At some point in your life, you've been forced to send a massive file as an email attachment, wondering all the while if it will end up being too big to get through. Microsoft's recent Office 365 updates include a feature to address that problem. Microsoft continually updates Office 365, and the company's November updates include a new feature that allows users to upload a file to OneDrive at the time they're writing an email. Furthermore, collaborative editing has arrived on PowerPoint, and Microsoft has begun to send notifications to your phone when documents are being worked on by your coworkers. Why this matters: The key, of course, is that the updates apply to Office 365, the subscription service that provides access to constantly improving builds of the Office apps.
Microsoft has brought live, collaborative editing to its Excel app for Windows through a beta update it launched on Tuesday. The new feature lets testers collaborate with one another on the same file from inside the app. Live collaboration has been a major focus of Office 2016, which Microsoft released roughly a year and a half ago. The suite first offered real-time co-authoring for the desktop version of Word, then expanded those capabilities to PowerPoint. It's a major change for Microsoft's client applications, which previously kept editing to a fairly solitary experience.
Microsoft keeps plugging away at its Office suite for Android. There are several key updates in the latest version that should help round out features you might have been missing. One major catch-up is in the ability to pin a file to your home screen. It's been a longstanding capability within Google Docs, and it's definitely a good one to have if there's a particular file you need to access regularly. To pin an app to your home screen, head to the Recent menu and touch the overflow button.
As a product line, Microsoft Office dates back nearly three decades, with early versions essentially combining Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a discounted bundle. Office 365, which has been available since 2011, differs from that old-fashioned bundle in two respects: First, it's licensed as a monthly or annual subscription rather than as a perpetual license. Second, it combines a suite of online services, including business-class email and cloud file storage, along with the traditional desktop apps. Because it's a subscription offering, those desktop programs are updated automatically when a new version is available. If your subscription is current, you get the latest versions, which are typically updated every six months, on the same calendar as Windows 10.
Anyone enrolled in the Office Insider Slow ring will soon see it appear in version 15.31 of Microsoft's productivity suite, as first noticed by The Verge. The new Touch Bar features are available in all of Office's major apps, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Microsoft first announced Touch Bar support in October with examples of what it would do in all the various programs. The Touch Bar commands will change based on the context of whatever you're doing inside the Office suite. Excel users creating a formula inside a cell, for example, will see the Touch Bar adapt the minute they type in an equal sign.