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4 updates in Power Query for Excel

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 10:40

This month’s Power Query update includes four new or improved features, including:

  • Option to specify Join Type in the Merge Queries dialog.
  • Extract first, last or range of characters from a Text column.
  • Customize the Quote Style in Split Column by Delimiter dialog.
  • Support for UPN credentials in the Exchange connector.

You can continue reading below for more details about each feature.

Option to specify Join Type in the Merge Queries dialog

It is now possible to specify the type of Join that you would like to apply when merging two queries using the Merge Queries dialog. These options were previously available only by manually modifying the generated formula. Now they are much more easily accessible in the Merge Queries dialog.

Extract first, last or range of characters from a Text column

With this update we have added user interface (UI) support to specify how many characters to extract from a Text column, starting from the beginning, end or a specific position. This new set of transformations can be found under the Text -> Extract Group in the Transform and Add Column tabs on the Query Editor ribbon.

Customize Quote Style in the Split Column by Delimiter dialog

Users can now switch between the CSV Quote Style and no Quote Style when splitting a column by delimiter. This option is available in the Advanced Options section of the Split Column by Delimiter dialog.

Support for UPN credentials in the Exchange connector

In this update, we added support for specifying a UPN (User Principal Name) as part of providing credentials to use the Exchange connector. This option is available from the Credentials prompt when using this connector. If you have already connected to Exchange before and need to modify your credentials, you can access this option from the Data Source Settings dialog.

That’s all for this month. We’re making lots of incremental improvements to Power Query and we hope that you find it better with every new monthly update. Please continue sending us feedback using our “Send a Smile/Frown” feature or by voting for what you’d like to see next.

—Miguel Llopis, program manager on the Power Query team

 

Power Query for Excel is available with an Office 365 ProPlus subscription, Office 2010 Professional Plus with Software Assurance, Office 2013 Professional Plus or Excel 2013 Standalone. Power Query for Excel is also available in all other Excel 2013 Desktop SKUs with reduced functionality. Check out the System Requirements section on this page for more details.

Download the add-in and learn more about getting started.

Learn about all the powerful analytics and visualization features in Excel and take your analysis further by sharing and collaborating on business insights with colleagues using Power BI.

The post 4 updates in Power Query for Excel appeared first on Office Blogs.

Preview real-time co-authoring on OneDrive

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 13:00

Earlier this year we announced real-time co-authoring support for Word 2016 as part of the Office 2016 Preview. For the last several months, this feature has been available to preview users co-authoring Word documents stored on SharePoint Online. Today, we are pleased to announce that real-time co-authoring is also available as a first-look for Word documents stored on OneDrive as part of the latest Office 2016 Preview release.

Now when two or more users running the latest preview open the same Word document from OneDrive, they can co-author with others in real-time, which allows them to see the cursor location and text edits made by the other users automatically appear as they happen.

You are encouraged to try real-time co-authoring on OneDrive today. If you are receiving regular updates throughout the preview, you should have received this functionality as an update by 11 a.m. this morning.

To try out this feature, all you need is a Word document stored on OneDrive and two or more people running the latest preview. Make sure to give both users edit permissions so they can both edit the file. If this is the first time you’ve tried real-time co-authoring, you will see a prompt in the upper right corner of Word asking you if you’d like to automatically share your changes.

All you need to do is click Yes to join the experience. Once both authors have clicked Yes, you’ll see a flag representing the other author’s cursor position and then you will automatically see their edits come in.

Please give it a try today and let us know what you think of the experience.

—The Word team

The post Preview real-time co-authoring on OneDrive appeared first on Office Blogs.

What’s new: July 2015

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:50

Office 2016 for Mac arrived this month, along with Office Mobile apps for Windows 10, a new universal iOS OneNote app, and more. For business, new compliance capabilities and IT management controls were added, along with enhancements to Yammer and Power Query. On the mobile front, Azure Rights Management is now available for Office for iPad and iPhone, there’s a new app designed for in-and-out email, and the Skype for Business Windows Phone app is here. Enterprise customers can preview the new Skype for Business capabilities, and teachers and students can now move back and forth between Office 365 and Moodle or Open edX without logging in each time. For developers, the new edition of the monthly Office 365 Dev Digest is out, Office 365 channels are live, and The Office Dev Show has begun. Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite new feature is. If you missed last month’s updates, see What’s new: June 2015.

Office 365 Personal, Office 365 Home and Office 365 University updates

New chart types available in Office 2016 Preview—Now you have more ways to explore data and tell rich stories across Excel, Word and PowerPoint. Six powerful new charts help you quickly visualize common financial, statistical and hierarchical data: Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst.

Office 2016 for Mac is here—The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote—each with major updates—give Mac users the familiar Office experience paired with the best of Mac. Office for Mac is cloud-connected, for quick access to your documents on any device, and it’s available in 139 countries and 16 languages. Office 365 subscribers can get the newest version of Office for Mac today.

OneNote updates for iOS and Android—Now there’s a universal iOS OneNote app that works on both iPad and iPhone. iPad users need to get the new OneNote app from the store; iPhone users already have it. With the new app, iPad users have some of the recent updates made to the iPhone app, like the Today Widget and Recent Notes. The updated OneNote for Android app introduces one of the top feature asks—the ability to move or copy pages from one section or notebook to another.

WYSIWYG editing in Office Mix quizzes and polls—You’re no longer limited in Office Mix to asking questions that can be typed on a QWERTY keyboard. With WYSIWIG editing support in quizzes and polls, you can type mathematical and scientific formulas. Even if you’re not a math or science teacher, you now have a lot more freedom to include images, tables, bulleted and numbered lists, and special characters in quiz and poll questions in your Office Mixes.

Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 are here!—The Office Mobile apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote—give you on-the-go productivity on Windows 10 tablets and small screen devices, with full fidelity viewing. The apps are fully cloud connected, and your docs are now automatically saved for you. Plus, new features, like Tell Me, make it easier for you to do what you want. You can download and install the apps from the new Windows Store today in 190 countries.

Office 365 for Business and Education updates*

Preview of new Skype for Business services in Office 365—Office 365 enterprise customers can register for three technical previews of the new Skype for Business voice and meetings capabilities in Office 365: Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling. Later this year, with strategic partners, direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers will be delivered through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365.

Office 365 now offers integration with educational open source software—Now teachers and students can move back and forth between Office 365 and Moodle or Open edX without the need to log in each time. For example, if you’re logged in to Office 365 and working on a Word document, you can easily upload the document to Moodle as an assignment. You can also allow Moodle or Open edX to appear in the My Apps app launcher within Office 365, synchronize your Outlook calendars to a Moodle course calendar, embed an Office Mix in Moodle, and more.

Compliance toolset for public folders—The Office 365 archiving and eDiscovery toolset is being extended to include public folders. You can now place public folder content on hold to preserve it for legal or regulatory requirements and perform eDiscovery functions on public folder data, including search, preview and export. Entire public folders or specific content can be preserved immutably, and all administrative activities on public folders are fully audited.

Skype for Business Windows Phone app is here!—The new app includes many enhancements, including an intuitive interface, more emoticons and improved server communications. The enhanced security with at-rest data encryption means your conversation history and voicemail are encrypted by default. And your recent conversations are now synchronized across devices, whether they took place on your PC, tablet or phone, as long as you’re running the latest server software. Find out how you can upgrade.

New activity logging and reporting capabilities for Office 365—The new activity logging and reporting capabilities provide even greater visibility into actions taken on your content and greater control over access to your data in Office 365. They include: the Office 365 activity report to investigate a user’s activity, comprehensive logging capability for user and admin activity events, the Search PowerShell command or cmdlet, and a preview of the Office 365 Management Activity API.

Power Query for Excel updates—The recently added or improved features include: improvements to the ODBC Connector, Navigator dialog improvements, an option to enable Fast Data Load versus Background Data Load, support for Salesforce Custom environments in Recent Sources list, easier parsing of Date or Time values out of a Text column with Date/Time information, and a new Unpivot Other Columns entry in the column context menu.

New IT management controls added to OneDrive for Business—The new management options to protect and control the flow of your information include: limiting file sync to domain-joined PCs, auditing all actions taken against files, setting storage quotas, and preventing unintentional sharing to “Everyone” or “All Users.” Read what the new controls can do and take a walk through them with Office Mechanics to learn how to implement them.

Document collaboration in Yammer just got better!—Deeper integration with Office Online makes it easier than ever to incorporate document collaboration into teamwork. Click the Edit File link in Yammer and a new browser tab opens with a full-screen view of the document. You can make changes directly in the document using Office Online, and they’re automatically saved in Yammer. You can also now share and work on files with external participants. And with integration with Office 365, the reliability and performance of document collaboration in Yammer has improved.

Tips to get started using the Mobile Device Management (MDM) feature for Office 365—It’s easy to get this built-in feature up and running to manage and secure mobile devices when they’re connected to your Office 365 organization. Learn how to set up MDM for Office 365, configure Security Groups and Device policies, enroll devices, and wipe enrolled devices and run reports.

Office 365 channels are live on IFTTT—When you activate the Office 365 channels—Mail, OneDrive for Business, Calendar and Contacts—you can automate what happens with your Office 365 data to increase productivity. For example, you can create Recipes to program activities, like automatically saving a photo to OneDrive for Business or sharing that a new Office 365 contact was added to your team’s Trello board or Slack team. Check out the Office 365 sample Recipes to help you get started.

