Microsoft Word 2016 Version Overview

If you're considering upgrading to another version of Microsoft Word before attending a training course or arranging custom training, check out this list of some of the new features in Word 2016.

Important Note for 2016 Applications: Microsoft Office, Visio and Project 2016 cannot coexist on the same computer as standalone Office 2013 applications. This includes Office 2013, Office 365, Visio 2013 and Project 2013. If you have one of the following programs running you won't be able to install your 2016 application until it is upgraded: Project 2013, Visio 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2013, Powerpoint 2013, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013 and Access 2013.

Are you working with 2013? Check out new features in Microsoft Word 2013.

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Microsoft Word 2016 New Features

Applies to: Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows

The following are some of the key new features available in Microsoft Word 2016. Some features require a specific Office 365 subscription.

Changed Ribbon Tabs

The Ribbon again appears with tabs in title case as opposed to the all caps style of 2013. Hover states on the Ribbon have also been added.

New Window Themes

There are now three Office themes that you can apply to control the appearance of your Word window – Colorful, Dark Gray and White. To access these themes, click on the File tab on the Ribbon and then click on Options. Click on the General category on the left and then click on the drop-down menu next to Office Theme.

Get to Features or Help with Tell Me

In Word 2016, a box appears on the Ribbon with Tell me what you want to do. You can enter words and phrases in the box and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also choose to get help or perform a Smart Lookup on a term you entered.

Get Insights using Smart Lookup

When you select a word or phrase, right-click on it and then choose Smart Lookup, the Insights Pane (powered by Bing) appears with definitions, Wiki articles, and top related searches from the web. Smart Lookup also appears on the Review tab on the Ribbon. It can see the context of selected text by examining surrounding content and then try to provide relevant results.

Improved Backstage View through the File Tab

The Backstage View (accessed by clicking on the File tab on the Ribbon) has changed to make saving, opening, and browsing for files quicker and easier. The Recent files list is now categorized by document modification date and the Browse button has been elevated for improved visibility and now provides quicker access to the File Explorer.

Improved version history

Click on the File tab and then choose History to see a complete list of changes that have been made to your document and to access earlier versions.

Easier Document Sharing

You can now click on Share to share your Word document with other users on SharePoint, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business. You can also send a PDF (Portable Document Format) copy as an email attachment directly from Microsoft Word.

Collaborate Online with Real-time Co-Authoring

If you save a Word document on OneDrive or SharePoint and then share it with colleagues who use Word 2016 or Word Online, you can see other users changes in real time. After you save the document online, click on Share to generate a link or an email invitation. Email the link to users and decide if they can edit the file or not. When the users you have invited open the document and agree to automatically share changes, their changes will appear in real time.

Collaborate with Skype for Business

You now have the ability to use Skype for Business (still called Lync on the Mac and IOS) to communicate while working on documents. You can use the Share pane to instant message or video-call someone with Skype.

Improved Ink Equations

You can now click on Insert > Equation > Ink Equation to insert complex math equations in your document. You can erase, select, and correct what you've written in the Equations pane. For those with a touch device, you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand and Word 2016 will convert it to text. If you don't have a touch device, you can use a mouse to write equations.

Preset Shape Formatting

When you insert shapes from the Shapes gallery, you can choose preset fills as well as theme colors to quickly format the shape.


How to Create and Update a Table of Contents in Word

14 Timesaving Microsoft Word Selection Shortcuts

How to Reduce the Size of Large Word Documents

Recommended Microsoft Office courses

Microsoft Word: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft PowerPoint: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Access: Introduction


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