Microsoft Office Home & Business 2019 was released to the public in September of 2018. Known shorthand as Office 2019, the new Microsoft Office offers many new features for office workers focused on productivity, better drawing tools, and many enhancements to Excel and other programs for better data viewing. We are going to explore the features of Office Home & Business 2019 with you, including some new features, pricing, and some pros and cons about Office Home & Business 2019.
Powerpoint has a cool new feature which some call Morph. Morph allows users to move separate objects to new locations from one slide to the next. Morph creates the appearance of a single slide by having the objects within your slide move instead of the background.
You can now actually zoom in to different slides in Powerpoint instead of using the linear search located which requires scrolling to find the right slide. Powerpoint users with Office Home & Business 2019 can now import SVG graphics as well as 3D objects from Microsoft’s 3D Remix community to enhance the look of their presentations.
Word and other programs within the Office Home & Business 2019 suite now speak better with Icons. Like specific, detailed emojis, these use clipart to represent many items and ideas. While the presentations are initially black and white, you can choose from a significant color palette to add to your document.
Word also receives an upgrade to the rather hidden Speak feature. The Read Aloud tool is now in the Ribbon in a more obvious place. The same tool setup also allows for larger spacing between syllables and more distancing between characters to make it easier for users to see and read their text. The background color can now also be changed for better visibility. Read Aloud is great for people who want to hear but cannot see well, or simply want to hear the words written while doing something else.
Another cool Word feature is their new black theme. Staring at your word processor for hours giving you eye strain? The black theme saves your monitor’s lights and your eyes by providing a high contrast black background with whitish gray text instead of a solid white background all the time. This is slightly more energy efficient and built to replicate the Dark Mode themes found on any modern phones. The themes also help users type at night, which is great for those burning the midnight oil or working in a darker room.
Microsoft has also added some cool new drawing features for Office Home & Business 2019, and it’s not just for artists. You can now use a trackball or mouse to draw figures, as well as using stylus pens. The drawings are generally converted to math or to write symbols. This feature is especially prominent on touchscreen Surface systems that often use presentation modes.
Outlook for Office Home & Business 2019 has a new feature called Focused Inbox that will help users maintain productivity. Using artificial intelligence, Focused Inbox only shows you emails you need to see at a given moment and hides the rest. Without waiting for artificial intelligence, you can push emails out of the focused inbox. This is especially useful for users who are inundated by a variety of emails and want to focus and prioritize. Outlook basically has created a scenario with a “Focused” inbox and “Other.” which aren’t important messages.
How is Office Home & Business 2019 Strong and Improved?
Let’s first take a look at how Office Home & Business 2019 has been a fixture for Office work. The file formats are just about universal. Other office programs from Apple iWork to Libre Office or Corel WordPerfect can open an Office document, but not the other way around - their documents often require exporting as a Word file for proper conversion. Programs like Apple iWork and Libre Office often require the end user to have the same program to open a file. Word is fairly common and does not.
Excel is still in a league of its own. Improvements have been made to Pivot Tables and Funnel Charts to make them easier to make and read. Excel can also handle larger spreadsheets compared to other non-Microsoft office products and Office Home & Business 2019 is no exception in handling large amounts of data with ease and speed. New query tools also help users find data within their files in an effort to find specific answers to their questions. The results can be pushed to map charts, which can help explain differences by state or by country.
Funnel charts can show how the step by step processes work within your data and help you reveal issues in your own processes. These are terrific for process data like manufacturing and sales where collecting and showing where things falter can be essential to correcting issues in the workplace or within your sales force.
Excel users can now setup a default PivotTable mode to use the same or similar settings when they have data collected to produce a PivotTable. By far the best aspect of their customizable defaults for PivotTables is the time savings of not having to choose details again when you create another PivotTable for this month’s reports. You can just use the last one. PivotTables are also smarter and can automatically find relationships between the data you see rather than you hunting for them.
Excel now also works better with touch screen devices. Previously, you could only slice one cell at a time with a touch screen device. Even more efficient, Excel now waits until you are done with multiple changes to a PivotTable to actually refresh it so you can avoid waiting between minor changes while you are attempting to fine tune the details you want to see.
Word now features better translations between languages. These tools are especially useful for students overseas and international businesses needing some help understanding each other’s languages. The tab is readily available under Translate as well.
We can also face the fact that Word has always been strong. The new ribbon interface is tough to beat, allowing users to transition from writing a college easy, to making a nice looking newsletter in a matter of seconds without the need for a different program. Word basically offers you a smart template for the purpose of whatever writing you need, all of which is readily accessible and adaptable.
