New inking enhancements and more are coming to Microsoft's Office apps

As briefly mentioned shown off during the Windows 10 October event, the Windows 10 Creators Update is set to introduce some new digital inking enhancements in Microsoft's Office apps. In a new blog post, Microsoft further detailed some of these enhancements, including how they work hand-in-hand with the company's Surface products.

Two of the biggest inking enhancements are coming in the form of the Ink Editor and Ink Replay integration with the new Surface Dial. From Microsoft (opens in new tab):

  • Ink Editor - Originally shown by the Windows team at //build, we are now launching Ink Editor. This makes your pen a more powerful document editing tool than ever. Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it and automatically snap highlighter ink to text. And this is just the beginning. We're planning to add even more Ink Editor capabilities and extend the feature to other Office apps in the future.
  • Ink Replay control with Surface Dial - In August, we introduced Ink Replay, which lets you rewind and replay ink you see in your document. Today, we announced tight integration with Surface Dial and Windows 10, making ink playback as natural to control as a spin of the device. This helps you effortlessly set the pace at which you review step-by-step instructions, reveal lesson ideas and more.

Drawing perfectly straight lines and maintaining alignment is also about to get a little easier, as Microsoft is set to add a digital ruler tool to PowerPoint, with other Office apps coming later. And since 3D is such a big focus of the Crators Update, Office apps will support using and manipulating 3D models in your documents as well.

Office is also getting some extra tweaks for the Surface Studio, including a new large-screen page view in Word. using this view, you can easily flip through pages and zoom in or out to view the contents of any large, multi-page document.

Word Large Page View

Lastly, Office apps will soon support scalable vector graphics (SVGs). That means you'll be able to make your documents look even better with vector-based SVG files that won't pixelate when scaled up.

Is there any one feature you're most looking forward to coming to Office? Let us know in the comments! And as a reminder, Microsoft is set to hold a dedicated Office event on November 2, so we'll likely hear much more on changes coming to the productivity suite soon.

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

  • Is there a direct Office competitor right now? Google seems to want to compete against the Surface Hub with Jamboard, which is good. Hopefully HP, Acer, Lenovo etc can create a Surface Hub inspired digital white board canvas at affordable prices. Back to Ms Office, these guys are gone, a few years back google docs seemed like they wanted to compete but even on android people use Ms Office, if Microsoft keeps up the innovation, for the next decades they are sure market leaders
  • Jamboard is not in the same category, it's not even the same sport. Only look at the video and audio hardware, and you get the idea. It looks like a toy. Also, there is no real biz software beyond Office. Surface Hub also has its limitations, due to the software. But you can exchange the SSD for Windows 10 Pro/Ent, or use a replacement PC, to easily overcome those limitations. We use it daily with TeamCenter/NX.
  • Will these features come to a new version of Office that's available as a one-time purchase, like an "Office 2017" or "Office 2018" or something, similar to how we can currently buy Office 2016 as a one-time purchase? Or are new features to Office only going to come for Office 365 users, and people wanting a one-time-purchase version of Office will always only be able to get Office 2016 as their latest version?
  • I don't think they'll do an Office 2017 or 2018. It could come as an update to Office 2016, but it will definitely be there in the next standalone version.
  • I thought the current plan was to offer both Office standalones each year and Office 365 as a subscription service to the stand alones?
  • i think Office permanent license is on a 3 year cycle. office 2013/2016/2019(?)
  • Ink for Visio is an obvious upgrade. And... please make Visio part of Office, or at least cheaper...
  • Yeah I've wanted Visio for ages but way too expensive.
  • Ink for Visio would be huge to me as a software engineer. Trying to do UML diagrams with stencils is torture.
  • This, and Publisher! Plus having them both in a more full-featured version.
  • Hooray for svg!
  • I really want support for inking on mobile - such a natural space for it!
  • Off subject, but I just want to throw this little tidbit in there.... The fact that WC is already selling creator10 shirts is proof that Daniel Rubino knows much more than he is willing to divulge... Lol
    They already had them printed up, and ready, BOI!
  • It's prolly his "inside" source. Shhhh.....
  • The biggest deterrent for me is that when I use the pen on my SP3 I'm constantly hitting the Windows icon with my wrist and turning off the screen. I remember seeing a work around for this a long time ago but can't recall it and, in any event, it's not intuitive.
  • just turn it round, so the windows capacitive logo is on the other side, so you don't touch it.
  • In this most recent /build// there was a feature shown that automatically corrected errant highlighter lines into straight aligned highlighting over the text. Haven't seen anything about it since. Would live that. Esp highlighting with a finger.