Big news! On 24-th of September, Microsoft unveiled their newest version of their Office suite — Microsoft Office 2019! When a brand new version is announced, you would expect that there will be differences in your favorite piece of software — PowerPoint, right? Well, let’s look at what’s new compared to PowerPoint 2016 and what you may already know about because you are an Office 365 user.
Important note: Yes, many of the features included in Office 2019 are present in Office 365 from quite some time. What Microsoft did is to take the updates included in Office 365 and put them in a new version of PowerPoint — 2019. At the same time, if you are using Office 365, you will see that your PowerPoint build is already better and more fully featured than the one we are going to be discussing in this article. That’s normal and expected. Office 365 is and is going to always be the most up to date version of Office.
So, if you are like us, a maniac and a person who constantly wants to be on the edge of the presentation technologies, better go or stick with Office 365.
Now back to what’s new in PowerPoint 2019:
Morph is now part of PowerPoint 2019. It is hands down one of the most impressive features out there. It will allow you to animate and deliver smooth transitions with almost 0 effort. It works with photos, text boxes, shapes, graphics, charts etc. The way it works is the following — if you have repeating objects on two or more consecutive slides and you use Morph Transition (not animation), PowerPoint detects the change in those object (size, position, whatever) and creates a smooth transition. It is really something we highly recommend you spend some time!
If you want to learn more about its functionalities, go check out our case study about just how cool Morph is.
Conversational presenting? Heard that term recently? It’s a big deal! Zoom is something you may have used or seen in another presentation software — Prezi. Yes, PowerPoint more or less stole one of the key features of Prezi and added it for all of us to use. We even created a few presentations like this for our clients (one of them you can see here). The main idea behind the technology is for the speaker (or the consumer of the presentation) to be able to jump all around the deck based on his/her needs. So, if you want to give control to your audience or maybe create a slideshow for your conference booth so that the attendees come and interact with it through a touch display, you may want to explore Zoom.
You probably already know the highlighter tool from Microsoft Word. Now you can use it In PowerPoint 2019. According to Microsoft, this was a feature many people demanded. We kind of disagree with this but hey, it’s OK. Highlight if it’s that important!
Scalable Vector Graphics
Great news! You can now insert Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) into your presentations! The cool thing about SVGs (most often you will use SVGs for icons) is that you can scale them as much as you like without losing any quality. What’s more, you can also insert and SVG icon and use PowerPoint’s native tools to change the object’s color, outline, etc.
Convert SVG icons to shapes
Another great feature that is connected to the SVG files is that when you insert them into a slide, you have the option to disassemble them into their individual pieces and then edit and modify them separately.
Yes, you can now insert a complete 3D model into your presentation and animate it with the help of Morph. Just copy -> paste it into a new slide and rotate it, for example. Hit Morph on the second slide and watch what happens.
Have friends who work with 3DS Max, Maya and similar software tools? Ask them to create a 3D model for you and tell them that you can now just drag and drop it into PowerPoint and animate it. Yes, PowerPoint 2019 even includes custom animations for 3D Models so once you add such, go to the Animations tab.
Easier background removal
Now it’s easier than before to remove a background of a picture directly in PowerPoint. It automatically detects the background area without the need for your help. And if you want to exclude some parts of the background, you can use the pencil for choosing which areas to keep or remove. Again, the algorithm just got better but is way far from being perfect.
Export in 4K
If you decide to export your presentation as a video, now you have the option to do it in 4K resolution. You didn’t know that was possible? Well, if you have a presentation that has some cool transitions and animations, go to File -> Export and then select Video. From the drop-down menu, you are now able to choose 4K.
If you want you can now record your presentation with video or audio narration and even better, your digital ink gestures included. You will find all the recording features in the ribbon under the name Recording.
Draw or write with digital-Ink
You can now choose your favorite pens, highlighters and pencils and use them across all your Office apps.
Now you can choose from numerous ink effects to present your ideas with flair — metallic pens and ink effects like the rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, silver, and more. Careful with those effects though. If they are not adding value to your message, stay away from them.
Replay your ink drawings on a slide with the possibility to play them forward or backward. You also have the ability to track the order in which the ink was used, pause it, replay it or even select the starting point for the replay.
If your device supports the touch screen functionality, now you can open the Draw tab, in which you will find the Ruler function. With it you can draw straight lines or use it to check if a set of objects are aligned in a straight line.
Surface Pen as a remote
And for a finale — you can now use your Surface pen, or any other pen that is connected with Bluetooth, to change the slides of your presentation. Click once and move forward, click and hold to go to the previous slide.
Overall, PowerPoint 2019 includes many if not the coolest features from Office 365. So, if you can upgrade from 2010, 2013, 2016 to it, go ahead and do it immediately. However, if you are able to move directly to Office 365 — then, yeap, do that instead.
Originally published at 356labs.com on October 29, 2018.