Back to Basics: The Microsoft Classics of Office 365

An illustration of a laptop with a word document from Office 365 open on it.We’ve shared a lot of our favorite Office 365 features over the past several months, but we couldn’t complete this series without a nod to the Microsoft classics we all know and love. This week, we’re looking at Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – the backbone of the Microsoft Office suite.

With Office 365, you get access to all of these classic programs, with the added benefit of syncing your work across your devices and easily sharing it with colleagues. Wherever you are, you can access your Office 365 account, including your saved work, to make collaboration easy, even on the go. An added benefit of an Office 365 subscription vs. the “perpetual” version of Office (like Office 2019, and those that came before it) is that you’ll always have the latest features of these programs, updated automatically. Here are a few of our favorite new features that have come with recent updates:

Word

You may know Word as Microsoft’s longstanding word processing powerhouse, but the Office 365 version is full of features that go beyond simply gathering your thoughts in one place. For painless collaboration, documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint Online can be shared between users, allowing multiple people to view or edit the same document. Easily tag coworkers to direct them to certain areas of the text that might need their attention.

If you’re more of a pen and paper person, you might enjoy Ink Editor, which allows you to rearrange or strikeout text, and even correct spelling errors or insert words using your digital pen to make edits in real-time. On the flip side, if you’re all about digital, you can easily turn your word document into a webpage with the Transform to Web Page feature.

Excel

Excel on Office 365 is full of time-saving features to free up your day. Keeping with the effortless collaboration, threaded comments allow multiple users to easily communicate with each other with conversations located within a specific cell. The Ideas feature easily identifies patterns and trends in your data, and which types of graphs and charts will best suit your information.

Data types are a neat feature if you’re working with geography or stocks that efficiently pulls from online data to populate a spreadsheet. We wouldn’t be surprised if future updates expand these “linked data types” to other commonly used areas.

PowerPoint

With all of the extras available in Office 365’s version of PowerPoint, presentations have never looked so good! Even for the artistically challenged, PowerPoint’s Designer tool steps in to offer suggestions to make your slides stand out using the text and images you provide.

Rather than flipping between written notes and your presentation, use your digital pen to write your text right into the appropriate slides, and Ink to Text will convert it into your font of choice, while Designer recommends layouts for you to choose. Office 365 clearly has collaboration in mind, and with PowerPoint, you can easily see what changes have been made to your presentation by other collaborators.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – we’ve been impressed with all the features Microsoft rolls out with its updates, and there are many more we haven’t discussed that will make your projects run more smoothly and come to life.

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