Difference between Office 2016 and 2019

This guide compares Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Office 2019, with both pros and cons and Microsoft app comparison. to help you make the right choice.
Difference between Office 2016 and 2019

What is Microsoft Office?

Before we begin examining the different releases and editions of Office, it is important that we know what exactly it is.

Microsoft Office is a suite of different applications from Microsoft, all of which are either useful in both professional environments as well as personal use or focus more on business-related tasks for enterprises, as well as large to small-sized businesses.

The Office suite comes in many different editions and versions, all of which offer different things, thus making Office appeal to a much larger audience due to the variety of options provided.

There are three classic Office applications that can be found in each and every edition: Word, Excel and PowerPoint; though everything beyond these memorable and beloved applications is additionally really useful.

Depending on the type of Microsoft Office you purchase, you can gain access to applications such as :

  • Outlook which allows you to manage your personal life and e-mails,

  • OneNote to keep track of your notes in an organized manner with the additional capability to use digital inking tools to draw, handwrite or mark important parts of a note

  • Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Access are both PC exclusive software, but are parts of the Office suite nonetheless.

You also have the option to acquire the Skype for Business service or use the compact online versions of various Office applications, that allow you to work with your documents on the go from basically any device and platform as long as you have access to your Microsoft account, and a connection to the internet.

Consider the upgrade

Office 2019 improves on the already advanced features of Office 2016 by adding more capabilities and bringing new tools to the table.

Because Office 2019 is a one-time release, it is important to know that you should consider a subscription to Office 365, as it provides far more features that are unavailable in Office 2019, and is easier to access than the on-premises editions of Office.

However, whether or not you decide to upgrade to Office 2019 or purchase a subscription to Office 365, it is recommended to stop using Office 2016 as soon as possible because the cloud support for it is going to be dropped in October of 2020.

This means that Microsoft's cloud-based services such as hosted e-mail (Exchange) and online storage (OneDrive for Business) will be barred from being used with Office 2016 installs.

New features in Applications

Office 2016 is an earlier release, some of the key differences can be pinpointed as the improvements and alterations Microsoft made to Office 2019 and the applications found within it.

As always, each application found in the suite received an update, which means new features, changes to already existing ones, design overhauls, and overall quality changes that allow users to work more efficiently with ease.

We will be going through the applications and list each change that can be found between the Office 2016 and Office 2019 versions, other than the easily noticeable design and layout changes.

Microsoft Word

Word 2019 gives users new, exciting features beyond just word processor capabilities, as this update also focuses on making your work easier to share and gives you the option to work together with other team members, and adds more support for digital inking, provides learning tools and book-like navigation.

To help you resolve these accessibility issues, a one-click Accessibility Checker has been added as well, allowing you to check if your document is easily readable and editable for people who might have a difficult time without help.

New collaboration tools include easier sharing of your document in various ways. You can select people from a drop-down menu, or alternatively enter the name or email address of the person you want to share your document with and invite them to view or co-edit your work.

After sharing your work, co-editors changes show up in real-time with their names, making it easy to work in teams. You can also track and review changes made to a file, and accept these changes manually to ensure no damage has been done to the file.

Digital pen support became more practical as well, a customizable set of pens, pencils, and highlighters make your digital inking easy and fast to use.

Other visual-related features are support for Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg files) which can now be added and edited within Word, and support for importing and editing 3D models.

Microsoft Excel

In the newest, Office 2019 version of Excel, each and every worksheet is capable of holding a million rows and more than 16000 columns; the horizontal rows are labeled by numbers, while the vertical columns can be identified by letters of the alphabet.

Columns beyond 26 are identified by two or more letters. Excel's cells are capable of holding numbers, text, dates and times, Boolean values and formulas inside of them as data.

You can easily insert icons and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files into your projects. When choosing to insert these icons, you are given access to pick and choose from Microsoft's provided library of professionally made icons in over 25 categories.

You can select multiple icons to insert at the same time, and once your icons are in your worksheet you have the ability to edit them in various ways by resizing, rotating, changing colors, and applying various other visual effects.

Excel 2019 includes a feature to detect accessibility issues in your document and suggest changes in order to ensure that your work is easily readable and editable for people who might have a difficult time understanding it without outside help or have disabilities that restrict them from fully appreciating and perceiving your work.

With the Accessibility Checker, you can review these suggestions and implement them into your document in one click.

Microsoft has expanded the native functions Excel is capable of with 6 new functions to help you during your work.

Some of these functions are improved versions of what already existed within Excel previously, but some new tools are accessible for customers to speed up productivity and make using Excel even easier.

The new functions in Excel 2019 are CONCAT, IFS, MAXIFS, MINIFS, SWITCH, and TEXTJOINT, all of which help you and your team in different ways.

Microsoft PowerPoint

One of PowerPoint’s most used features is transitions to provide an incredibly smooth flow between your content and slides, helping with both visual impact and for you to deliver your thoughts without any unnecessary pauses.

The new Zoom new tool allows you to make your presentation more impactful and dynamic by zooming to or out of different elements or sections of your slide.

It has various different presets such as the Summary Zoom to see the pieces of your presentation all at once, or the slide zoom which provides a seamless transition enabling you to navigate between slides arranged in any order, revisit or skip ahead pieces of your presentation without interrupting your flow while also providing a pleasing to look at animation.

PowerPoint’s background removal feature has seen enhancements as well, for example, the tool now automatically detects the general background area sparing you from having to draw a rectangle around the subject of your image.

By popular demand, PowerPoint now has a text highlighter tool similar to the one available in various other Microsoft products to help you highlight and put emphasis on parts of your text with fully customizable highlight colors.

Digital inking capabilities now allow you to choose and customize a personal set of pens suitable for your needs. You can pick between a set of pens, highlighters, and pencils, as well as change their options to create tools suitable for your needs.

There are a total of five pen thickness settings, color options, and various ink effects to choose from as well.

If you’re using a supported digital stylus, you have the option to choose a Pencil Texture, which allows you to tilt your stylus and achieve a similar shading effect to pencil on paper.

Microsoft Access

Access now includes the many updates we have recently seen such as Modern Charts, a new Linked Table Manager, a visual theme called Dark theme, Big Int, and Salesforce & Dynamics connectors.

The new features and growing user base of Access have caused Microsoft to put in extra care when it came to the new release of the application, and it shows in the long list of new features available within it.

For example, you can now use Access templates, as it is included on the Office templates page - believe it or not, previously it was not even an option to search for Access templates on the site.

SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA), ODBC and OLE DB driver have all seen updates that optimise the use of these features, like support for SQL Server, Azure integrations and other back-end databases.

Access is now available in most of the Office editions, meaning that you can acquire it by purchasing Office 365 Home, Personal, Business, Business Premium, ProPlus, E3, and E5 editions.