If you are an avid Microsoft Office 2016 user, then you may know that new features are being added all the time. Once you pop open an application like Word or PowerPoint, for example, you are greeted with that little what’s new box. Whether you check out those fresh features or simply move on, knowing what’s new can be beneficial to increasing your productivity.

Here’s an overview of the 10 best new features you may have missed.

1. Additional Ribbon Buttons


Now you can archive items in Outlook with a single click by using the Archive button. Plus, browsing or adding new groups is simple with the addition of those two group buttons. If you do not see the new buttons, you will have to add them to your ribbon.


To do this quickly, just right-click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon. Then search for the commands on the left and add them to the right.

2. Enhanced Collaboration

Word and PowerPoint

For adding comments and sharing with ease, Word and PowerPoint contain great collaboration features. You should see the sharing and commenting icons at the top right above your ribbon.

In addition, you can quickly view previous versions of a document with the Activity button on your ribbon. Once clicked, the side panel will open, showing what has happened with your document.


3. Mentions


For capturing someone’s attention quickly, Outlook 2016 has a feature called Mentions. When crafting an email or calendar invitation, type the @ symbol and the first few letters of the person’s name into the body. You will then see a drop-down box displaying options from your contact list.

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Once you select one, not only will that person’s name be highlighted in the message or invitation, but it will also automatically pop into the To line. Additionally, you will be able to sort your inbox by Mentions.

4. New and Improved Connection Options


You can import data from SAP HANA databases, SharePoint folders, and online services such as Salesforce Objects or Reports. Select Data > New Query and then make the appropriate selection from the drop-down box.

The connectors for IBM DB2 and SQL Server Database have been improved as well. For IBM DB2 you can now choose the Microsoft driver and for SQL Server Database you can include schema information as part of the navigation hierarchy.


5. Publish to Docs.com

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Some features added to Office 2016 are available across multiple applications. One such feature is the ability to publish documents to Docs.com. Select File > Publish and you will see the Docs.com options including document title and visibility choices.


You will need an account with Docs.com and you can create one using your email address or you can sign in with Facebook or your Microsoft account.

6. Publish to Power BI


Power BI is a service that can transform your data into interactive reports. Using the business dashboard, you can monitor, analyze, and build models easily. Select File > Publish to upload workbooks or export workbook data directly to and from Power BI.


Note that the service requires that you have a OneDrive for Business subscription.

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7. Researcher


This handy tool is perfect for term papers or business research. Select Researcher from your toolbar and then enter your search term in the sidebar. Once the results display and you choose those that you want, you can add headings to start your outline and cite the sources directly from the Researcher tool.


You can also include images you find by simply dragging and dropping them into your document.

8. Suggest a Feature


If you have a great idea for a feature in Outlook, you can now suggest it with a click. Select File > Feedback and click the Outlook 2016 Feedback button.


You will then be redirected in your browser to the Outlook Suggestion Box, where you can vote on a suggestion or enter your own idea.

9. Text Highlighter


Similar to Word, you can now use a text highlighter in PowerPoint. Make certain parts of your text really stand out with this convenient and overdue feature. Make sure you are on the Home tab and then select your text. Next, click Text Highlighter and choose your color.


10. Zoom for PowerPoint


This handy new PowerPoint feature lets you move to different slides and sections of your presentation quickly. There are three types of Zooms that you can use:

  • Summary Zoom puts the pieces you select onto one slide allowing you to jump between them.
  • Slide Zoom lets you navigate slides in any order that you choose.
  • Section Zoom allows you to pop back to previous sections easily.

Select Insert > Zoom and then choose the type you would like to use from the drop-down box.

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Staying in the Loop

If you are interested in seeing the newest features while you have an application open, you can check these out any time. Select File > Account > What’s New to access the pop-up window which also contains a link to Learn More about those features.


If you are not seeing a new feature and are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure that you have the latest version of the software. Select File > Account > Update Options to update the software and also view what is included.


New Features Are Coming Your Way

Keep in mind that many new features are rolled out to Office 365 subscribers and Office Insiders first. So, if you do not see a feature in your application yet, just know that it is being tested and is on the way.


Also, if you are interested in more information about becoming an Office Insider, signing up can provide you with early access to new features and allow you to provide feedback on them. You can visit the Office Insider page for further details.

Is there a specific feature for Microsoft Office 2016 that really stands out to you? Maybe there is one that makes your work life smoother or your school life simpler? If so, please share your comments with us below.

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