Just in time for back to school season, Microsoft has made a few slick updates to Office 365, intended to help users get more out of their pen-based digital notes. Building on the beta launch of Windows Ink, OneNote has added new ink effects, a replay feature and a new intelligent math coach that can help you solve handwritten equations. While OneNote already comes with shape and handwriting recognition, the new math assistant takes inking one step further by converting a longhand equation into text and then highlighting the steps you need to solve it. Simply write out an equation in OneNote, circle it with the lasso and select which variable to solve for. From there, OneNote can walk you through the steps.
OneNote is the best Microsoft program you're probably not using. For me, it's become the online home for much of my work: article drafts, interview transcripts, even random thoughts about how to re-organize the home office. I love that I can take it with me basically anywhere. OneNote is baked right into the company's own Surface devices, and there are apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, and support for Apple Watch and Android Wear. It's not easy to build an app that serves so many different purposes and works well across platforms, but OneNote mostly pulls it off.
As you prepare to start a new school year, make sure your PC gets the attention it deserves (if you're in the market for a new PC, be sure to check out PCWorld's best cheap laptops and best laptops of 2017 picks). The hardware is important, but loading your PC with the right educational software can give you a big leg up. Sure, you've probably grabbed your favorite browser and installed Office, but there are plenty of other tools you'll need at the ready to be productive and successful. Below is our list of the best educational software for students. See if these programs don't have you buzzing through research papers and group projects in no time.
Microsoft has quietly worked to improve the basic OneNote app within Windows 10, and on Wednesday it received an unexpected show of support: The OneNote 2016 app for Office 365 will be put on hold, and the OneNote app already within Windows 10 will replace it within Office 2019. Since then, OneNote for Windows 10 has added some of the top features of the Windows 10 app, including perhaps the best feature of the note-taking tool: audio that's synced to your notes. Microsoft said it plans to keep migrating features from one app to the other, including the ability to insert and search for tags, create page templates, as well as preview other Office files, right within OneNote. So what will happen to the existing version of OneNote, OneNote 2016? Microsoft executives said they'll hold off on adding new features, but won't discontinue the software, either.
This summer, a spate of new features are headed to Windows 10 by way of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft's next major revision to the OS. Chief among the additions is Windows Ink, an experience specifically designed for digital pen users. The full Ink experience is still months away--longer, if you wait on the fruits of Microsoft's partnership with Wacom, which will reportedly yield a special Ink pen by the holidays. But thanks to the recent, massive Windows 10 Build 14322 that Microsoft released to its Insider beta testers, we've had a chance to try out several aspects of Windows Ink, including Ink Workspace, Sketchpad, Sticky Notes, and more. Click the new pen icon to launch the Windows Ink Workspace apps.