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Changes made to the main Office applications from Office 2016 up to May 2019
Part seven of a seven-part series of blogs

To prepare the way for the start of a monthly Office update on this website, this long blog lists the changes made to Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word between the release of Office 2016 and May 2019.

  1. Office 365/Office 2019 updates up to May 2019
  2. General new features between Office 2016 and May 2019
  3. New features in Access between 2016 and May 2019
  4. New features in Excel between 2016 and May 2019
  5. New features in Outlook between 2016 and May 2019
  6. New features in PowerPoint between 2016 and May 2019
  7. New features in Word between 2016 and May 2019 (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 10 May 2019

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New features in Word between 2016 and May 2019

Word has got a few peripheral changes, in addition to the general Office ones.

Learning tools

A suite of learning tools makes it easier to read documents - this seems to be designed for those who have difficulty reading:

Learning tools

Here I've set the background to sepia and chosen to display syllables. The toolbar allows you to read text out loud.

To get to these tools, click on this icon:

Learning tools icon

Click on this icon to see the tools shown above.

Office Insiders (beta users, to you or me) can also adjust the focus to a few lines at a time.

LaTeX equation editor

You can create an equation in Word by typing Alt + =:

Equation editor

This text appears on screen.


You can then choose to use the popular LaTeX equation editor:

Latex option

Select the option shown above to use LaTeX.

If you're wondering what LaTeX is, it's probably not for you!  However, here is a sample from the Microsoft website:

Sample LaTeX expressions

Some sample LaTeX expressions.

As this shows, you can generate formulae by typing in commands, providing that you know the underlying language.

Checking accessibility

You can click on the tool shown below to monitor the accessibility of your work:

Check accessibility

For the moment this seems to be only available in Word.

My test document isn't doing well!

Accessibility checker results

A sample of the results of accessibility checking.

Side-to-side view

You can now choose to view your documents in a flippable book format:

Side-to-side view

Click on the icon shown to enable side-to-side view.

This then allows you to use your finger to "read" your document by swiping:

Reading documents

... or your mouse, if your laptop doesn't have a touch screen.

Changes not specific to Word

In addition to the changes listed above, don't forget the following new features which I listed in the general Office page at the start of this blog series:

Change Notes
Scalable Vector Graphics You can insert Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) icons and other SVG files, and then resize and reformat them without losing resolution.
Microsoft Translator You can select any text (or an entire document) and translate it into a huge array of languages.
Animated graphics Insert a 3-dimensional model, and click and drag on it to make your picture come to life!
Inking You can draw on screen (with your finger or a mouse), format your inkings and change them to shapes or text.
Accessibility There is a huge array of new accessibility options to make it easier to use Office applications with a disability.
Mentions When reviewing a document you can automatically notify other people of comments by mentioning them.
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