A few weeks ago Microsoft released their final version of Office 2016.

Compared to previous versions, Microsoft Office 2016 includes some brand new features, as well as improvements on existing tools and functionalities.

Some of the major changes include:

Outlook’s major overhaul

Outlook 2016 has undergone a large makeover which has given users greater support and ease of use. Not only does Outlook 2016 have better cloud file support, deeper search and a darker theme for those working on bright monitors, but also includes a new dialogue feature which makes attaching files a breeze!

When sharing documents with colleagues it is important to ensure that everyone has the most current document. If your business has a large number of employees, it can be difficult to monitor whether everyone is on the same page.

Thanks to the new drop-down “add attachment” menu item , you will not only be able to add files, but also be able to share a link to a file stored on your SharePoint or OneDrive for Business account.

Outlook also has a new decluttering feature available to Office 365 customers, which automatically moves low priority emails to a folder aptly called “Clutter”.

According to Microsoft, the new feature works over time by analysing the user’s Outlook inbox workflow and determining which messages the user is likely to ignore.

Real time co-editing in Word

Similar to the co-editing feature in Google Docs, Office 2016 enables multiple users to work on the same Word document at once.

Microsoft states that this added feature will enable colleagues to collaborate more easily and will ensure everyone is literally “on the same page”.

While the added benefit of this new feature is undeniable, there are some limitations.

In order to simultaneously collaborate on a Word document, you first need to store the document on OneDrive or Sharepoint online, whereby all collaborators must also be using Office 2016.

While there is no word as to whether or not the co-editing feature will be available in other Office applications, it is assumed that the co-editing feature will eventually become available for Excel and PowerPoint.

Make way for Sway

Sway is a digital storytelling app designed for users to create quick and easy interactive reports, presentations and stories.

Sway allows users to drag and drop photos, videos and files from YouTube, your computer, Facebook, Twitter or OneDrive onto a Web browser, smartphone or tablet.

While there has been a lot of debate as to whether Sway will replace PowerPoint in terms of user preference, Sway is designed for less formal situations such as personal sharing of content as opposed to more formal presentations. Therefore, PowerPoint is likely to remain the program of choice for corporate presentations.

Built-in business intelligence

As part of Excel in Office 2016, the feature Microsoft Power Query has been added to the core of Excel, meaning you no longer need to download it separately.

With Power Query you can perform online searches for data from a large collection of public data sources including Wikipedia tables, Microsoft Azure Marketplace and Data.gov. The tool also allows you to use the JSON parser to create data visualizations over Big Data and Azure HDInsight, perform data cleansing operations and import data from multiple log files.

To find out more of Power Query’s capabilities, click here

Data loss protection

Data Loss protection is another new feature of Office 2016 which allows IT administrators to centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

From a management perspective, these new features can reduce the likelihood of data leakage as administrators can restrict what files can be sent to whom, and prevent data from being copied and pasted outside of Office 2016 applications

Office’s new “Tell Me” Feature

When you launch any Office 2016 program for the first time, you’ll immediately notice the new search box present in the ribbon. This new feature is known as “Tell Me” and allows users to quickly search for specific commands and functions.

The “Tell Me” search assistant is available in Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Excel’s modern update

Excel 2016 includes a set of new modern charts and graphs, enabling users to present their data in a number of different ways.

New graphs types include:

  • Histograms
  • Pareto charts
  • Box and whisker plots
  • Sunbursts
  • Treemaps
  • Waterfall charts

Are you excited about the changes in Microsoft Office 2016? Let us know in the comments section

Hayden McMaster