Microsoft has released a new Office Insider Preview Build 14228.20044(Beta Channel) for Windows users. The update includes two useful new features and fixes for a bunch of issues.

Talking about what’s new, the Read Aloud voices are more natural-sounding in both Word and Outlook. Undoubtedly, this will improve the listening experience. The new Office build will also let you use your voice to find commands, content, and more in Word. You can read more about these two features in detail below.

Changelog

Word and Outlook

Natural-sounding voices with Read Aloud

The Read Aloud feature in Word and Outlook is great for authors and readers alike. Whether you use it to “prooflisten” a document or an email you’ve drafted to catch errors, or simply to give your eyes a break, Read Aloud now features more natural-sounding voices for an improved listening experience. To access the feature, click the Read Aloud button (found on the Message tab in Outlook and on the Review tab in Word). To switch between different voice options, select the Settings icon at the upper-right corner of your message or document and click the Voice Selection drop-down menu. (Note: You must be connected to the internet to access this feature.)

Screenshot highlighting the Read Aloud feature in Word for Windows

Word

Using your voice to accomplish tasks is becoming more and more common in many productivity apps. Now you can use your voice to search within Word; find commands, content, and more without typing a thing. To use this feature, click the microphone icon in the Search bar at the top of your Word document, then speak your search terms.Screenshot showing Search bar in Word for Windows with microphone icon.

Notable Fixes
  • We fixed an issue which improves integration with the new commenting pane in Word and JAWS, a popular screen-reading software.
  • We fixed an issue relating to using a different CommentId than lTagNil for cleared selection and highlight.
  • We fixed an issue where the unload queue would become unresponsive.

Outlook

Notable Fixes
  • We fixed an issue that caused the translation options to be disabled for some users.
  • We fixed an issue where mailtips were not showing for one-off addresses.
  • We added a registry key to allow for the Voicemail form to be displayed in the UI in Outlook Desktop due to the retirement of Unified messaging in Exchange Online (https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/exchange-team-blog/retiring-unified-messaging-in-exchange-online/ba-p/608991). For users, enterprises, and organizations that want the Voicemail form to appear, the following registry key needs to be set as: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins] “AllowVoicemailForm”=dword:00000001
  • We fixed an issue where default text increase includes text scaling, so another call of LayoutChanged does not need to be used.
  • We fixed an issue relating to “failed to load” response status. The default response flag was set to “None.” We didn’t show any strings in the UI when hovering over a calendar where we didn’t have edit permissions.

Excel

Notable Fixes
  • We fixed an issue where an exception occurred from a CFR execute.

To update to the latest Microsoft Office Insider Preview Build, open any Office program and go to File> Account> Update Options> Update Now.

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