If you plan on advancing from the 2019 version, here’s a list of the main new features. Keep attention that these will be new only if you’re coming from a previous perpetual-license version. Microsoft 365 contributors saw these features added gradually over the past two years.


Excel has formulas that immediately return an array of values, a function that assigns names to the results of calculations so that you can use those names in a formula, a function that returns the relative position of an item in a range of cell, and customized views for individual sheets.


PowerPoint lets you replay animations in which you apply freehand inking to a slide and adds a feature that lets you create a link to a specific slide and send the link to a colleague, with an option to let them edit it.


Outlook becomes on-the-fly translations, quicker searches, freehand inking, and more.

Nothing of these new features are groundbreaking. If you’re already running the 2016 or 2019 version, and you don’t really need these new 2021 enhancements, you don’t need to spend money on the new version. If you’re setting up a new computer, however, and you don’t have an current license for Office, then you won’t regret starting with the 2021 edition. If you’re upgrading from a preceding version, keep in mind that Microsoft, unlike many other vendors, doesn’t offer reduced-price upgrades. You pay the similar total, whether you’re just starting out with Office or have been using it since the previous era.


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