Office 2016 for Windows, Android and iOS is here and better than ever! Here are five new features to help you get your work done faster and smarter. We will specify which features require an Office 365 subscription and those that don’t.

  1. Microsoft Word Researcher Speeds Up Research

Microsoft has added the Researcher feature in Word to make it easier for users to find and cite reliable sources for their documents. To access Researcher, open Word 2016, and from the Reference tab, select Researcher from the Research group.


Type in some search terms, hit enter and Bing will scour the web and bring back appropriate, reliable, work-safe content for you. Select the item you want from the Results pane. You can choose to add only the text from the source, or you can choose Add and Cite, which will create the formatted citation for you. If you need to go back and edit, click on the citation and the option Edit will appear. An Office 365 Subscription is not required.



  1. @ Tagging Contacts in Emails Is Super Handy

Did you know that in Outlook 2016, if you put the @ before a contact’s name in an email body or calendar item, it automatically adds them to the recipient list on that email or meeting invite? Well, now you do! Test it out, it’s fun. Office 365 is not required.


  1. Easily Convert Drawn Items into Shapes

In PowerPoint 2016 and Excel 2016, the Draw tab now allows you to freehand draw shapes, charts, graphs, etc., creating digital shapes you can then edit, style and format. In the Draw tab, select Convert to Shapes, and then draw. Your drawings will automatically be converted to the most similar Office shape. To stop the automatic conversion, select Convert to Shapes again. The shapes include, but are not limited to, the ones pictured below. No 365 needed.



  1. Improved Data Transformation and Connectivity in Excel 2016 Will Save You Time

In April, Microsoft released a series of updates for Excel that they bundled into one package, the Power Query add-in for Excel. The add-in is available for download via your Office 365 account, or you can download it here:

There are tons of new capabilities that come with this package, including the ability to append multiple tables with one operation, alphabetically sort columns, an improved ability to rename and reorder columns, an Exchange connecter to pull data from your Office 365 account, a SharePoint List connector URL validator, and multiple new database connectors. An Office 365 account is required for some features.



  1. Skype for Business Streamlines Meetings and Makes Office Communication Easier

What used to be Microsoft Lync is now Skype for Business, and it can be very handy as a great time-saver for your business. In the past, if your contact was offline, you could never be sure they got your message or you would get an error message, but not anymore. You can now send messages to offline contacts, and they will receive your message as an Outlook email missed message. The conversation will also be available to them in Skype, under Missed Conversations.


Skype for Business can also be great for running meetings and conference calls/video chats. Now, Microsoft has added a feature where you can preload your meeting docs as attachments, or upload docs mid-meeting for everyone to see. To add docs, set up a Skype for Business meeting in Outlook on the Insert tab, click Attach a File, and select the files you want. If you have Office 365, you can also attach files from the cloud, such as OneDrive or SharePoint files. Once you start your meeting, open your documents by selecting Present Screen, then select Manage Content, then click Open the File.


Meeting attendees can now see the file. To view the files without presenting them to the whole meeting, click the Open button on the upper ribbon that will appear when anyone uploads a doc.


Office 2016 has tons of new features and functions, so stay tuned for more articles on this topic. (All photos were sourced from Microsoft.)