In the northern hemisphere, spring is upon us. Spring is often a time of anticipation for warmer weather and long days spent outside. And the anticipation is greater this spring as some parts of the world make progress against the COVID-19 pandemic, creating the possibility of increased mobility and social interaction later this year. For some, it may mean reconnecting in person with close friends. For others, it may mean taking a much-needed vacation following a stressful year. For me, it means traveling to another country to visit my niece for the first time, who was born shortly after the pandemic started.
Realizing some of these possibilities will require some steps. For travelers, it could mean ensuring your budget is in order so you can save for that vacation. For students, it could mean ensuring you end the remote school year on a high note. And for others, it could mean ensuring you have the right tools for life on the go. Regardless of the possibilities you’re preparing for, Microsoft 365 is here to help. Over the past several months, we’ve been busy improving the apps and features available in Microsoft 365 for individuals and families and hope you’ll find them useful.
Be productive on the go with Office for iPad
In February, we made the Office app available for iPad. The Office app provides a simple, integrated experience that combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app. It eliminates the need to download or switch between individual apps, saving time and storage space on your iPad. You can use the Office app to easily create and edit documents, sign documents with the touch of your finger, and take notes. You can also scan, convert, and edit to a PDF or take a photo and extract text into a document or table. To view documents, sign in with a free Microsoft account. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get access to the full Office experience, including creating and editing documents.
Send email and schedule appointments with your voice in Outlook for iPhone
We recently introduced new conversational AI experiences with Cortana, your Microsoft 365 personal productivity assistant. Available now in Outlook for iOS for anyone with a free Microsoft account, Cortana can help to schedule meetings, compose email messages, and find files, emails, and people that are relevant to you using the power of human voice in Outlook.
Transcribe handwritten notes with Microsoft Lens
Office Lens is now Microsoft Lens, and we’re adding enhancements that improve quality and performance in the new Lens app, as well as the Microsoft 365 productivity apps that integrate with Lens technology, such as Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Office. Coming first in the Microsoft Lens app followed by the Office mobile app, you will be able to transcribe handwritten notes into English text and simply add them to your documents.
Get a glance of your to do list with new iPhone widgets for Microsoft To Do
With the launch of iOS 14, you can now add To Do widgets to your home screen. We’ve added three types of widgets to help you manage your daily tasks. The Your Tasks widget helps you select and view tasks from a list of your choice. The widget is available in two sizes: the medium widget shows a list of your tasks, while the large widget shows a list of your tasks along with due dates and other details. In the My Day widget, you can view the first task on your My Day list. Want to see the rest of your list? Tap anywhere on the widget to open the My Day list in To Do. And the Add Task widget allows you to quickly add a task to a list of your choice without opening the To Do app. To add a task, tap anywhere on the widget. To pick which list your task is added to, long press on the widget and select Edit Widget. To Do iOS widgets are available to anyone with a free Microsoft account.
Back up and view iPhone Live Photos in OneDrive
The OneDrive iOS app now stores Live Photos. When you take a Live Photo with your iPhone, you capture a still image along with several seconds of before and after video. OneDrive now stores and plays back the full motion and sound of your Live Photos, bringing your memories to life. When you share a Live Photo with OneDrive, your recipient will be able to play back the Live Photo if they are viewing it on the OneDrive iOS app or on OneDrive for web. Available in OneDrive for iOS to anyone with a free Microsoft account.
Spring clean your budget with Money in Excel
Set your spending goals with the new budget template
We recently introduced a Money in Excel budget template to help you feel more in control of your spending. You can customize your target spend and specific categories that matter to you, like groceries, gas, shopping, and so on. The budget template will give you an at-a-glance view on how you’re tracking during the month. You’ll also be able to compare total income versus spending and spending over six months.
Stay positive with cash flow insights
Money in Excel now provides cash flow insights to help you monitor your monthly expenses. The cash flow insight is a congratulatory message shared once per month to provide positive reinforcement when your monthly spending is less than your income, meaning you are cash flow positive. Money in Excel is available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in the US in Excel for Windows, macOS, and web.
Input manual transactions and accounts
You are now able to manually input transactions and account balances directly into Money in Excel. This is helpful for tracking cash purchases, as well as transactions or account balances related to financial institutions not yet supported in Money in Excel. Available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in the US in Excel for Windows, macOS, and web.
