A number of new features and improvements for Microsoft Office including closer integration with Yammer, Sway and more announced at the annual Ignite conference released today.
First up, QuickStarter in Sway, a new intelligent service that lets you go from a blank canvas to a working outline in seconds, is now available. To get to QuickStarter, simply sign in to Sway.com.
When a topic is entered, “QuickStarter automatically pulls in recommended sections, relevant content and suggested images into a Sway project,” writes office team.
For Office 365 education, “suggested content appears as hints in the Storyline,” team says, “so students can still bring in their original ideas and content to their projects, reports and presentations.”
You can now insert most common audio clips in formats such as (.mp3 and .wav) for richer multimedia experience. To do this, “navigate to Cards pane and select Audio or go to Insert pane and select OneDrive or My Device as your content source,” and then insert your audio files.
Finally, in the new set of styles, you can now apply vibrant filters to the photos in your Sway, in addition to already available “adjusting color palette and font.” You can find the new styles by navigating to the Design pane and selecting from any of the styles on the top row, writes office team.
QuickStarter is now available for Sway on the web within the U.S., U.K. and Canada. It’ll will be rolling out in PowerPoint for Office 365 subscribers in the coming months.
Watch the animation below to see how QuickStarter makes it even faster to get to a great, polished output in Sway in seconds:
Microsoft also now allow you creating Office documents such as word, Excel and PowerPoint directly in Yammer and co-author them with your Yammer group members.
With the full functionality of Office Online, co-author will be able to edit documents, view version history, mark important files as official, and share and discuss document with colleagues.
Additionally, an improved file picker let users browse and share files from SharePoint and personal OneDrive libraries. “This focus on enabling employees to get work done through deeper integration into the Office 365 suite has led to the fastest annual user growth in Yammer’s history,” writes the Office 365 Team.
In addition, users who create a office document will be able to view version history and mark important files which allows all members of a group to access the same file.
The team also improved the sharing experience inside your network by adding file, link to a website, or a set of photos previews, they all now render beautifully right in your Yammer feed.
Lastly, having Yammer connected to Office 365 Groups, you can now share and email content from across the whole Office suite directly into your Yammer groups, who will then automatically granted access to the document.
The new features began rolling out Friday and will be available to all Yammer users in coming weeks.
Watch the pictures and video embedded below for more details on these features:
Microsoft continues to make strides in its initiatives empowering IT professionals to advance accessibility options to create more digitally inclusive working environments.
Without having to re-watch the entire weeks’ worth of Office announcements to hand pick the accessibility features or references, the Office team collected the high points and gathered them into a neatly accessible (pun intended) blog post.
At a Ignite session, company showcased productivity experiences that offer enhanced usability to people with disabilities along with enhancements that will make authoring accessible content easier for everyone and launching in the coming months including:
- Accessibility checkers that will become available in the Review tab in several more Office applications for PCs, Macs, and the web.
- Link galleries that will become available in several Office applications for PCs and make it easy to insert hyperlinks with meaningful display text.
- Automated suggestions for alternative text that will appear when recognizable images are inserted in several Office applications on PCs.
Additionally, following sessions video recordings (and slides) are now available:
Panel discussion on technology strategy for an inclusive workplace include ensuring executive leadership, showcasing human impact and forging deep partnerships with vendors [PDf here].
Overview of Office 365 accessibility introduces enhancements on the Office 365 Roadmap that can result in improved productivity experiences for people with dyslexia, people who use assistive technologies such as screen readers or speech input tools to interact with digital information and people who customize their devices using ease of access settings. [PDF here]
Deep-dive on SharePoint Online accessibility covers best practices include enhancing accessibility first for the most used features, testing usability with focus groups, including accessibility from day one for new apps and continuously improving based on customer feedback. [PDF here]