First look: Office 2019’s likeliest new features

Microsoft has been mum about what's coming in Office 2019, but features that have rolled out to Office 365 provide clues. We explore the likeliest additions to Office 2019.

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It's getting close to time for the next major revision of the non-subscription version of Office, Office 2019, expected to be launched in the second half of this year. Microsoft calls this the “perpetual” version of Office because you pay a one-time fee for it and own it forever, and it doesn’t get upgrades until the next major version is released.

That’s in contrast to Office 365, which requires a monthly or annual subscription fee and is constantly updated. (For more details about the different versions of Office, along with expected Office 2019 licenses, release timing, Windows versions supported and more, see “FAQ: Office 2019 is coming; here's what you need to know.”)

Microsoft is being coy about what features will be included in Office 2019; the company has offered only the vaguest of hints. In a blog post about the release, Jared Spataro, general manager for Office, was sparing in his description, saying the release will include new inking features, new formulas and charts for Excel, and visual animation features for PowerPoint.

But we do know this: Office 2019 will be based on Office 365 and will include features from Office 365 that have been introduced since the rollout of Office 2016 in September 2015. Microsoft isn’t developing a separate code base for Office 2019, so it isn’t expected to have any features that Office 365 doesn’t have.

Based on that, we’ve looked at every single Office 365 update, examined each important feature, parsed Microsoft’s comments, and made our best guesses about what features you can expect in Office 2019. We’ve described them below, included details about how they work in Office 365, and taken screenshots so you can get a better look. We can’t guarantee that our predictions will be 100% accurate, but there’s a good chance we might come close.

Keep in mind that Microsoft continually updates Office 365, and some future updates might make their way into Office 2019. So check back here regularly to see if there are any new features you can expect to see.

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