Perfect your pitch with new features in PowerPoint Presenter Coach
We first introduced PowerPoint Presenter Coach in PowerPoint for the web, and both students and professionals have been using this feature to become more confident presenters. Now, you can use this feature on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and web. PowerPoint Presenter Coach is available in English to anyone with a Microsoft account in iOS, Android, and PowerPoint on the web. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get access to advanced recommendations in Windows and macOS through the PowerPoint desktop app. We’ve also added three new feedback features to PowerPoint Presenter Coach in PowerPoint on the web: body language, repetitive language, and pronunciation.
Get feedback on your body language
When you are presenting virtually, it is important to ensure that your audience has a clear view of your face, that you maintain your glance towards your audience, and that you ensure you have left appropriate distance between you and your camera to deliver an engaging presentation. We are introducing a new capability that leverages your video camera to give you feedback on your body language. This feature will launch with feedback in the summary report about how well your audience will be able to see you (Clear view), if you are too far or too close to the camera (Distance), and ensuring you are facing the camera (Eye contact). Available now in English for anyone with a Microsoft account in PowerPoint for the web.
When you speak, you may use words and phrases repetitively without being aware of them. You may not notice it, but your audience may catch on and find it distracting. Presenter Coach can help you identify these words and phrases to avoid overusing them and keep your audience more engaged throughout your presentation. In addition to listing out those words and phrases, we will give you a list of synonyms to help you vary your language the next time. Available now in English for anyone with a Microsoft account in PowerPoint for the web.
Practice your pronunciation
Presenter Coach can advise you about the correct pronunciation of words you speak throughout your rehearsal. When Presenter Coach perceives that you may have mispronounced a word, it will display the word and provide an experience that helps you practice pronouncing the word correctly. You’ll be able to listen to a recorded pronunciation guide of the word as many times as you’d like. We have optimized this feedback for the “General American English” language as a starting point and will be giving you the option to disable this feedback in case you don’t agree with the suggestions or find them useful. Available now in English to anyone with a Microsoft account in PowerPoint for the web.
Become a better writer with new features in Microsoft Editor
Credit your sources with Similarity checker
You can now check your document for plagiarism and get options for how to properly cite so you can give credit where credit is due. Available now in English in Word for web for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. Coming soon to Word in Windows for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers.
Save time with text predictions
Text Predictions helps you write more efficiently by predicting text quickly and accurately, saving you time and hassle when writing. We are actively working to introduce this experience to all the places where you use Word and Outlook. In Word, Text Predictions is available now for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in Word for web, plus in Word for Windows via the Office Insiders program. Coming soon to Word for macOS, Android, and iOS. In Outlook, it is available now for Outlook.com, Android, and iOS, plus in Outlook for Windows via the Office Insiders program. Coming soon to Outlook for macOS.
Get writing assistance in LinkedIn, WordPress, Gmail, and Google Docs
We’ve added new capabilities to the Microsoft Editor Browser extension including multi-lingual support and additional website support. You can now choose up to three languages to check spelling and grammar on the web at once and use Microsoft Editor on additional websites, including LinkedIn, Gmail, WordPress, and Quip. New features coming soon include support for Google Docs and more customization features, like user dictionaries and auto-correction. The Editor Browser extension is available in over 20 languages to anyone who downloads the free extension for Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get access to advanced grammar, spelling, and style refinements.
Get the context on corrections and refinements
Want the background on a writing suggestion? Now you have the option to click a lightbulb icon and get bite-sized learning tips while in the flow of writing, helping you better understand the concepts of grammar and style. We’re excited to bring this feature to Microsoft Editor to help people become more confident writers over time. Coming soon to anyone with a free Microsoft account in Microsoft Editor in Word for web. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers will also get access to learning tips on premium writing assistance features, including advanced grammar, refinements, and Similarity checker.
Generate new insights with Excel data types and smart templates powered by Wolfram
Microsoft 365 subscribers will soon have access to over 100 data types powered by Wolfram. Instead of using multiple apps or sites to copy and paste external data into tables, you can import and refresh data directly into Excel. And whether you’re working toward nutrition goals, deciding on a college, or choosing a baby name, there are smart templates for these scenarios and more available to download, making it even easier to get started with data types. Coming soon in English for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in Excel in Windows, macOS, and web.
Use Designer in Word to beautify your documents
Designer in Word for web is an intelligent assistance tool that helps you create documents with a polished, professional, and consistent look and feel with no design skills required. Designer automatically checks for formatting and style issues and creates fixes that you can apply. You can also apply a variety of design themes to make your document instantly consistent from top to bottom. This feature is currently rolling out in Word for web as a limited preview for anyone with a Microsoft account and as a benefit to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. Available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian (Bokmal).
Need a Microsoft 365 subscription to try out some of these new features? Sign up for a free 1-month trial.