Office Home & Business 2019 vs Office 365
While we have mostly written of positive things for Office Home & Business 2019, the difference between Office Home & Business 2019 and Office 365 is where Microsoft makes it clear that they want you to use the monthly or yearly subscription services provided by Office 365. Office Home & Business 2019 doesn’t include some important and cool things included with Office 365.
For reference, Office 365 is a cloud based Office program that does indeed have a monthly or yearly payment and is for users who want constant upgrades and access from any Internet enabled device.
Internet connectivity with Office 365 allows users to collaborate in real time. If you work in an office with others or need to communicate quickly, this is a fantastic feature not available in Office Home & Business 2019. Rather than sending documents back and forth, you can leave notes and have the document readily available without tons of attachment exchanges. This is one of the most important features of modern office settings.
PowerPoint is also missing some features from Office Home & Business 2019 that exist in Office 365 in part due to an Internet connection. Office 365’s PowerPoint Designer suggests slides based on graphics you add to existing slides while QuickStarter will provide invaluable for people who frequently make Powerpoints, as it helps with outline creation and research.
AutoSave is also generally not included though recovery is often possible.
So Why Office Home & Business 2019 instead of Office 365?
We just presented a few negative factoids about Office Home & Business 2019. Why then would you choose Office Home & Business 2019? The answer is pretty easy. Some of the things we discussed are not negative for everyone. If you don’t use Office Home & Business 2019 all that often and primarily focus on Word and making occasionally Powerpoint presentations, your cost of $149 gets you Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. For $100 more, you get Outlook too.
By contrast, Office 365 gets you more features for as low as $100 per year or $9.99 per month for a basic subscription which does include storage space and Skype. You do get constant, non disruptive and repeated updates as well as the ability to access Office from any computer. This might not be worth it to some users who don’t want all the new features and don’t really need many of the options 365 office. Office Home & Business 2019 is perfect for this and is relatively cheap. Consider that Office Home & Business 2019 has a 7 year service life, or a time in which Microsoft will continue to provide basic updates and support. Assuming no changes happen to the price of Office 365, you’ll be paying at paying $800 or more for a monthly subscription plan, or around $700 if you pay yearly. Unless you are a constant office user, this probably is not worthwhile. Or if your company pays for it while you work outside the office.
Office Home & Business 2019 still exists because some people don’t need all the updates provided and are hesitant to put all their data on the cloud. Office Home & Business 2019 is still great for single subscriptions for businesses and homes, especially with limited access to the Internet at places like factories and other facilities that don’t emphasize Internet needs. If you have one computer that needs Office, by all means get Office Home & Business 2019 for word processing, presentation creation, and OneNote.
We also have to put it out there that the ads for Microsoft 2019 vs Microsoft Office 365 are intended to promote Office 365, especially this particular ad with “Twins” doing the same tasks on both softwares. Office 365 is made to look clearly faster with less monotonous work in rather specific situations involving data entry. While the ad is an attempt at humor, it’s difficult to believe that most users of Office Home & Business 2019 wouldn’t simply have a file available for download when inspecting data files with Excel and Office Home & Business 2019 versus needing to pull in data from the Internet.
We also realize that we have discussed Office 365 a fair bit in this review, in part because Microsoft is clearly trying to get you to purchase their subscription service instead of Office Home & Business 2019.
Conclusion: Which Office should I get? Office Home & Business 2019 or Office 365?
Office Home & Business 2019 has enough new features to justify spending over $150, especially if you use Excel for home or work, and understand the new functions well enough to make important decisions. Many users will also enjoy the new Read Aloud feature as well as the ability to create smooth transitions in Powerpoint. Even Focused Inbox can help people who own their own business keep focused on tasks. With the single license costing at least $150 (the price is lower for students, though we assume you are paying full price) Office Home & Business 2019 still gets you the best when comparing to other even free programs, but Microsoft is clearly trying to push people to the subscription based Office 365 program with the added features. The powerful basic tools, even before recent upgrades, make it the most compatible, readily available and easiest to learn Office program available on the market, even at the price.
In the end, buy Microsoft Office Home & Business 2019 if you need a lone, stable version of Office Home & Business 2019 and don’t want to pay for it every month while receiving more “goodies” that might not apply to you. Office Home & Business 2019 is definitely the best choice over other word processing programs and the best non-subscription platform anyone has to offer.
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