Introducing Send—the app designed for in-and-out email—Send is a new app built for sending your coworkers quick, brief messages—no signatures, subject lines or salutations required. The app connects to Office 365 business and school email accounts to surface your frequent and recent contacts and enables you to have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later. Send is available for iPhone in the U.S. and Canada, and is coming soon to Windows Phone and Android phones.

Azure Rights Management support comes to Office for iPad and iPhoneAzure Rights Management provides an easy way to protect data by assigning a policy to the data available in Office 2013, Office 2010 and Office for Mac. Now this policy-driven protection is available in Office for iPad and on iPhone devices, so you can view rights-protected Office documents natively on your iOS devices.

Windows 10 updates for Office 365 admins—IT admins can benefit from Windows, Office and Azure Active Directory integration in three areas: joining Windows 10 to Azure Active Directory for single sign-on (SSO) to Office 365 and other services, using the Business Store portal in Windows Store to deliver Office apps, and adding Windows 10 devices to Mobile Device Management for Office 365. Read the blog post and watch the video to find out how.

Office 365 Developer updates

Office 365 Dev Digest for July—Stay up to date with what’s new in Office 365 development. Read the digest for the latest dev news, like one-click access to third-party apps and the new Office Dev Show. Get new and updated documentation, code samples, and patterns and practices samples, plus links to podcasts, blog posts, videos about companies using Office add-ins to extend the value of Office, and upcoming events.

A new way to keep up with all the Office 365 Dev news, tips and tricks—Watch The Office Dev Show, a new dedicated Channel 9 show devoted to all things Office 365 dev-related! The show, hosted by Sonya Koptyev, will include guests from the Office 365 Extensibility engineering team and key community members. It will feature new code and capabilities added for devs to customize the Office platform, including desktop, online and mobile versions, as well as a “Get Started” series on building on the platform. The show airs weekly, on Wednesdays.

Office 365 channels are live on IFTTT—When you activate the Office 365 channels—Mail, OneDrive for Business, Calendar and Contacts—you can automate what happens with your Office 365 data to increase productivity. For example, you can create Recipes to program activities, like automatically saving a photo to OneDrive for Business or sharing that a new Office 365 contact was added to your team’s Trello board or Slack team. Check out the Office 365 sample Recipes to help you get started.

Please note that some of the updates may take time to show up in your Office 365 account, because they’re being rolled out to customers worldwide.

—Andy O’Donald @andyodonald

——————————————————————————–

*Not all updates apply to every Office 365 plan; please check the individual post for specifics.

The post What’s new: July 2015 appeared first on Office Blogs.

Optimizing Yammer for teams

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 09:00

Today’s post was written by Juliet Wei, senior product marketing manager for the Yammer team.

When we first set out to create Yammer, we started with the simple idea that information is more valuable when it’s shared. As an enterprise social network, Yammer revolutionized information sharing in the workplace by giving millions of people a platform to make their voices heard and discover what others across the company are working on.

Recently we announced Yammer’s on a mission to bring the benefits of open collaboration to teamwork. Since then, we’ve introduced Office Online integration for better document collaboration in Yammer; external messaging, which lets teams easily connect with people outside their company; and Yammer for Apple Watch to enable a whole new way of staying connected with your team. Today we’re unveiling another set of exciting changes to Yammer, including a fresh new look and feel that’s designed for teamwork from the ground up.

As teams spin up around a project or initiative, they need a way to filter out the noise and focus on the task at hand. Yammer groups provide a great setting for teamwork by empowering people to share and collaborate within the right context and with the right set of people. However, the default experience in Yammer to date has been the home feeds which were intended for broad network-wide sharing. To encourage teams to make Yammer groups their go-to destination, we’re delivering a number of UI enhancements and improving the experience inside groups. Some of the changes we’re delivering on the web include:

  • Discovery feed—We’re updating the current home feed experience to focus on group updates and discovery. The renamed Discovery feed surfaces conversations you’re missing out on from relevant groups and enables you to stay connected to the most interesting content from other teams across your company. Updates in the Discovery feed clearly identify which groups the conversations come from and give you the ability to quickly navigate to and join the groups you’re not already a member of straight from the feed.
  • Real-time group activity—We’re giving you better peripheral vision into your groups no matter where you are in Yammer. Real-time indicators in the left-hand navigation pane call your attention to group activity as it happens, alerting you to all your currently active groups and teammates.

The Discovery feed surfaces group conversations you’re missing out on and makes it easy for you to navigate to and join groups from the feed. Group activity shows up in real time in the left-hand navigation pane.

  • Immersive group experience—Because Yammer groups serve as a home base for teams, we’re giving them a greater sense of place and making them more engaging with a full-width header, a cleaner look to focus your attention on high impact activity and content, and a wider feed for your team conversations.
  • Next Group notification—Getting through the most important updates in your groups quickly is key when you’re juggling multiple projects. When you’re done viewing the new conversations in each group, a banner appears prompting you navigate to your next group, so you can get through your projects faster.

Groups have a greater sense of place and are more engaging. The Next Group notification prompts you to move on after you’ve viewed the new conversations in a group.

We’re also taking major steps to reorient Yammer’s mobile apps around groups to meet the needs of fast-moving teams. Over the coming months, you’ll see significant changes to your mobile experience, including a better way to get through your group content and new capabilities that boost mobile team collaboration.

  • Group Updates feed—The Group Updates feed provides a simple workflow through relevant content in your groups, so you can catch up on urgent conversations and discover what others are working on. You can navigate easily between the feed and your groups, as well as join groups you’re not already a part of from the feed itself. The Group Updates feed will come to Android first with iOS following shortly after.

The Group Updates feed provides a simple workflow on mobile, enabling you to quickly catch up on your groups and easily navigate between the feed and your groups.

  • Yammer for Apple Watch—As announced last week, Yammer for Apple Watch provides instant notification of your conversations and activities at a glance and lets you take quick action, so you have fewer to-dos at the end of the day. It’s a great companion app for the Yammer mobile and web experiences.
  • Powerful new photo-sharing and markup—Translate images into action with the ability to attach multiple images at once and even mark up the parts of the images you want to call out with your finger to help others see what you see.

Translate images into action by marking up photos with your finger and sharing them with your team.

  • Attach files from external file storage services—Yammer’s mobile apps let you find and attach all your files, including those stored on external services such as OneDrive and Dropbox, as well as files stored in Yammer and on your mobile device.
  • Inline at-mentioning—Bringing others into the conversation has never been easier with inline at-mentioning now available on mobile. Yammer’s type-ahead functionality suggests people and groups to address while you compose your message, removing the need to at-mention them separately.
  • Search and invite coworkers by email—Finding your coworkers on Yammer is possible, even if they haven’t started using Yammer yet. Searching by name or email enables you to find existing members and invite new members to join Yammer from your Yammer mobile app.

All of these experiences take place against a backdrop of continual improvements in Yammer, such as a new responsive design optimized for larger screen sizes and faster performance on web and mobile.

Up next in 2016: deeper integration with Office 365 to open up even more possibilities for teams. We’re working on wrapping up the foundational identity work with Azure Active Directory, leveraging Office Graph signals for better people and group suggestions; using Office Online for multi-user coauthoring in Yammer; and hooking into the Office 365 Groups service to enable cross-workload scenarios with OneDrive, Outlook, OneNote and Skype. And to improve collaboration with extended team members, we’ll also be delivering external groups, which lets users invite outside participants into their Yammer groups.

We’re excited about taking teamwork to the next level with these changes and hope you are too. Give your teams the gift of Yammer and start using Yammer groups for your projects and initiatives today.

—Juliet Wei

 

Frequently asked questions

Q. Where can I go to learn more about using Yammer for team collaboration?

A. If you’d like to learn more about how Yammer helps improve teamwork, join our YamJam. On Wednesday, September 9, the Office 365 Network will host a YamJam from 9–10 a.m. PDT / 5–6 p.m. GST. Members of the product engineering team will be on hand to answer your questions. For those unfamiliar with a YamJam, it is similar to a “TweetJam” on Twitter or an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit, except it takes place on Yammer. It provides the opportunity for the community to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of internal Microsoft experts on a particular topic. Here’s how to participate:

  1. Request access to the Office 365 Network. All requests will be approved as quickly as possible.
  2. Join the Enterprise Social group. You can find it by using the Browse Groups function or through the search bar.
  3. Log in at 9 a.m. PDT / 5 p.m. GST on Wednesday, September 9 to ask questions, follow the discussions and connect with Microsoft team members.

Q. When will these new features be available? Do I need to do anything to enable them in my Yammer network?

A. Yammer develops in short, iterative cycles and only ships features that are proven to increase engagement. While we’ve already shipped many of these experiences on mobile and web to customers, we’re still testing and refining others to ensure we deliver the best possible user experience. This means some users will see an early version of a new feature appear for a while in their Yammer experience while we are testing it, then disappear as we pull it back for further work and finalization. Our goal is to complete and ship the remaining team experiences outlined above to 100 percent of our customers by year end. Because Yammer is a multi-tenant cloud service, no action is required to enable these new capabilities. To see upcoming features and experiences, visit roadmap.office.com.

