Office 2016

The newest version of Microsoft’s perennial business software, Office 2016, is here.  We take a look at some of the changes on offer.

Microsoft Office 2016 logo

Office 2016, Microsoft’s omnipresent office work software, was released not too long ago.  Here we’ll take a look at what you can expect when you upgrade (if you haven’t already)!

Office 2016 comes in two flavors:  a traditional, local license and a subscription to Office 365 via the cloud.  The new features of Office 2016 vary slightly depending on which version you use.  These differences generally fall along how Microsoft expects customers to use each product.  

The local version of Office 2016 introduces a few new features that focus on being able to find what you need quickly.  Smart Lookup examines not only selected text but also the context around it to find the best results on the web.  This can cut down on sifting through extraneous search results.  The Tell Me feature directs you to the proper tool for the task you’re trying to accomplish.  It dispenses with telling you how to use the tool, however, assuming you already know or can swiftly figure it out.  The new Recent documents feature in Outlook 2016 shows you documents you’ve recently worked on in any Office 2016 app.  This allows you to quickly find and attach files to an email without having to search through your files.

Many more innovations were added to the Office 365 version of Office 2016.  The industry has been moving toward more cloud-based functions, of course, so this makes sense.  (It also encourages users to switch to the subscription platform.)  The bulk of these tools revolve around collaboration with a focus on OneDrive and SharePoint Online.  For instance, real-time co-authoring of shared documents is now supported through Office 2016.  Attachments may be sent as the files themselves or as links to the shared documents.  This can reduce file clutter and keep all changes in one place.  Office 365 Planner allows users to plan and organize collaborative work, including assigning tasks, due dates, and updates.  Skype for Business is now directly accessible through Office 2016, allowing you to easily speak to collaborators while working on the documents.

Overall, while Office 2016 is firmly rooted in providing for more traditional users, it continues to evolve to meet the new ways professionals work.

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