Ready to learn what’s new in Word?

If you get Microsoft Word from your Office 365 subscription, you may have noticed a few new items and wondered what they are. Some of these features are so new that they may not yet appear for your particular subscription to Office 2016, but they will soon! Let’s take a look at a few of them.


On the Insert tab, look for the Icons button in the Illustrations group and click it. After selecting one or more icons, you’ll notice that they will come in sized at 1″ by 1″. However, you can right-click on them and choose Size and Position to change the size, or simply drag the handles that appear similar to any other type of graphic. From the right-click menu, you can also choose Format Graphic to change the color and other appearance characteristics.

SymbolsMore and more we are communicating with those who don’t speak our language. This is where internationally recognizable symbols and signs make sense. Icons in your documents can also help visually direct anyone to precisely the information they need without scanning and processing text each time.

Tip: When deciding how to use icons in your internally or externally facing documents, consider keeping things predictable and uniform. Use an agreed upon set of icons in agreed upon colors to communicate the same thing. Work with your teams to determine what’s best.

Document items

Microsoft Word searches OneDrive and SharePoint for recently used content and allows you to quickly insert pieces and parts right into your document. On the Insert tab in the Tap group, you may notice a Document Item button. When you click it, a pane appears on the right labeled Insert From File. So for example, if you were just working on a PowerPoint presentation stored in OneDrive or SharePoint, you may see it appear in the panel and be able to select a Insert from fileslide from it to insert into your document. This also works with charts in Excel and graphics from other Word documents, even SmartArt. You can also search for keywords in the search bar at the top of the pane.

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Consider how we’ve done this in the past, with the added overhead of opening a different application, locating your desired file, finding the exact graphic you need, then copying and pasting it with the right options. This new method is potentially, far fewer steps.

If you don’t see the Tap group on your ribbon, give it some time. It has just been rolled out to certain license levels of Office 365, but will likely be coming soon to a ribbon near you if you use Office 365.

Smart LookupSmart LookUp

It seems new words and meanings for words are getting invented every day, either formally or informally. For example:

You say, “I googled myself and didn’t appear until the 20th result!”

“You, um, what now?” says a time traveler from 1958.

Well when reviewing reports and communications written by people who are conversant in the language of their own technology and career discipline, it can be a little like that. Gratefully, we have SmartLookUp. Simply highlight the word, phrase or acronym that isn’t clear. You’ll have a choice of Explore, which will bring up targeted web search results for your query; or Define which will tell you what the term means. This feature is especially useful for acronyms.