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[Microsoft Office 2021] The Latest Version of Microsoft Office: Detailed Guide

February 1, 2024 5.3K views

Microsoft Office is a widely used set of software tools for work and productivity. It's been evolving since the 1970s, always adding new features to keep up with user needs.

We understand that many people are curious about the latest version, Microsoft Office 2021. Our blog post will answer questions like how to download it, its new features, and provide unbiased reviews.

If you're thinking about alternatives to Microsoft Office, we'll suggest some options. Let's dive into this comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions.

oductivity and What is the Latest Version of Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office 2021 is the latest version of Microsoft's productivity suite, catering to the evolving needs of users across various sectors.

It was released on October 5, 2021. Plus, this is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems.

The recent update of the Office Suites has made significant enhancements, including more comprehensive support for the OASIS OpenDocument file format, which is critical for interoperability with other office software.

The XMATCH function now has a better search mechanism, which is beneficial for data manipulation and lookup tasks.

Furthermore, introducing dynamic arrays and XLOOKUP has augmented data management capacities.

Further enhancements include an improved 'Ink for Translate' in Microsoft Outlook and PowerPoint, amplifying the suite's language translation capabilities.

Feature Updates in Microsoft Office 2021

Let's look at the various feature updates in Microsoft Office's latest version, 2021:

Microsoft Word 2021:

Microsoft Word 2021 has seen significant improvements, including new dark mode features and support for MathML equations.

Let's discuss some of the feature updates in detail:

  • Real-Time Co-Authoring

You can now collaborate with other people on the same document simultaneously.

So, if you're working with a team on a project, you can now work on the same document together without worrying about sharing files or making changes manually.

  • Enhanced Collaboration with Modern Comments

Microsoft Word 2021 provides a seamless commenting experience between Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, allowing you to control when your comments are sent to co-authors. This feature promotes productivity and streamlines communication among team members.

  • Awareness of Co-Author Presence

In addition to collaborative commenting, users can now see who else is working on the same document and their location within it. This fosters efficient collaboration and is available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Visual Refresh

Microsoft Word 2021 also introduces a modernized Start feature and newly refreshed tabs in the ribbon for a sleek, user-friendly interface.

The updated design includes monoline iconography, softer window corners, and a neutral color palette, providing a clean and clear style.

Microsoft Excel 2021:

Microsoft Excel 2021 introduces several exciting features to enhance data analysis and calculation capabilities. Let's delve into the specifics:

  • LOOKUP Function

Gone are the days of manually searching for data in tables or ranges. With the new XLOOKUP function, you can easily find anything you need. This feature brings efficiency to data manipulation and lookup tasks, providing a much-needed boost to productivity.

  • Dynamic Arrays

Dynamic Arrays take formula writing to a new level, allowing you to write a single formula that returns an array of values.

This feature is enhanced with six new functions: FILTER, SORT, SORTBY, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE, and RANDARRAY, which expedite calculations and derive insights swiftly.

  • LET Function

The newly introduced LET function assigns names to calculation results, enabling you to store intermediate calculations and define names within a formula.

This feature improves the readability of your formulas and reduces computation time, especially when dealing with complex calculations.

  • XMATCH Function

The XMATCH function is another addition that enhances the data-handling capabilities of Excel. It looks for a specific item in a range of cells or arrays and returns its relative position.

Additionally, it can be used to return a value in an array, providing flexibility and control in data management.

  • Sheet Views

The Sheet View feature allows you to create customized views in an Excel worksheet without disrupting others. This is particularly useful for collaborative efforts where team members may need different data views.

  • Accessibility Ribbon

The introduction of the Accessibility Ribbon has made creating accessible content more effortless than ever.

It consolidates all the necessary tools in one place, ensuring accessibility features are easily reachable and straightforward to implement.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2021:

Microsoft PowerPoint 2021 also receives a few advancements that will take your presentations to the next level. Let's discuss this in more detail:

  • Record Slide Show

The Record Slide Show feature has undergone a significant transformation and now offers support for presenter video recording, ink recording, and laser pointer recording, adding versatility to your presentations and fostering effective communication.

  • Ink Replay - Slide Animation for Ink Object

The new Ink Replay feature enables you to apply the innovative Replay or Rewind animation directly to the ink, creating a dynamic drawing effect in your presentations.

Moreover, you can adjust the timing of these animations, making them faster or slower to align with your preferred pace and presentation style.

  • Arrange Elements for Screen Readers

PowerPoint 2021 prioritizes accessibility by allowing you to see elements in the screen-reading order and rearrange them as necessary. This feature ensures that your message is communicated effectively and inclusively, catering to a broad range of audience needs.

  • Link to a Slide

Invite collaboration in your projects with the new Link to Slide feature. You can now ask a colleague to contribute to your slide deck and guide them directly to the slide you need assistance with, promoting teamwork and enhancing the quality of your presentations.

People's Review About Microsoft Office 2021

Pros:

  • Updated Features: Office 2021 has several updated application features, enhancing user experience and efficiency.

