Microsoft Office 2016 was officially released on September 22. It’s a free upgrade for Office 365 users.

But Office hasn’t really changed that much over the years. So what’s new in Microsoft Office 2016? Here are the notable changes you need to know about:

What’s New in Excel 2016?

-Six New Chart Types: Excel 2016 has six new chart types that you can access by the Insert Hierarchy Chart on the Insert tab. New charts include the Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, Pareto, and Box and Whisker.

-One Click Forecasting: Previously, you could only access linear forecasting in Excel. Excel 2016 extends the forecast function to allow forecasting based on Exponential Smoothing (i.e. FORECAST.ETS()…). There’s a new wizard that you can access by clicking Data > Forecast Sheet to instantly create a forecast visualization.

-3D Maps: Go to Insert > 3D Map to overlay data across a real-world map (like to display different data in different cities).

-PivotTable Improvements: PivotTable now has automatic relationship detection, creating/deleting custom measures, search in the PivotTable, and other usability improvements.

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-Multi-Select Slicer: Select multiple items in an Excel slicer on a touch device. You previously couldn’t do this on touch devices.

 What’s New in Word 2016?

-Tell Me: Just like Cortana constantly asks you to tell her what to do, so too will Microsoft Word. Just type in the top entry bar where you see “Tell me what you want to do…”. You can type in something like “insert picture” to find out how to insert a picture, for example.

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-Real Time Collaboration: Every update to Office lately has made improvements to collaboration. You can now edit a document in real-time from your Word desktop software. To do that, just click Share after you save a document online (to OneDrive or SharePoint). Then, enter your colleagues’ email addresses.

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-Smart Lookup: Highlight a word, right-click it, and select Smart Lookup to instantly open an “Insights” pane with more definitions provided by Bing.

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-Ink Equations: Want to add a complex math equation for your document but don’t know how to write it out using text symbols? You can now write directly into Microsoft Word and Word will convert it to text. You can do this on your touch device or using your mouse.

What’s New in Outlook 2016?

Outlook 2016 added a handful of new features, including:

-Enhanced Attachment Permissions: Share attachments through Outlook 2016 and decide whether you want to share them as View only or give the recipient Edit permissions. You can also immediately attach recently-used files from the Ribbon.

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-Groups: Outlook 2016 adds groups, which function like distribution lists to communicate and collaborate with your team members. You can create a new group with a few clicks and organize them into different topics based on conversations.

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Other Improvements in Office 2016

Office 2016 for Mac gains many new features (Mac users are closer to Windows users in terms of features in Office 2016)

-Version history improvements

-Improved grammar checker with smarter detection

-Best suited to a PC with a keyboard and mouse, while still offering considerable touchscreen improvements

How to Get Office 2016

Microsoft Office 2016 can be purchased here. Here’s what you can expect to pay for different Office 365 versions:

-Office 365 Home: $10 per month and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access installations on 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones, plus 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage each for 5 users.

-Office 365 Personal: $7 per month and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access installation on 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet, and 1 phone, plus 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for one user.

-Office Home & Student 2016: $149 one-time purchase that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote installed on a single PC along with 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage.

Ultimately, Office 2016 has few major feature upgrades. It’s most just an optimization for Windows 10 that also brings secondary editions of Office – like Mac – closer to Windows in terms of performance.



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