Round up of new features in Office 2016

Later this year, Windows users will be able to see first-hand how Microsoft has kept its traditional Office experience intact, while moving towards a mobile, cloud centric world. Mac users with an Office 365 subscription have already had the chance to review what’s new or improved within the suite. For those who have yet to examine the new components, Compulite’s consulting services practice has broken down all the new or improved features users can anticipate.

Features to Expect

  • Setup Format: Installation itself takes a fresh approach with this update. Instead of downloading Office 2016, you will be able to stream the installation directly to your system with a Click-to-Run format as needed. You’ll notice that there are 5 new Office themes available to choose from now; because freedom of choice when color coordinating is important.
  • Tell Me Tools: A search tool that is useful and easy to use will aide the user in various tasks within Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Simply type what you want to do, and a drop down menu featuring results will appear.
  • Smart Lookup: a new feature that works in conjunction with Bing’s search engine. Once you have highlighted a word or sentence, you can Press L (or right-click) to activate Smart Lookup. You will then have the ability to look up background information –definitions, synonyms, or related websites and news stories. Smart Lookup will be a convenient way of searching for information without having to leave your document to use your browser to search.
  • Share your Work: Send or publish any document or file inside Office Apps. You can invite people in an organization to become an editor, copy a link to paste in an email or social networking tool or send as an attachment.

Updates for Word

  • Co-Authoring: With real time presence, the co-authoring feature will enable a user to see where on a document other editors are working and what they are writing. (This feature will also be extended to Excel and PowerPoint in later releases.) Simply share the document through OneDrive, Google Docs or SharePoint Online and let the collaboration begin!
  • Improved Proofing: Updated check features all you to pre-set multiple languages for the spelling or grammar checks to run in . Perhaps your document is written in English, but you are quoting a phrase in French. The improved check feature will verify highlighted text in a different language than the overall document.


Updates for Excel

  • Business Intelligence: Improved intelligence will recommend charts that best suit your data. Formula builder and auto complete helps make users more productive.
  • PowerPivot Improvements: Advancements made to this data analysis tool can now calculate and analyze millions of rows of data.
  • User Interface: The ribbon bar has been cleaned up. Users will find it better organized and more attractive.

Updates for PowerPoint

  • Animation: Has become faster and easier to use. Animation Painter allows you to copy the effects you have in place on one slide or image and then apply to others throughout your slides.
  • Themes: At first glance, you will notice the number of themes to choose from has been greatly reduced. However with the new themes that are provided, there are numerous variations to choose from.

Updates for Outlook

  • Attachments: Will be handled differently in 2016. Attach files from lists of recently attached items. The list will pulls from OneDrive, Dropbox, SharePoint, and Google Drive  sources. If the attachments are stored online you will be able to configure permissions (edit or read only) for the recipients from within Outlook. These functionalities will makes it easier to share and collaborate with others.
  • Clutter Control- A tool to manage your inbox will move lower priority messages to a new folder to assist in de-cluttering your inbox. Clutter is not exactly spam removal; it will however recognize mail priority and yields a more personalized experience.

Mac users will Appreciate:

  • Touch friendly Elements-The user interface will look familiar to iPad users as you navigate through documents and spreadsheets.
  • Retina Display- Fully supported on Mac devices so your presentations and graphics appear sharper.
  • Presenter View in PowerPoint- A feature Windows users have had for a while, and now Mac users can enjoy too. Presenters will be able to view notes, timer options, and navigation tools meant for their eyes only.
  • Rights Management- New rights management and encryption features allows for limiting what users can access, edit or distribute with documents or emails that are shared. Set an expiry date to the permissions, and block documents/emails from being forwarded. IT pros will be able to set rules using Azure RMS service to block sharing of protected content. This right management protection has also been extended to Visio files.

Minimum Requirements

Office 2016 Preview supports PCs or Windows tablets running Windows 7 or higher, exact system requirements have not yet been released. However if you consider Office 2013 requirements, it is our best recommendation to ensure you have the following:

1 GHz or faster CPU
1GB-2 GB of Memory
3 GB of storage space

Our Advice

Remember that Microsoft is shifting the way updates are implemented. With this version, Office will now be able to update itself. While exact details on how to control these updates have yet to be released, there will be an option to “Disable Updates” if you manually set it to do so. It is our recommendation that those wanting to upgrade wait until Mid-2016 to do so. This will give Microsoft and your IT provider time smooth out any compatibility issues.
Regretting your decision to update? You can reinstall your previous version of Office, however you must have your product key from your original activation card.
Whether working from home, on the go or from your workplace, the Office suite will allow access and permit edits to your documents from any device. Many new features including threaded comments makes collaborating easier for users. The multiple smart tool updates have many individuals, teams and businesses eagerly anticipating the new release.