Microsoft released their latest version of their productivity suite Office 2016 just over a week ago. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this new version of Office has close integration with Office 365 which Microsoft has being encouraging users to sign up to for some time now. Subscribers of Office 365 can download Office 2016 by signing into the Office 365 portal and follow the instructions for installing Office that pop up after signing in. Where a school has signed up for Office 365 for Education, teachers and students are entitled to install Office 2016 for free as outlined in a previous posting here on the Teachnet Blog. Of course Office 2016 can also be purchased as a stand alone product in the traditional way. An Office 2016 Home and Student license can be bought from €149.
One of the first things that one notices when Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016 or OneNote 2016 is launched is the Share pane on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking on Share brings up a panel where the author that has created a document can invite other people by entering their e-mail address or by creating a link to share a document with others. It is no longer necessary to log into your OneDrive account to share the document, it can be done directly within Office 2016. When sharing a document the author can offer permissions to edit or view the document. Providing opportunities to collaborate on a document is the big new feature in Office 2016. No longer does one have to depend on e-mailing attachments when sending documents to work colleagues.When you share a Word document with can edit permissions with work colleagues, a number of people can edit the document simultaneously in real time. Each person working on a document has a different coloured cursor in the document so that each can see where colleagues are working in the document. If people you have a shared a document are using Office 2013 or an earlier version, they can still edit the shared document using the free online web based versions of Office.
Another new feature in Office 2016 is the Tell Me what you want to do. This replaces the traditional Help feature. It simplifies searching for answers such as change font size or insert a text box for example whereby Office 2016 will bring up the menu you are looking for.
If your school has already signed up for Office 365, the new collaboration and productivity features available with Office 2016 make it worthwhile installing this latest version of Microsoft Office today.