Fresh Office Insider update rolling out with a handful of new features

A fresh now build is rolling out to Office Insiders on the Slow ring, bring along a handful of new features for Office 365 users to check out in Office 2016 apps. Technically, this update is labeled as the December Insider Slow update, coming in at version number 1612 and build 7628.2048.

Here's a look at all of what's new and rolling out to Office 365 subscribers now, from Microsoft (opens in new tab):

  • View and restore changes in shared files: In Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, quickly view who has made changes in your shared documents, workbooks, and presentations, and easily restore earlier versions. To get started, click the Activity icon, which appears in the upper-right corner of any shared file stored on SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, or OneDrive. In the Activity pane, you can see who has edited your document recently, along with the versions they've created.
  • Easily select and manipulate objects: In Excel, you can use the Surface pen when resizing, rotating, and moving handles on objects as well as us the pen button to Lasso select ink without visiting the ribbon.
  • Closed captioning and multiple audio tracks: If a PowerPoint slide contains a video that has closed captions or multiple audio tracks, you can now play these tracks in your slideshow.
  • New data transformation and connectivity enhancements: In Excel, the Percentage data type is now supported, and binary combining and function authoring experiences have been enhanced.
  • Accessibility built right in: In Visio, we've improved support for using your keyboard, Narrator, and other assistive technology to work with shapes, edit with others, and more.

If you're a part of the Office Insider program, you should be able to go ahead and grab the update for the latest build now. Just head to File > Account > Update Options > Update Now to start downloading and checking out all of what's new.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Will these updates ever be available to people who buy Office as a one-time purchase? Like, will Microsoft release an "Office 2017" or "Office 2018" or something as a one-time purchase, like they did with Office 2016, Office 2013, etc.?
  • Not sure the one time copies get new feature updates. I think that is only Office 365.
  • The one-time purchase will get only performance and security updates. You have to buy the next version when it's released to get new features. Info here -
  • Yes, these  changes or how they appear as part of the official subscription release ( remember: these are still Insider releases) will be part of the next full retail release of Office 2017/2018.  The current retail edition 2016 is an example of this. Microsoft essentially just took the current development status of the subscription (or soon to be subscription product status for fall) and rolled it into a new full release. Unfortunately, in most cases you will have to wait a while to see these additions integrated (usually in happens in the fall - Office 2016 was released Sept 22, 2016).  Barring any special circumstances  updates to the non-subscription version will be, for the most part, security and bug fixes. Yes, they occasionally they do a add new feature or two in these updates to a current retail release but, I have never seen a major feature added to retail until the next iteration.
  • Released Sept 2015
  • Yes, you can still buy Office as a one-time purchase. I don't think you will get insider updates, but not sure. You will get periodical updates though. I think Office 365 is the way to go though.
  • They meant the retail, non-Office 365 version of Office.
  • This update causes newly created Windows accounts to be broken with an explorer exception loop. You can roll back by switching to the current branch.