Office Insider Slow ring nabs a big update on Windows desktop

If you're an Office Insider using the Office 2016 apps on the Slow ring, you'll want to check for an update. Microsoft has started rolling out a new build that brings a load of notable new features to each Office app. The best part? The fancy new inking effects, of course!

If spritzing up your documents with a metallic rainbow ink effect doesn't exactly excite you, there's plenty of other stuff to like here, too. Co-authors can now chat while they edit, and Access now lets you import data directly from Salesforce. Here's a look at the lengthy list of what's new in the latest Slow ring updates:

  • Chat with co-authors while you edit: Collaborate more effectively by chatting with co-authors without leaving the app.
  • New ink effects: Express your ideas with flair using metallic pens and ink effects like rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, silver, and more.
  • Work faster, get more done: Bring on those complex workbooks with multiple sheets. Excel opens faster so you can crunch formulas with large ranges, filter lots of rows, or copy and paste faster.
  • Quick access to attachments: Ever struggled to find a file that was sent to you as an attachment? Worry no more! Just click File > Open> Shared with me.
  • Info about people and groups – at a glance: Profile cards show you the most relevant details, whether you're on the desktop, the web, or using a mobile app.
  • Add an appointment to a group calendar: Now you can let everyone in your group known when you'll be away without sending a meeting in email.
  • More accessible than ever: We've made it easier to read and edit text, tables, lists and images in email when you're using a screen reader.
  • Improved smart quotes: You asked for it! Smart quotes are now smarter after em dashes (—).
  • Manage a task in Planner: Link a Project task to Planner plans, allowing you to break the tasks into subtasks, add a team, assign tasks, and manage the work on the Planner board.
  • Link or import data from Salesforce: You can now link to or import data from Salesforce, which is a customer resource management (CRM), cloud-based business solution.
  • Link or import data from Dynamics 365: We've also now added the ability to link to or import data from Dynamics 365, which is a customer resource management (CRM), cloud-based business solution.
  • Not just on your Desktop anymore: Visio Online is a new way to create and edit your diagrams right in your favorite browser.

Office Insiders on the Slow ring should be able to grab the latest updates through any of the Office 2016 desktop apps now. You'll want to make sure you've updated to version 1708 (Build 8431.xxxx) to see 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