Office 365 is a little unusual in that it is cloud software and you install it on your PC, to give you the best of all worlds. As Microsoft grows and innovates the applications, Microsoft automatically adds cool new features. Here is a list of the best new things you could do with the software that most people didn’t know you could do.
Multiple people can edit the same document at once
Anyone can edit a document at the same time in Word, PowerPoint or Excel. You can see the changes as they make them and who is doing the editing. No more emailing attachments. Everyone can just pile on and work at once.
Skype while working on a document
Microsoft has a feature that lets you simply click a “Chat” button to begin chatting with everyone working in the document over Skype.
Even if you leave the Office document, you’ll be able to continue the conversation via Skype on your desktop or phone, so can keep talking to the team as they make edits.
Let Bing automatically find images for your presentations
While you can still do old-fashioned PowerPoints with Office 365, Microsoft is testing a cloud presentation software that’s more like Prezi than PowerPoint. It’s called Sway. One thing it has done is to stitch together Sway with Bing image search. Bing will read your presentation and suggest images based on the words you are using. As you add more words, the Bing image search automatically updates.
Convert scribbles to text and drawings
When you scribble handwritten notes into OneNote on a device that supports electronic ink (OneNote, Samsung Galaxy Note, etc.) OneNote has to sort of guess which lines belong together. If it guesses wrong, you can easily fix it with the Lasso tool. Select Lasso Select, circle an area of your note and then you can edit it or use the “Ink to Text” or “Math” option to change the scribbles into regular text and numbers.
Add a signature to an email
A free electronic signature app, DocuSign, is available for Outlook. The app walks you through electronically signing and emailing a document and can help gather signatures from others, if needed.
Excel charts, graphs, pivot tables made easy
Microsoft has collected all the ways you can format your data into a feature called “Quick Analysis.” Select the cells, fire up the Quick Analysis tool and click through your options for visually presenting the material: charts, totals, tables and sparklines (tiny line charts), etc.
Let Excel reformat your data
You know how powerful Excel’s Fill Down “Control -D” command is? The new version of Office has something that practically reads your mind: Flash Fill. With Flash Fill Excel sees what you are doing and does the rest of it for you. For example, say you are changing the formatting of a list of people’s names from spread across two columns (first name, last name) into a single column. When you type the second reformatted name, Excel displays the whole list, reformatted. Just click to accept it.
Edit a PDF file
If someone sends you a PDF that you’d like to convert into a Word document to edit, you can. Just open it and respond “OK” when it asks you if you to convert the PDF. This will prevent the formatting problems associated with editing or copying and pasting from the PDF. You can also save a Word file as a PDF (click File > Export > Create PDF/XPS), or save just a portion of a file as a PDF (select a page range). And you can password-protect the PDF, too.