on it. Try and replicate exam conditions as much as possible: turn your phone off, don’t talk, time yourself etc. You can set yourself a study quiz or practice exam questions and so long as you approach it with the right mindset you can get a very good idea  of how much you know. You gain a greater insight into  where you stand on what you have studied so far and it will give you some much need exam preparation, making the actual exam a more comfortable experience. Flashcards are ideal for boosting your memory and help you recall theory, definitions and key dates - these are great for quick study session, especially straight before an exam.


Study Tip #4

  • Get Creative with online study tools:Don’t feel obliged to just sit in front of a book with a highlighter; there are many different ways to study. You should pick whatever works for you. Try using as much study tools and techniques as possible to help you study better and kind what work best for you. Perfect examples of such study tools would be online flashcards, mindmaps , mnemonics , online study planners, video and audio resources. Login to your ExamTime account now to access your free online study tools; mind maps, flashcards, study quizzes and practice exam answers and bring your study notes with you wherever you are.


Study Tip #5

  • Set your study goals and create a flexible study plan: In order to achieve exam success you need to know what you want to achieve. That’s why it is extremely important to set your Study Goals now and outline to yourself what you need to do. With your study goals in mind and your end of year exams weeks and months away it makes sense to have a flexible study plan as opposed to a rigid one. The closer you get to your exams the more concrete your study plan should be but at this point it should be porous. It should be broad enough to allow you to add and change aspects but concise enough so you know you’re covering each subject/topic as best you can at this point.


Achieve Exam Success!

If you incorporate these 5 aspects into your study regime you will be well on your way to achieving exam success. Remember, the earlier you start learning and preparing for exams, the more you’ll remember and understand but most importantly, you will have to study less in the future!

Remember, ExamTime can help you achieve exam success! Signup to use ExamTime's free online study tools such as our mindmaps, flashcards, study quizzes and practice exam papers. Keep motivated to study by using the study goals feature to set yourself study targets to focus on. Online revision is the key to exam success, why not give it a go -  it's free!


Microsoft Office 2013 Rumoured to be Launching Soon!


Well we have been waiting in sweet anticipation for Microsoft to announce the official release date of Microsoft Office 2013 with bated breath in the Software4Students office (almost as much as Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong ☺).

What we have heard is that Office 2013 is due to be released in the first quarter of this year so stay tuned for some extra special Microsoft news very soon.......


Microsoft Office 2013…..What’s different?

Microsoft was scheduled for initial release 11th October 2012 when we mere mortals were treated to an Office 2013 preview. We downloaded the preview version when it was released to have a play around with it.

Having adopted the “Metro” look in line with the aesthetics of Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2013 is full of bold colour blocks and white text portraying a clean and sleek look. With 2013 slated to be the year of the tablet, Microsoft have done well re-engineering Office to be compatible with touch technology which will be great for students who work across multiple devices. Also, all your documents will automatically be saved to the cloud, in this case the SkyDrive. Not only will this help boost student’s productivity, you will no longer be able to use the excuse that you forgot your homework!

For a full dissection of Microsoft Office 2013 take a look at our previous blog “Microsoft Office 2013 Student Review” where we give you a peek into what it’s like to use Office 2013.

So we have been wondering, with all the furore over Microsoft’s last released software Windows 8, will Office 2013 bring as much excitement to the software table?! We all love using Microsoft Office, whether it’s using Microsoft Excel to add and subtract or Microsoft Word to pretend we can spell but the big question is – will Microsoft Office 2013 live up to the hype and expectations created from Microsoft Office 2010?!

One thing we are sure of though is that you don’t have to wait for the release of Office 2013 to use Microsoft Office – students can buy Microsoft Office 2010 and upgrade to Microsoft Office 2013 when the new version is available!


Microsoft Office Upgrade Offer

If you don’t want to wait until Microsoft Office 2013 is released to start using Office software, don’t worry you don’t have to!

Buy Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 for only €119.95 and upgrade to use Office 2013 for FREE! You can choose to upgrade to Office 365 Home Premium OR a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013.

Remember you can also buy Microsoft Office University 2010 for only €99.95 and upgrade to Office 365 University for FREE!

