New Delhi: The latest edition of Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps is finally available for Windows 10 and Mac OS users. Called Office 2019, it succeeds Office 2016 that was launched in 2015. A stand-alone product with a one-time price, it is not a part of Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 suite.

However, many of its features are already available on Office 365 Pro Plus. Unlike Office 365, which works online, Office 2019 will run offline. It will continue to get big fixes and security updates, but won’t receive any feature updates after the purchase. It will also be backward compatible and work with files created using previous versions such as Office 2016, Office 2013 and Office 2010.

Office 2019 includes popular productivity tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and starts at $149 for a single PC. Its key talking points include two new PowerPoint tools, Morph and Zoom, which allow users to apply transitions to give the appearance of movement in text, shapes, pictures and charts. Writing or drawing with a stylus on PowerPoint is going to become more user-friendly with the addition of enhanced pressure sensitivity, tilt effects and ink replay.

Excel gets new tools and formulae allowing users to analyse data and generate charts from complex data sets quicker. In Word, users can now apply a dark theme, get Word to read content aloud and switch to a more immersive full-screen view. Note taking app One Note will remain free.

While Microsoft has been putting a lot of emphasis on its cloud platforms such as Office 365 and Microsoft 365, it has no intention of alienating users who are not interested in the cloud-based services and have requirements that can be fulfilled by Office 2019.

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