What's new in Office 2019

Posted by George D on

What is Office 2019?

Microsoft Office 2019 is a standalone, local (not cloud-based, like Office 365) version of the Microsoft Office software suite. It is a “perpetual” release, which is just a fancy way of saying you buy the software once and own it forever, rather than having to pay an annual subscription fee to access it. That said, you only get a license to use it on a single PC, whereas a subscription to Office 365 lets you use it on a PC, a tablet, and a smartphone. 

This new release updates and replaces the 2016 versions of Word, Excel, etc. and includes many of the new features.

What new features can you expect?

Here’s a quick rundown of the important updates Office 2016 users will see if they upgrade to Office 2019.

Microsoft Word

word 2019 focus

With Office 2019, Microsoft says it’s focused on helping you, well… focus better when writing in Word. To do so, Word 2019 will be getting the aptly named Focus mode, which darkens the screen and reduces the displayed UI elements.

Users will also have new “Learning Tools,” including new text-to-speech, text spacing, and translator features. Mac users will also now have customizable ribbons (aka drop-down menus) in their version of the Word interface.

Outlook

Like Word, Outlook is also getting a new focus mode, called the “Focused Inbox,” to help streamline workflow and email drafting. Users can now use “@” commands for tagging people in emails, and contact cards have been overhauled.

Also, PC users will now have travel and delivery cards, while Mac users get new email templates; a Send Later function for scheduling delivery times; and read receipts. Both platforms also get Office 365 Group integration.

PowerPoint

powerpoint 2019

The changes for PowerPoint are all about enhanced media and visual element support in presentations. The notable additions here are support for 3D model display/manipulation and SVG files on slides; new morph transitions; the ability to export your presentation in 4K UHD video format, and you can now write by hand and move elements with your pencil while editing.

OneNote

OneNote is arguably the biggest change included in Office 2019. This is technically a new OneNote release entirely, one that can replace OneNote 2016 (though OneNote 2016 remains available and will be supported by Microsoft through 2025). This new version, dubbed OneNote for Windows 10, includes Ink-to-Text support, meaning your handwritten words will be turned into typed text, plus better syncing between connected devices

Excel

excel 2019

Finally, Excel gets a host of new functions—like new formulas and chart options, and support for 2D maps and timelines—to better present and organize your data. PC users will also receive updates to Power Pivot, Power Query, and the ability to export to Power BI.

Better pencil support and other tweaks

better pencil support office 2019

In addition to these program-specific updates, there are also changes that apply to all Office 2019 software. The most important of these is Microsoft’s beefed-up support for digital pencils, like expanded “roaming pencil case” support, which lets users write by hand and move parts of documents with their pencil, as well as new support for pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition. Office 2019 also comes with some behind-the-scenes changes such as monthly security updates and a reduction to network bandwidth use.


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