How Microsoft Office 2016 could improve your productivity

Tony Sager - Friday, October 23, 2015

Microsoft Office is a lot more than Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, although that's what most people think of first. There's now a whole range, from the Office 365 cloud services to the mobile apps for iOS and Android (along with Skype for Business, Dynamics and Power BI), backing up CEO Satya Nadella's claims that Microsoft is the productivity company. The mobile Office apps are certainly popular, but Office on Windows and Mac remains the main attraction, even in Microsoft's cloud-centric approach.

At first glance, you may not notice much has changed since Office 2013. But when you look deeper, you will find some interesting and productivity-enhancing differences.

Here are few things Microsoft Office 2016 offers as it aspires to be the last productivity suite you are ever going to need.

Co-authoring on-the-go

Co-authoring has been around for a long time for many Office apps, but with Office 2016 that collaboration can now take place in real time. That means you will be able to see what your co-conspirators are doing in a Word document or PowerPoint presentation as they do it--and conversely they will be able to see what you are doing. It won't even matter where you are or what device you are using.

Simplified Document Sharing

Office 2016 simplifies sharing of documents by adding a Share button on the ribbon. Click on the button and you will have a one-click access to share your file with anyone in your contacts list – without even having to leave the document to. 

Smart Attachments

If you’re like me, you send attachments to email almost every day. In earlier versions of Office, adding attachments to an email required that you browse to the location where the document has been stored. You can still do so in 2016 in Office, but if the document in question was one that you’ve worked recently, it will appear in a list of shareable documents there in Outlook. Essentially, office 2016 maintains a universal list for you.=

New and Modern chart types in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Office 2016 brings highly anticipated new charts to give users more ways to explore data enabling them tell rich stories across Excel, Word and PowerPoint. Say hello to Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Tree map and Sunburst. Six powerful charts that help you quickly visualize common financial, statistical and hierarchical data.


Microsoft also announced Office Groups, a way for teams to collaborate inside Office applications. Delve is a new tool that comes with an Office 365 subscription. Delve is a ‘hub’ that offers users access to everything they might have created, shared, or collaborated on using Office 2016.

Best version history

Collaboration and creativity can be a messy process, with shared documents, changing significantly over time. Office 2016 offsets ideas potentially lost by keeping earlier versions of documents and making accessible directly from Office applications under the history section of the file menu.

Enhanced Outlook with Mail Triage

Office 2016 adds a new category to your Inbox triage, called clutter Toolbox. The idea behind Clutter is simple: use machine learning algorithms (part of the Office Graph) to assess the inbound mail stream for a mailbox and decide what mail is important to the recipient and what is not. You can designate certain emails as low priority and they and future similar emails will be automatically deposited in a clutter folder in Outlook. So now you have four categories for email: important, clutter, junk food and remove.

Perfect on Windows 10

On top of all the new features and functionality across iOS and Android. Office 2016 now has extra functionality for Windows 10 users. With this update, when you log into Windows on your computer, that one step automatically logs you into all of your Office applications – no need to remember umpteen passwords on a daily basis. With the improved mobile apps, you can now use Continuum and Office Mobile apps on Windows 10 phones to use your phone like a PC to view, edit or even present.

Modern Shapes in Visio

Office 2016 gives users advantage of the many redesigned shapes that are now available. In Visio Professional, the Basic Electrical template now has shapes that are compliant with the IEEE standard. In Visio Standard, the Office Layout shapes have been updated. Also check out the Starter diagrams to quickly get going.

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