What's new in Office 2016?

Microsoft have updated their Office suite with a number of new features since Microsoft Office 2013.

In this article we will outline all the new features in Office 2016 for Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and general new features across all these applications.

If you are currently using Office 365 then your Office suite will be automatically updated to the newest version of Office (just another great advantage of Office 365!) If, however, you are using Office 2013, Office 2010 or even earlier then these are the new features you will see if you choose to upgrade to Office 2016. If you want to know about any feature just click the header and you will go to a page with more information.

Our Favourite New Feature

Brilliant new Outlook attachments

Outlook 2016 has greatly improved sending attachments:

  • Attaching a file now brings up your most recent files to quickly attach to an email
  • You can also quickly browse files on your PC or browse Web Locations (OneDrive and SharePoint)
  • You can set file permissions within the email attachment for view only or editing
  • Files from Web Locations can be attached as a local copy or as the shared file

Microsoft Office 2016 Common New Features

Sway – Microsoft introduces Sway to the Office family, a new way to create visual presentations and easily share them with colleagues.

Work together on documents – Work together in real-time with co-authoring. Documents shared through OneDrive can be edited by multiple users at the same time and you have visibility on who is editing what in PowerPoint, Word & Excel.

Simple File Sharing – Quickly share files with the new ‘Share’ button in the top right hand corner of PowerPoint, Word & Excel.

Tell me” – New search functionality that gives users the ability to type what they want to do and get the answer immediately (in PowerPoint, Word & Excel)

Version History improvements – Users can click on File> History to view previous versions of their document and restore old versions.

Insights” – Right-click on a word and select ‘Smart Lookup’, use the Review tab or use the “Tell Me” box to get information from Bing snapshot, Wikipedia, Bing image search and Oxford Dictionary directly within the app you’re working in.

New Office Theme sets – You can choose a ‘Colourful’ theme or ‘Black’ theme now, which is done by going to File> Options> General

InfoPath – Infopath has been removed (but Infopath 2013 will be supported until April 2023)

Ink Equations – This was already available in OneNote but now can be used in Word, Excel & PowerPoint giving users the ability to physically write maths equations (called “inking” by Microsoft) and covert to text. Go to Insert> Equation> Ink Equation.

Integration with other apps including SAP, Salesforce, Uber and DocuSign.

Improved User Interface for touch devices.

Outlook 2016 New Features

Improved attachments – We’ve already mentioned our favourite new features: the ability to attach most recent files intuitively, improved cloud attachment features and the ability to change file permissions in email.

Improved Search – Search is faster and more reliable and also suggests people and keywords when you start typing.

New Outlook Groups instead of distribution lists (Office 365 Enterprise mailboxes only). This gives you the ability to:

  • Create and manage groups
  • Keep updated on group activity within Inbox
  • Access group conversation history – even from before you joined
  • Gather all related documents from the group in OneDrive
  • Schedule meetings on a group calendar that everyone in the group can update
  • Distribution list

Clutter Folder – Clutter is a new folder in your Inbox that determines emails that are unimportant to you and stores them in a separate folder. This can be turned on or off.

Tell Me – As with Word, Excel & PowerPoint, you can use ‘Tell Me’ to ask a question and quickly find the answer.

Word 2016 New Features

Real time co-authoring – This fantastic new feature lets two authors work on the same document (when saved in OneDrive) at once and see the updates in real-time for more effective co-authoring.

Improved Version history – Go to File> History to see a complete list of changes made to your document and access earlier versions.

Improved grammar checker – The grammar checker is being entirely rebuilt to be improved so expect some changes here too.

Plus, as mentioned in Common New Features: ‘Tell Me’, Quick File Sharing, Insights & Real-Time Co-authoring.

PowerPoint 2016 New Features

PowerPoint Designer – Designer automatically generates visual designs for your content so you can pick a pre-made design to improve the appearance of slides.

PowerPoint Morph – Easily add impressive transitions and animations to your slides.

Co-authoring – Work with your colleagues on the same PowerPoint presentation by saving it to OneDrive to use real-time co-authoring and easily see who else is working on the file.

Quick Shape Formatting – Introduction of more default shape styles available in the Format tab.

Plus, as mentioned in Common New Features: ‘Tell Me’, Quick File Sharing, Insights & Real-Time Co-authoring.

Excel 2016 New Features

New chart types – There are 6 new types of charts

  • Box and Whiskers
  • Waterfall
  • Statistical: Histogram and Pareto
  • Pareto
  • Hierarchical: Treemap and Sunburst

Create Funnel Charts – Create funnel charts to show cascading information easily

Built-In Power Query – Previously this was an add-on but now is built into Excel under the ‘Data’ tab.

One-click forecasting

3D Maps – Previously Power Map (add-on), 3D Maps are now built in to Excel under the ‘Insert’ tab.

Time grouping and Pivot Chart Drill Down

Enhancements to PivotTable

New Excel Templates – New templates that you can quickly use, which appear as you start Excel, including:

  • Calendar Insights
  • Stock Analysis
  • My Cashflow

DLP (Data Loss Protection)

Improved autocomplete – You no longer need to spell formulas and functions exactly, for example you can put ‘DAYS’ and it will bring back ‘NETWORK DAYS’.


Publish to Power BI

Plus, as mentioned in Common New Features: ‘Tell Me’, Quick File Sharing, Insights & Real-Time Co-authoring.

What next?

If you want to start using Office 2016, then we would recommend Office 365 as it’s a cost effective monthly package that includes a wide variety of enterprise level apps and which updates automatically, so you never have to worry about missing out on the latest updates, such as Office 2016. Get in touch to organise a demo or if you’re already using Office 365 then we’d love to show you recent new features to make sure you’re getting the most value.