SME solutions
    08 January 2019

    Drew Hook

    The best new features of Office 365

    Designed for the 21st-century workspace, Microsoft Office 365 lets businesses operate freely and securely with the Microsoft products you know and trust.

    Designed for the 21st-century workspace, Microsoft Office 365 lets businesses operate freely and securely with the Microsoft products you know and trust: enterprise-grade email, instant messaging, calendars, file-sharing and web conferencing. It adds fast, reliable and secure connectivity so you can work the way you want - on almost any device, virtually anywhere.

    Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription, but you also download it onto your computer so you actually get the best of both Microsoft Office worlds. There is also an option to use Office Online which is an online-only version that is available for no additional charge. One of the best things about Office 365 is that Microsoft will automatically add new features and updates and all you need to do to get them is just keep paying for your subscription! Now let’s really dig into the good stuff.

    Your entire team can edit the same document at once

    If you and your team are working on a Word, Powerpoint or Excel document, you all have the ability to edit it at the same time. You can see the changes as they make them and who's doing the editing and you no longer need to email attachments to and from the office. 

    Co-workers can Skype together while working on a document

    While working and emailing colleagues, simply clicking the 'chat' button will bring up a Skype window where the two (or more) of you can start talking. Even if you leave the Office document, you'll be able to continue the conversation via Skype on your desktop or phone, so can keep talking to the team as they make edits.

    Link to files instead of attaching them

    If your company uses a business edition of Office 365, here's a nifty trick for sharing a file. Upload your file to Office 365's cloud storage, startup the cloud version of Outlook (known as Outlook Web App) and, instead of attaching a file, link to the file on your cloud. While this isn't unique to Office 365 — all cloud storage services allow you to share documents via links - Outlook will automatically grant edit permission to the people you are emailing. (You can change their permissions, too.)

    Turn notes into calendar items

    You can use Microsoft's note-taking tool, OneNote, inside of Microsoft Outlook. This means that if you are writing a to-do list in OneNote, you can easily convert it to a bunch of tasks with deadlines and reminders on your calendar. You can then automatically add calendar meeting details like date, location, topic, agenda and attendees, to your notes. Then you can email the meetings notes to your team using the 'Email Page' button.

    Turn data into a map

    The latest version of Excel includes a cool new feature called the Power Map, which can convert rows of data into images. And if that data is geographic in nature, such as county-by-county lists for a state, Power Map will put it on a 3D map.

    Edit a PDF file

    If someone sends you a PDF that you'd like to convert into a Word document to edit, you can. Just open it and respond 'OK' when it asks you if you to convert the PDF. This will prevent the formatting problems associated with editing or copying and pasting from the PDF. You can also save a Word file as a PDF (click File > Export > Create PDF/XPS), or save just a portion of a file as a PDF (select a page range). And you can password protect the PDF, too.

    Turn your mouse into a laser pointer!

    Finally, If you're giving a presentation the old-fashioned way, using PowerPoint, and you don't have a laser pointer, you can use your PC's mouse as a fake one. Simply tell Powerpoint to change the mouse icon into a little red dot and you're all set. 

    Get Office365

    Sign up for Office365 via Vodacom, and work from anywhere. You only pay for what you use, so it's a perfectly scalable solution for your business. 


    Drew Hook