When Microsoft released Office 2019 for Windows in 2018 fall, it accomplished it not with a bang, but a whisper. In the past, Microsoft typically trumpeted new Office releases with great fanfare and hoopla, but this time that it released a blog post or two with few details and left it at that.
There’s valid reason for your: Microsoft is pushing Office 365, the subscription of version of Office, over the perpetual version of the suite. By collecting a perpetual version of Office, for example Office 2016 or Office 2019, you have to pay a one-time fee for this and purchased it forever – also it never gets new features. That’s as opposed to Office 365, which requires an ongoing subscription fee and is constantly updated with new features. It’s clear that Microsoft wants people to move to Office 365, therefore it wants to draw very little attention as possible to the new perpetual Office release.
There’s another reason that Microsoft whispered. It was once any time Microsoft released Office with a brand new version number – for example, Office 2016 – that version was stronger than any other available. That’s no more the case. Office 2019 is considerably less powerful than Office 365. There’s not new in Office 2019 that hasn’t already been readily available for quite some time to countless Office 365 subscribers (the organization says it’s more than 31 million subscribers to consumer editions), and in fact, Microsoft left several features from Office 2019 it had introduced in Office 365 in the last couple of years. Therefore the company had nothing new to wow the world with when conversing about Office 2019.
So what’s new in Office 2019? And what’s best for you or your organization, Office 2019 or Office 365? To help you decide, we’ve taken a look at Office 2019’s most important additional features below, and then compared it to Office 365.
(As well as the features covered here, Office 2019 gets improved support for digital ink across the entire suite, including what Microsoft calls “roaming pencil case” support, which helps you to write manually and also move around parts of documents having a digital pencil.)
The last note about Office 2019 before we obtain in to the nitty-gritty: Unlike previous releases from the perpetual version of Office, it will run only on Windows 10. There will still, however, be both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of it.
New charts and formulas for Excel
There are a few nice tidbits for Excel users in Office 2019, but don’t expect anything dramatic. Excel’s new features focus mainly on data analysis, including funnel charts and 2D maps, new functions and connectors, the opportunity to publish from Excel to PowerBI, and enhancements to PowerPivot and PowerQuery.
Funnel charts are useful when you want to show values at multiple stages in a process. A funnel chart can show the amount of sales prospects at each stage of the sales process, for instance, with prospects at the top for that first stage, brings underneath it for the second stage, and so forth, until you get to the final stage, closed sales. Generally, the in funnel charts decrease with each stage, therefore the bars in the chart seem like a funnel. Overall they’re a nice-to-have addition to Excel.
Map charts are helpful too, and probably have wider applicability for most people. They allow you to compare data across different geographical regions, such as countries, regions, states, counties or postal codes.
Among the functions added to Excel are TEXTJOIN and CONCAT, which allow you to combine text strings from ranges of cells without or with utilizing a delimiter separating each item, such as a comma. You only need to make reference to the range and specify a delimiter, and Excel will the rest. Two other functions added are the IFS and SWITCH functions, that really help specify a number of conditions, for example, when using nested IF functions. And 2 more, MAXIFS and MINIFS, make it easier to filter and calculate data in a number of various ways. Get more information regarding them all from Microsoft.
The upshot for Excel 2019: Nice new additions. Too bad there aren’t more of them.
Translator for Word
The only significant new feature Word gets in Office 2019 is the Translator pane, helpful for people who need to operate in multiple languages. To translate words or phrases with it, you decide on them, then right-click your selection and select Translate from the menu that appears. Note that Translator is part of what Microsoft calls Intelligent Services, the substitute intelligence behind such Office features as Smart Lookup and Researcher. If it’s the first time you’ve used one of these simple AI-driven features, a screen appears asking if you wish to turn Intelligent Services on. Click Switch on. That occurs once. You won’t need to do it again.
After that, the Translator pane appears. The top pane shows your selection, and also the bottom shows the translation. The very best pane attempts to identify the original language. For me, it’s worked correctly every time. Whether it does misidentify the word what, though, just pick the best language. After that, towards the bottom from the pane select the language you need to translate to.
The translation appears. To insert it somewhere into the document, move your cursor towards the spot in which you want it to appear, and click Insert at the bottom from the pane. You may also copy and paste any kind from the translation into the document or another document.
