• open panel

3 New Features that Could Influence You to Consider Upgrading to PowerPoint 2016 (Plus a Bonus!)


By Kelly Vandever

“Kelly, you have to understand… some of my clients are still using PowerPoint 2007!”

In today’s world, it’s hard to know when you should upgrade to the latest version of software. But having ten-year-old software may be the exception. It’s probably time to upgrade.

If you’re thinking of making a smaller jump, say from PowerPoint 2013 to PowerPoint 2016, here are the three features that I think make the biggest difference for presenters when moving from PowerPoint 2013 to 2016.

#1 – Tell Me What You Want to Do

I admit. Even though I train people on how to use PowerPoint, there are times when I just can’t remember on which tab a particular function resides. Is the Comment function on the Review tab or the View tab. And where the heck is the Selection Pane again?

If you’ve ever had trouble remembering where to find a particular command, then you’ll love this first feature.

On the top right corner, you’ll see the words, “Tell me what you want to do.”

If you click on those words, you can type in which function you want to do. In the example below, I’m typing in “add a comment” and by the time I type in the “comm” you can see below an auto fill with “Insert Comment.”

From there I just click on the option I was looking for, and the Comment pane instantly opens up and I can start typing my comment. Notice, I’m still on the Home tab (not on the Review tab which is where the Insert Comment command lives).

This function can come in handy to get you to the command you want without searching for the proper tab or if you want to stay on your current tab.

#2 – Design Ideas

I’ve talked before about using images in slides, and that PowerPoint doesn’t do us any favors with the default way to insert images into a slide. This next feature demonstrates that Microsoft has come around and now wants to help us eliminate ugly slides too!

Now, if you go to insert a picture in a standard template, assuming you have PowerPoint 2016 as part of Office 365 and are connected to the internet, PowerPoint will automatically open up a Design Ideas pane and suggest more attractive ways to display your image.

Simply click the new design layout you like, and the individual slide will be transformed with the new layout.

I think if you compare the default design to the new design, you can see how much better your slide can look, and super quickly too!

#3 – Co-Authoring

If you collaborate with others on PowerPoint slides, you’ll love the final feature. Co-authoring allows you to collaborate on the same presentation at the same time without having to compare slides or track changes.

In the top right corner, click where it says Share.

A Share pane opens and you can type in the email of the person you’d like to share co-authoring with and even send them a message with the invitation. You can also see who else is currently editing the document.

For this functionality to work though, you must save the document on a SharePoint or OneDrive location in the cloud. (But who knows. In the future, Microsoft may make the functionality available on other cloud-based platforms too.)

And if you’re editing using the Office 365 online version of PowerPoint and you’re both editing at the same time, you’ll also see which slide the other person is on. Notice in the image, slide 1 is highlighted, but you can see a sharing icon on slide 3, indicating that the co-author is currently making changes to slide 3.

PLUS – Need One More Reason?

Check out this blog post about the Zoom feature!


Making the Choice to Upgrade to PowerPoint 2016

Upgrading may not make sense for everyone. But if you do a lot of work in PowerPoint, the first two features could be a big time saver for you. And if you need to co-author and you’re on Office 365, then the co-authoring could be a huge help.

What Do You Think? Are There Other Features of PowerPoint 2016 that Had a Bigger Influence in Your Making the Upgrade?

Were there other features that influenced you to switch to PowerPoint 2016? Like the Zoom feature? Or being able to Insert Icons? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world. Learn how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. Connect Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her at Kelly.Vandever @ SpeakingPractically.com or tweet her @KellyVandever.