The post Optimizing Yammer for teams appeared first on Office Blogs.

10 little-known keyboard shortcuts for editing in PowerPoint

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 09:00

If you use PowerPoint at work or at home, keyboard shortcuts can be a great time saver. Here are some little-known keyboard shortcuts I’ve discovered over the last few years while working on the PowerPoint team. These keyboard shortcuts are designed for PowerPoint for Windows. If you are using PowerPoint for Mac, you can still use them if you replace Ctrl with CMD (⌘) unless stated otherwise. I hope you find these keyboard shortcuts as useful as I have!

Draw horizontal or vertical lines

Press and hold the Shift key while inserting lines to make sure they are perfectly horizontal, vertical or at a 45-degree angle.

Keep objects in proportion

Press and hold the Shift key while resizing shapes and other objects to keep their proportions consistent. This is handy if you want to resize a circle without accidentally turning it into an oval.

Duplicate an object

Adding a bunch of identical objects? Just select your object and press Ctrl+D to duplicate it. This also works on slides.

Copy and paste formatting

If you want to format an object to look just like another object without reapplying all of the formatting by hand, use the formatting clipboard. Select the object whose formatting you want to copy and press Ctrl+Shift+C. Then, select the objects that you want to have the same formatting and press Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the formatting. This also works on the slide thumbnails if you have a slide background or theme that you want to copy from slide to slide.

This keyboard shortcut makes use of the Format Painter feature, which also allows you to copy formatting from one shape to another. The keyboard shortcut is a good one to remember since it packs even more power—once you’ve copied the formatting, you can paste the formatting onto as many shapes as you like without having to copy it again.

Group and ungroup

To group objects together, just select the objects and press Ctrl+G. To ungroup, select the object and press Ctrl+Shift+G. If you’re a Mac user, press CMD+Option+G to group and CMD+Option+Shift+G to ungroup.

Insert a new slide

Press Ctrl+M to insert a new slide after the currently selected slide. For PowerPoint for Mac, the keyboard shortcut is the same; you don’t need to substitute CMD.

Zoom

Press and hold the Ctrl key while using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out in the editor. On a touch device, you can pinch to zoom. For PowerPoint for Mac, this is another one where you don’t have to substitute CMD.

Center or align text

To quickly center text, press Ctrl+E. Not happy with your centered text? To go back to left alignment, press Ctrl+L, or press Ctrl+R to right align the text.

Clear formatting

To remove all formatting from selected text, press Ctrl+Spacebar. This will reset the text back to the default formatting.

PowerPoint content placeholders have logic built in to make sure your text has the right size and formatting to match the rest of your presentation. If you’ve changed the formatting for some text or you have pasted in text that already had formatting on it, you can use the clear formatting shortcut to make the text match the design of the rest of your presentation again.

To clear formatting on PowerPoint for Mac, simply click the Clear Formatting button  on the Home tab.

Start Slideshow

Done editing and ready to present? To start a Slideshow from the first slide, just press F5. If you want to start from the current slide, press Shift+F5 instead.

As a bonus, here are a few more keyboard shortcuts you might have forgotten about. Happy editing!

Action Windows Mac Select all Ctrl+A ⌘+A Bold Ctrl+B ⌘+B Copy Ctrl+C ⌘+C Paste Ctrl+V ⌘+V Undo Ctrl+Z ⌘+Z Redo Ctrl+Y ⌘+Y Save Ctrl+S ⌘+S New presentation Ctrl+N ⌘+N Find text Ctrl+F ⌘+F Check spelling F7 F7

 

—Lauren Janas, program manager for the PowerPoint team

The post 10 little-known keyboard shortcuts for editing in PowerPoint appeared first on Office Blogs.

Episode 058 with Paul Katz on building Office add-ins for enterprise—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 09:00

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Andrew Salamatov about the Outlook announcements at Build and Ignite along with a two hackathons that were run in New York and Chicago.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP58_PaulKatz.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates Show notes

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network.

The podcast RSS is available iTunes or search for it on “Office 365 Developer Podcast” or add directly with the RSS http://feeds.feedburner.com/Office365DeveloperPodcast.

About Paul Katz

Paul Katz is president and chief software architect of EfficiencyNext, a software solutions company in Washington DC. Paul has worked with Microsoft technologies for the last 18 years and has been an active SharePoint developer over the last 5 years, pursuing integration stories both by the book and by using new design patterns. Most recently, Paul has migrated much of his skills onto Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365, leveraging tighter DevOps models the new platforms enable.

A busy parent with two kids, Paul understands the need to extract value out of every minute and sees Office 365 and the Add-Ins model as powerful tools for doing so.

About the hosts

Jeremy is a technical product manager at Microsoft responsible for the Visual Studio Developer story for Office 365 development. Previously he worked at AvePoint Inc., a large ISV, as the chief architect shipping two apps to the Office Store. He has been heavily involved in the SharePoint community since 2006 and was awarded the SharePoint MVP award four years in a row before retiring the title to move to Microsoft. You can find Jeremy blogging at www.jeremythake.com and tweeting at @jthake.

 

Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and frequent speaker are worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at www.richdizz.com, and can be found on twitter at @richdizz. Richard is born, raised and based in Dallas, TX but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. In his spare time, Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician, and lightning fast runner.

Useful links

The post Episode 058 with Paul Katz on building Office add-ins for enterprise—Office 365 Developer Podcast appeared first on Office Blogs.

Managing Office 365 updates

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 09:00

Today’s post was written by Arpan Shah, senior director for the Office 365 team.

Over the past year, we released over 450 updates to Office 365, as noted by Julia White in this recent Office Mechanics show. As customers move from on-premises software to the cloud, they need new tools and processes to manage and administer change. We are committed to not only deliver the best productivity experience to end users but also provide an optimum experience to admins and developers who run and build on the service.

On today’s Office Mechanics show, I’m excited to tell you about some of the improvements we’ve made to Office 365 change management and tools—all based on your feedback.

Rolling out updates

I want to assure you that we recognize how Office 365 updates can potentially impact your organization. To ensure we deliver high quality updates and give you time to prepare, we will continue to improve the way updates are rolled out (illustrated below) to catch issues and obtain your feedback early.

It begins with our feature teams of engineers (Ring 0) who build and test proposed changes. Next, our Office 365 team (Ring 1) takes a test drive before releasing proposed updates to all Microsoft employees (Ring 2). Only after passing three internal hurdles do updates begin rolling out to our First Release customers (Ring 3). Once validated by our First Release customers, we incorporate their feedback before worldwide rollout (Ring 4). The sheer scale of Office 365 means that we stagger release to tenants, with some changes taking a few weeks or more before they’re implemented worldwide.

First Release lets you try updates early

First Release is designed to help customers prepare for updates. You can opt in to experience updates ahead of worldwide rollout within your tenant. In the show, I demonstrate how easy it is to turn on First Release in the Office 365 admin center for your organization as well as the new capability—based on your feedback—which allows you to select specific people to receive updates early. Learn how you can see changes before the rest of your organization when you enable First Release.

Making your life easier

We’re working hard to make your life easier in other ways, including some great resources:

  • Office 365 Roadmap—Follow Office 365 features as they progress through the development lifecycle, from development to rollout and launch. To stay up-to-date, it’s best to check the Roadmap every couple of weeks, or at least once a month. We added a “Recently updated” filter based on your feedback.
  • Message Center—This is where we post messages related to key changes to the service that you need to either be aware of or take some action. We recommend checking the Message Center on a daily basis. Note, you must be an Office 365 admin to access the Message Center.
  • Admin App—We updated the Office 365 Admin App on Windows Phone, iOS and Android so you can access Message Center, monitor service health and do simple admin tasks from whatever phone you prefer.
  • Success.Office.com—This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to deploy and drive adoption of Office 365. Announcement and flyer templates and other great resources are here to help end users onboard and get excited about upcoming changes.

Please watch today’s show for demos of these Office 365 resources and see how easy it is to sign up for First Release, use the mobile Admin App and take advantage of Success.Office.com. Provide your thoughts in the “Join the conversation” section below. We’re listening to your feedback and continuously making improvements.

—Arpan Shah

The post Managing Office 365 updates appeared first on Office Blogs.

New Outlook partner add-ins and expanded rollout of Outlook.com preview

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 09:00

Earlier this year, we announced a preview of the new Outlook.com that lets you make the most of the moments that matter to you, featuring a refined inbox, new ways to collaborate, an upgraded calendar and support for partner add-ins. Today, we are pleased to announce new partnerships with Evernote, Yelp, IFTTT and Wunderlist to deliver solutions for both consumer and commercial Outlook users. Additionally, the Uber, PayPal, Evernote and Boomerang add-ins are beginning to roll out today. We’re excited about how partners are enhancing the Outlook experience through this integration.

In addition to new partners, we are also expanding the preview of the new Outlook.com to a broader audience. We enhanced the service based on feedback from our initial set of preview users and are broadening the rollout so that more users get access to these features faster.

Partner add-ins extend your email capabilities

Partner add-ins help you get more done right from your inbox—from finding cool restaurants for a dinner with friends to setting up a ride to get there and paying your portion of the tab. Here are more details on what you can do with these partner solutions:

  • Uber—Need a ride to your meeting or event? No problem, set up an Uber ride reminder for any calendar event with a single tap. Prior to the time of your ride, you get an Uber reminder on your phone with the destination already set. Simply swipe the notification, confirm your Uber ride, and your car will be on its way! Starting today, the Uber add-in is available in Outlook 2013 and Outlook on the web for users with Office 365 and Exchange 2013 mailboxes. It’s coming to users of the new Outlook.com within the next month.

