Microsoft 365 recaps October advances: here’s what’s new

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Microsoft has once again recapped  new features for the applications that come with their Office 365 subscription service, this time for October. The new updates mostly focus on improving productivity for tablets with styluses as well improving migration of data from Personal/Home to Business subscribers.

Perhaps the most interesting of changes is that Microsoft is allowing inked text and diagrams to be converted to printed text and boxes in Word and PowerPoint, which the company says leverages AI and language processing in the cloud. This is potentially a great way to improve productivity on tablets like the new Surface Pro 6, as typing and managing shapes and tables can be rather tedious on a touchscreen. Additionally, users can also make grammatical corrections and proofreading revisions with just their stylus by drawing the indicators on the document, which will be automatically corrected by the application.

An animated screenshot shows text in a Word document edited with a digital pen. The Ink Editor deletes a paragraph, inserts an ommitted word, and bolds a numerical figure.
Microsoft is improving proofreading on tablets though its inking tools.

Microsoft is also adding many other features to its Office apps. For example, users will be able to insert 3D animations into Word and PowerPoint documents to help create a better understanding when ideas seem to complex for static images. Additionally, those Word documents will also be easily converted into temporary web pages should the user wish to share the information in that way. While announced in October, animations will become available in November.

An animated screenshot showing an embedded animation of a hummingbird in PowerPoint.
3D animation will soon be inserted into Word documents and PowerPoint presentations.

The company is also making it easier for users to transition their data into the cloud with their new SharePoint Migration Tool, which will allow customers to migrate their personal SharePoint and OneDrive data over to SharePoint Online, OneDrive for business, and Microsoft Teams. And should the task prove more difficult than it sounds, Microsoft has a new help and support pane in the portal which can be accessed though a web browser.

Microsoft is allowing subscribers to try own the stylus proofreading and the drawings-to-diagrams features today, while most of the rest of the new features will roll out over the next few months.

Do you think these new features will improve productivity, especially on tablets like the Surface Pro 6? Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.