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Microsoft 365 tips and tricks

Microsoft software has come a long way from the days of the friendly Paperclip assistant, helping you save or print your work. In fact there’s tons of amazing features you might not know about. Microsoft software lets you get super-creative in loads of ways, whether you’re prepping that report or planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip with friends. Check out these great tricks and shortcuts that you might not have known the Premium apps in your Microsoft 365 subscription includes.


Editor is a recent feature update that takes spellcheck to a whole new level. It’s perfect for anyone who needs help with their writing. It won’t just tell you that a word is wrong, but it’ll explain why, so you can learn as you write. And it’ll help simplify your language too, making suggestions for shorter, less formal language to improve your flow.

Researcher is a reference tool that helps search content online. Students will adore it, and graduates will curse that they didn’t have this feature sooner. With the click of a button, it searches the web to find relevant content to what you’re writing, that you can then include in your work. Not only that, it can then properly cite it, and automatically create your bibliography for you!

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They say the hardest step is the first, but not with Quickstarter on PowerPoint. If you struggle with setting up a presentation, this is ideal for you. Choose Quickstarter when you open PowerPoint and just type in your topic. It’ll suggest slide designs that would be suitable, information you might want to include, and even licensed images you’re able to use.

Designer is a feature that helps you craft super-slick, stylish presentations. Whether you’re hosting an important meeting or pitching for that new job, it’ll help make you look the complete professional. As soon as you start working on a presentation, it automatically suggests high-quality designs for you, from the slides themselves to transitions and fonts.

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Flash Fill is an amazing tool for Excel. Say you’ve got a spreadsheet, or your wedding guest list, and you need to get a list of first names. Rather than spending hours typing it in, Excel gets clever with Flash Fill and does it automatically. Just start your list with the first name, then type the first letter of the second name in the cell directly underneath it. It’ll realise what you’re doing, and suggest the full list for you. Talk about a time saver!

Excel’s graph tools have come a long way from basic bar charts, with Maps the latest addition to the options available. It makes creating reports so much easier, and takes homework to the next level. It’s perfect if you’re working with geographical data –addresses, historical landmarks or so on. With one click, you can plot this info on a professional-quality map. It’ll make your work look super-slick, and you look like a design whizz.

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If you’re a student or you work with mathematical equations, Ink Math Assistant could be about to become your new best friend. That’s because it can easily solve those tricky sums for you. All you need to do is circle the problem using your touchscreen and it won’t just give you the answer, it’ll give you a step-by-step breakdown of how it worked everything out. So when your maths teacher asks how you got to the answer, you’ll be fully prepared!

Ink effects livens up your note-taking with a range of beautiful new colours. They help you highlight different sections of your lecture notes to keep them organised. They’re great for doodling during a boring tutorial too, but we didn’t tell you that. Just choose from the new range of options when making your annotations and you’ll make revising a whole lot more effective and fun. Well, as fun as revising can be.

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Need more help?

There are so many ways that Microsoft software can help you, that there’s even a feature that helps you find other features. Whatever you want to do, the Tell Me bar at the top of your program can point you in the right direction. Just start typing in what you need and it’ll list suggested features that you might be looking for, so you don’t have to dig through loads of menus!

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