Office 2016 is the 17th and latest release of the popular Microsoft Office productivity suite. It is made to enable better collaboration for enhanced productivity, and built with the latest Windows 10 operating system in mind. The suite comes with new features and updates to popular apps like Outlook and Excel while promising improved security.
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Office 2016 looks significantly identical to Office 2013, with a few exceptions. Microsoft has increased the themes offerings to five, from the three that were available on Office 2013.
The new Colourful themes makes it possible to distinguish apps by the colour of the title bar. For example, a green title bar let’s you recognise the window for an Excel spreadsheet.
The title and ribbon bars in the new Office and Windows tools such as Explorer are now of similar height. A new Share button has been added – this can be found at the upper right-hand corner of apps such as Word and Excel.
The keyword for the Office 2016 is collaboration. It is designed to make working together easier. The real-time co-authoring feature, which has been available in web-based Office apps since 2013, finally makes its appearance in native apps here. This feature allows people in different locations to work on a document in real time.
Office 2016 also comes with Skype for Business and Office 365 Groups. Skype for Business enables users chat and share screen while working on documents without exiting tasks. Office 365 Groups makes it possible to create public or private teams, with features provided to facilitate productivity.
Built for Windows 10
Microsoft designs its Office 2016 suite to offer the best experience on its Windows 10 OS. The operating system’s Windows Hello feature lets you sign in to your computer and Office 365 without entering a password – you simply touch or look.
And of course, Cortana is not left out of the package. This means you can tell the digital personal assistant to read a specific document to you or display your schedule for a day, as laid out in Outlook.
Apps in Office 2016 have received different degrees of updates. In Outlook, improvements include faster search, better cloud-based attachments from OneDrive and separation of low-priority emails based on your mail reading habits – in addition to Office 365 Groups.
Other apps come with minor updates. For example, six new chart types and new Pivot Tables features have been added to Excel.
Search functionality is improved in Office 2016. In addition to Cortana, there are Smart Lookup and Tell Me features. Smart Lookup lets you conduct web searches from right inside Office apps, removing need for opening a browser to do so.
The Tell Me feature can be used to quickly find a feature or command by typing what you require in a search bar within an Office app.
Microsoft Office 2016 features a browser based-tool called Office 365 Planner which you can use create plans, set due dates, update statuses and organise tasks – perfect for keeping tab on the progress of a project.
Another related feature, Delve, lets you see what different employees are working on at a time to help businesses operate more effectively. The Sway app released in August is also included to allow you create presentations that display well in browsers and across diverse devices.
Security is enhanced in Office 2016 with built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Multifactor Authentication. Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) is expected later this year for better security.
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