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Microsoft adds real-time collaboration to Office 2016 for Mac

Are you ready for the battle of the edits?
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
January 19, 2018
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Microsoft's latest update for Office 2016 on Mac adds features that make it a much better tool for collaborative projects. (Or worse, depending on how you prefer attacking group work.) It gives you the ability to work with others in real time à la Google suite -- the apps will even show your who's currently editing via thumbnails in the upper right corner of the window.

On Word and PowerPoint, a little flag icon shows you where other people's cursors are, and you'd be able to see their changes as they make it. In case you walk away for a bit, PowerPoint will highlight slides that have been changed, so you can check them when you get back and make sure nobody has ruined somebody else's hard work. To make sure everyone's edits are incorporated into the file, the apps now auto-saves changes. But you can thankfully roll back to an earlier version by accessing history in case somebody makes a huge blunder. In addition, you can now easily access the files you're frequently working on through the Open menu.

The update also comes with new charts and functions for Excel, as well as QuickStarter, which auto-creates an outline for your topic, for PowerPoint. You'll now also be able to manage Google Calendar and Contacts from within Outlook. All these are now available for download when you go to Check for Updates under Help. If you're using a work or a school computer, however, when you'll get them depends on when the admin deploys update packages for the apps.

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