  • PayPal—Need to pay your portion of the dinner tab or send money to your loved ones on their birthdays? You can do this directly from your inbox using the PayPal add-in for Outlook. Starting today, the PayPal add-in is available in Outlook 2013 and Outlook on the web for users with Office 365 and Exchange 2013 mailboxes. It’s coming to users of the new Outlook.com within the next month.

  • Evernote—Sharing your work with colleagues is simple with the Evernote Outlook add-in. Start an email, use the add-in view to find the note you want, and click to send it on its way. You can also clip emails from Outlook to Evernote, save them into a designated notebook, and add tags for an extra level of organization. Working effectively in and out of your inbox has never been easier. Starting today, the Evernote add-in is available in Outlook 2013 and Outlook on the web for users with Office 365 mailboxes. It also works with Exchange 2013 mailboxes but requires your Exchange IT admin to install the add-in. It’s coming to users of the new Outlook.com within the next month.

  • Boomerang—Schedule emails to send at the perfect time, get a reminder if your email doesn’t receive a response, and add a smart calendar assistant that lets you schedule meetings and share your real-time availability—all without leaving your email. Starting today, the Boomerang add-in is available in Outlook 2013 and Outlook on the web for users with Office 365 mailboxes. It’s coming to users of the new Outlook.com within the next month.

  • IFTTT (coming soon to Outlook.com)—Want to add the weather report to your calendar at 6 a.m. every day? Or automatically send a notification to your phone when you receive a high importance mail? You will soon be able to use IFTTT to automate tasks and take action on your email in Outlook.com. It works anywhere, anytime, on any device. IFTTT is already available in Office 365. We are now excited to announce it’s coming soon to Outlook.com as well.
  • Yelp (coming soon)—Need to find some cool restaurants for a dinner get-together with your friends? Stop the back and forth in email! Use the Yelp add-in in Outlook to find and suggest restaurants or coffee shops of your choice. The add-in will provide Yelp pictures, reviews, restaurant address and phone number and will insert these details directly into the body of your message or meeting invite.
  • Wunderlist (coming soon)—You will be able to create to-dos within Wunderlist right from your email using the Wunderlist add-in in Outlook.com.

Are you interested in building apps for Outlook?

You can use Outlook add-ins and Outlook REST APIs for mail, calendar and contacts to reach both Office 365 and Outlook.com users. Learn more at dev.outlook.com.

Join the conversation, we’re listening

As we expand the rollout of the new Outlook.com and add new partner solutions, we’re eager to hear your thoughts. Joining the conversation in the updated Outlook.com experience is easy—just click Feedback under the gear icon and you can make your suggestion without leaving your inbox. If you’d like to see and vote on other ideas, you can always visit Outlook.UserVoice and sign in with your Microsoft account.

We hope you’re eager to try out these new features. Watch this space for more news from the Outlook.com team, including new partner add-ins and features.

Thanks!

—The Outlook.com team

 

Frequently asked questions

Q. How can I get started with the new add-ins?

A. Starting today, the Uber, PayPal, Evernote and Boomerang add-ins are available in Outlook 2013 and Outlook on the web for users with Office 365 mailboxes. The Uber, PayPal and Evernote add-ins also work for users with Exchange 2013 mailboxes. These add-ins will be available to users of the new Outlook.com within a month.

Instructions for installing add-ins:

  1. In Outlook 2013, click the File menu and then click Manage Apps. If you are an Office 365 web user, click the gear icon on the top right, and then click Manage Apps/Add-ins.
  2. In the Manage Apps/Add-ins page, click the + sign and then select Add from the Office Store.
  3. Select the add-in you want to install and then click the Add button to begin installation.
    Note: For Evernote, Exchange 2013 users require their Exchange IT admin to install the add-in.

Q. You mention these updates are available to Office 365 users. Which Office 365 subscriptions are eligible?

A. The add-ins can be used with all Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include the web-based version of Outlook, including Business, Enterprise, EDU and Government plans. IT departments can manage user access to these and other add-ins through the Office 365 Administration center.

Q. What’s changed in the new version of Outlook.com?

A. The new Outlook.com will let you do more, faster, through features such as a refined inbox, a new Skype experience, simplified sharing from OneDrive; new themes; and a new and improved calendar with search, as well as add-ins from a variety of partners. See our May blog post for more details about the features available in the preview.

Q. When will I get the Outlook.com update?

A. We’re broadening the rollout of the Outlook.com preview, in stages, over the next several weeks. We are bringing new users into the preview gradually so we can respond to feedback in a timely way as we improve the product leading into general availability.

The post New Outlook partner add-ins and expanded rollout of Outlook.com preview appeared first on Office Blogs.

Announcing the preview of Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 09:30

Today’s post was written by Jared Goralnick, principal group program manager for the Skype for Business team.

We’ve seen great momentum in the first few months since the arrival of Skype for Business, and today, I’m excited to announce the preview of the new Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android. Here’s a look at what’s new and how you can participate in the preview.

What’s new?

We’ve infused Skype simplicity throughout the new iOS and Android apps, created a new dashboard for easy navigation of your contacts, calls and meetings, and updated the In-Call and In-Meeting experience.

The updated dashboard brings the contact search bar, your upcoming meetings and most recent conversations to one place.

  • Contact search bar—Search your Global Address List by first name, last name, email alias or even a phone number! On iOS, your phone contacts are also included in the search.
  • Upcoming appointments—Here you can see your current and next meetings in your calendar. You can either click through to read more about the meeting or click the Quick Join icon to join the meeting right away.
  • Recent conversations—Makes it easy to refer back to your most recent chats, phone calls and meetings.

We rebuilt the In-Call and In-Meeting experience with new features that make it easier to navigate calls and meetings on your mobile phone or tablet.

  • Larger buttons make it easier to mute, add participants and manage your call.
  • Video, which now fills the screen, brings you closer to your colleagues.
  • We made it easier to navigate between video and content with just one tap by simplifying the IM, video and content panes. While you can still view content in full screen, you can now also view content and see the speaker’s video at the same time!
Join our preview

If you have Lync 2013 on your iOS or Android device, you’ll get the new Skype for Business app as an update later this year. Skype for Business mobile apps work for anyone on Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business Server 2015 and Skype for Business Online.

To ensure IT administrators can prepare their end users and organizations for this change, we’ve added our Skype for Business iOS and Android apps to our Skype for Business Preview program.

To participate in the preview, IT administrators can visit www.skypepreview.com to nominate up to four end users for iOS and four for Android to participate in the preview. Please apply by Friday, August 14, 2015 to be considered in our first batch of participants. We will begin notifying IT admins via email of their acceptance starting the week of August 17, 2015.

Sign up for the Skype for Business for iOS and Android Preview today!

The post Announcing the preview of Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android appeared first on Office Blogs.

Breaking down hierarchical data with Treemap and Sunburst charts

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 09:00

So far, we introduced you to our new cast of modern chart types and placed the spotlight on Waterfall charts—the classic financial powerhouse chart. Today, we dive deeper into the Treemap and Sunburst charts to help you visualize hierarchical data beyond the classic bars and circles. Bold and modern, the Treemap and Sunburst charts complement and strengthen the existing proportional chart types, like pie, doughnut and stacked column.

You can download the sample data we used for this blog post and try these new charts with the Office 2016 Public Preview.

What is hierarchical data and what does it look like?

Hierarchical datasets are perfect for layers within the data where natural groupings exist. They can be organizations within a business, regions within a country, makes or models of a product, or disciplines within a subject. Hierarchical data just requires some level of order and organizational structure. The example below, following a small bookstore inventory, illustrates the look and feel of hierarchical data.

Notice the table headings: Genre, Sub-Genre and Topic. These naming conventions create a hierarchical dataset. Topic is a subset of Sub-Genre, while Sub-Genre is a subset of Genre. Recognizing data within a hierarchy is intuitive and simple. In a sparse hierarchy form of data, like the example above, the parent—the category that represents a collection of data points (e.g. Genre)—is identified to the left. In the case of an empty cell, the parent category is the previous (or above) line item. If all the cells were filled out, like in the example below, a Treemap or Sunburst chart can still be created.

Regardless of the format of your hierarchical data, you can create a Hierarchy Chart by clicking the Treemap or Sunburst icon on the Insert ribbon to reveal insights into your data.

Picking between Treemap and Sunburst

After getting acquainted with the concept of hierarchical data and the Treemap and Sunburst charts, you might wonder, “Why use one over the other?” The answers lie in what information you want to convey in the chart. Treemaps, by their rectangular nature, are better suited for comparison among hierarchical levels. Just in the way our minds differentiate size and shape, rectangles and straight lines are easier to compare than slices and angles. Treemaps are optimized to show lots of data, because it stretches to within its bounding box, whereas plotting a Sunburst is fitting a circular chart into any rectangular window. Space that could be used to tell a story with your data is lost in the corners.

