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New and exciting features in Microsoft 365

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Ashton Mortimer

Ashton Mortimer

Microsoft have over 1 billion users of Office worldwide, whether it is using Word for the odd document or using multiple applications to run your business, but you may have missed some new updates and features to help streamline your Office experience.

MICROSOFT LISTS

Released in the summer of 2020, Microsoft Lists launched as an upgrade to SharePoint Lists. Many businesses will be familiar with SharePoint Lists, but if you are not, Lists is used to help organise your company’s information. However, Lists is not to be confused with ‘To Do’ which is more like Lists for the consumer, not businesses.

Lists is fully compatible with ALL 365 services, such as Word, Excel, Outlook and Database and is also available as an integration to Microsoft Teams. It allows you to use ‘quick list templates’, configurable colour formatting, alerts, and processes to allow you to track issues, assets, contacts, and inventory.

Much like Outlook’s rules to sort spam and other types of emails, Lists allows the User to set rules using ‘if this, then that’ scenarios; you will also be able to attach notifications and apply values to said rules, to update you when values change.

Microsoft Lists will also integrate with your company’s Power Platform, allowing you to make custom list forms with Power Apps and workflows in Power Automate. Power Apps give you the ability to build an app for whatever your needs are either using one of their ready-made templates or build from scratch. Best thing is you won’t need any coding experience allowing you to customise your app to your business needs. Power Automate gives you the power to automate business processes, send automatic reminders of overdue tasks, move your business data between systems, connect to nearly 300 data sources and automate tasks on your PC e.g., computing data in Excel.

EXCEL UPDATES

If you aren’t aware of Excel and haven’t seen all the fancy things you can do with your data in Excel. Now, Microsoft have released some new features to allow you to further analyse your data.

Money in Excel is a new feature that is designed to reduce the need for inputting finance records. Money in Excel offers a secure link to your bank account or credit card, automatically importing to a selected Spreadsheet, eliminating the need for tedious data entry.

This feature is currently rolled out in the US for testing and will soon be available in the UK.

Then we have Ideas in Excel. This feature allows you to gain better insights about your data. Simply highlight a section of your data and click the button and Excel will give you details about what it has noticed about your data.

You can take this feature a step further and ask Excel questions about your data, allowing it to come back to you with pre-built tables, charts or PivotTables that can easily be added to your Spreadsheet.

APPLICATION GUARD

Chances are that your IT partner has told you to be aware of the risks that come with opening potentially dangerous files and the risk of accidentally downloading malware and harming your network.

Application Guard for Office intervenes with these ‘risky files’ and places them in a secure area, completely detached from the rest of your PC and Network.

With this new update, Application Guard allows you to freely edit, print and save files without ever needing to take them out of the secure area.

TRANSCRIBE AND DICTATE

In August last year, the features Transcribe, and Dictate were released for Microsoft Word. These features will have automatically applied themselves into a drop-down menu under the ‘Voice’ section of your Home tab.

Transcribe allows you to use audio to create text that you can copy and paste into your document. If you already have the text you wish to transcribe, you can also upload .mp3, .wav, .mp4, or .m4a into Transcribe and it will create the text in the side box ready for you. It allows you to use up to 300 minutes of audio.

Dictate is a feature that lets you give Word verbal commands. You can tell it to ‘bold that last line’ or say what you need to say the command at the end, eg. ‘your text here, new line’ and Dictate will type ‘your text here’ and then move to the next line.

And there you have it, our overview of the latest and greatest updates to Microsoft 365! Please get in touch if you would like more support using any of these. You can contact us via phone on 01437 700701 or email us at [email protected].

About us

We’ve been looking after IT & telecoms in businesses of all shapes and sizes across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion since 2013. Our solutions help our clients save moneyimprove customer service and, perhaps most importantly, grow. Between our Telephone Systems, IT Services, CCTV and WiFi solutions, as well as our Phone & Broadband network, we’re the glue holding together some the most exciting enterprises in the country.