This month, we’re rolling out improvements to help you build a more productive, collaborative, and secure work environment for you and your organization. The new XLOOKUP formula for Excel helps you find data and improve calculation time. OneNote and Yammer mobile updates help you work on the go and find the answers you need more quickly. And the new FastTrack guidance will help ensure seamless Windows 10 migrations.
As always, every Microsoft 365 update reflects our commitment to improving the experience for you—so if you have feedback or ideas on ways we can improve, please let us know. Let’s look at what’s new in August.
Make work faster and easier
New features simplify data searches and calculation times and help you quickly visualize information.
Find and retrieve data quickly in Excel—We heard your feedback about the VLOOKUP formula for working with data in Excel—that it requires sorted data, fails to discover results on left-hand columns, and takes wildcards by default. So this month, we introduced XLOOKUP, our successor to the VLOOKUP, and HLOOKUP formulas. XLOOKUP addresses our most common user feedback and takes advantage of recent backend changes to improve calculation time. It‘s available today to Office Insiders, with general availability coming later this year.
Create work-in-progress diagrams and slides — Because we know it can be hard to express work-in-progress diagrams and models without stamping “DRAFT” on top of them, we built Sketched Shapes. With this new Office style, you can transform standard shapes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel into rough outlines that look handdrawn and convey a sense of in-progress work. Sketched Shapes is perfect for building wireframes, drafting designs, or adding an artistic touch. You can also easily move between sketched and standard shapes. Sketched Shapes is currently rolling out to Windows Insiders and Office Insiders for Mac. To get started, insert a shape into your document and select your favorite sketched outline. You can also download the PowerPoint Wireframe toolkit for more information.
New for PowerPoint on the web: Subscript, Superscript, and Change Case — Up to this point, users needed the PowerPoint Desktop App to add subscript, superscript, or change text casing in their slides. That made it tricky for professionals, educators, and students to communicate their equations and information in PowerPoint for the web. Now, you can simply select your text and click the new Subscript, Superscript, or Change Case buttons on the Home tab of the ribbon. This feature is rolling out to PowerPoint for the web.
Work on the go
We introduced updates to OneNote, Yammer, and Office to help you find answers more quickly and stay in your workflow.
Add shapes, graphs, and Outlook meeting details to Microsoft OneNote for iPad — You can now insert shapes in OneNote for iPad, including straight lines, basic shapes, and graphs. Whether you want a straight line to keep things aligned, an arrow to point to information, or a graph to show a trend, you’ll find it under the Draw tab in OneNote. You can also add Outlook meeting details to OneNote for iPad and OneNote for Mac—including attendees, time, subject, and more.
Annotate your notes with ink in OneNote for iPhone — We also added Ink in OneNote for iPhone, so you can easily use your finger or a stylus to annotate with the natural feel of ink—even when you’re on the go. To get started, just tap on the squiggle symbol in the upper right-hand corner of your OneNote page and use the red pen and yellow highlighter to mark up, annotate, and highlight key information in your notebooks.
Stay connected and get answers with an enhanced Yammer mobile experience — Today’s employees need to be empowered while on the go. With this in mind, we recently announced a new Yammer mobile experience that brings live events, group search, updated feed and conversations views, enhanced encryption, and more to iOS and Android devices. Highlights include a modernized feed experience that reduces visual clutter and delivers improved readability, live events, and townhalls that you can view on the go; Seen Counts to let you know how many people have viewed your messages; and group search to cut down on search time and find the information you need. These features have rolled out to customers running the current Yammer for iOS and Android apps.
Use Dark Mode in more of your favorite Microsoft apps — Today’s fast and fluid world constantly blurs the lines between work and life, and we understand you need experiences that adapt to your needs. We’re happy to announce this month that we’re starting to roll out Dark Mode to Outlook mobile and Office.com. Dark Mode is not only easier on the eyes and may extend battery life, it also enables you to comfortably continue using your device in places where the default bright mode isn’t appropriate, like darkened airplanes and movie theaters. Dark Mode is rolling out over the next couple of weeks to Outlook mobile and Office.com.
Streamline IT management
New tools and capabilities streamline Windows 10 migrations and meet data residency needs.
Migrate to Windows 10 with new FastTrack guidance — We know upgrading and updating complex technology environments is no small task. To support you through every step of your Windows 10 deployment, we introduced new FastTrack deployment guidance. This guidance helps customers upgrade from Windows 7 and Office 2010 to Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365 ProPlus. FastTrack guidance is available to all eligible commercial customers. To learn more, watch our mechanics video or jump right in by signing in to microsoft.com/FastTrack and requesting assistance.
Meet data residency needs with new Microsoft datacenter capabilities — Now, new Microsoft Teams customers in South Korea will have their data stored in an in-country datacenter, helping organizations with data residency requirements meet their obligations. Additionally, Multi-Geo Capabilities is now available to customers in South Africa and United Arab Emirates with a minimum of 500 Office 365 services subscriptions. Multi-Geo Capabilities enables you to easily move users and data between Microsoft cloud geos to address data residency needs. Contact your Microsoft representative for details.
Also new this month
We also announced the following updates in August:
- New capabilities that simplify the Office activation experience for Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Home, Personal, and Solo (available in Japan only) users were recently rolled out.
- Microsoft Intune now supports FileVault disk encryption on Apple macOS to help prevent unauthorized access to the information on macOS startup disks.
- Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is now generally available for Office 365 US Government GCC High customers.
To learn more about updates to Microsoft 365 this month, watch this video from our team.
By Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365