Office 2021 Release Date and New Features

Microsoft announced the release in the second half of Office 2021 as a one-time purchase, as well as an LTSC-like version benefiting from a longer follow-up from the publisher and designed for specific uses.

In a blog post, Microsoft announced the upcoming availability of Office 2021 for macOS and Windows, as well as the release of a Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version for businesses. The latter is designed for computers that are not connected to the Internet and require long-term support, for example the computer in a dental office that manages radio imaging or a machine tool station in a factory.

Microsoft is therefore aligning the Office suite with its Windows 10 operating system, which already has a version of this type. Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will be released jointly later this year. However, a preview of Office 2021 LTSC will be available in April 2021.

For individuals and small businesses, Office 2019 will therefore not be the last version under a so-called perpetual license (one-time purchase), Microsoft acknowledging that some customers are not yet ready to switch to the version of Office 365 and its annual subscription. The Office 2021 suite will be available in the second half of 2021.

What's new in Office 2021

Pick the perfect color

Pick the perfect color

Based on customers feedback, Microsoft have added a new input field in the Colors dialog for Hex color values. Now you won’t have to spend time converting Hex color values into RGB values.

For any property where you can define a color, you can now enter a Hex color value in the Hex box, for example, #0F4C81 or 444.

Insert images, icons, and more in Office 2021

Microsoft is constantly adding more rich media content to the Office Premium Creative Content collection, an organized library of images, icons, and more that help you express yourself.

See what’s new in stock media
Find what you need with Microsoft Search

Find what you need with Microsoft Search

At the top of your Microsoft Office apps on Windows you’ll find the new Microsoft Search box. This powerful tool helps you quickly find what you’re looking for, from text to commands to help and more.

Visual refresh

Work with a modernized Start experience and newly refreshed tabs in the ribbon.

Experience a clean, clear style with Monoline iconography that communicates action and features with simple visuals.

office 2021 Visual refresh
Performance improvements in Office 2021

Performance improvements

Experience improved performance, stability, and speed across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook​.

Get faster calculations from common Excel functions like SUMIF, COUNTIF, and AVERAGEIF.

Updated Draw tab

Quickly access and change the color of all your inking tools in one place.

Simplify how you work with ink using new Draw tab additions: Point Eraser, Ruler, and Lasso.

Updated Draw tab
Save your changes as they happen

Save your changes as they happen

Upload your files to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online to make sure all your updates are saved automatically.

Support for OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.3

Office 2021 now includes support for the OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.3. The ODF 1.3 specification adds support for many new features.

Support for OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.3
Try the Sketched style outline

Try the Sketched style outline

You can give a casual, hand-drawn look to shapes in your presentations with the Sketched style outline.

Try out the Curved, Freehand, or Scribble options under Format Shape > Line > Sketched style.

Excel

What's new in Excel 2021 for Windows

Excel 2021 for Windows allows you to analyze data easily with new Excel capabilities including Dynamic Arrays, XLOOKUP, and LET functions.

Look left, look right… XLOOKUP is here!

Row by row, find anything you need in a table or range with XLOOKUP​.

Return exact matches by default—there’s no need to specify​.

LET function

The LET function assigns names to calculation results. This allows storing intermediate calculations, values, or defining names inside a formula. These names only apply within the scope of the LET function.

Similar to variables in programming, LET is accomplished through Excel’s native formula syntax.

Dynamic arrays

Write one formula and return an array of values. Expedite calculations and insights with six ​
more new functions: FILTER, SORT, SORTBY, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE, and RANDARRAY.

XMATCH function

The XMATCH function searches for a specified item in an array or range of cells, and then returns the item’s relative position.

You can also use XMATCH to return a value in an array.

Get a quick summary of what’s in your workbook

Wondering how big your worksheet or workbook is getting? Excel provides workbook statistics to help you.

Outlook

What's new in Outlook 2021 for Windows

Outlook 2021 for Windows lets you better manage your inbox with the addition of new capabilities including Search at Top and Translator.

If you’re upgrading to Outlook 2021 for Windows from Outlook 2019, for Windows you’ll still have all the features you’re used to—and you’ll notice a few new ones as well!

Use Instant Search to quickly find emails

Select the search bar (located above the Outlook ribbon) to help find email messages anywhere in Outlook

Translator and ink in Outlook

Translate email messages into more than 70 languages on the fly and view the transcript—all within Outlook.

Annotate email images or draw in a separate canvas using your finger, pen, or mouse.