When space is not an issue, Sunburst shines through by painting the full picture of the hierarchy and thereby illustrating the different depths of hierarchical groups. A Treemap loses the categories in the middle. Upon further analysis of the “Children’s Books” at the top-left of Treemap, the Sub-Genre of “Age 3-5” is not shown, whereas the Sunburst adds that additional layer of information in the same colored slice. From the Sunburst, we know “ABCs” and “Tolstoy for Tots” are grouped together under the “Age 3-5” parent group.

Sunburst also wins in adding the dimension of depth to each parent branch. The Sunburst unveils that the “Children’s Books” Genre has Sub-Genres that extend into specialty topics. In your work, use the uneven branching to emphasize and draw attention to a single slice, further teasing apart the contributions. For example, a sales report may want to highlight a specific month. A deeper look into that category will elicit more insights and naturally draws attention to your message.

Tips to create hierarchical charts

We want you to design beautiful charts that are intuitive and friendly. With that in mind, we grouped associations by color. Displaying all data labels—especially long ones—would give the illusion that your chart is uncomfortably bursting at the seams. So labels are automatically truncated or dropped off of the visual to produce an elegant, uncluttered look. Simply enlarge the size of the chart to add more information in a clean, measured way. The Sunburst on the right shows fewer data labels since there is less chart real estate to display information.

Treemap has the added benefit of adding parent labels—labels specific for calling out the largest parent groupings. To display these options, double-click anywhere on the Treemap, and the Formatting task pane appears on the right. Under the Series Options, you can snap and toggle between Overlapping and Banner, or have no parent labels at all.

The label options for Overlapping and Banner are shown below, respectively, for side-to-side comparison.

Your turn

Try out Treemap and Sunburst, along with the other new charts, in the Office 2016 Public Preview and create a look for your data unlike any other chart you have previously used in Office.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below.

—The Excel team

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Office 365 news roundup

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 13:35

Windows 10 is here! The best Windows yet, delivered as a service and kept automatically up-to-date with new innovations and security updates, launched last week as a free upgrade. As part of the launch, we also released the all new Office Mobile Apps for Windows 10. Customers in 190 countries can now download and install the apps from the new Windows Store and immediately start being more productive on the go. In conjunction with the launch, we also spelled out which capabilities in Windows 10 will benefit Office 365 admins.

Windows 10 is big news, but it’s not our only news. As part of our ongoing work to deliver the richest email and calendar experiences on the web, we announced an array of exciting updates to the web version of Outlook in Office 365. “Outlook on the web,” formerly known as the Outlook Web App (OWA for short), is getting an improved user interface (UI) and new features to help you work more efficiently, stay on top of your inbox, and do a better job of managing your calendar. We also launched Send, a new app designed for quick, brief, in-and-out email, similar to a text or instant message. Send is connected to Office 365, which means your conversations are synced with Outlook, letting you continue the conversation from anywhere. And just like regular email, you can message anyone with an email address.

In addition, we announced the general availability of Sway, the digital storytelling app that lets users create and share interactive reports, presentations, assignments, lessons, projects and more. We’ve started rolling out Sway to all eligible Office 365 business and education customers worldwide, and of course, any consumer can use Sway with a free Microsoft account. We also introduced Sway for Windows 10, along with new layout and publishing capabilities.

All of these innovations and improvements are part of our ongoing commitment to make Office 365 the best productivity solution for every device and every platform.

Below is a roundup of some key news items from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Review: Windows 10—Learn why you should upgrade to Windows 10, according to the editors of Wired.

Microsoft’s cloud bets pay off as Office 365 sees big growth—Find out how Office 365 is growing quickly and contributing to the company’s cloud strategy.

UL—product safety leader maintaining security and moving at the speed of innovation with Office 365—Find out why protecting customers’ intellectual property is UL information security director Robert Jamieson’s top priority—and how Office 365 helps him achieve that goal.

Adventist Health System boosts productivity with Office 365 ProPlus while complying with HIPAA—Discover how Office 365 helps this large healthcare organization stay productive, secure and compliant.

Office 365 joins IFTTT to automate routine tasks—Learn more about using IFTTT on Office 365.

Microsoft levels up web version of Outlook for business customers—Find out more about the changes, upgrades and improvements Microsoft has made to the web version of Outlook.

Souping up Office 365—Learn how Microsoft is continuing to improve Office 365.

The post Office 365 news roundup appeared first on Office Blogs.

Catalent—pharmaceutical tech company boosts global efficiency, productivity with Office 365

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 09:00

Catalent, a global pharmaceutical technology company, is undergoing a transformation from a collection of 30 semi-autonomous sites to an increasingly productive, cohesive global organization. One reason is that Catalent deployed Microsoft Office 365 to build a faster, more productive and interconnected work environment. Today, employees are using Office 365 communication and collaboration services to drive engagement, expedite clinical trials, improve customer service, and build a competitive advantage.

“Imagine the communications required to organize the 150,000 clinical shipments that we deliver to 80 countries every year, or the coordination required to successfully deliver the 70 billion doses that we manufacture annually. The more seamless the communication and collaboration among global sites, the more we can build our competitive advantage—that’s the value we are getting from Office 365.” —Michael Del Priore, senior vice president and chief information officer at Catalent

Read the Office 365 case study from Catalent.

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School administrators, get your Staff Notebook at My Apps or OneNote.com/staffnotebookedu

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 09:00

Back in May, we announced the summer rollout of a number of top requested features for OneNote Class Notebooks, OneNote Staff Notebooks, and OneNote across platforms to Office 365 customers. As part of this rollout, Office 365 Education customers with E1 or E3 plans can now easily access the OneNote Staff Notebook app on their My Apps page in the App Launcher or through a simple link with additional resources at onenote.com/staffnotebookedu. The app is also now available globally in 35 languages across 51 markets. Support for right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are coming soon.

Use OneNote Staff Notebook to cultivate and manage educator collaboration

OneNote Staff Notebooks have a personal workspace for every staff member or teacher, a content library for shared information, and a collaboration space for everyone to work together—all within one powerful notebook. With OneNote Staff Notebooks, administrators and teachers can save time, be more organized and collaborate effectively. You can read how one principal in the UK, Andrew Howard, is streamlining administration by using OneNote Staff Notebook in his school, Sandymoor School.

Finding the OneNote Staff Notebooks is now much easier

We made it much easier for administrators to discover the OneNote Staff Notebook app by adding it to your My Apps page. Creating Staff Notebooks is now as easy as signing in to Office 365 and going to the My Apps page in the App Launcher.

1. Sign in to Office 365 and click the App Launcher.

2. Click My Apps and you will see the OneNote Staff Notebook app in the list of Office 365 apps.

You can learn more about OneNote Staff Notebooks at www.onenote.com/staffnotebookedu, where you will find videos, descriptions and interactive guides. You can also sign in and start creating your Staff Notebooks on this website.

What’s next for OneNote Staff Notebooks?

As we mentioned in our blog post last month, we have more changes coming before next year. Stay tuned on this OneNote in Education blog and follow us on Twitter at @OneNoteEDU to stay informed on everything. Let us know if you have questions in the comments or by emailing us at OneNoteEDU@microsoft.com. Submit other feature requests on our feedback and suggestions site, which we use to prioritize our next round of improvements to make you and your students’ lives easier for next school year.

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What’s new in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac?

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 09:00

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac is now available and we want to show you how it can help you present your ideas. While PowerPoint 2016 for Mac includes hundreds of improvements and changes, today we are going to look at some of the features that improve the look of your presentations and discuss new presentation and collaboration features.

Theme Variants feature

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac includes the theme Variants feature—providing you a simple way to switch between various color schemes and designs for your selected theme. Just click a Variant to see how it will look in your presentation. Every theme included with PowerPoint for Mac 2016 includes Variants, giving you even more design options for your presentation.

New Format Options pane

The new Format Options pane places all the Format properties right next to your content. As you adjust values, you can see your changes in the slide. This lets you quickly try different shape and text options to see what works best for your content.

Redesigned Animations pane

The Animations pane was redesigned for PowerPoint 2016 for Mac—bringing the power of the rich animation engine right next to your content. This allows for rapid changes and experimentation, helping you build both simple and complex animations more quickly and easily.

Improved media experience

As we modernized the Office 2016 for Mac suite, we also improved the performance of our media playback engine. Using the latest Apple technologies, your embedded media will play back smoothly and reliably.

Introducing the Comments pane

Gone are the days of adding shapes to act as comments when collaborating with others. With the new Comment pane, you can add and reply to comments right next to your slides—allowing you to easily track discussion threads.

Updated co-authoring conflict resolution

Occasionally, as you collaborate on the same presentations with your colleagues in real time (yes, PowerPoint allows real-time collaboration!), you may encounter conflicts. PowerPoint 2016 for Mac includes an improved experience to help you evaluate and resolve the conflicts, so you can get back to your work quickly and with confidence.

Improved Presenter View

Once your presentation is ready to go, the improved Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac offers you more tools with an improved layout, leaving you in complete control. Take and read speaker notes, move between slides in the Thumbnail pane, and even resize each piece to fit your needs. We’ll remember where you had everything when you come back.

But that certainly isn’t all! In addition to hundreds of other changes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, the Office 2016 for Mac suite includes a number of great updates including an updated ribbon and keyboard shortcuts familiar to Windows users. Office 2016 for Mac is also fully cloud-connected, looks great on Retina displays, and includes richer collaboration and sharing tools. See what’s new in Office 2016 for Mac.