To translate an entire document, visit the Ribbon and choose Review > Translate > Translate document. The Translator pane appears. Select the document’s language, then your language you want to translate it to, and click the Translate button. The translated document opens in a new Word window, which you can then save or copy portions of.
Translator is also obtainable in PowerPoint and Excel 2019 for translating selected phrases or words, but you can’t utilize it to translate whole files in those apps.
Beyond the Translator pane, there are some other small inclusions in Word 2019, including a black theme, speech-to-text capabilities and accessibility improvements. However the changes are usually slim pickings. You’ll likely be disappointed in how little new you get in Word 2019.
Morph and Zoom for PowerPoint
The most important of PowerPoint 2019’s new features are Morph and Zoom. Morph is a simple-to-use tool which makes it simple to create animated transitions between slides. That solves a long-term, nagging PowerPoint problem: Its Animations tab, while full of lots of power, is tough to use. And creating animations by using it can be very time-consuming. Morph lets you show motion in transitions and inside slides, but without having to resort to using the Animations tab.
To get it done, you duplicate a current slide, and then suggest changes to the duplicate slide, for example shrinking an element or elements inside it, growing them, moving them to new locations or rotating them. Then when you apply Morph to the slide, PowerPoint automatically creates an animated transition between the slides. Onscreen, they appear like a single slide morphing, hence the feature’s name.
Zoom creates a type of visual table of contents for the presentation that allows you to quickly zoom in one section to a different. When you’re inside a presentation, select Insert > Zoom, then pick the slides you want displayed in the “Zoom” slide. A brand new slide is made with thumbnails of these slides. When giving a presentation, you’ll be able to jump to the slide instantly by clicking its thumbnail.
Most everyone who creates presentations will discover Morph and Zoom useful. Because of them, PowerPoint is the Office application most improved in Office 2019.
Outlook’s new Focused Inbox
The only real significant switch to Outlook 2019 is what Microsoft calls the Focused Inbox. It’s designed to deal with the e-mail overload most of us put up with every single day – the frustrating mix of newsletters you don’t recall signing up for, retail come-ons, pointless messages, important messages and so forth.
Focused inbox uses artificial intelligence to determine which messages are most important to you and puts them right into a Focused tab. The remainder get put in some other tab. You can manually move messages from one folder to the other and tell Focused Inbox to automatically filter them by doing so in the future.
To show on Focused Inbox, select the View tab from the Ribbon, then click on the “Show Focused Inbox” icon. From now on, you’ll have two tabs in your Inbox, Focused and Other. The Focused tab must have the most important messages, and also the Other tab should have less-important messages.
Although Focused Inbox isn’t an earthshaking change, I’ve found that it makes handling email moderately more easy. So Outlook users have something to be pleased about in Office 2019.
What it really needs to learn about Office 2019
Underneath the hood, there’s a number of useful changes for this in Office 2019, notably how IT will install Office 2019. It’s now installed using the Click-to-Run (C2R) deployment technology launched in Office 2013 instead of the older Windows Installer. Microsoft cites these advantages of C2R: “predictable monthly security updates, up-to-date apps on installation, reduced network consumption through Windows 10 download optimization technology, and an easy upgrade path to Office 365 ProPlus.”
Choosing between Office 2019 and Office 365
For all those trying to decide between Office 2019 and Office 365, what’s not in Office 2019 but is within Office 365 is what’s really important. And there’s plenty that Office 365 provides you with that Office 2019 doesn’t. Actually, there’s so much that I’ll only cover the greater important features here.
You won’t have the ability to collaborate with others instantly in Excel 2019, as possible in Excel for Office 365, that is a serious drawback for anybody who works with others.
Word 2019 doesn’t possess the Researcher pane that’s available in Office 365 that allows you to easily do research via the internet from Word. It doesn’t possess the full Editor pane of editing tools, either. Although neither could well be a must-have, they can cut down time it takes to produce and edit documents.
PowerPoint 2019 doesn’t include either Designer or QuickStarter. Designer suggests new slide designs for you personally while you produce a presentation, according to graphics you add to slides. And QuickStarter jump-starts your presentation by assisting you with research and outline creation. These are big, important features which are real losses for anyone who spends much time creating presentations.
And no Office 2019 apps provides the extremely useful AutoSave feature available in Office 365; it can make sure you don’t lose the latest edits to your files and enables you to examine, use and revert to older versions of your files.