Not sure of the differences between the two versions of Microsoft Office 2010? Click here for our Microsoft Office Comparison Chart.


Want is Microsoft Office 365 for Education?

Microsoft Office 365 for education became available from 27th June 2012 providing the world’s best productivity, communications and collaboration experiences to schools at no cost. Microsoft Office 365 is a great opportunity for schools and students to take advantage of the cloud.

Special features in Microsoft Office365 for Education include:

Classrooms without boundaries: Students can collaborate with their team members on assignments and group projects in real time. Access to Microsoft Office 365 allows students to easily share information with educators and fellow students, view and edit documents in a browser or in Office.

Students can work together on class projects using instant messaging or video chats, regardless of where they are working or what device they are using. They can create documents using Office Web Apps which provide the same functionality as the desktop version of Microsoft Office, share class notes by synchronising OneNote notebooks and create digital portfolios.

Microsoft Office 365 for Education provides anywhere access to essential tools including:

1. Office Web Apps
2. Instant messaging and video chats
3. Email
4. Calendar

Prepare students for the workforce: Microsoft Office365 employs familiar Office tools which connect with the way professionals work today in the real world of business. Users of Microsoft Office 365 who have previous experience of Microsoft Office suite of products will be able to easily navigate the features of Microsoft Office 365. This gives students the head start they need to be prepared for working in a professional environment once they finish their studies.

Privacy and security: Microsoft Office 365 provides peace-of-mind to students by offering extensive privacy features, continuous data back-ups and robust disaster recovery capabilities. These features ensure that your data is secure, private and available to access 24/7. No need to worry about losing that 1,000 word assignment that you forgot to save the final draft.


Here’s what to expect with Office 365:

1. Cloud-based email with unlimited email storage, calendar and contacts
2. Instant messaging, voice and video chat
3. Use of your own domain name
4. Online conferencing and desktop sharing
5. Office Web Apps which will allow web-based viewing and editing of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files
6. Subscription to Microsoft Office Professional plus 2010 desktop version (for up to 5 devices per user) or Mac Office 2011
7. eDiscovery tools to support your compliance needs
8. Hosted voicemail support

Don’t forget that Software4Students is one of the only approved resellers in Ireland for the Microsoft Select and Academic Programs. This means that you can get desktop versions of Microsoft Office software at great discounted prices whether you are a student, school or charity. In addition to Microsoft, we also offer great value for students, schools and charities with low price discounts on antivirus, animation, music and speech recognition software from brands including Adobe, Kaspersky, Nuance, Corel, Roxio, Nero, Filemaker, Symantec and more.

Click here to contact us if you are a school or charity and make sure you are getting the best deal on all your Microsoft products.

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Merry Christmas from all at Software4Students!


Get your Christmas jumpers at the ready S4S fans – Christmas day is just around the corner! Unlike us, you probably have all your Xmas shopping done in time for the big day!

We wanted to take a minute to thank all our fans for a great year and wish you a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year from all the team at Software4Students.

During the year, we offered you great student software discounts on leading brands including Microsoft with massive discounts on Microsoft Office and Windows software.

We also try to bring you the best Adobe student discounts so that you can develop your graphic design skills with the most professional software around. Take a look at our student software discounts on leading brands such as Kaspersky, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Corel, trakAxPC, Rhino, CrazyTalk, Nero, Toon Boom, iStopMotion, Avid Sibelius and much more....

This year we introduced loads of great new products to our range such as Windows 8, Nero 11, Avid Sibellius First, trakAxPC and new versions of Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013, Adobe Premiere Elements 11, Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Home and Premium Editions.

We also had loads of fun throughout the year giving you the chance to win prizes such as our Rock Star Treatment competition giving one luck winner the chance to win a pair of tickets to either Reading or Leeds festival this summer. Congrats again Reece Hardisty! Some other fun competitions we had this year gave you the chance to win £50 with the purchase any Adobe software product, fun photo caption contests as well as some money-off promotions.

If you were one of our lucky winners this year, well done!

We hope we helped you save money this year and look forward to bringing you even better student software discounts in 2013!