More than ever, the PowerPoint team is listening to your feedback and regularly updating the app for Office 365 subscribers. The best way to provide your feedback is to click the smiley face icon in the upper right corner to tell us what you like or don’t like.

What are you waiting for? Download Office 2016 for Mac now! If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you can start a free 30-day trial today.

—Derek Johnson, senior program manager for the PowerPoint team

The post What’s new in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac? appeared first on Office Blogs.

Episode 057 with Jim Epes on the App Awards—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 09:00

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Jim Epes on the App Awards from the Worldwide Partner Conference.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP57_AppAwards.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates Show notes

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network.

The podcast RSS is available iTunes or search for it on “Office 365 Developer Podcast” or add directly with the RSS http://feeds.feedburner.com/Office365DeveloperPodcast.

About Jim Epes

Office marketer with nine years’ experience at Microsoft, including several with the Windows Hardware team and five with Office Product Planning and Marketing, focused on Office 365 and the developer ecosystem. Jim oversees the app developer Go To Market, Office Store and various onboarding programs, including the Office Developer NDA Preview Program, Cloud Storage Program and liaison to the developer evangelism (DX) team. He has an MBA from the University of Washington, masters’ training at UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s from Duke.

About the hosts

Jeremy is a technical product manager at Microsoft responsible for the Visual Studio Developer story for Office 365 development. Previously he worked at AvePoint Inc., a large ISV, as the chief architect shipping two apps to the Office Store. He has been heavily involved in the SharePoint community since 2006 and was awarded the SharePoint MVP award four years in a row before retiring the title to move to Microsoft. You can find Jeremy blogging at www.jeremythake.com and tweeting at @jthake.

 

Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and frequent speaker are worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at www.richdizz.com, and can be found on Twitter at @richdizz. Richard was born, raised and based in Dallas, TX, but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. In his spare time, Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician and lightning-fast runner.

Useful links

The post Episode 057 with Jim Epes on the App Awards—Office 365 Developer Podcast appeared first on Office Blogs.

New productivity apps for you to wear

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 08:43

You know the feeling—you’re close to a critical deadline, working hard to finish that report, app or blog post (ahem). You are jogging in the morning, managing meetings or juggling life—but you still can’t afford to miss key inputs that could risk your project, or your day. In this highly connected mobile world, you must remain focused and deliver on time.

Wearables are an emerging type of device that promises to be always with you and provide relevant, personal notifications to keep you focused—through simple, natural and brief interactions. These context-aware devices become work companions, health advisors and even intelligent assistants. It’s a field still in formation, and with more than one-third of online U.S. adults reporting using a wearable device1, one that has the potential to help us do more in life and work.

Over the past months, we’ve delivered a number of experiences on wearables: OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, Skype, Yammer, as well as some from our newly joined Sunrise and Wunderlist teams. You even have Cortana on your Microsoft Band!

Today we’re launching a new round of Wearable Productivity apps, as part of our quest to reinvent productivity on all platforms. Check out all our new and updated wearable apps below!

Outlook for Apple Watch—reply, schedule and archive right from your wrist

The all-new Outlook for Apple Watch is an extension of the Outlook you know and love—helping you keep up to speed with your emails, your calendar and your life. You’ll never miss what’s important with Focused Inbox Watch notifications. And browse and read full emails right from your wrist—even take action immediately by archiving, deleting, flagging or scheduling them to appear later. We’ve also added Quick Replies, with pre-written responses and voice dictation for a more personal touch. Finally, you can see unread emails and your next calendar appointment on the Glance screen. It’s never been easier to manage your work and life. Get Outlook for iOS devices now.

Reply, voice-dictate, schedule and more with Outlook for Apple Watch.

Wunderlist for Apple Watch gets Quick Add magic

It’s now even easier to capture your ideas on the go with Wunderlist. Say hello to Quick Add on Wunderlist for Apple Watch. Simply open the app, Force Touch and say, “Call the new clients tomorrow at 10 a.m.” Wunderlist works its magic and creates the to-do item and automatically adds a Due Date and Reminder. We’ve also redesigned Wunderlist’s Glance to help you be even more productive throughout your day by showing you up to four to-dos on your agenda. Get Wunderlist for iOS devices now.

Use your voice to quickly add new tasks on Wunderlist for Apple Watch. Magic.

Yammer for Apple Watch—coming soon to unleash Handoff

Yammer for Apple Watch helps you to stay on top of your most important conversations and activities at a glance and take quick action so you have fewer to-dos at the end of the day. You’ll be notified instantly of Yammer announcements or updates to relevant conversations. Then tap your Apple Watch to Like, Mark as Unread, or View on Phone to continue working on your iPhone. And with Glances, you’ll get a quick view of the number of unread messages and notifications. Look out for Apple Watch support coming soon to Yammer for iOS.

Start collaborating on Yammer for Apple Watch. And with just one tap, continue on your iPhone.

Microsoft Translator for Apple Watch and Android Wear—talking with your hands never made so much sense

With the all-new Microsoft Translator for Apple Watch and Android Wear, just speak into your watch to get instant translations in 50 languages. You can translate even faster by pinning your most commonly used translations and settings to your watch screen for easy access, and browse your history of recently used phrases. The companion apps for iPhone and Android let you manage your settings and translate right from your phone or when you prefer to translate typed text. Get Translator for iOS devices or Translator for Android devices now.

Talk into your watch. Translate into 50 languages with Microsoft Translator. Instantly.

OneDrive for Android Wear—your recent memories always on time

The new OneDrive for Android Wear brings many improvements. Among the highlights, with the new OneDrive watch face, every time you activate your watch, you’ll see a great photo from the last 30 days. It’s a fun way to personalize your watch with new photos rotating through every month. And with OneDrive notifications on your watch, you’ll always be up-to-date on edits made to shared documents. Get OneDrive for Android devices now.

OneNote for Android Wear—redesigned to let you say, see and do more

With OneNote for Android Wear on your wrist, it’s now even easier to stay organized and keep track of your notes. You spoke, we listened. Now, in addition to dictating a new note with the ease of saying “Ok Google, take a note,” you can see your most recently viewed notes right on your watch. No more balancing acts are needed between your phone and whatever else is keeping your hands full. Get OneNote for Android devices now.

Just say “Ok Google, take a note” to start dictating a new note instantly.

All our Wearable Productivity apps are in fashion year-round

So keep moving and start wearing our productivity apps now. We have one for every dress code, weather and time of year—pick one or many, and be more productive at life and work.

Carlos Bohórquez Marín, product manager for the Modern Collaboration team

 

1Forrester Research, Inc., North American Consumer Technographics Consumer Technology Survey, 2015

Apple Watch, iPhone and iOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android and Android Wear are trademarks of Google Inc.

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Learning and sharing information with our PowerPoint customers

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 08:00

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella often talks about the importance of product teams being customer obsessed and the PowerPoint team loves this strategy. We’ve been doing lots of customer visits, talking to people from all over the world, and most importantly, learning about who our customers are and how they use PowerPoint. But we also believe that being truly customer obsessed means going beyond just learning about our customers. We want to make this a two-way street where we share more about building PowerPoint and you provide us with feedback to make PowerPoint even better. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do with this blog.

Our goal is to make the PowerPoint blog the go-to place for our team to share relevant information that is valuable and of interest to you—our customers. We want to help you discover the wide range of capabilities that PowerPoint has to offer, share tips and tricks to become more efficient, and highlight features to help you create and deliver beautiful and powerful presentations. You will have the opportunity to get some behind-the-scenes insights into our processes and decision making. Periodically we’ll invite other internal Microsoft teams and external guests to contribute to the blog to give you the most comprehensive picture of PowerPoint possible.

Going forward, the PowerPoint engineering team will be much more actively involved in this blog. And after spending almost two years taking PowerPoint to multiple platforms—now available on Windows, Apple and Android platforms—and getting PowerPoint on popular devices, we have a ton to share. Starting next week, Derek Johnson, senior program manager for the PowerPoint team, will share his thoughts on what’s new in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. Next, we will follow up with a post from Jeffrey Chen, principal program manager, also on the PowerPoint team, who will cover the PowerPoint Mobile app for Windows 10.

We look forward to using this blog as a tool to continue a productive and fun two-way conversation with our customers. The product team will monitor and reply to comments on our blog and also on our powerpoint.uservoice.com site, where you can make suggestions on new features you would like us to build.

—Shawn Villaron, group program manager for the PowerPoint team

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Announcing Sway General Availability, Windows 10 app and more!

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 07:00

Today, we are excited to announce that our digital storytelling app, Sway, is moving from Preview to General Availability! Sway is also moving beyond First Release and rolling out to all eligible Office 365 for business and education customers worldwide.* This makes it possible for many additional businesses, schools and other organizations to start using Sway to create and share interactive reports, presentations, assignments, lessons, projects and more. And of course, any consumer can use Sway with a free Microsoft account. Today, we are also introducing Sway for Windows 10, along with new layout and publishing capabilities.

We introduced Sway as a member of the Office family 10 months ago. Sway helps you create professional designs in minutes. You bring your ideas and raw content, and Sway’s intelligent design engine creates a polished, cohesive layout that helps your images, text, videos and other media flow together in a way that enhances your story. Sway makes sure your creations look great no matter what device they’re being viewed on—phones, tablets, laptops, PCs or even the largest Microsoft Surface Hub!

