Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac previews improved inking features and more

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You can find a detailed change-log of all the changes in Office 2019 for Mac here. Microsoft has been testing the simplified Ribbon with 30 large Office 365 customers and has been flighting changes to users there to see how they would be accepted, Friedman said.

For those who are interested in this Office 2019 for Mac preview, the company published a "how to participate" website here which allows businesses to sign-up for its Commercial Preview program, including all of the prerequisites before a business can actually sign-up. Nearly all these features are already available for Office 365 ProPlus users, but owners and users of stand-alone Office for Mac 2016 have been missing out on them.

Office 2019 for Mac delivers new features for both the end users and the IT department. That's why it's taking things slow: the redesigned version is making its way to Word on Office.com today, and then to Outlook for select Insiders in July. New features include the roaming pencil case and ribbon customisations across Office apps. There's a focus mode coming in Word, while Excel is getting new charts and functions, including CONCAT, TEXTJOIN, IFS, and SWITCH. Powerpoint also gets a new Morph transition feature, 4K video support, play-in-click sequence. Lastly, Outlook gets @mentions feature that we saw in Gmail recently, there's also a Focused Inbox, summary cards for travel and delivery details.

The release for business Mac users includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote and will ultimately ship alongside Office 2019 for Windows during the second half of this year. The new edition also features a new send later feature that will let you schedule delivery of emails for future. They are also introducing a new feature called "zero query search", when a user simply places the cursor in the search box, Microsoft will display recommendations powered by AI and the Microsoft Graph. Command-line tools will allow IT admins to centrally control how and when Office updates are applied to users' devices, and support for industry-standard MDM policies and preferences will give IT the power to enforce organization-wide security policies, including preferences for Visual Basic macros and app settings.

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