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If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you’re in for some souped-up enhancements. Most involve artificial intelligence (AI) making sense of your data for you, so you spend less time and effort manually processing it. Here are a few of the latest enhancements that’ll give you more time for value-added tasks (and for coffee breaks and power naps, too).

 

 

Outlook

Outlook now lets you create tasks and to-do lists the way you write emails. Just click Tasks > New Tasks, type the name of the task in the Subject box, and add task details in the body.

You can also set its priority, start and due dates, and even a reminder for it. Safe Links protect you from malicious URLs you receive, but they hide the original URL. You can now hover your mouse over a URL to see the original URL, even in links protected by Safe Links. After you do a search, Outlook provides a suggested search query with spelling corrections.

PowerPoint

 

PowerPoint gets new proofing tools. In addition, PowerPoint now takes rough, hand-drawn text and shapes it into finished diagrams. In Word, you can insert animated 3D graphics into documents.

 

Sometimes you need to draw or write by hand to get stuff down quickly. Using digital ink can be the quickest way to communicate, but turning scribbles into editable text or easy-to-manipulate shapes for a slideshow presentation later on is time-consuming.

 

Excel

 

In the  new “Ideas”  it will literally let you work smarter Pie charts, bar graphs, scatter diagrams — with so many ways to visualize data, it can become troublesome to implement the right graph. Thankfully, the upcoming Ideas will let AI come up with the most apt graphs for you. Just click on a cell in a data table, click the Ideas button on the Home tab, then voila! Excel comes up with charts for you to choose from.

It can even set trend lines, recognize outliers, and create summaries for you — all without having to write an unwieldy formula! Coming soon to Excel for Office 365, Excel for Office 365 for Mac, and Excel Online.  A picture is worth a thousand data points Since optical character recognition software is already a couple of decades old, it’s about time we’re able to extract data tables from pictures.

 

Soon, the Insert data from picture function will let us encode ingredients lists from recipes and digitize printed receipts by taking their photos. Coming soon to Excel for Android tablets and Excel for Android phones.

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