During Sway Preview, we’ve learned from the hundreds of thousands of amazing Sways you’ve built. Your invaluable feedback has helped us improve Sway to meet your needs—from adding fundamentals like multi-user collaboration, to the very “Sway” way we addressed photo cropping.

Sway for Windows 10 is now available

Sway for Windows 10 is now rolling out to the Windows Store. Sway for Windows combines the full richness of Sway on the web with additional capabilities on your PC or tablet.** This means you can use all of Sway’s integrated content sources along with the power of the built-in design engine to build, edit and share your Sways, whether you’re on the go with your Windows tablet or working at your desk with a PC or laptop. Want to capture the moment? Snap photos right into Sway using the built-in camera on your Windows device. And if you’re ready to present at a conference or to students and classmates, the Sways you’ve already loaded will be available offline when you don’t have Internet access or Wi-Fi is spotty. While some elements of your Sway may still need the Internet (such as interactive maps or cloud-hosted videos), this is a first step in addressing one of the most common feedback requests we heard during Sway Preview. Sway for Windows also allows you to stay logged in with multiple accounts at once if you use the same device for both work and home.

Sway for Windows offers a rich, consistent experience that integrates with your PC/tablet.

This initial release of Sway on Windows 10 is for PCs and tablets. We’re working on Sway for Windows Phones, which will arrive in the coming months. Stay tuned for more!

Present with confidence

Sway’s built-in design engine makes sure your creations look great not only on any device they’re viewed on but in whatever layout you’ve chosen as well. Sway already offers vertical scrolling and horizontal panning layouts where your content flows continuously as you swipe. One of the most popular requests we heard during Sway Preview was for another layout that lets you better control the timing of when content is revealed, particularly for presentation scenarios.

So, today we’re rolling out a new layout in the Navigation pane, which displays groupings of content (images, text, videos, tweets, etc.) one screen at a time. Whether it’s a few words with a knockout background image, a set of images and supporting bullet points, or a cluster of interactive elements, now you can deliver a killer presentation in-person or for viewing across many devices. Check out this interactive example:

Sway now has a layout for grouping collections of content, one screen at a time.

Share your Sways with the world using Docs.com

You’ve also been asking for a place where you can publish collections of your Sways to share with friends, fans and the rest of the Internet community. We’re excited to announce that with just a tap or click of the Share button, you can now choose to publish Sways directly to the newly relaunched Docs.com, an Internet destination to publish Office documents in full fidelity for the world to find, browse and share. Along with adding support for Sway, we’ve also improved the overall Docs.com experience for publishing, managing and consuming content.

Docs.com lets you organize your Sways and other Office content into collections. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office Mix files are displayed interactively and with full fidelity. You can also add PDFs and web links. Create a stylish Docs.com profile page using a Sway to share more about your passions and expertise. On Docs.com, Sways, documents, collections or profiles can be discovered by search engines, browsed on Docs.com, and shared in social media or on the web. Docs.com provides data on how many views you’re getting, and it’s easy for anybody viewing your Docs.com files to add comments and discover your other published work as well.

With just a tap or click, you can publish your Sways to Docs.com for the world to find, browse and share.

Sway is being used by so many people in such amazing ways

It’s been wonderful to see people use Sway in ways we anticipated, and it’s been incredible to watch them use Sway in really cool and inspiring ways we hadn’t even imagined.

For example, teachers have been using Sway to reimagine class lessons, recap class projects, provide supplemental material for parents, provide new accessible storytelling tools to their students and more. Sway has helped students breathe new life into school projects, class reports and even personal portfolios. Sway is helping even the youngest students become “active producers of their own original content” at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas (BFI), a local non-profit after-school program in Seattle. Watch this video to learn more:

As Sue from BFI explains, with Sway, students are “learning without realizing they’re learning, which is […] the gold standard.”

In business, professionals have been using Sway to save time at work and easily create engaging, eye-catching interactive reports, presentations, newsletters, trainings and more. Sway can help you showcase a custom solution your IT services company built or demonstrate your industry thought leadership. Use Sway’s new format to blog publicly or share expense report training with your employees. Pitch prospective clients or attract customers with marketing materials that stand out and flow responsively across devices. Here at Microsoft we’re using Sway ourselves for internal trip reports, presentations, newsletters, corporate storytelling pieces and more—we even used Sway to share and collaborate on our plans for today’s announcements!

Check out the following video on how Sway has helped the interaction design firm Potion work together with clients and show off their work in new ways:

Potion Design Principal, Phillip Tiongson, explains how his firm uses Sway professionally.

As you can see in the video below about singer/songwriter Daria Musk, Sway has been a hit with musicians as well as digital artists and creatives of all sorts to combine mixed multimedia in a living digital collage or virtual portfolio that is easy to share with others. Sway has been helping talented and passionate hobbyists, foodies, travelers and even families stay in touch, share their adventures, and highlight their pursuits in meaningful new ways!

Singer/songwriter Daria Musk demonstrates how she uses Sway creatively to make a “living, breathing mood board” for her music.

Get started with Sway today

Professionals, teachers, students and consumers can all get started right away using your work, school or Microsoft accounts to log in to Sway.com, the new Sway for Windows 10 or updated Sway for iPhone and iPad. Sway is also integrated into the web-based Office Online, so it’s easy to switch between Sway and other familiar Office apps and Office 365 services in your browser and at Office.com.

Quickly access Sway alongside your other Office 365 apps and services and at Office.com (not shown).

Sway Preview has been an amazing journey over the last 10 months, but in many ways the journey really gets going today. We’ll keep listening to your feedback and rapidly update the product with your help. Drop us a line on UserVoice to let us know what you think of Sway, how you use it, and how you’d like to see it improve!

—Sway team, @Sway

Get Sway | Follow Sway

 

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.

**Sway for Windows is now available in 214 markets: Åland Islands, Albania, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Republic of Congo, Congo (DRC), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Fiji Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Channel Islands – Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Channel Islands – Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau SAR, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sint Maarten (Dutch part), Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Saint Helena, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, United States Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The post Announcing Sway General Availability, Windows 10 app and more! appeared first on Office Blogs.

Introducing the Waterfall chart—a deep dive to a more streamlined chart

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 12:35

Last month, we introduced six new chart types that will be available as part of Office 2016. Today, we will show you how to take advantage of the Waterfall chart, one of the most popular visualization tools used in small and large businesses. With this new chart, what used to take complicated and multiple iterative steps can now be done in a few quick clicks. And since the Waterfall chart is built natively into Excel, you automatically get all the rich and intuitive customization, styling and formatting capabilities you’ve come to expect with the Excel charts.

Waterfall charts are ideal for showing how you have arrived at a net value, by breaking down the cumulative effect of positive and negative contributions. This is very helpful for many different scenarios, from visualizing financial statements to navigating data about population, births and deaths.

We added the sample workbook used to create the charts, which you can download here.

Getting started with the Waterfall chart

A classic example for Waterfall charts is visualizing financial statements. The example below illustrates how a Waterfall chart can visually display an income statement, also known as a profit and loss statement:

There are multiple ways to insert a Waterfall chart into your worksheet: the Recommended Charts tab and the All Charts tab. You can also insert a Waterfall chart directly from the ribbon.

Using the Recommended Charts feature in Excel helps you find the most effective and visually aesthetic chart for your data. Based on the range of data you have selected, the Recommended Charts feature suggests the charts that will best display your data. The Waterfall chart is recommended when the data has a column of category text, a mix of positive and negative values, and no more than a few empty value cells. The ideal dataset size for recommending charts is anywhere between 8 to 20 values, and given its most popular use case of financial statements, currency-formatted data will favor Waterfall charts. In this example, the parenthetical notation, i.e. ($2,412), is a variation of our currency formatting and denotes a negative value, -$2412.

To start, select your data and then under the Insert tab click the Recommended Charts button. The list of recommended charts is displayed. Select the Waterfall recommendation to preview the chart with your selected data.

The All Charts tab allows direct insertion of Waterfall charts.

You can also use the ribbon to insert the Waterfall chart regardless of the data’s characteristics. Because we know that this is a popular chart, we dedicated a spot in the Chart gallery with a Waterfall icon. Additionally, Stock Charts are also available under this drop-down because of the financial context associated with both chart types.

After the new Waterfall chart is created, notice that the order in which your data is shown in your table is preserved in the chart. In this example, Gross Revenue will always be the first column since it is the first data point, followed by Rev Adjustments, and so on, until Net Income—the last data point and therefore the last column.

Using subtotals as a visual checkpoint in the chart

To truly make our Waterfall chart understandable, we want to set subtotals of certain accounts. Subtotals, in this case, denote balances. In any Waterfall chart, you might set a subtotal to show the absolute value rather than as a floating value relative to the previous column. In this example, the line item accounts—Net Revenue, Gross Income, Operating Income and Net Income—are all totals that behave like checkpoints in understanding our financial statement. Currently the chart characterizes these accounts as increasing cash inflow, resulting in a positive skew.

To set a subtotal, right click the data point and select Set as Total from the list of menu options. We designed Waterfall charts so customers never have to make edits to their data in the Excel worksheet. Everything can be done in the chart.

