Word 2013; 'New from Existing ...' disappears

Why did Microsoft remove a useful feature from Word 2013?

In Word 2007 and Word 2010 there’s a nifty little feature called ‘New from Existing …‘ which quickly made a new document based on an existing one. Why was it removed from Word 2013?

‘New from existing …‘ wasn’t just removed from the File | New menu but Word 2013 doesn’t even have it in the ‘All Commands’ list. That means you can’t easily restore the feature to a ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

It’s a mystery to us. Though ‘New from existing…’ was somewhat hidden away at the bottom of the templates listing, it was a popular feature among those who knew that it was there.

Most likely Microsoft’s somewhat suspect usability studies wrongly told developers that ‘New from existing’ wasn’t used enough to justify its already lowly menu position. Never mind that the obscure position of the icon made it unlikely many people would see it, let alone use the feature. The result is somewhat self-justifying logic by Microsoft – they don’t think ‘New from existing …’ is important so it’s not a prominent feature allowing later decision makers to conclude the feature isn’t worth having because of low use.

‘New from Existing’ isn’t on the ‘All Commands’ list because it was never there! Neither Word 2007 nor Word 2010 had the command exposed in the list. For some reason it was never added to the All Commands list and since it was never on the list, it wasn’t kept when the ‘New from Existing’ feature was dropped in Word 2013.

We’ve asked Microsoft for an explanation and will post it here when it’s received.

VBA alternative?

Would someone like to figure out the Word VBA to recreate ‘New from Existing’? Call the File Open dialog to select a file, prompt for a new file name then save the selected document under the new name and open it for editing.

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