Microsoft Office 365: more features than you can shake a stick at

Showing the new Word screen on a laptop over a woman's shoulder

Microsoft Office 365 a.k.a. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more are chock full of features that no one uses. It’s not Office’s fault – it’s the fact that users seldom explore further than they originally learnt to do.

“The issue is that we still use Office as we started to use it. There is so much more in every revision of Office, especially our Office 365 subscription product that gets regular feature updates.”

Nathan Wilson, Manager Office Consumer and Education

The actual number of features in MS Word numbers thousands – ditto for Excel. Most people use perhaps five to ten – bold, underline, bullet points, highlight, headings, font/size, cut and paste …

With the recently released Office 2019 (buy the software for on-premise use) it was timely of Microsoft to remind us of some of the never-ending new features here, right now.

Graphics make text come alive

A page of text is boring – you can spice it up adding 3D. Just go to Insert>3D Models>From online sources (Remix 3D is a royalty-free online repository). It’s a bit like a treasure hunt.

Then there is a huge repository of Creative Commons royalty free images, icons, shapes and more. Or add video royalty free from places like YouTube.

Office 365

Tell Me more

One of my favourite tools it ‘Tell Me’ at the top right of the ribbon bar. If I want to add a horizontal rule, I just type that into the query box.

Word can now check more than 100 grammar issues as well as misspellings, use of slang and much more. All you need to do is go into File>Options>Proofing>Settings and set spell check to the level you need.

AI enables more

There is a lot of AI underpinning Office 365. It knows what you are working on and can help by identifying reference material and research links. For example, in a resume, it may identify titles and open similar level template resumes. Or you can use the research link (References>Researcher) and gather information. If you are collaborating, you can even chat with co-authors within the application.

Windows Ink – just add a stylus

Most recent touchscreenPCs support Windows Ink which allows you to draw and annotate on any Office or Edge webpage. You can now convert digital pen ink to text or shapes and edit or annotate with a stylus.

Convert to web

It’s also easy to convert your Word pages for online use. Simply let it know that you need to publish online and your pages will be converted to HTML format.

Extensive help is available for learning how to use Office, as well as making the most of its extensive range of features. Just click on this link for free online training for all its products.

Office 365 pricing

Office 365 Home/Personal includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher (PC) and Access (PC) as well as OneDrive space and Skype. It is for use on Multiple PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones, including Windows, iOS, and Android.

  • Home for up to six users $99.99 per year
  • Personal for oneuser $69.99 per year
  • Business $99 per year
  • Business premium $150 per year

Check the link here  for more information on Office home or business use and what is included.

GadgetGuy’s take: MS Office 365

I can’t remember when I swapped from Office to Office 365. I doggedly hung on to Office 2007 and 2010 preferring to buy the software outright instead of rent it. Made sense then.

And that is precisely the problem for Microsoft – you use so little of the advanced features it regularly adds that I could type this article on a 10-year-old version.

But that was when people owned one computer. Now I have a Surface Pro for Travel, a Surface Book for home, an Android Phone and my wife – ditto – and we have two homes to commute between.

For six ‘licenses’ MS Office, 365 is a no-brainer. It is for the family – parents, children and in the home or at school.

Plus I have noticed security upgrades and more make it far safer than the old Office. I am sold.