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What is Microsoft Word 2016?

What is Microsoft Word 2016?

A Quick Note about Microsoft Word

Most people know that Microsoft Word is a word processing program used to create text documents.   In fact, Microsoft Word has become the measure for all word processing programs on the market today because of all the features and tools it offers.   However, what a lot of people don't realize about Microsoft Word is that it is more than a simple word processing program. It has also evolved into a basic desktop publishing program. 

Not only can you create letters, memos, reports, and books in Microsoft Word, you can also create flyers, brochures, posters and other types of publications that require graphics as well as text.   The tools available in Word allow you to do more than just insert images and graphics. You can also crop, adjust color, and remove backgrounds to create the publication that you want – all without having to touch a photo or graphics editing program.

Downloading Word 2016

With the launch of Office 2013, Microsoft made changes in how they sell their most popular software package.   Of course, you can download a free trial by simply going to the Microsoft Office page, picking out what version you want to try, then downloading the software.   You don't need a credit card to try the software. If you want to purchase the software, Microsoft now gives you several choices.

Buy Microsoft Word

You can purchase Microsoft Word as a standalone program by going to the Microsoft website. 

Want to learn more? Take an online course in Microsoft Word 2016.

Buy Microsoft Office

You can also buy Microsoft Office, which includes other Microsoft Office programs, such as Excel. The price to buy the software vary depending on what version you which to purchase. There are three versions: Home and Student, Home and Business, and Professional.   As with other versions of Office, it's a one-time charge and the software is yours to use as long as you wish. You can buy Office directly from Microsoft or an approved retailer.

Subscribe to Office 365  

With Office 365, you'll be able to download the Office program to your computer just as if you had purchased them. The only difference is you will pay either a monthly or yearly subscription price in order to keep the program active and functional. The price of your subscription will be determined by the version that you want. In the snapshot below, you can see the subscription prices for the Home and Students versions of Office 365.   You can also see what it includes.

As part of Office 365, you'll also be given multiple licenses which will give you the ability to install the software on other computers as well. For the Home version, you get up to five licenses (five devices).   The Small Business version comes with licenses for up to 25 users. The Midsize Business provides for up to 300 users.   There's also an Enterprise version for larger companies that offers unlimited users. 

Once you subscribe to Office 365, you'll never have to worry about purchasing a new version of Office ever again.   When a new version comes out, you will be able to update your software by signing into your Microsoft account. To subscribe to Office 365, go to office.products.com.

Upgrade Your Office 365 Subscription from Office 2013 to Office 2016

If you're currently an Office 2013 subscriber, you can upgrade to Office 2016 without paying any additional charges. Follow the instructions in the screenshot below from the Microsoft.com website.


What's New in Word 2016

With each new version of Word, we see new tools and features that make creating, editing, and organizing documents even easier. Word 2016 is no exception.

Listed below are some of the improvements and changes you can look forward to seeing in Word 2016:

  • Share documents easier than ever before.   You can now share a document by clicking on the Share button in the Ribbon.  

  • Work with others simultaneously by using the new co-authoring feature.

  • Real-Time Typing. The co-authoring feature goes hand in hand with real-time typing. As you work within a document, you can see what others are doing in the document, as well as view the changes they make. 

  • New chart types.   Treemap, Waterfall, Pareto, Histogram, Box and Whisker, and Sunburst are some of the new chart types in Word 2016. 

  • View previous versions of a document.   You can now view historical versions of your documents.

  • Smart Lookup allows you to fact check parts of your document.   All you have to do is highlight the term you want to check. You will see the search results in Word. 

  • Tell Me.  Tell Me is a feature that allows you to tell Word what you want to do.  This feature will guide you through the steps you need to take to complete the task. 

  • Ink Equations.  Inserting math equations in your document is even easier in Word 2016. You can simply go to Insert>Equation>Ink Equation whenever you want to put an equation into your document. With a touchscreen device, you can write the equations by hand. Word converts it to text for you. You can also write with your mouse.

  • Shape Formatting. Now you can choose from preset fills and theme colors to make inserting shapes from the Shapes gallery easier and faster. 

  • And more!

The Differences Between Word 2016 for Mac and Word 2013 for Windows

Not long before the windows version of Word 2016 was released, the 2016 version of Word for Mac was released as well.   In the past, the Word for Windows and Word for Mac looked like very different beasts.   Word 2011 for Mac, for example, still had the feel of the old Word for windows before the invention of the Ribbon.   However, they look more alike in the 2016 versions.

