Office for Windows takes real-time collaboration a step further

Microsoft is today releasing the August update for Office on Windows to Office Insiders. The company is adding a bunch of new features to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office apps with this month’s update, but there’s one big new feature. With this month’s update, Microsoft is taking real-time collaboration on Office a step further.

Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint now sport a real-time chat feature which will make real-time collaboration while co-authoring a document, a spreadsheet or a presentation much more hassle free. You’ll no longer have to use a third-party app like Microsoft Teams or Slack to communicate with your colleagues while editing a document, and you can just simply use the built-in chat feature instead. Pretty cool.

The August update for the Office apps on Windows is a pretty big one for sure. Microsoft Excel, for example, now includes improved performance which will make it much easier to work with complex workbooks while performing advanced tasks. Outlook now supports Profile cards to give you a quick set of information about a certain person or group, and there’s also a new set of ink effects for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Here’s the full changelog:

  • Chat with co-authors while you edit [Word, Excel, PowerPoint]: Collaborate more effectively by chatting with co-authors without leaving the app.
  • New ink effects [Word, Excel, PowerPoint]: Express your ideas with flair using metallic pens and ink effects like rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, silver, and more.
  • Work faster, get more done [Excel]: Bring on those complex workbooks with multiple sheets. Excel opens faster so you can crunch formulas with large ranges, filter lots of rows, or copy and paste faster.
  • Quick access to attachments [Word, PowerPoint]: Ever struggled to find a file that was sent to you as an attachment? Worry no more! Just click File > Open> Shared with me.
  • Info about people and groups – at a glance [Outlook]: Profile cards show you the most relevant details, whether you’re on the desktop, the web, or using a mobile app.
  • Add an appointment to a group calendar [Outlook]: Now you can let everyone in your group known when you’ll be away without sending a meeting in email.
  • More accessible than ever [Outlook]: We’ve made it easier to read and edit text, tables, lists and images in email when you’re using a screen reader.
  • Improved smart quotes [Word]: You asked for it! Smart quotes are now smarter after em dashes (—).
  • Manage a task in Planner [Project]: Link a Project task to Planner plans, allowing you to break the tasks into subtasks, add a team, assign tasks, and manage the work on the Planner board.
  • Link or import data from Salesforce [Access]: You can now link to or import data from Salesforce, which is a customer resource management (CRM), cloud-based business solution.
  • Link or import data from Dynamics 365 [Access]: We’ve also now added the ability to link to or import data from Dynamics 365, which is a customer resource management (CRM), cloud-based business solution.
  • Not just on your Desktop anymore [Visio]: Visio Online is a new way to create and edit your diagrams right in your favorite browser.

If you are an Office Insider in the Slow Ring, you can get the latest updates right now from the Office apps.

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