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What Students Need to Know about Microsoft Office 2016

Office 2016 screenshot of software
400 200 Jason Tran

Microsoft has announced the latest version of their famed productivity suite: Office 2016. We’ve put together a quick outline on release date, price, technical specifications, and new features – everything you need to know as a student to prepare for the latest Office suite.


When will Office 2016 be released?

Office 2016 is available now. Students can download Office 2016 for Windows or Office 2016 for Mac for free*. Office 2016 for Windows was released on October 1, 2015 while Office 2016 for Mac was released on September 22, 2015.

How much will Office 2016 cost?

Depending on which version of Office, the suite ranges between $69.99 USD/year – $99.99 USD/year. However, students can download Office 2016 – both Windows and Mac versions – for free*, while faculty members get both versions for under $10 each.

What can Office 2016 run on?

For the most part, Office 2016 will run on anything that its previous version can run on as it requires a 64-bit processor. Read more on Office 2016 specifications and system requirements.

Which version of Office 2016 should I download?

Microsoft has said that there will be two different versions of the productivity suite: Office for Windows 10 apps and Office 2016. Here are the differences:

Office for Windows 10 apps are slated to be simplified versions of the most popular Office titles: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and OneNote. Microsoft has built them to be both touch and mouse friendly, so you can use them across all your devices seamlessly. These apps are pre-installed into Windows 10 mobile devices and tablets for free use. If you’re a desktop user running Windows 10, you’ll be able to find them on the Windows Store.

Office 2016 will be available on September 22, 2015. While Microsoft has been tight lipped about Office 2016, we know that it’s going to be aimed towards business users and will include a wider spectrum of titles, including OneDrive, Access, and more.

Where can I download Office 2016?

If you’re a student, faculty or staff member attending a school with an organization-wide Volume Licensing Program, you may be eligible to download Office 2016 for free. See if you qualify

Office 2016 BoxshotGet Office 2016 at no cost! Students get Office 2016 for free. See if you qualify by searching for your school.

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➤ Mac user? Download Office 2016 for Mac for free*



Plays nice with all your devices

Office 2016 is built with flexibility in mind. This means you’ll have the same experience, whether you’re on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Whether you’re in the classroom, commuting or at home, you will be able to get work done quickly and with fewer steps.

➤ Windows 10 is here! Here’s what students need to know

Work together on documents

Built for teamwork, the new Office suite makes it easier to collaborate with others when it comes to studying with classmates or working on group projects. Now you can work with others simultaneously on a document, whether you’re on a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Co-authoring is available in both Word and PowerPoint.

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Instantly share

Easily share documents in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel with the new Share button in the Ribbon. You can also see who has access and who is currently on a document as well as change permissions for any document you own.

Image credit: pcworld.com

Shared notebooks

In OneNote, shared notebooks lets you collect any information, including photos, videos, drawings, etc., in one central location and sync updates with others. You can do this by generating a link (under the Share menu) to your notebook so others can view or edit it.

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Find commands with Tell Me

Like a smarter version of Clippy, Tell Me is a smart assistant available in the entire Office 2016 suite that lets you type what you want to do in the app with your own words and then guides you to do it.

Image credit: groovypost.com

Get instant info with Smart Lookup

Especially helpful for students, Bing-powered Smart Lookup provides quick access to relevant images, articles, and information right within in your document. Simply highlight terms in your document and use this feature to bring in search results from the web. Use this feature in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.

Image credit: windowscentral.com

Forecasting with one click

Use one-click forecasting to quickly turn your historical data into an analysis of future trends. When you create a forecast, a new worksheet is created in Excel with a table and chart of the historical and predicted values.

Image credit: pcworld.com

Better note-taking tools

Whether you’re on a desktop PC or a Surface tablet, the new OneNote makes it easy to type or handwrite notes, capture webpages, record audio or video, embed spreadsheets, and more.

Image credit: softpedia.com


What are you looking forward to most from Office 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

Office 2016 BoxshotGet Office 2016 at no cost! Students get Office 2016 for free. See if you qualify by searching for your school.

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*The products and/or offers are not for the general public. You may be requested to provide proof of academic or organizational affiliation prior to order or participation. Please note the available Microsoft Office titles and price offered may vary by school and is subject to change without notice.

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Feature photo: Microsoft Brand Central


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