With all the celebration over the release of Office 2019, it might be easy to forget there are still other versions of Microsoft office available. We understand that some people aren’t ready for Office 2019 for one reason or another. Maybe you’re still using an older system that will only run an older version of Office. Maybe you don’t want Windows 10, which is a requirement for Office 2019. Maybe you don’t need all the fancy new features and you want to save a little money. If you fall into any one of these categories, Office 2016 is a good alternative. It’s got a great selection of powerful features and tools, it costs less than 2019, and it will run on Windows operating systems other than Win 10. If you think Office 2016 is right for you, check out some of the features and tools you can expect to find in Microsoft Office 2016.

First, you can get Office 2016 in all the expected editions. There’s Office Home and Student 2016, Office Home and Business 2016, Office Professional 2016 and Professional Plus 2016. You get all the core products in each edition: Word 2016, Excel 2016, and PowerPoint 2016. You also get OneNote 2016, which Microsoft discontinues in Office 2019. In the business versions of Office 2016, you get Access, the powerful database software from Microsoft, and you get Publisher 2016, a professional desktop publishing program. You also get Skype for Business in the Professional Plus version. Outlook is a part of the business editions and offers excellent email management, contact organization, and appointment management. Office 2016 has all the great features and enhancements most people will need.

You get enhanced collaboration, mentions in Outlook, advanced ribbon options, improved connection options, publish to Power Bi and Docs.com, advanced research features, text highlighting, new zoom features, and plenty of other extras that provide you with all the features and productivity you need in an office suite. Here are a few more Office 2016 features you will likely find yourself using regularly.

Co-Authoring

Office 2016 has a feature called co-authoring, available in several of the Office 2016 applications. Word and PowerPoint both have it. Co-authoring allows several users to work on a document at the same time, regardless of the device each user is working with. Work with other more efficiently because multiple users in a Word document can see what team members are doing on the document in real time.

Better Integration with OneDrive and Skype

OneDrive integration lets you open an Office document from anywhere on any supported device. Access files from anywhere and always pick up where you left off. Skype for Business lets you to talk to your colleagues, initiate and join online meetings, and share your screen with colleagues. A great way to keep up with your co-workers on the go. Never miss an important meeting.

Smart Lookup

Use a feature called "Smart Lookup" in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook to find information on almost anything on the web. This is a powerful tool for researching, checking spelling, and integrating research material from within a document. Just highlight a word or phrase, right-click, and select Smart Lookup. A sidebar will open with search results that fit your criteria.

Planner

For enterprise Office users, Planner lets managers create a dashboard for group tasks. Managers can assign projects, track progress, and organize responsibilities directly from the dashboard. It’s much easier for everybody to stay on the same page. Members of a group are notified when any changes are made to tasks.

New Charts in Excel

Excel is a great way to compile and analyze data. It’s easy in Office 2016. There’s lots of great visual features in Excel, especially for charts. Excel 2013 added new PivotChart features, Slicers, and Flash Fill. In Excel 2016, you also get six new chart types: Waterfall, Pareto, Treemap, Histogram, Box & Whisker, and Sunburst. There are lots of great tools for tracking data and compiling detailed information from the spreadsheets.

Clutter in Outlook

The new Microsoft Clutter feature in Outlook analyzes your email patterns and keeps track of the people you interact with the most. It uses these metrics to prioritize your emails and then it shows you the emails that are most important. It automatically sorts low priority emails into another folder, giving you a more focused view of what you need to see. Keep better track of important communications and stay on top of appointments.

Insights lets you search for information from within Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint. Right-click a word or phrase and choose Smart Lookup. Microsoft's Bing search engine uses what you selected and what's near the selected text to show you definitions, images, Wikipedia articles, and other related information. Since this shows up right inside of Office 2016, you can make use of the information without leaving the application you’re working in.

Get faster integration with Office applications. When you attach an Office document to an email you're about to send, Outlook provides a list of the files you worked on recently. There’s no need to search for a document. If it's a file you worked on in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint, the file's icon has a little cloud on it. Collaboration with work groups is better than ever too. If you are an Outlook or Exchange Server user, you can set up work groups. Members of a specific work group can share conversations, calendars, and files. New Excel features let you pull data from almost anywhere. Power Query is built in to Excel. Power Query draws data for analysis from websites, SQL, Azure, Access, and other databases. You also get a range of new charting options. There are new templates and new charts, new visual features, and better analyzing tools.

Get faster integration with Office applications. When you attach an Office document to an email you're about to send, Outlook provides a list of the files you worked on recently. There’s no need to search for a document. If it's a file you worked on in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint, the file's icon has a little cloud on it. Collaboration with work groups is better than ever too. If you are an Outlook or Exchange Server user, you can set up work groups. Members of a specific work group can share conversations, calendars, and files. New Excel features let you pull data from almost anywhere. Power Query is built in to Excel. Power Query draws data for analysis from websites, SQL, Azure, Access, and other databases. You also get a range of new charting options. There are new templates and new charts, new visual features, and better analyzing tools.

There are new sharing options that make it easier than ever to share documents with co-workers. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have Share buttons at the top right of the window. When you click a Share button, you are prompted to save your file to an online location, such as OneDrive. With the panel on the right side of your window, you can enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the file with or select the addresses from your address book. You can even set whether the file can be viewed only or edited by the recipients of the file.

The bottom line is this; if you are looking for a powerful version of Microsoft Office but don’t want to move to the most recent version, Office 2016 is a great alternative. You can save money and still have a lot of the advanced features you’d like to have. Office 2016 is a power-packed office suite that will give you the tools you need to work the way you want to work. Save money, increase productivity, and work smarter.