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Microsoft's Office 365 is one of the most popular productivity and business services software packages out there, and with good reason.
Each month, Microsoft issues a batch of updates designed to make your experiences with Office 365 even more streamlined and useful. Following the suite of updates released in April, it's now time to take a look at the new features which were added to Office 365 this month.
From new data types available in Excel to the brand-new Microsoft Score security function, it's been a strong month for Office 365. Here's a round-up of some of what's new.
One of the major Office 365 updates for May is the improved "Insights" function in Excel. Microsoft has harnessed machine learning capabilities to automatically pick out trends in inputted data, which means that you will need to spend less time attempting to identify patterns manually. This new function can be accessed from the "Insert" ribbon at the top of the Excel interface.
This month's updates also bring an increased range of data types to the table, all with their own benefits and advantages. The "Geography" data type, for example, can associate inputted data with certain information repositories for your convenience. When entering a country, for example, Excel can now associate an automatically pre-loaded data card with information about that nation, ranging from its political makeup to its currency.
When using the search function in the top left-hand corner of SharePoint, the results are now fully personalised to you. Whether you're searching for particular individuals, particular files or something else, this new feature makes it easier to locate the item you want.
Previously, any tasks you loaded into the teamwork tool Microsoft Planner didn't automatically move across into your own Calendar. Now, you can arrange for entries to be moved from Planner to Calendar simply and easily.
The aim of this is to harmonise your schedule organisation functions and to ensure that any approaching deadlines are treated as significant events. To set this up, head over to the "My tasks" button in Planner and then click on the three dots at the top of the page. The option to move tasks into your Calendar will now appear.
Until recently, the security score accessible to users upon logging in to Office 365 covered only the security of that particular platform.
Now, the Office 365 security score feature has been combined with a wider Windows security score too. The new service - named Microsoft Score - can be seen when logging in to Office 365, and allows users to enjoy a more comprehensive insight into how their entire Windows ecosystem is performing security-wise.
In addition, Microsoft Score allows users to contrast their own security performance with that of their wider industry, including the average score for other companies in their sector as well as the average across the whole Office 365 user base.
A handy new feature for those who regularly send and receive emails using Outlook is the "Prompt before reply" function.
When you receive an email into which you were BCC'd (blind carbon copied), it may make sense - for reasons of discretion - to avoid "replying all" to the email, as it reveals the fact that you were included.
However, it's easily done by accident - which means there's potential for embarrassment. With the new prompt feature, Outlook will automatically inform you if you're in this situation and are about to hit "Send".
Office Insider users, meanwhile, will benefit from a new feature which allows you to listen to your received messages rather than read them. If you're busy, for example, Outlook can help you to multitask by letting you hear your emails read aloud while you read something else with your eyes. You can set up this feature by heading to the "Ease of Access" section in the Outlook Options panel.
For the full monthly update from Microsoft, take a look here:
If you’d like more information on Office 365, why not take a look at our free Definitive Guide?
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