Yesterday, Microsoft announced the introduction of the co-authoring feature in Microsoft Excel, for Office Insiders in the Fast ring.
Now, the company has announced the release of the March 2017 feature update to Office 2016 Insiders in the Slow ring.
The update brings the Office 2016 build for Insiders in the Slow ring to version 1703. The March 2017 feature update brings several new features to Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, and Visio.
Most notably, the update introduces the Focused Inbox feature to Outlook 2016. It also brings the QuickStarter feature to PowerPoint.
Focused Inbox arrives
The Focused Inbox feature is already available to Android, iOS, and Office 365 First Release users. Now, Microsoft has released the feature to Office Insiders that use the Outlook desktop and web app.
Focused Inbox is a major feature in Outlook which helps users focus on the important stuff. For example, with Focused Inbox users can choose to hide all the newsletters in the Others section.
Here is the full changelog for Outlook:
- “Focused Inbox: Focused Inbox helps you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Your most important emails are on the Focused tab while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way—on the Other tab. Learn more.
- Read email in your preferred language: Now you can translate email without leaving Outlook. Just turn on the Translator add-in to translate with a single tap. Choose from 60 languages. Get it here.
- Add guests to your Office 365 groups: Collaborate with people outside your organization by adding them to your groups. Learn more.
- Keep control over your attachments: Now, as you share and collaborate on OneDrive attachments in Outlook, you can offer the right level of access to people within your organization or externally. You can also let Outlook choose how much access they receive. Learn more.
- Know before you share: Outlook tells you ahead of time if recipients will be able to access your documents, and offers suggestions if there will be any problems sharing. Learn more.”
PowerPoint gets QuickStarter feature
The March 2017 feature update brings a key feature to PowerPoint as well. Users of the Microsoft PowerPoint will now have access to the QuickStarter feature.
The full changelog for PowerPoint is as follows:
- “A quick start to your research: Starting from scratch is hard. QuickStarter automatically creates an outline for your topic of choice with suggested talking points and designs that make your presentation pop. Learn more.
- PowerPoint Designer: transform more types of slides: Designer now recommends professional design ideas for action-oriented lists. Learn more.
- Make your images more accessible: Intelligent services generate Alt text for your pictures to make your presentations more accessible to people who are blind. Learn more.”
Visio and Access additions
The Outlook and PowerPoint apps are not the only ones that get new features. The March 2017 feature update brings changes to Access and Visio as well.
Here are the respective changelogs:
- Large numbers (bigint) support: Use the Large Number data type in Access tables to calculate large numbers, and to link to or import from external databases that use an equivalent data type, such as bigint in SQL Server. Learn more.
- Make diagrams from Excel data: Automatically create a Basic Flowchart or a Cross-Functional Flowchart from Excel data by using new Data Visualizer templates in Visio. Learn more.”
To sign up for Office Insider, open any Office app and go to File > Account > Office Insider.
New Insider builds of Office for iOS apps
In addition to the March 2017 feature update, Microsoft has released new Insider builds of its Office for iOS applications. The new builds bring changes in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Here is the full changelog:
- Working with tables got easier: Touch controls let you select and resize rows and columns.
- In addition, you can now insert endnotes into your Word documents.
- Co-authoring is now available in Excel for iPad and iPhone: Find out who’s working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically in seconds. We’ll keep a close eye on your feedback so we can make co-authoring better before making it available more broadly. Today, co-authoring is available for Excel Online, Excel for Android, Excel Mobile, and Excel for iPad and iPhone (for Office Insiders). Stay tuned for Mac. Learn more.
- Designer is now available in PowerPoint for iPad for those who have an Office 365 subscription. To get started, insert an image on a slide and try out the design ideas offered up by Designer.”