Any column can be set as a total, but if the previous columns do not add or subtract to this total, then the connector line—the line bridging each column—will not be flat, rather resulting in a slanted or skewed connector line. The Waterfall chart’s effectiveness lies in the trust that all the accounts and columns will ultimately be balanced. If a column is mistakenly set as a total, the steps to correct the chart are the same as setting a total. Select the incorrect total column, and when it is the only item selected, right click and then click Clear Total. The example below shows a skewed connector line and how to clear the total to correct it.

After adding subtotals, we can easily see the breakdown between Gross Revenue to Net Revenue, or Net Revenue to Gross Income, and so on. Setting subtotals makes your visualization cleaner and easier to read and digest.

Customizing for maximum impact

Depending on the context of your chart, you may want to change the colors of the different types of values to bring more clarity and impact to the chart details that are most important. For example, in most financial contexts, the color red signifies loss in cash or assets. One way to change the chart’s color is on the Design tab, by opening the Change Colors gallery. Here you can select a color scheme that is automatically populated with themes suited to your document.

If you’d like to customize which colors correspond to Increase, Decrease or Total, you can rearrange the palette on the Page Layout tab and then click the Change Colors button in the Themes group. At the bottom of the gallery, select the option Customize Colors to open the Create New Theme Colors gallery. From there you can select the Accent 1, 2, 3, etc. colors to change your chart colors. However, keep in mind any changes will affect the entire theme of the document beyond the chart—including other charts you may have created in the workbook.

Data labels is another visual tool as part of your Waterfall chart that can be customized to help improve effectiveness. By default, we designed data labels so they are added in the direction of the column, which intuitively follows the progression of the Waterfall chart. However, if you prefer a more minimalistic chart, it is easy to remove the data labels—just click on any of them and press delete or backspace. You can additionally remove only select data labels by clicking twice, to focus on one data label, and press delete or backspace. The end result creates a Waterfall chart that only emphasizes the important points.

Using the Waterfall chart beyond financial analysis

The Waterfall chart can apply beyond the financial context. The chart is also perfect for highlighting the positive and negative contributions that ultimately derive the net value or outcome of any data. Below is an example of using the waterfall chart to effectively visualize year-over-year population changes by plotting the births and deaths, along with the net growth.

Data for year-over-year changes in population

After quickly setting all population category items as subtotals, we now have an effective visualization, which easily depicts the contributions of births and deaths to the total population. The Waterfall chart adds another layer of information beyond what a typical clustered column chart would show.

Get started now!

We’ve shown you just two examples of Waterfall charts and there are many more relevant features waiting to be explored. Download the public preview of Office 2016 for Windows to try the new chart types in Excel now.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below.

The post Introducing the Waterfall chart—a deep dive to a more streamlined chart appeared first on Office Blogs.

New features coming to Outlook on the web

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 09:00

Today, we are happy to announce exciting updates coming to the web version of Outlook in Office 365. As part of our ongoing work to deliver the richest email and calendar experiences on the web, we are rolling out an improved user interface (UI) and new features that help you be more efficient, stay on top of your inbox, and better manage your calendar. Formerly known as the Outlook Web App (or OWA for short), our browser-based Outlook experience will simply be referred to as “Outlook on the web” going forward. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new.

A cleaner look for greater efficiency

Outlook on the web now sports a simplified, cleaner UI to help you work more efficiently. This starts with the new action bar available across our Mail, Calendar, People and Task experiences in Outlook on the web. The Action toolbar provides quick access to the most common commands, whether you are clearing out your inbox, replying to an email, or adding an event to your calendar.

We made a number of tweaks and improvements throughout the UI for a cleaner look. The email subject line is larger and more prominent, and messages in the reading pane are now indented for easier reading. In Calendar, more prominent buttons make creating a new meeting request straightforward and navigation of your calendar simpler.

The new unified Action toolbar (highlighted in orange) spans Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks and provides quick access to the most commonly used commands, including search.

Stay on top of your inbox

We’ve added new tools to help you sort through your email and identify the most important items to tackle first.

  • Pin—You can now pin any message in your inbox to have it highlighted in yellow and kept at the top of your inbox. Pins are a terrific way to keep important messages handy and prevent them from getting buried in your inbox.

Pinned messages are kept at the top of your inbox and easily identified with a yellow highlight.

  • Sweep—Sweep provides a simple set of actions to manage emails from specific senders. It is great for managing reoccurring messages like newsletters, digital coupons, and other email received on a regular basis. With Sweep, you can choose to keep messages from a specific sender for a specified number of days, only keep the latest message, or delete all messages from the sender. This feature first debuted as part of our consumer Outlook.com email service—and we are excited to bring it to Office 365 customers!
  • Archive—One-click archiving allows you to quickly move messages out of the inbox to a folder of your choice.
  • Undo—We included a dedicated Undo button so you can quickly undo unintended actions with a single click.
  • Improved single line view—If you prefer the single line message view over the traditional reading pane, Outlook on the web now includes a preview of the message contents in-line with the subject. In addition, you can now perform common actions in bulk, which makes managing your inbox not only easier, but also a lot faster.
  • Immersive reading pane—When in single line view, clicking a message now displays the message in the same window—no pop-up or separate windows!

With the preview pane turned off, the single line view of your inbox now provides a preview of the message contents to quickly scan your inbox. Messages you want to read can be opened with a single click.

Craft visually engaging emails

Expressing yourself in email has never been easier—or more fun! Outlook on the web now provides the ability to easily resize images, add custom borders, apply shadow effects, rotate images and more. We’ve also added a full set of emojis to help you better express yourself.

New image formatting tools make it easier to tell your story in pictures.

Finding the people you want to reach has also been improved. When you place your cursor on the recipient line (To, Cc, Bcc), Outlook on the web shows a list of the most common people and distribution groups you have been emailing. As you type, the list of recipients is automatically refined to filter only those matching your search. The list of common recipients is intelligent and adapts as the people you email changes over time.

As you add recipients, Outlook on the web suggests people and distribution groups that you most commonly email.

Better ways to manage your calendar

Planning your schedule can be tough—so we’ve made improvements to Calendar to help you manage both your work and personal life. One of these improvements is a five-day weather forecast included right in your calendar. Icons next to each day give you a quick look at the forecast; simply click one to see a more detailed view. Never be without your umbrella again!

In addition to the traditional color-coding approach, Calendar now supports charms—icons you can apply to Calendar items as visual cues that help you quickly identify specific types of events. Add an airplane charm to an upcoming flight, a knife and fork for a business dinner, or a music note for a piano class. There are a number of charms to choose from, and once added, each charm appears in the lower right corner of the calendar event.

Calendar now includes a five-day weather forecast and charms.

In addition to weather and charms, additional features in the Calendar experience include:

  • Email reminders—You can create email reminders for any Calendar event. You can specify the recipient list, include a quick message, and set the day and time you want the email reminder to be sent. This is a great feature to keep everyone updated on important items and deliverables.
  • Birthday and Holiday calendars—We created Birthday and Holiday calendars to help you easily manage your work and personal life. These calendars can be overlaid across your work calendar or viewed separately.
A better mobile browser experience

To deliver outstanding email and calendar experiences on Windows Phone, iOS and Android, we built the mobile Outlook apps to deeply integrate with these platforms. But occasionally users need to interact with their Office 365 email without installing an app—for example, when they are borrowing a friend’s phone. They can do this by signing in at outlook.office365.com from the device’s mobile browser.

To enhance this mobile browsing experience, we’ve made a number of UI and navigational improvements, including:

  • Updates to closer resemble the UI look of Outlook apps on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  • Improved navigation for switching between Mail, Calendar and People.
  • More prominent search command.
  • Ability to switch between emails without returning to the message list.
  • Time strip updated to show the full week within the calendar.
  • Improved UI for creating new events and using the scheduling assistant in Calendar.
Your voice, loud and clear

In addition to the new features we’re announcing today, we’re making it easier for you to provide feedback to us. We want to foster an ongoing conversation by giving you a direct line of communication to the team that builds Outlook on the web, while also providing you the opportunity to see what other users are saying.

With the rollout we’ll be adding an Outlook on the web forum to Outlook UserVoice, where you can share your feedback, recommend features and vote for the ideas you like best. Joining the conversation in the updated web experience is easy—just click Feedback under the gear icon and add your suggestion without leaving your inbox.

Rollout of these changes

Users with an Office 365 plan that includes Exchange Online and have opted into our First Release program will begin seeing these updates today, while the rest will begin receiving these updates the first week of September.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What Office 365 plans are receiving these updates?

A. Any Office 365 plan that includes Exchange Online (e.g. Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Business Essentials), including commercial, academic and government plans.

Q. Does anything change in how I access my email through the web?

A. No, your email address, sign in page, emails, calendar and contacts will not be affected. You will simply have a richer interface and additional features.

Q. Can I delay receiving the new updates or go back to the old experience?

A. No, to enable us to fulfill our commitment to continually improve our products, these enhancements to the product cannot be delayed or rolled back.

Q. Is the updated Outlook on the web UI available for my tablet?

A. Our Outlook apps provide the best email and calendar experiences on tablets. The improved mobile browser experience is currently only available from smartphone browsers (iPhone, Android and Windows Phone). We will be updating the tablet UI at a future point in time.

—The Outlook Team

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