Here’s what’s new in Office 365 for March 2016

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March 2016 has been a pretty busy month for the Office team in regards to dishing out feature-packed updates across Microsoft’s entire suite of productivity applications. Over the past few weeks, WinBeta has logged the individual updates as they’ve arrived, but what does an Internet audience like more than reading about individual app updates as they come in? Why, a compilation of information gathered, ideally at the end of the month, of course

Well, here are all the updates that came to Office 365 in March.

OneNote now helps you make the move from Evernote

According to the Office team:

(W)e released a tool that will help you import your Evernote notes into OneNote, and the response has been overwhelming. To date, more than 10.5 million Evernote pages have been moved over to OneNote.

Search in OneNote for handwriting in photos

OneNote continued to rock on with updates by also adding a new handwriting search feature in March.

OneNote already lets you search for handwritten notes made with a pen or finger and digital ink. Now OneNote can search on handwritten notes and whiteboards contained within images you’ve added to OneNote using Office Lens, as well other tools such as the OneNote Clipper, [email protected], and Livescribe.

PowerPoint Designer udpates

Moving on to PowerPoint, users can find new enhancements to the PowerPoint Designer tool. Introduced a little over four months ago, the PowerPoint Designer tool is an intelligent design assistant of sorts, add to the app to add greater visual impact to presentations with adaptable design suggestions for users.

In March 2016, PowerPoint Designer received three new features to help organize a presentation.

  • Multiple images—Until now, Designer could provide design recommendations when you inserted a single image into a PowerPoint slide. Now Designer can suggest designs for when you insert multiple images. You’ll see design suggestions for up to two images for all PowerPoint themes, and up to four images when using the specific Office and Gallery themes.
  • Color Extractor—Designer, now extrapolates the most prevalent color option from inserted images and applies that in a thoughtful way to your overall theme. This works with the new Gallery theme and will roll out to the other native PowerPoint themes in coming months.
  • Facial recognition—Now Designer can recognize which images include faces and make intelligent cropping decisions to prioritize them when making design suggestions.

Office for Mac and Skype Translator added new languages

Next up was the addition of new language support in Office for Mac and Skype Translator, that now includes support for Arabic and Hebrew while also providing right-to-left language reading in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Just keeping a tally, Skype now supports more than 50 written languages that include, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish to name a few.

Skype adds arabic

Improvements to Skype for Business

Skype’s business appeal has been beefed up with the number of meetings and voice services in Office 365 going out to double a number of countries it was available to in the previous month, standing at 32 now.

This allows them to use Skype for Business Online for all of their meeting needs. Also, our PSTN conferencing service will expand to include local dial-in numbers in more than 60 countries by the end of March and nearly 100 countries by the end of June.”

Office 365 admin reporting improvements

Another useful addition this month was the introductions of Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard for project managers who need to be up to the minute informed about project performance, costs, key milestones, and issues that arise. While not quite available for the commercial customer, soon customers will be able to view their project performances on the go and from the convenience of their iPads with dedicated apps. Also, Office 365 Video viewer statistics provide up-to-date statistics on video viewing and sharing inside of Office 365.

Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard and Office 365 Video viewer statistics

That’s it for this month. With Microsoft evolving the Office suite of software into a platform, the continued trend of monthly updates, security patches, fixes, and feature releases will have us here again next month with another hopefully jam-packed post.

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