Best New Features in Microsoft Office 2019

Microsoft Office 2019 was announced and released on September 24, 2018 and is now available for Mac and Windows 10 users to purchase in all regions. Microsoft Office 2019 brings some minor tweaks and additions, so we thought we’d highlight all of the most exciting changes in this article.

What is Microsoft Office 2019?

Microsoft Office 2019 is the latest standalone version of Microsoft’s Office software. Like previous versions, Microsoft Office 2019 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access 2019, Publisher 2019, and Visio 2019.

While Microsoft has shifted its efforts to its subscription-based cloud service, Office 365, Office 2019 allows users to pay a one-time fee to access Microsoft services forever. Office 2019 is also useful for those who prefer to store and access their files offline without cloud backups.

The most important new changes in Microsoft Office 2019

For a quick rundown, here’s a rundown of the key new changes introduced in Office 2019. Please note that all of these changes will also be available for Office 365. If you already have an active 365 subscription, you can take advantage of these changes immediately.

  • Scalable vector graphics for Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Translator in Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Create math equations with LaTeX equation in Word
  • Create smoother animations and movements with Morphing in PowerPoint
  • New navigation feature called Zoom for PowerPoint
  • Use Surface Pen to navigate slides in PowerPoint
  • Exciting new features in Excel
  • More powerful ink functionality for all of Office 2019

I’ll take a closer look at each of these changes in Microsoft Office 2019 below.

Scalable vector graphics

In Office 2019, you can now add Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents. This type of image can be easily rotated, moved, colored and resized without degrading the quality of the image. You will also find a number of icons in the Insert tab.

There’s a new one coming Icon button here that can be used to access a variety of commonly used SVG icons. These icons can serve as an easy way to spice up your emails or presentations, or simply as a way to add some life to an otherwise boring document.

Built-in Microsoft Translator support

Microsoft Translator is a new feature added to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. To access, open the Review tab in your document and then click the new Translate and language tests. From here you have the option to translate the entire document or translate a selected portion of the text.

Microsoft Translator has been around for a while, but it is excellent for integrating it into Office. Translation services like Microsoft Translator are not perfect, but over time they become more accurate.

LaTeX Equations in Word

LaTeX equations in Word now allow you to type math using LaTeX syntax. Full details on how to use this new system in Microsoft Word have been explained by Microsoft here

You can find the LaTeX option under the Design tab. You can also press ‘Alt’ + ‘=’ on your keyboard.

Morphing in PowerPoint adds better animation and motion

A new transition called Morph has been added to PowerPoint. This powerful transition allows you to add smooth movement from one slide to the next in a presentation. It’s essentially a simple way to create any animation in seconds. PowerPoint does the heavy lifting for you.

To use Morphing, you must first duplicate a slide, then move, resize, or edit the objects on the duplicated slide, and then click transitions and morph. Doing so automatically creates a smooth animation from the original slide to the duplicated one.

New PowerPoint Zoom Navigation

Zoom adds a new dynamic navigation option for presenting your PowerPoint slides. With Zoom you have thumbnails for all your slides on one page. You can then click on each slide individually and a small transition animation will take you to that slide.

Zoom proves to be a fun, engaging way to bounce between slides during a presentation, and it allows for a more fluid approach to a presentation as opposed to the typical slide-by-slide standard.

Surface Pen Slide Navigation for PowerPoint

Thanks to changes made in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it’s now possible to use your Surface Pen or a similar competing product to scroll through your slides in a PowerPoint presentation. Your digital pen can move wirelessly through slides up to 10 meters away.

You just need to press the eraser button to go forward one slide and hold the eraser button to go back one slide. It’s a small feature in reality, but it will make a world of difference to those who regularly present PowerPoint presentations to a real audience.

Exciting new features in Excel

6 new functions have been added to Excel; CONCAT, IFS, MAXIFS, MINIFS, SWITCH and TEXTJOIN.

Starting from above, CONCAT is similar to CONCATENATE, but now supports range references, not just individual cell references.

MAXIFS can be used to return the largest number in a range – you can also set the returned result to be only a number that meets certain criteria. MINIFS is the same, but returns the smallest number.

SWITCH can be used to evaluate one value against a list of values, and it will return the result corresponding to the first matching value. If there is no match, you can set an optional default value.

Finally, TEXTJOIN is a unique feature that can combine text from multiple ranges – you can choose how each text is separated, for example by a comma, a period or another delimiter.

More powerful ink functionality

If you have a touch device, you’d love to hear about the new inking features added to Microsoft Office 2019. Under Ink Tools > Pens, you can select settings such as ink color and line width.

You can highlight text or delete entire written words or areas of text using the Ink Tools > Eraser option on the Pens tab. All of these tools are now automatically available on Office 365 for the web, iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.

Overview

Thanks for reading our overview of what’s new in Microsoft Office 2019. Which of these new features are of interest to you? If you have any questions about these new additions or about Office 2019 in general, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them. Enjoying!

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