Below is a picture of the Home tab of Word 2016 for Mac.

Now look at the Home tab of Word 2016 for windows.

Some of the new features found above the Ribbon in Word 2016 for Windows aren't yet available for Mac, such as the Share button and the Tell Me tool.   Aside from that, the two versions of Word 2016 are very similar in terms of the user interface and design.

Most of the major differences between the two versions are related to the Normal text style. The default font size for Word 2016 for Windows is 11 point Calibre.   It's 12 point Calibre on the Mac. If you're combining data from a document in Word for Windows and Word from Mac, this is something you'll want to remember when choosing a paste option.

Here's another difference.  If you press Enter at the end of a paragraph in Word for Windows, the cursor jumps down a little to automatically put space between the paragraphs. In Mac, there's no such space. You need to click Enter twice to put the space there.  

Listed below are some other differences:

  • There isn't a File tab on the ribbon with Word for Mac. Instead, you will find those tools and commands under File on the Mac's menu bar.

  • The tools are broken down into groups in both versions; however, the groups are not labeled in Word for Mac.

  • The Navigation pane has a different look and feel in Windows than it does in Mac. In Word, you have tabs that read Headings, Pages, and Results. In Word for Mac, you have icons to click. To access the Navigation pane in Word for Windows, you go to Find in the Editing group. In Word for Mac, you go to Edit>Find>Replace.

  • There isn't an Editing group under the Home tab in Word for Mac.

  • Word for Mac does not have a tool for screenshots under the Insert tab.

  • Word for Windows offers a Linked Notes tool for OneNote under the Review tab. Word for Mac does not offer this.

If you use both Word 2016 for Windows and Word 2016 for Mac, it should be easier than ever to switch between the two, because they have close to the same look and feel.   Most of the differences between the two versions of Word are not great enough to cause any problems using the program or finding what you need. Just be careful of the font size and paragraph spacing if you need to combine data from documents -- or require consistency across all documents you create.

Getting Started in Microsoft Word 2016

You open Microsoft Word by clicking double clicking on the shortcut on your desktop or the icon in the taskbar. The icon for Microsoft Word 2016 looks like this:

Word 2016 then opens to the Start screen. The Start Screen looks like this:

On the left, you'll see the dark blue column that contains your recently opened documents. You can click on any of these to open them.  

To the right, you'll see templates that you can use to start a new Word document.  

You can also choose to just open a blank Word document.   A blank Word document is just a white, blank area. It doesn't have any formatting or dummy text added to it as a template might.

To open a blank document, click on Blank Document to select it.

Word 2016 then opens the blank document for you. It looks like this:

The default name for a new, unsaved document is Document1. You can see the name in the Title bar, which appears at the top of the Word window, as shown below.

For each additional new document that you open, the default name increases by one digit: Document2, Document3, etc. 

You can also open a Word document that you have saved on computer in Microsoft Word.   Double click on the document icon, and it will open in a Word window.

Touring the Word 2016 Interface

Being able to find the tools and commands you need in Microsoft Word will save you a lot of time as you create and edit documents.   

For now, let's learn the basics of the Word 2016 interface by taking a look at the blank document again. This time, however, we've labeled the different parts of the interface that you'll use in Word 2016.

Take a few minutes to look at the features that we've labeled for you. It's not important that you know how to use these things right now. For now, just take a second to familiarize yourself with where everything is located. The areas labeled above help to make using Word 2016 easier, but they're not the bread and butter. 

If you look below the Quick Access Toolbar (as labeled above), you'll see the Ribbon. The Ribbon was first introduced in Office 2007. 

The ribbon is divided up into tabs. These tabs are also menus.   The tabs are Home, Insert, Design, Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View. 

Below each tab you will find commands and tools.   The commands or tools located beneath each tab relate to the tab.   For example, under the Layout tab, you would find tools to create a page layout. 

To make finding what you need even easier, the tools and commands under each tab are broken down into groups. In the snapshot above, we're looking at Layout. The groups within the Layout tab are Page Setup, Paragraph, and Arrange.  The Arrange group is pictured below.

Working with Word 2016 on a Tablet

If you're using Word on a tablet, you can adjust the spacing between buttons on the ribbon to make it easier to use. You do this by activating Touch mode.

To activate Touch mode, click or touch the Quick Access Toolbar button: 

Select Touch/Mouse Mode.

You can now see the button in the Quick Access Toolbar, as shown below:

Now, touch or click the button in the Quick Access Toolbar, and choose Touch.

There is now more space between commands on the Ribbon.

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