Microsoft has unveiled improvements to its web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, focusing on the Catch Up feature. Office Web App users will benefit from a more streamlined collaborative experience, with the ability to view recent comments and edits made by colleagues in shared documents more efficiently than before.
Streamlining Collaborations with New Additions
The first addition, “Activities For You,” notifies users about new comment activities aimed at them, facilitating prompt follow-ups. Microsoft specifies that these activities include comment tasks, mentions, and replies. A visual cue with a blue dot next to a name in the “Activities For You” section indicates unseen activities. Moreover, users possess the ability to dismiss items in this list when they no longer need to track them.
A second update assists users in quickly identifying who has made edits in a collaborative file since their last visit. Tapping this section will lead users to the most recent change, and if no new edits exist, past edits are accessible from this section as well. This feature further enhances the collaborative process among teams, providing a clear and quick overview of document development.
Availability and Future Rollouts
For the Catch Up feature to operate, the files must be housed on OneDrive or SharePoint. Currently available for the web versions of Word and PowerPoint, these Catch Up enhancements are to be added to Excel's web app in short order. Microsoft also plans to integrate Catch Up into the Windows desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint shortly. The company's efforts to advance the collaboration features in its productivity apps demonstrate its ongoing commitment to enhancing user experience and productivity across Microsoft 365 services.