Microsoft is seemingly working on the next version of its productivity suite Office 16. We got a brief glimpse at it last month, and today we have got an in-depth look at all the major changes the next iteration of Office comes with, as revealed by WinBeta.
Like with the desktop operating system, Office 16 is also taking the Technical Preview route. We understand that the company will be seeking consumers feedback for the Office suite as well before it releases it sometime next year.
As per the leaks, Office 2016 will have a Tell Me assistant feature, which resembles a lot to the Clippy tool that Office suite had a couple of versions ago. Additionally, the company has also improved several features across different apps in the Office suite, and brought the much requested Black theme option with it. Here s a brief rundown on all the major features the new Office comes with.
Tell Me will enable users do a lot more from Office. The digital assistant will guide users with all the technical assistance they need. You can tell it what exactly you want to do – say make tables, and it will tell you the commands and navigation path from where you can do it. One of the best things about it is that users won t have to type the exact official name of a feature to get the assistance. It also uses a feature called word-wheeling which much like Google s auto-prediction detects what you are typing and starts filling the gaps to show results. The feature will be located in the middle of the Ribbon.
Improved orientation for inserted images
Microsoft is also providing an update to the way it renders the images you insert to the document. The said fix recognizes the metadata that several cameras attach to the images taken from them, which helps the software get a better understanding of the position of the camera and it reflects them on the newly inserted images.
Visio to add Getting Started feature
Microsoft has realized that not too many people use or are even familiar with the Visio app. That s why the company is adding a getting started feature to the service to reintroduce what the service is and what it is capable of doing. The Getting Started feature will help users get familiar with the very core features of the application.
Accessibility in Visio
Additionally, the Visio application is also adding support for keyboard access in the shape panel. F6 key will allow users to cycle through the shape panels, while TAB key will navigate across different sections of it. Arrow keys will let users switch between different elements.
Information Rights Management (IRM) protections addition for Visio files
Microsoft is also adding the Information Rights Management (IRM) protections for Visio files. This feature will provide persistent online and offline protection of e-mail messages and attachments, alongside documents and diagrams. This is a much welcomed feature, as it will help the company foster the security, and help users protect files from leaking.
Enable pan and zoom while loading large charts and SmartArt
The new Office also brings better user interaction with charts and SmartArt diagrams. Among several improvements, users will get the ability to modify documents before charts and SmartArt diagrams are fully rendered.
Among other features, the Data Model, also known as Power Pivot Model in Excel is getting upgraded with several new features. The Pivot Table Field List is also getting the search functionality support.
Attaching and sharing Most Recently Used (MRU) local and cloud files on OneDrive and SharePoint.
Microsoft is also improving the experience while inserting attachments. Users will be able to select from a dropdown menu of their most recently used local files and OneDrive and SharePoint Office documents while looking for attachment files from the Ribbon or Action Bar. For files that are already available on OneDrive (only for Personal and Business users), they can share the links to the files stored in their cloud accounts instead of adding the entire file.
And last but not the least, the new Office also comes in Black! Microsoft is adding the much requested Black-colored theme in Office. The other noticeable changes include lean footprints of Outlook storage on small devices, which for instance will have smaller sync slider windows on small devices.
Microsoft is expected to release a Technical Preview build of the Office 16 to the public soon.