A first look at some of the best new features of Office 2016.
Here are the most useful new features that need Office 365 or additional Microsoft servers such as SharePoint brilliantly noted by J. Peter Bruzzese.
Word 2016: Real-time co-authoring
If you have documents shared through OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online, you can now group-edit them in real time, such as seeing Word changes reflected in real time to all users who’ve opened the document. And Word 2016 makes it easier to share those documents to others in the first place.
Outlook 2016: Cloud attachments
When attaching files saved in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint, you can now send documents as attachments (the traditional method) or as links to saved files. If you send links, you avoid the sprawl of document copies, and you create a one-stop location for edits to a document. If the documents are stored in OneDrive or SharePoint, you can assign various permission levels to them.
Outlook 2016: Office 365 Groups
The new Office Groups option is aimed at teams. You can create your own groups in Outlook 2016, then use those groups across other applications for collaboration. It’s like having a project folder accessible to all team members across their Office apps, available from within the email client you likely have open all day anyway. Office Groups already existed in Outlook Web App, but now you can use it in the Outlook 2016 desktop client as well. (Mobile users need to use the separate Office 365 Groups app.)
Sway: Digital storytelling
Office 365 Planner: Teamwork organization tool
This new tool (which will enter public beta in early 2016) for teamwork organization will let you create plans, assign tasks, set due dates, and update status. Microsoft says Office 365 Planner is much simpler to use than typical project management software, and it’s accordingly designed for basic planning needs.
Skype for Business: Conversations
One of the new features added to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is the ability to use Skype for Business (still called Lync on the Mac and iOS) to collaborate and communicate while working on documents. You can IM or video-call someone with Skype from the new Share pane built into the new Office applications.