Top 10 Microsoft Office 2016 Features You Didn’t Know You Needed

New Microsoft Office 2016 features

Top 10 Microsoft Office 2016 Features You Didn’t Know You Needed

By Tracy van der Schyff | January 23, 2018

In the last two to three years, Microsoft has added tons of cool features into Office 2016. However, most people don’t even know that these exist!

With this blog post, it’s my mission to share the latest and greatest Office 2016 features that will forever change the way you work.

Here are my top ten new Office 2016 features:

1. Charts in Excel

Do yourself a favor and take a look at all the new charts available in Excel. These help save a lot of time when you’re trying to visually display data and make decisions.

Charts in Microsoft Excel

2. Design Ideas in PowerPoint

This feature allows you to add up to four images on a title or content page layout in PowerPoint, and then request design ideas. At first, I didn’t like this feature much as I’m a bit of a control freak. (Personally, I want to create my own stuff.) However, when you realize just how much time this saves and how neat these different designs are, then you’ll absolutely love this feature.

Design ideas in PowerPoint

Here are some examples that I was able to create in seconds:

Example 1:

Beautiful PowerPoint slide

Example 2:

Design PowerPoint slide

Example 3:

Artistic PowerPoint slide

3. Digital Inking & Drawing

Needless to say, many updates have been made here. Recently, Microsoft added more pens and metallic effects. My suggestion is to give these a try—it’s even more fun if you have a touch screen.

Digital Inking & Drawing

4. File Location

I’m still not sure exactly what this is called, but this feature allows you to quickly find the location of your file and see or restore previous versions. Love it, Microsoft!

File Location feature on Microsoft Office

5. Insert Icons

This feature allows you to insert high-quality SVG icons into your Office documents. Icons can be resized and colors can be changed:

 Insert Icons feature on Microsoft Office

6. Morph

This feature entails a relatively new transition tool that helps you create beautiful presentations. Essentially, it transitions shapes and text to the next slides.

To test it out, simply select your slides, set Morph under Transitions, and set the Effect options:

Morph feature on PowerPoint

7. Outlook integration with OneNote

In OneNote, you can now add meeting details, which is great if you’re taking the official note taker for a meeting. You can also directly email the page notes to someone.

Outlook integration with OneNote

8. Remove Background

This feature has been around for quite some time, but you’re most likely unaware of it or not using it. Test this feature out by selecting the image, clicking on Format > Remove Background:

Remove background on PowerPoint

Your computer will guess the background by highlighting it in “Barney purple.” You can now use the “Mark areas to keep” and “Mark areas to remove” to define the section you would like to remove:

 PowerPoint tutorial

In this example, I’ve removed the background and added a new one:

Custom PowerPoint slide

9. Researcher

The Researcher feature allows you to search for text and add the reference to your Word Document, which is then automatically added to the bibliography.

Search the topic:

 Researcher feature on Microsoft Word

Copy text and right-click to add the citation:

Citation feature on Microsoft Word

This automatically updates the bibliography:

Bibliography feature on Microsoft Word

10. Smart Lookup

This feature allows us to select text and use Smart Lookup to search for relevant articles and definitions.

Smart Lookup on Microsoft Word



Spend a couple of minutes occasionally to scroll through your menus in Office and see what’s new. Not sure what it is? Search the web or give it a shot!

After all, experimentation is the one of the best way to learn. Once you’ve learned something, show someone else. This not only helps to spread the knowledge (and Microsoft Office love), but you’ll also remember what you’ve learned.

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Tracy van der Schyff

Tracy is a Microsoft MVP and an energetic, hyperactive adrenaline junkie who sees challenges and issues as opportunities and thrives on improving processes, environments and the general quality of life. Her broad knowledge about IT and Business gives her the ability to communicate on both levels and convey meaningful requirements and narrow the (ever present) gap between the two.

Written By: Tracy van der Schyff