Microsoft released Office 2019 in September, and it includes several useful upgrades. Although businesses that subscribe to the cloud-based Office 365 have been receiving these updates on a rolling basis, those who preferred the one-time-cost option of Office 2016 may be wondering whether the new generation is worth the upgrade.
Short answer: Yes.
Here’s a look at what’s in Office 2019 for small businesses.
Focused Inbox and User Tagging Enhances Email Productivity
Focused Inbox is an optional feature that adds two tabs to the top of a user’s inbox, letting them switch between more important emails and those that can probably wait. As users move messages to Focused, Outlook uses machine learning to discover more about what’s important to them.
It’s also now possible to tag users in emails by typing @ and then selecting their name from a list. When a user is tagged, Outlook highlights the mention in the email preview in the recipient’s inbox to draw their attention to it.
Easier Document Navigation and Discovery
Outlook lets users select from a list of recent documents when adding attachments to emails, so there’s no need to go hunting for the right file. The View tab provides a new option for navigating documents, allowing users to choose to scroll horizontally instead of vertically. Word subtly animates vertical scrolling to make it look like flipping through the pages of a book. That enables much faster scrolling than is possible in vertical mode.
OneNote Gets an Upgrade for Windows 10
Microsoft announced this year that it would no longer be developing the OneNote app that’s currently bundled with Office 2016. Instead, it is replaced in Office 2019 by OneNote for Windows 10, which is a Microsoft Store app. OneNote for Windows 10 is designed for touch, but also works with keyboard and mouse. It includes ink-to-text support and better synchronization of notes.
PowerPoint Zoom and Ink Replay Simplify the User Experience
Zoom allows users to jump to any part of a PowerPoint presentation by clicking on thumbnails of slides in the deck. Other visual improvements include a text highlighter and the ability to add scalable vector graphics and 3D models. Presentations can also now be exported to 4K resolution video, and users can create animations using Ink Replay. Users who prefer to annotate documents with a pen can write, draw or highlight text across the Office 2019 suite.
Don’t have a pen? A mouse works too.