The Best Office 365 Features You Need to Know About

We’re betting that you’ve heard a lot about Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud version of Office offered on a subscription basis, but what you may not realize is how many amazing features it has that make using it easy and extremely effective for not only businesses but also those using it for personal reasons.

In this post, we talk about fifteen amazing features in Office 365 that you probably didn’t know.

Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription, but you also download it onto your computer so you actually get the best of both “Microsoft Office” worlds. There is also an option to use Office Online which is an online-only version that is available for no charge. One of the best things about Office 365 is that Microsoft will automatically add new features and updates and all you need to do to get them is just keep paying for your subscription! Now let’s really dig into the good stuff.

Here are 15 of the best Office 365 features:

1. Collaboration

The cloud offers a unique way for organizations to stay productive through increased collaboration. Since Office 365 is cloud-based, multiple people can edit the same document at once (in Word, PowerPoint or Excel) and you can even see edits as they are being made as well as see who is making the edits.

2. Chat With Users Through Skype

Microsoft has already begun rolling this feature out to users and it lets you easily chat with document collaborators through Skype. The best part? Even if you leave the document, you can continue the conversation through Skype on your mobile device or computer.

3. Link to Files Instead of Attaching Them

For companies that use the business edition of Office 365, they have the option of linking to files instead of attaching them. You just upload the file to the Office 365 cloud, open Outlook on the cloud and link to the file. While this is a feature on most cloud storage services, Microsoft Outlook will automatically grant editing permission to whoever you email the link to (permissions can be changed).

4. Easily Switch Between Personal and Business Account on Android

With the OneDrive app for Android, you can link both your OneDrive for Business and personal OneDrive account and easily toggle between them.

5. Turn Notes Into Calendars

How often do you write notes of assignments that need to be completed? We’re going to guess that it’s pretty often and now you can write a to-do list in OneNote and then easily convert it to tasks with deadlines and reminders in your calendar. You can also automatically add meeting details (date, location, attendees etc.) to notes and email them to your team.

6. Bing Will Automatically Suggest Images

Microsoft has released a preview mode of Sway, a cloud presentation software that is integrated with Bing image search. It will automatically suggest images to you based on the words in your presentation and it updates as you add/edit words.

7. Convert Scribbles to Drawings and Text

If you scribble down handwritten notes into OneNote, it has to guess which lines belong together and if it guesses wrong you can fix it quite easily using the Lasso tool. You select the lasso and circle an area of your note. You can then edit it or use the “Math” or “Ink to Text” options to change the scribbles into regular numbers and text.

8. Your Inbox Can De-Clutter Itself

We all hate spam and now you can teach your inbox to de-clutter itself! It’s called “Clutter” and it uses any and all rules you may have set up for your inbox. You train it by marking messages as clutter and it will begin to automatically move messages it deems less important into the “Clutter” folder. You can then go in and read and/or delete these messages later on.

9. Ignore Reply-All Conversations

We’ve all been in that situation where we are included in emails we don’t really need because senders reply to all. With Office 365, you can click the “Ignore” button which will stop you from seeing the replies to all.

10. Add an E-mail Signature

Gone are the days of printing a doc, signing it and then scanning or faxing it. Outlook has a free electronic signature app by DocuSign that allows you to electronically sign and email docs, as well as collect signatures from others.

11. Use Your Mouse as a Laser Pointer

If you’re giving a presentation using PowerPoint, you can use your computer’s mouse as a laser pointer and all you need to do is tell PowerPoint to change the icon into a red dot (which will act as your laser pointer). This feature is even included in the iPad version of office- you just hold your finger or stylus down and the red button will appear.

12. Turn Data Into a Map

The most recent version of Excel has a new feature called the Power Map which lets you convert rows of data into images. If that data is geographic, it will put it into a 3D map.

13. Better Charts, Graphs and Pivot Tables

One of the most useful features in Excel is the ability to easily turn data into charts, and now Microsoft has a new “Quick Analysis” feature which lets you quickly view and click through all the different ways you can visually present your material.

14. Excel Will Automatically Reformat Your Data

The new version of Office has Flash Fill, which automatically recognizes any changes you are making and will do the rest for you. For example, let’s say you have a list of names that is formatted into two columns (first and last). If you start reformatting so that these names are in one column only, Excel will recognize this and automatically do the rest for you. It will display the reformatted list and all you need to do is click to accept it.

15. PDF Editing

If you need to edit a PDF, you can convert it into a Word document without the formatting issues that come along with copy and pasting or editing. You can also save an entire Word doc, or even just a portion, as a PDF and password-protect it.


These Office 365 features will help improve the productivity of you and your team and make creating and editing documents simple and seamless! Get in touch to learn more about most useful Office 365 features.

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