The Gold Standard of Office Suites!
November 01, 2019
The Gold Standard of Office Suites!
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Office 2016
Microsoft Office 2016 is the standard version of Office used throughout our company. Different areas use different "pieces" of it with different amounts of frequency and depths of feature use. For example, I'm in Learning and Development, so I use PowerPoint and Word frequently and deeply, Excel and OneNote frequently, but not that deeply, and I only rarely touch Access, Visio, and Publisher (and Project, but I'm not sure if that's technically part of Office) --in fact, I don't know that I've used any of those since we migrated to the 2016 version.
- In the past couple of years, I've learned a slew of really cool, helpful things I can do in PowerPoint, to such an extent that it has now become my primary image editor, even for graphics that I'm not planning to use within a PowerPoint deck! The ability to remove the background in photos is just one of many examples of this. I also have Adobe Presenter, a plug-in that allows me to turn a PowerPoint deck into the polished narrated presentation (even adding a few quiz questions, when I need to). I also love the animation painter feature and the selection pane is a game-changer for PowerPoint!
- Word also has a plethora of useful features -- in fact, I often prefer to use a table in Word to organize data than to use Excel, because I find it easier to manipulate. For example, I can use Alt+Shift+up arrow or Alt+Shift+down arrow to quickly and easily move rows up or down in the table - not sure why I can't do that in Excel! There's really very little in the way of word processing that one can't do in Word!
- For Excel, I like the "intelligence" behind it. For example, I like that I can start a column with series of dates (say, every other Tuesday) and, by using the drag-down handle, it will fill in additional rows following that pattern. I also like that it adjusts formulas as you add or remove rows.
- While I've been quite impressed with all of the image manipulations that I can do in PowerPoint, I would love it if I could do even more, like set more than one transparent color, and I'm sometimes frustrated by the limited recoloring options. Also, I'm still very unhappy that they did away with the whole library of built-in royalty-free clip art and other types of images -- there's no free library available at all anymore - it sends you out to Bing, but then you have to try and find images you can legally use there (and that are in a format that allows you to ungroup and manipulate). I really, really miss the old image library, even if some of the images were old and tired.
- I also wish that I could change the default layout for new decks and not be forced to start with a title slide. Very often, I'm using PowerPoint to store and manipulate images and, for that, I prefer a blank slide. I also find that I sometimes have problems with color themes when bringing a slide from one deck into another one -- sometimes I can fix those problems but, other times, I find that I can't. I also wish it would allow me to use SVG images and convert other vector images into SVGs.
- The thing that annoys me most in Word is that I can't change the default indentation for bullet and number lists - in older versions, I had it set so that the bullets were not indented (as part of the Normal template settings), but, in 2016, it forces an indent and I have to manually undo the indent using the thingies on the ruler. I think this may be because Word is trying to be more HTML-friendly, and I don't object to it having that default indented style out of the box, but users should be able to override that by updating their Normal template.
- I also find it harder to find features that I've been using for years in the ribbons than I did with the old cascading menus.
- My biggest issue with Excel is just trying to figure out how to use some of the non-basic features, but I think that's largely because I don't use it as often and could probably use some training on Excel.
- I honestly couldn't do my job without Microsoft Office, so it's hard to think in terms of ROI. It's such a non-negotiable set of tools for our company that I doubt we've ever done any kind of formal ROI analysis, any more than we've done one on giving people computers!
I've been using the various incarnations of Microsoft Office for about 20 years now (maybe longer) -- prior to that, we used WordPerfect and WordPerfect Graphics. We probably used Lotus 123 for our spreadsheet software, but can't remember if that was just at home or what we used at the office. At home, my husband runs a Linux machine and uses Open Office, which, as I mentioned previously, is the kind of software package that could do just fine for casual users.
I still find that I can't always find an entry in the help file for a particular menu item. There's helpful info for those items, but the help file sometimes uses different terminology, which is super annoying. Also, I'm not even sure whether you can still get off-line help. And I don't think there's any way to get a live phone or chat support at all.
Do you think Microsoft Office 2016 delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Microsoft Office 2016's feature set?
Did Microsoft Office 2016 live up to sales and marketing promises?
I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process
Did implementation of Microsoft Office 2016 go as expected?
I wasn't involved with the implementation phase
Would you buy Microsoft Office 2016 again?
If you need a full-featured office suite, then I think that Microsoft Office 2016 is the best offering out there. However, it's not inexpensive, so, for folks who generally only use the basic features, getting a less expensive, or even free, option might make more sense. The cost is the main reason why I gave it an NPS of 8, instead of 9 or 10.