Microsoft Office 2019: Everything You Need to Know
You may have noticed that Microsoft began rolling out a new version of Microsoft Office early this week. That means that there are now three versions of Microsoft Office out in the wild—Office 2016, Office 365, and the brand-new Office 2019.
If you’re curious about this new version of Microsoft Office, we’ve put together this guide to answer the biggest questions about Office 2019, such as how it differs from Office 2016 and Office 365, what features are (and aren’t) included, and when you can actually use it.
What is Office 2019?Microsoft Office 2019 is a standalone, local (not cloud-based, like Office 365) version of the Microsoft Office software suite. It is a “perpetual” release, which is just a fancy way of saying you buy the software once and own it forever, rather than having to pay an annual subscription fee to access it. That said, you only get a license to use it on a single PC, whereas a subscription to Office 365 lets you use it on a PC, a tablet, and a smartphone.
This new release updates and replaces the 2016 versions of Word, Excel, etc. and includes many of the new features that have been rolled out to Office 365 users over the past three years. We’ll get to those in a bit.
When is Office 2019 available, and how much will it cost?Office 2019 is on sale now, but only for commercial-level customers. Availability will be rolling out regular ol’ customers like you and me in the coming weeks. That also means we don’t yet know what the price point is for individual users, but Microsoft will likely have that info soon. Expect to potentially pay a bit more than what you’d shell out for Office 2016 (currently $150 for the “Home and Student” version), as Microsoft already boosted the price of the commercial version ten percent to account for its “significant value added to the product over time.”
What are the system requirements for Office 2019?Here’s a big change. On PCs, you’ll need Windows 10 for Office 2019; Microsoft will not support any versions of Windows 7 or 8. As always, Microsoft will make 32 and 64-bit versions of Office 2019 available.
For Mac, Microsoft will support the three most recent versions of macOS, currently macOS Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13), and Mojave (10.14). As Microsoft notes:
“When a new version of macOS is released, Office 2019 for Mac’s Operating System requirement becomes the then-current three most recent versions at that time: the new version of macOS and the previous two versions. For example, at the time macOS 10.14 is generally available from Apple, Office for Mac will support macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.14.”
What new features can you expect?Here’s a quick rundown of the important updates Office 2016 users will see if they upgrade to Office 2019.
Microsoft WordWith Office 2019, Microsoft says it’s focused on helping you, well… focus better when writing in Word. To do so, Word 2019 will be getting the aptly named Focus mode, which darkens the screen and reduces the displayed UI elements.
Users will also have new “Learning Tools,” including new text-to-speech, text spacing, and translator features. Mac users will also now have customizable ribbons (aka drop-down menus) in their version of the Word interface.
OutlookLike Word, Outlook is also getting a new focus mode, called the “Focused Inbox,” to help streamline workflow and email drafting. Users can now use “@” commands for tagging people in emails, and contact cards have been overhauled.
Also, PC users will now have travel and delivery cards, while Mac users get new email templates; a Send Later function for scheduling delivery times; and read receipts. Both platforms also get Office 365 Group integration.