  • One-time Purchase: Unlike Office 365, Office 2021 is available for a one-time purchase, making it a cost-effective solution for some users.

  • Powerful Suite: Office 2021, by far, is the most potent Microsoft Office program yet, equipped with advanced and user-friendly features.

  • No Learning Curve: The suite presents a cleaner interface that is easy to navigate, eliminating any additional learning curve.

  • Accessible: It gives users access to online and mobile versions, ensuring productivity is never compromised.

  • Offline Access: The latest office version allows offline access to all its functionalities, so you can continue your work without internet connectivity. This feature ensures uninterrupted productivity and convenience.

Cons:

  • Limited Updates: Unlike Office 365, Office 2021 does not provide regular feature updates.

  • No Cloud Integration: The lack of cloud integration limits real-time collaboration and accessibility to files.

  • Intrusive Automation: Certain automation functions in Office 2021 can be more of a hindrance than a help, complicating rather than simplifying tasks.

  • Menu Navigation: The interface, although sleek, can sometimes make it challenging to locate specific functionalities, leading to potential workflow disruptions.

  • Limited Add-ons: The suite offers limited add-ons, restricting the customization and expansion potential of the software.

How to Download Microsoft Office 2021 for Free?

Now you might be eager to get your hands on this powerful suite. Well, the good news is that it's possible to download the latest version of Microsoft Office for free. We'll guide you here through the download process of Microsoft Office's latest version for Windows 10/11.

However, many websites offer Microsoft Office 2021 free download, but the downloads are often outdated and infected with malware. That's why we've selected the website "Get Into PC" for download.

Steps to Download for Free:

Step 1: To start, open a web browser and navigate to https://getintopc.com/.

Step 2: Once the webpage is loaded, search for "Microsoft Office 2021."

Step 3: Click on the Microsoft Office latest version 2021 download button version.

Step 4: Clicking the download button will take you to another new tab where you can find the download tap at the end of the page. Tap the Download button and wait for your download to complete.

Step 5: Once downloaded, go back to that download page and watch the video "How to install this software," and follow the instruction as shown in the video.

Step 6: Now, you can use your new Microsoft Office 2021.

Note: If you are a Mac user, you can also download Microsoft Office's latest version for Mac from here.

A Free Office Suite: WPS Office

For those looking to replace the Microsoft Office suite or in need of an accessible and efficient office suite that won't break the bank, WPS Office is a great choice. WPS Office offers Word, Excel, and Powerpoint alternatives as well as other valuable features such as PDF conversion, spell checker, templates, cloud synchronization, and collaboration capabilities

WPS Office is compatible with MS Office file formats, ensuring a seamless transition between the two suites. One of the unique selling points of WPS Office is its artificial intelligence (AI) functionality.

Integrating AI into the WPS Office facilitates a more efficient, more innovative work experience. An example is the WPS Cloud which leverages AI to provide users with a secure online workspace to access, edit, and store their documents.

The comprehensive suite of WPS Office is predominantly free, making it an appealing choice for many users. While it offers a premium subscription with advanced features, users can still access most functionalities without cost.

WPS Office is an incredible alternative to Microsoft Office, offering most of the features for free. It provides essential productivity tools and introduces a new AI function to enhance user experience and efficiency. With its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, WPS Office is a strong contender in productivity software.

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FAQs:

  1. What is the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft Office?

Office 2021 and Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) are both suites of productivity tools but differ in purchase model and update frequency. Office 2021 is a one-time purchase, meaning you pay an upfront cost for one PC or Mac and use it indefinitely.

However, this does not include any upgrade options, so any new significant releases must be purchased separately at the total price. On the other hand, Microsoft 365 operates on a subscription basis, offering a more collaborative and up-to-date experience.

It includes familiar Office desktop apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, along with extra online storage and cloud-connected features for real-time collaboration.

A subscription ensures you always have the latest features, fixes, security updates, and ongoing tech support at no extra cost.

  1. Can I use my old Microsoft Office on my new laptop?

Yes, you can install Office on your new laptop from the Microsoft Office Account, given that you sign in with the same Microsoft Account you initially used to set up your Office.

  1. Can I use Office 2021 without the product key?

No, you cannot use Office 2021 without a product key. Microsoft Office has a 30-day trial period, after which you must activate it with a Microsoft Office product key; otherwise, it will not function.

As such, you must purchase or obtain the activation code to continue using the suite.

Summary

The latest version of Microsoft Office 2021 is a comprehensive suite of productivity tools for Windows 10/11 users.

It provides essential functionalities like word processing, spreadsheet analysis, and presentation creation. Despite its intuitive design and powerful features, Office 2021 may not be the ideal choice for everyone due to its limited updates and lack of cloud integration.

An alternative to consider is WPS Office, which offers a comprehensive suite of free productivity tools with AI capabilities, cloud synchronization, and collaboration features.

WPS Office is an incredibly robust office suite with a user-friendly interface. It is an excellent choice for those looking to replace the Microsoft Office suite or needing efficient and cost-effective software.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.