Office 365 gets Tap in Word, Excel Maps, QuickStarter & other new features

In an attempt to bring cloud-powered intelligent services to Office, Microsoft rolled out several important updates and new features at Ignite Conference. Included in these updates were features like ‘Tap’ for Microsoft Word and Outlook, plus other important updates like new map chart types in Excel, new PowerPoint designer, etc. The features were designed particularly to reduce the workload of Office users and help them work smarter.

Efforts are also underway to extend these new features to more apps, like Microsoft PowerPoint, in the future. Let’s learn about these apps.

Tap in Word and Outlook

The feature makes it easier to find and embed elements from other Office documents in an Outlook message or Word document. It is powered by Microsoft Graph.

Tap in Word or Outlook lets you find and reuse content used by you in some other working document. You can choose relevant file when it surfaces most frequently used files. Once done, you can borrow the desired content from those files into your Word document and start building content in a few clicks without leaving Word.

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For doing this, select any result in the tap pane and select Adding image/ picture to insert and re-use the content in your working Word document. What if Tap does not return with what you were looking for? No worries! Use the Tap pane.

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Excel Maps

Microsoft Excel allows users to quickly log, sort and analyze data. This helps a user improve his working efficiency. The efficiency is further enhanced by manifolds when users maximize the value of their data by building great charts, using conditional formatting and utilizing online access. Excel now gives stronger tools for processing and managing data. A new feature in Excel has been added to allow users create visualizations at the national, state, county or ZIP code level.

With New map chart type individuals can transform geographic data into professional visualizations in few steps. The feature is powered by Bing Maps, Maps and enables daily Microsoft Excel users to create geographic data visualizations. Previously, it required assistance from professionals or expensive software.

QuickStarter for PowerPoint & Sway

A new addition to help users build impressive presentations using Bing search results and Bing knowledge graph. QuickStarter will help users build impressive presentations by offering a curated outline for any topic including recommendations on information to include, categories to consider and associated images tagged with Creative Commons licenses. Moreover, it will add professional designs via slide designs and different type of text.

QuickStarter is available for all customers in Sway on the web. The courtesy is likely to be extended for Windows Desktops some time later next year. All these improvements will benefit users by offering them a solid starting point and then continue building the rest of the parts. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of all new and powerful QuickStarter.

PowerPoint Designer

PowerPoint Designer was recently introduced as a new intelligent tool in Office 365. The tool enables a user to add style to his slides featuring photos. It can also automate the process of creation of slides and presentations. The new update builds upon earlier designer updates, adding support for text in PowerPoint for Windows desktops and Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program.

Security enhancements

Microsoft also announced a slew of new products and services spanning security. This will empower Office 365 enterprise subscribers to better protect, detect and respond to threats within their organizations. Some security arrangements unveiled at Ignite Conference include,

Improvements to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)—New ATP features will now help keep employees secure without impacting their productivity. URL Detonation introduced in ATP will analyze suspicious links in a virtual environment, while Dynamic Delivery will scan attachments for malware without delaying email delivery.

Threat Intelligence

New to Office 365, Threat Intelligence is a feature that lets a user proactively uncover advanced threats and counter them. Some of the useful features incorporated in this security framework like, the Intelligent Security Graph gives valuable inputs about cyber threat hunters and generate alerts quickly for effectively tackling this menace. This structure of security has assumed importance in recent times, owing to deep threats. Microsoft is mainly applying machine intelligence to deduce the different aspects of threats, use its power to analyze the same so as to ensure business continuity, while reducing the overall risk profile.

Updates to Skype for Business

Skype has undoubtedly been one of the most popular communications platforms in the world. Microsoft has made it easier to move all your communications to Skype for Business. How? It has further deeply integrated the mobile experience by adding a translation and transcription capabilities. Preview of these capabilities will be showcased in Skype Meeting Broadcasts by the end of 2016.

Microsoft StaffHub

Microsoft StaffHub was designed specifically for employees whose job required them to be on their feet every time. Technically, it was a cloud-based shift management tool to create teams, manage shift schedules and provide relevant information to the workers of an organization.

It has proved to be of immense help for deskless workers as they can now manage all their important tasks like schedule information, important communications, announcements right from their mobile devices.

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There’s also a good news for Outlook users. Office 365 commercial customers using Outlook will now be powered by the Microsoft Cloud. This news indicates that Outlook service will now support Exchange Online mailboxes natively.

For more information, see Office Blogs.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.