Office 365 also has a redesigned Ribbon that Office 2019 users don’t get. The new Ribbon is streamlined and stripped-down, and it is simpler and easier to make use of than the one out of Office 2019.
Just as important as all of this is the fact that Office 365 subscribers constantly get additional features, while Office 2019 is frozen in time. A specific item today is exactly what you receive forever, since it never gets updated with new features. (It will, however, get security updates.) If you would like new features and don’t want an Office 365 subscription, you’ll need to wait for a next perpetual version of Office and purchase that – as well as it won’t include all the features in Office 365.
Another major distinction between Office 2019 and Office 365 is their cost and how many copies of the Office suite you receive whenever you purchase them.
Whenever you buy Office 2019, you are able to run that one copy on a single computer for any single person. The Home & Student version costs $150 and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Onenote for Windows 10. At $250, the Home & Business version includes all that plus Outlook. The $440 Professional version has all that Home & Business offers plus Publisher and Access (for Windows only). Enterprise options include Office Standard 2019, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Publisher, and Office Professional Plus 2019, including everything plus Access and Skype for Business; pricing depends on volume.
In terms of pricing for Office 365, the Office 365 Home version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Onenote; costs $100 annually; and can be used by as much as six different people and installed on a limitless quantity of devices. Each person gets 1TB OneDrive cloud storage and can be signed into five devices simultaneously. Office 365 Personal includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Onenote, and OneDrive (with 1TB storage), plus Publisher and Access (for Windows only). It is $70 annually and can be installed on an unlimited quantity of devices, although just for just one user.
Business and enterprise plans for Office 365 are more complex and range from $99 per user each year to $420 per user each year. (Cheaper plans can be found, however they don’t include Word, Excel, or another main Office apps.)
Beyond that, if you want to use Office on smartphones and tablets, Office 2019 gives you apps with only basic editing features, while Office 365 offers mobile apps with increased advanced tools such as tracking and reviewing changes featuring such as WordArt, Morph for PowerPoint, customized PivotTables for Excel, and much more.
Whether it appears as if you get far more value with Office 365 than you do with Office 2019, that’s not accidental. It’s clear that Microsoft would like to get rid of the perpetual form of Office, but enough people and businesses still need it that there’s no practical method for Microsoft to get it done in.
Why do people still want the perpetual version? Many are uncomfortable with the idea of having to pay a lot less every year to keep using Office; they’d rather plunk down a bigger sum once and own the suite outright. And some businesses are unwilling or unable to proceed to a cloud-based platform.
If you’re not convinced Microsoft is pushing people from Office 2019 and towards Office 365, think about this: Microsoft recently increased prices for commercial and retail versions of Office 2019 by as much as 10%, with respect to the version. Around the same time, Microsoft announced it would allow consumer versions of Office 365 to be placed on an unlimited number of devices. Between the stick of higher prices for that perpetual versions and also the carrot of unlimited devices with a subscription, Microsoft does whatever it can to move everyone to Office 365.
So should you choose Office 2019 or Office 365? For most individuals, the answer is easy: Choose Office 365. You get the most recent features today and into the future, plenty of free storage and the capability to use Office apps with an unlimited quantity of machines. For families, Office 365 Home helps make the best sense, because it allows as much as six users for $30 each year more than the Personal plan. From my perspective, the option is as near to a no-brainer as it gets.
Who should buy Office 2019? Only someone who has merely a single computer and expects not to obtain a second one, wants just the most basic Office features, and doesn’t worry about additional storage or using advanced features on mobile devices.
As for businesses, Office 2019 is the best for organizations that don’t have constant access to the cloud or aren’t yet willing to go full-bore to software that works so closely with cloud access. Otherwise, Office 365 makes more sense for many.
The bottom line
Office 2019 is definitely an underwhelming form of the Office suite, but that’s not really a failure on Microsoft’s part; the organization has created it this way purposely. Microsoft doesn’t feel it may offend the shrinking users list for that perpetual version of Office by simply killing them back. So as the company is constantly on the lavish additional features on Office 365, it left most of them out of Office 2019, which Microsoft hopes will be so unappealing that few people will buy it. Odds are you’ll be one of the many who eschew it in support of an Office 365 subscription.