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Microsoft is making dreams come true for some Office Insiders today. The company has sent out new build to the Slow Ring, featuring some “top requested” new abilities. This release is specifically for Office 2016 on Windows PCs and brings the suite to version 1708 (build 8431.2046).

As this Office 2016 build comes with some of the most sought after new features, it is extensive.

For example, Microsoft has made collaborations more seamless with the ability to chat with co-authors. When a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document is being worked on, collaborators can now chat with each other to make editing more efficient.

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Version 1708 also brings with it new ink effects for the core Office apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). With this feature, users now get metallic pens and effects like galaxy, rainbow, lava, ocean, gold, and more.

As is usually the case, Microsoft has also sent out some app-specific features. For Excel, the company says users will now find the app more efficient at completing work. This is achieved with faster loading times and better performance.

For Word and PowerPoint, Office 2016 on the Slow Ring now supports quick access to attachments. Instead of hunting for a relevant file, users can click File>Open>Shared to see all the files used within the suite.

Additional Version 1708 Features

Microsoft also rolled out the following new additions for Office 2016:

  • Info about people and groups – at a glance
    New in 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
    New in 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
    New in 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
    New in Word

You asked for it! Smart quotes are now smarter after em dashes (—).

  • Manage a task in Planner
    New in 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
    New in Access

As this is a Slow Ring release, the build is only available to Office Insiders on that branch. However, Microsoft will certainly roll these features out to all Office 2016 users on Windows PC in the next few weeks.

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