Here's a roundup of all the new features coming to Microsoft Office

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Microsoft today announced a huge range of hardware at their annual Surface event. Along with the hardware, Microsoft also announced improvements and new features to the Microsoft Office. Most of the features were focused on Surface Pen and touch integration with Microsoft Office apps. In case you missed it, we have rounded up all the features coming to Microsoft Office soon.

Transcribe audio files in Word

Microsoft recently announced Dictation feature to Office apps which allowed users to dictate instead of typing out sentences. With the new feature, Microsoft is taking it to the next level with audio recording and transcription. The new feature will allow users to record their audio in Word and Microsoft Word will then use Azure Speech Services to provide a transcription of the audio. This should be helpful for people like teachers and lawyers who usually record a lot of audio and have to spend time transcribing the audio later.

Audio Transcription will be available in early 2020 in Word for the web, with integration into the Word desktop and mobile apps following in the spring

Input data into Excel using a digital pen

As Microsoft mentioned on stage, when it comes to digital pen, Excel usually gets left out. This is set to change as Microsoft’s new feature will allow users to input data into Excel using digital pen including Surface Pen. Microsoft notes that this should help the first-line workers and students who edit Excel sheets on the go and have to balance their laptops in one hand while inputting data.

Data entry using a digital pen will be available in Excel for the web and desktop in spring 2020 for Office 365 subscribers.

Create and reply to comments using a digital pen or voice

Microsoft is bringing another helpful feature to Word soon. The company is expanding its Ink Editor to include comments as well. Microsoft Office users will soon be able to make comments using a digital pen or using the dictation feature.

Expressive ink comments and easy entry to dictation in comments will be available starting with Word desktop in Spring 2020 for Office 365 subscribers.

Surface Earbuds integration with Powerpoint

Microsoft today also announced the new Surface Earbuds which will be coming to stores later this year. Along with Surface Earbuds, Microsoft announced a couple of handy features for Powerpoint users. The Earbuds will be able to work well with Live Captions and Subtitles and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint. Not only that, but Surface Earbuds will also allow presenters to control the presentation using gestures. Surface Earbuds can also work separately so you can have one in one ear to take advantage of the microphones while using the other as a clicker.

Surface Earbud gesture support will be available in November, alongside the general availability of the Earbuds, in PowerPoint desktop for Office 365 subscribers.

Improvements to Inking in Powerpoint

Microsoft is also introducing improvements to Inking support on Powerpoint. Powerpoint now supports replaying pre-drawn ink in Slide Show which is supported on both Windows and Mac. You can read more about Inking improvements in Microsoft’s dedicated blog post.

The new improvements are rolling out to customers right now. The Ink Replay feature is available only for Office 365 users.

New templates for Whiteboard

Microsoft is also updating the Whiteboard app with new templates. The new templates include KANBAN sprint planning, SWOT analysis, project planning, learning, and more. Again, Microsoft has a dedicated blog post explaining the new Whiteboard templates.

Microsoft Whiteboard templates are in public preview for Windows 10 and rolling out to iOS this week. To add templates, click or tap the Insert button in the toolbar.

Apart from all the major feature announcements, Microsoft has also made some small yet important improvements. Since the Surface Pro X can house the pen, pulling it out will launch inking tools for the user to start working immediately. In addition, Microsoft Office will now detect accessories and will offer you tips accordingly. The accessories include Surface Pen, Surface Dial and Surface Earbuds. This is done to ensure users know the features and can take full advantages of the said features. Surface tips in Office will first be available in November in PowerPoint desktop for Office 365 subscribers.

If you’re interested in reading more about the new features then you can check out Microsoft’s dedicated blog post talking in-depth about the new features. While you’re at it, check out our roundup article covering all the hardware announced at the Microsoft Surface Event.

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