Microsoft has announced plans to update its Office apps to make them smarter and more productive.
New cloud-powered intelligent services are coming to all Office apps, building on July’s update, the company revealed during its Ignite Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tap in Word and Outlook
Microsoft states these services will help save people time and produce better results. Tap, for example, enables users to bring across elements from other files, such as spreadsheets, presentations and documents, into any Word or Outlook email they’re editing.
This makes it easier for workers to create reports and other documents quickly, as there’s no need to open or search through other files to find the table/graph/image they wish to include. Tap shows all the elements that are frequently opened by the user or made available to them by their co-workers.
While Tap will only be accessible via Word or Outlook at first, Microsoft is working to bring it to other Office apps, including PowerPoint.
QuickStarter in PowerPoint and Sway
For the time being, PowerPoint and Sway will instead get QuickStarter, which Microsoft claims is “re-inventing the creation process”. Essentially, it helps users create a presentation by pulling in information using the Bing Knowledge Graph. The user can search the presentations topic to find relevant creative commons images and recommendations regarding what information and categories to include.
That’s not the only update PowerPoint is getting – its Designer feature will now provide design suggestions for bullet-pointed lists. Meanwhile, in Excel, users can now create a new type of chart, called Maps. This will allow users to transform geographical data into visualisations, making the information presented easier to understand.
Microsoft also announced updates to Office 365’s security features. Threat Intelligence, a brand-new feature, gives users greater insights into threats, allowing businesses to protect themselves further. Full details of the huge September update can be found on Microsoft’s Office blog.