Microsoft Office 2021 – everything you need to know about the new package

Microsoft Office 2021 - everything you need to know about the new package

Microsoft Office 2021 has been with us for two weeks. After a lot of information about new products, changes, and requirements, the time has come for a comprehensive summary of what Office 2021 is and why it is worth reaching for it.

In short, the latest version introduces changes to the Office suite that previously appeared in Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services for private and business users. Microsoft is releasing Office 2021 for people who prefer to work offline or cannot use cloud services for other reasons. 

It also means that Office 2021 provides comprehensive tools necessary for comfortable working with office applications. Let’s take a look at everything important about Office 2021.

Office 2021 – the most important news

Microsoft Office 2021 is a collection of the most important updates introduced to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services in the last two years. Of course, those that can function properly offline and without a cloud environment. 

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There are some really interesting features in the most important applications of the suite. Developers also introduced general changes to the package as a whole, improving the overall operation and increasing the comfort of working not only with files but also the entire Windows environment.

General changes to Office 2021

  • New uniform icons and a modern user interface.
  • A dark theme for many apps.
  • Additional multimedia elements.
  • Support for OpenDocument 1.3 file format.
  • Integration with Microsoft Search.
  • Color selection via Hex code.
  • Improved accessibility.
  • What’s new in the Draw tab: ruler, lasso, and point eraser.
  • Better optimization and improved security.
  • Technical support at least until October 2026.

Features known from Microsoft 365

  • Automatic saving of work in real time.
  • Collaborate on a document in real time with invitees.
  • @mentions in comments to the document content.
  • Assign tasks to colleagues using @mentions.
  • Information about changes introduced by colleagues to the document during our absence.

Microsoft Excel

Working with large data sets in Excel becomes even easier with new functions such as XLOOKUP and XMATCH. The first function works similarly to the already known VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP but allows you to work on much more specific sets. 

The second function allows you to return specific information based on the data searched for in ranges and tables.

Microsoft Outlook

Translation of e-mail messages is now possible into nearly 70 languages ​​without leaving the application or using external tools. The mail search engine has also received the update, which will now display even more relevant results.

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Microsoft PowerPoint

Improvements have been made to Presenter Mode, which will now provide an even better presentation experience. There is a function of recording a show along with the movements of a pen or laser pointer

Sketches created with a pen during a presentation can now be repeated step by step to convey the information they contain even more clearly.

Microsoft Access

Support for the new SQL DataTime2 data type has appeared in Access databases. The bookmark manager has also been updated, which now allows not only to display database cards but also to change their order and close with one click.

Comparison of Office 2019 and Office 2021 features

FunctionOffice 2019Office 2021
Word definition previewYesYes
Pen effectsYesStreamlined
Support for SVG formatYesStreamlined
Eraser, ruler, lasso, markingYesStreamlined
PowerPoint: Morph and Zoom transitions, recording a presentationYesYes
3D renderingYesYes
Outlook: translation of content, contacts, and calendarYesYes
Dark theme, sharing, teaching functionsYesYes
Outlook: Focused InboxYesYes
Animated GIFsNovelty
Outlook: Pen and Search ImprovedNovelty
New content: 880 icons, 45 videos, and 40 stickersNovelty
New functions and data connectors in ExcelYesYes
New charts in ExcelYesYes
Unique, Sequence, Randarray functions in ExcelNovelty
XMATCH and XLOOKUP functions in ExcelNovelty
Real-time collaborationYesYes
Automatic saveYesYes
@mentions in OutlookYesYes
Real-time editingNovelty
Notification of changes during the absenceNovelty
@mentions in Word, Excel, and PowerPointNovelty
Immersive ReaderYesStreamlined
Content accessibility test for people with disabilitiesNovelty

Office 2021 variants available

Microsoft Office 2021 is available in three variants – Home & Student, Home & Business, and Professional. Each edition is dedicated to a different group of recipients.

Office 2021 variants available

Office 2021 Home & Student

Office 2021 Home & Student is a version of the package intended mainly for pupils and students. It is great for learning and simple work with documents in the home office.

  • Available desktop applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams
  • Number of seats: 1 PC or Mac device

Office 2021 Home & Business

The Office 2021 Home & Business variant extends the Home & Student edition. It is dedicated to people who need Office applications in a home office or in running a small business.

  • Available desktop applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams + Outlook
  • Number of seats: 1 PC or Mac device

Office 2021 Professional

The Professional edition of Microsoft Office 2021 is the most extensive variant. It contains basic applications, but additionally enables working with databases and is dedicated to users who expect the most advanced functionality.

  • Available desktop applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams + Outlook, Access, Publisher
  • Number of stations: 1 PC device

Teams in Office 2021

The Microsoft Teams messenger has been added to the latest release of Office 2021. Teams have ceased to be a platform for communication in companies some time ago. With the release of the Microsoft 365 Consumer plans and the conversion of most Office 365 plans to Microsoft 365, like many of the Teams features, it became available to home users

Teams is the app installed by default with Windows 11, and users still working with Windows 10 will be able to get it along with Office 2021.

Teams in Office 2021

Please note that Teams available as part of Office 2021 is a pure consumer version. To work properly, it requires an active Microsoft account with which we log into the system. The consumer version of Microsoft Teams allows you to send text messages and make audio/video calls. It is devoid of business functions.

Office 2019 and Office 2021 requirements

Microsoft was in no hurry to present the hardware requirements for the Office 2021 package. It’s no wonder because these do not differ much from the requirements of the previous edition. The most important changes concern the processor and RAM

In the case of Office 2021, a lower clocked processor is required, but more RAM, which is associated with the complete transfer of Office software to the 64-bit architecture. The requirements of Office 2021 in 2021 shouldn’t worry anyone

The standard of modern laptops, computers, and even tablets are much more efficient components, so the vast majority of users will easily run Office 2021 applications. All details are presented in the table below.

Office 2019Office 2021
Processor1.6 GHz or faster, 2 cores1.1 GHz or faster, 2 cores
Memory4 GB RAM or 2 GB RAM (32-bit)4 GB RAM
Disk space4 GB4 GB
Screen1280 x 768, 4K 32-bit hardware acceleration required1280 x 768, 64-bit Office for 4K required
GraphicsHardware acceleration requires DirectX 9 and WDDM 2.0 for Windows 10 (WDDM 1.3 for Fall Creators Update)Hardware acceleration requires DirectX 9 and WDDM 2.0 for Windows 10 (WDDM 1.3 for Fall Creators Update)
Operating systemWindows 10, Windows Server 2019, Windows 2022Windows 10 or Windows 11
BrowserMicrosoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or FirefoxMicrosoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox
.NETSome features require .NET 3.5 or 4.6Some features require .NET 3.5 or 4.6
AnotherInternet functionality requires an internet connection. The multi-touch functionality requires a touchscreen capable of supporting it. Cloud file management requires OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint. A Microsoft or corporate account is required to assign a license.Microsoft Teams has its own 

Office 2021: All the NEW Features

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