Microsoft Office, Microsoft's suite of productivity apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, has been immensely popular among both individuals and businesses for many, many years. The apps within Microsoft Office are some of the best Windows 10 apps available for completing work and schoolwork, and because of that, Microsoft Office has become the global standard for productivity. Occasionally, Microsoft releases an updated version of Office and its apps that feature several enhancements and additions. These improvements make the already-great Office user experience even better, which naturally leads to increased work efficiency.
Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft Office 2021, including where you'll be able to download it, what's new with the latest version of Office, and more.
Microsoft recently launched the consumer version of Microsoft Office 2021 alongside Windows 11 on Oct. 5, 2021. Additionally, a special version of Office called Office LTSC (Long Term Service Channel) that has most of the upgrades from Office 2021 was released on Sept. 16. LTSC is a new name for what Microsoft calls a ‘perpetual license’ version. A single payment for ongoing use of the software with no annual payments (aka ‘subscription).
Based on comments from Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro, Office LTSC is meant for specific business circumstances rather than individual customers. "We have built Office LTSC for a limited set of specific situations: regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel."
Compared to Microsoft Office 2019, Microsoft Office 2021 boasts several new improvements and enhancements. Here's a breakdown of the additions you can expect from the full Microsoft Office 2021 app suite:
Visual refresh designed with clean monoline iconography in mind
New stock media content
Microsoft Search bar in all apps for general search queries
Updated Draw Tab with new Point Eraser, Ruler, and Lasso additions
Support for OpenDocument format 1.3
Sketched style outline option for shapes
Addition of a Hex color value box when picking colors
XLOOKUP search for finding information in tables and ranges
Dynamic array functions, including FILTER, SORT, SORTBY, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE, and RANDARRAY
LET function that assigns names to calculation results
XMATCH function that searches for a specified item and then provides the item's relative position
Record Slide Show now features options for presenter video recording, ink recording and laser pointer recording
You can replay ink strokes to illustrate things step by step or visualise a thought process
You can see slide elements in screen-reading order and rearrange them as necessary
Email translation for over 70 different languages will be supported
Annotate email images with your finger, pen, or mouse
Instant Search feature allows you to quickly find specific emails
Updated Linked Table Manager with refresh, relink, or remove options
Addition of SQL DateTime2 data type
Tab manager that allows you to see active tabs, rearrange tabs, or close database objects
New Azure stencils and shapes
New AWS stencils and shapes
Workplace Social Distancing template and stencil
Like previous versions of Microsoft Office, we expect that you'll be able to download Microsoft Office 2021 from Microsoft's official Office website by logging into the site after purchasing Office 2021. A listing for Office 2021 hasn't been spotted on Microsoft's website yet, but it's likely that it will go live soon. Note that you can also download Microsoft Office 2021 from purchases made on third-party storefronts like Amazon.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to upgrade from Office 2019 to Office 2021 without paying full price. With that said, you're in luck if you use Microsoft 365, which is Microsoft's subscription-based alternative to one-time purchases of Microsoft Office. Microsoft has previously stated that all Office apps and services are automatically updated with the latest features and improvements through Microsoft 365, which implies that Microsoft 365 users will receive the benefits of Office 2021 through the service.