At the beginning of May, Microsoft released a public preview of Office 2016, and the users who are running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, or Mac OS X can download and try it for free in the next 6 months. To run Windows Office on your device, you will need to set up a virtual machine. If you want to find out more about Office 2016, which will be officially released this fall, in this article we’ll tell you a few things about its features. If you want to try the Office 2016 Preview, remember that the new productivity suite is in development and might suffer changes until it will be launched.
The File menu wasn’t changed much. In the Open section, “This PC” replaced “Computer” and you can see which OneDrive account you are currently using. Also, the list of recent documents contains date stamps and in the Save As section you will find the Browse button was placed to the left.
Each application has now a colored-code and blue is for Word, green is for Excel, etc. The Page Layout tab in Word lost the “Page” word and now it’s simply “Layout”. You can access wiki pages in the Apps section of the Insert tab, where there’s a direct link to Wikipedia tool, so if you’re a laptop user with a small screen, this option is very useful, because it opens up the wiki pages in the sidebar to the right of the current document. You will no longer find the Add-Ins tab and in the right side of the tabs you’ll see a text-entry field which helps you to find functions – grammar check or creating a table.
Office 2016 offers additional themes such as Medium Gray and Colorful and the second one is the default. If you miss Office 2013, then you can switch to White and you’ll have the feeling that you’re using the previous Office version. The Options section wasn’t changed and here you can access your Add-Ins settings.
The differences between Excel 2016 and 2013 are noticed under the hood. In the new version, the Cell Styles menu is dropping down from a button, the Power Query, which was a separate plugin in Office 2013 is now integrated as a standard feature and it allows you to collect external data from all kinds of sources, the Data Tools icons were shrunk and new sections were added: Data Model (which gives you access to Power Pivot, that has a function which previously was available as an add-in) and Forecast.
Features that aren’t available in the Preview
At the Build 2015 conference, Microsoft showed how Office 2016 can integrate with third-party services. They logged into a SAP server and accessed Excel, and Outlook had calendar notifications from Uber, but it seems that these features haven’t been added to the Preview.