New to Office 365 in March—co-authoring in Excel and more

new in Office 365 in March

Office 365 provides the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration between individuals, teams and entire organizations. Updates this month make the experience even better with co-authoring in Excel, the general availability of Microsoft Teams and more. We’ll also be announcing the latest roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive at the SharePoint Virtual Summit on May 16th. Read on for the details.

Co-authoring is coming to Excel

We’re taking a significant step in completing the co-authoring story across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Today, we’re enabling co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops for Office Insiders Fast. This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working and view changes automatically within seconds. We’ll continue using feedback from Insiders to improve the experience before making it available more broadly. Co-authoring is already available in Excel Online, Excel on Android, Windows Mobile and iOS (for Office Insiders). We’re also working on co-authoring in Excel for the Mac—stay tuned for more!

Co-authoring is being shown in Excel. A dropdown in the top right explains that Alex is also working in the spreadsheet, and which cell he is in. A red box surrounds the cell Alex is in, with a red flag over it showing his name. Alex’s red indicator moves to another cell, and then a change which Alex made to the cell and a graph can be seen showing up a moment later.

Co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops allows you to see where others are editing at the same time as you in a spreadsheet.

We’re also bringing AutoSave to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for files stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. With AutoSave, you can stop worrying about hitting the Save button, whether you’re working alone or with others.

Availability: Co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops is rolling out for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast. Co-authoring in Excel on iOS is currently available for Office Insiders, as well as for all customers in Excel Mobile on Windows, Excel on Android and Excel Online. AutoSave is rolling out to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast.

Microsoft Teams is now generally available

Earlier this month, we announced that Microsoft Teams—the chat-based workspace in Office 365—is now generally available in 181 markets and in 19 languages. Last week, we also made Teams available in Office 365 Education, free for faculty, staff and students. We’ve introduced over 100 new features and addressed top requests from over 50,000 organizations who have started using Teams since the preview began in November. The updates span all four of the core Teams promises: chat for today’s teams, a hub for teamwork, customizable for every team and security that teams trust. Notably, over 150 integrations with other apps, services, and bots are either already available or coming soon. We are thrilled by the enthusiasm for Teams and look forward to seeing how customers build Teams into the way they collaborate every day. We’ll also continue updating Teams—along with our other Office 365 apps and services. Learn more about Microsoft Teams and start using Microsoft Teams today.

Availability: Microsoft Teams is now generally available for commercial and education customers on Windows desktops, Macs, Windows Mobile, iOS and Android, as well as the web.

Microsoft Bookings is rolling out worldwide

Last week, we announced the worldwide rollout of Microsoft Bookings to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers. Bookings makes it easy for small businesses to schedule and manage appointments with their customers, and we’ve introduced several new capabilities based on feedback from last year’s initial release to customers in the U.S. and Canada. Now you can connect your Office 365 calendar to Bookings, add buffer time between appointments, customize your Bookings page, and stay connected on the go with iOS and Android apps. Read more about Microsoft Bookings.

A Microsoft Bookings page accessed on desktop and mobile.

Your Bookings page can be accessed on desktop or mobile.

Availability: Microsoft Bookings is rolling out to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers worldwide. It can be accessed on the web, iOS and Android.

OneNote inking and accessibility updates

We’ve made a number of improvements to OneNote this month, making inking more powerful and available in the browser, as well as helping you create more accessible notes.

  • Ink math assistant improvements — OneNote can now graph handwritten equations and even let you manipulate variables to see the visual effect of changes. It can also teach you the steps to solve systems of equations. This expanded built-in intelligence within OneNote makes it an even more powerful math coach to help you learn in context. Learn more in this blog, and give it a try today!The ink math assistant is being shown in OneNote. An equation is selected, the Math button is tapped and the Math pane expands. The Graph in 2D option is selected, and a graph appears. Then the variables in the equation are shown being manipulated with corresponding changes being updated in the graph.

OneNote can now graph handwritten equations, in addition to teaching you how to solve them.

Availability: Ink math assistant graphing and support for systems of equations are now available in OneNote for Windows 10, for all Office 365 subscribers.

  • Accessibility Checker now in OneNote—The Accessibility Checker, now available in OneNote for Windows 10, helps ensure your notes can be consumed without barriers by people with visual impairments. It analyzes your material and provides recommendations alongside your notes, which helps you understand how to fix errors and create more accessible notes over time. Simply select Check Accessibility under the View tab to get started. The Accessibility Checker is being shown in OneNote, specifically alerting the user to unclear hyperlink text in the notebook page.

The Accessibility Checker helps you find and fix issues that might make your content difficult for people with visual impairments to consume.

Availability: The Accessibility Checker is now available and easily discoverable for all customers in OneNote for Windows 10. It is also available in several Office applications on Windows desktops, Macs and Office Online.

  • Inking in OneNote Online—We’re bringing inking and the Draw tab to OneNote Online, so you can make your mark with ink or highlighter while taking, reviewing, or editing your notes in the browser.
  • The new Draw tab with inking tools is being shown in OneNote Online, with ink annotations added to various parts of an image in a biology notebook page.

OneNote works the way you do, with new inking capabilities in the browser.

Availability: Inking is rolling out for all customers using OneNote Online in Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

Visio integrates with Excel and PowerPoint in new ways

Visio, Excel and PowerPoint work better together than ever, helping you seamlessly generate flowcharts automatically from data then share them effortlessly as presentations.

Create a flowchart directly from Excel in a few clicks using the new Data Visualizer templates. Then, use the new Slide Snippets pane to select specific diagrams or snippets, title them and export as slides in a new PowerPoint presentation. The Morph transition is even applied automatically to create cinematic transitions between overlapping snippets on different slides. Get started with Visio Data Visualizer templates and creating a PowerPoint presentation from Visio.

The new Data Visualizer templates and Slide Snippets pane are being shown in Visio. A Cross Functional Flowchart is shown being created from an existing Excel workbook. Then the Slide Snippets pane is shown being used to select multiple areas of the Visio flowchart to export as snippets on individual slides in PowerPoint.

Visio, Excel and PowerPoint work better together to help you seamlessly create flowcharts from Excel data and export diagram snippets to share as PowerPoint slides.

Availability: The new Data Visualizer templates for Excel data are now available in Visio on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insiders Slow. The Slide Snippets pane is currently available in Visio on Windows desktops, for all Office 365 subscribers.

Written by Adit Microsys

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