PowerPoint

What's new in PowerPoint 2021 for Windows

PowerPoint 2021 for Windows lets you create compelling content with the addition of features including Ink Replay, improved slide show recording, new stock media from the Office Premium Creative Content collection and new Draw tab additions such as Point Eraser, Ruler, and Lasso.

If you’re upgrading to PowerPoint 2021 for Windows from PowerPoint 2019 for Windows, you’ll still have all the features you’re used to—and you’ll notice a few new ones as well!

New and improved Record Slide Show

Record Slide Show now supports presenter video recording, ink recording, and laser pointer recording.

Use the Record, Pause, and Resume buttons to control narration and navigation recording.

Replay your ink strokes

You can replay your ink strokes as they were drawn. This lets you illustrate things step by step or show a thought process. You can also pause the replay and select the point where you want to restart the replay.

Arrange elements on your slides for screen readers

See the elements in screen-reading order. You can rearrange them as necessary to communicate your message effectively

What's new in Access 2021

Access 2021 lets you build and share a database in seconds. You supply the information and Access does the rest, making it easy to create and structure your data. Reports and queries put your data into the format you want, so your applications consistently look great.

If you’re upgrading to Access 2021 from Access 2019, you’ll still have all the features you’re used to—and you’ll notice a few new ones as well!

Add tables with fewer clicks

Use the Add Tables task pane, which stays open while you work, to add tables to relationships and queries.

Keep tabs on your database objects

You can clearly see the active tab, easily drag tabs to rearrange them, and close database objects with just one click.

Dark theme support

See the elements in screen-reading order. You can rearrange them as necessary to communicate your message effectively

Refresh, relink, or remove linked tables

The updated Linked Table Manager is a central location for viewing and managing all data sources and linked tables in an Access database. From time-to-time you may need to refresh, relink, find, edit, or delete linked tables. This is because of changes to the data source location, table name, or table schema.

The Date/Time Extended data type has better precision

We’ve implemented the DateTime2 data type into Access to enhance syntax compatibility with SQL to increase accuracy and level of detail in records that include dates and times. The DateTime2 data type includes a larger date range (0001-01-01 through 9999-12-31) with higher-specified time precision (nanoseconds, rather than seconds).

Improvements to the Relationships Window

Quickly adjust the table size to reveal additional fields and relationships, select a subset of tables and relationships, and scroll horizontally and vertically by using the mouse scroll wheel.

Improvements to SQL View

Use the Find and Replace dialog box in SQL View to search for and replace text in an SQL statement, which is especially useful for long statements.

Improvements to the Query Designer

We’ve added new time-saving options for table objects. In Query Design View, right-click to select Open, Design View or Size to Fit.

What's new in Visio Professional 2021

Visio Professional 2021 makes it easier than ever for individuals and teams to create and share professional, versatile diagrams that simplify complex information. Visio Professional 2021 includes updated shapes, templates, and styles; enhanced support for team collaboration, including the ability for several people to work on a single diagram at the same time; and the ability to link diagrams to data instantly. Visio Professional 2021 also helps prevent information leakage by enabling Information Rights Management.

If you’re upgrading to Visio Professional 2021 from Visio Professional 2019, you’ll still have all the features you’re used to—and you’ll notice a few new ones as well!

New Azure stencils and shapes

We’ve added many more stencils to help you create up-to-date Azure diagrams. You can use these new stencils to build Azure diagrams for network topologies, virtual machine configurations, operations, and more.

New AWS stencils and shapes

We have enabled infrastructure shapes from another major cloud provider: Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can now use stencils with the latest AWS shapes to help you create diagrams.

Ready-made graphics for your diagrams

We’re constantly adding more rich media content to the Office Premium Creative Content collection, a curated library of stock images, icons, and more that you can add to your Visio drawings.

Content for social distancing planning in the workplace

Many workplaces need to be re-planned to follow the social distancing guidelines in force. This template, and the Workplace Social Distancing stencil, provide a number of shapes, fill patterns and line patterns, both scaled and unscaled, to help with this process.

Create wireframe diagrams for mobile apps

Bring ideas to life by using a Visio wireframe. A wireframe is a detailed visual model of an interface that is like a blueprint of functionality and content. These new mobile app templates are ideal for creating a low-fidelity, design sketch to present ideas, arriving at a team consensus, and forming the basis of a high-fidelity wireframe.

Content for recreating and redesigning crime scene investigations

Use new Evidence, Indoor, and Outdoor stencils in the Crime Scene Investigation template to recreate crime scenes in detail. Find the template under Maps and Floorplans.

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