Today, we are rolling out updates for the OneNote Class Notebook add-in, including new Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS) assignment and grade integration for Edsby. To see the full list of over 40 committed education partners, please visit our OneNote Education Partners page. This page also has helpful training videos demonstrating how the OneNote Class Notebook integrates with each of the different LMSes. Read on to learn what’s new in OneNote to help you in the classroom.
OneNote Class Notebook improvements
With this update we made several additions and improvements for the Class Notebook add-in (version 1.7.0), including:
Add some fun to your notebooks with new sticker packs
One of the most popular education features we’ve added to OneNote over the past year has been stickers! We’ve seen teachers use and customize stickers in lots of fun and personalized ways. Today, we are launching two new sticker packs: Silly Supplies and Cacti Friends.
Improve reading comprehension with Learning Tools updates
Added Syllables functionality for four new languages—French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Improved word detection and highlighting for Chinese and Japanese.
Transition to HelpShift for Support email.
Noun, verb and adjective highlighting will be coming to Spanish, French, German and Italian later this summer.
More updates to support you in the classroom
Find credible sources and content right within OneNote—Researcher is now rolling out in OneNote, making it easy for you to research your essay topic, create outlines and add sources—all without leaving the app. This means you can stay focused and save time, all while researching your topic. Researcher in OneNote for Windows 10 requires an Office 365 subscription, and is also available in Word on Windows desktops and Macs.
Take your Class Notebooks with you—Now you can save a copy of your notebook to your work or personal OneDrive. We know students or teachers move schools and classes; now your notes don’t have to be left behind at the end of the school year. Learn how in just a few steps.
Redesigned OneNote for Windows 10 now available—Last month, we announced the new design for OneNote, which enhanced usability for those who use assistive technologies, simplified navigation controls and created consistency across devices. Now it is fully available on OneNote for Windows 10.
See how schools are already benefitting from switching to OneNote for Windows 10:
That’s a wrap on OneNote for June. Stay tuned for more this summer! To get OneNote, leave a suggestion or ask for help, follow these links:
Editor’s Note 7/10/2017: Post was updated to clarify Power BI support for the new Visio visual.
Starting today, you can visualize data using Microsoft Visio diagrams from within Microsoft Power BI dashboards and reports. Microsoft solutions work better together—and now, Visio and Power BI work better together than ever before thanks to the new Visio visualization. Any Visio user can sign up for the preview to start using this capability right away. The Visio custom visual is currently only supported in Power BI Service. Support in Power BI desktop and Power BI apps will come soon.
Both Visio and Power BI are highly visual and naturally complementary. With Visio, you can create illustrative diagrams, such as interconnected workflows and real-world layouts, to pursue operational intelligence. On the other hand, Power BI helps you build intuitive dashboards from various visualizations, like charts and maps, to understand complex datasets, measure KPIs and track goals—all to achieve business intelligence. Using Visio and Power BI together, you can illustrate and compare data as both diagrams and traditional Power BI visualizations in one place, driving operational and business intelligence to understand the overall picture.
With this new feature, you can import a Visio diagram from SharePoint or OneDrive for Business into Power BI. The underlying Power BI data is then automatically and intelligently linked to the diagram based on its shape properties, eliminating the need to do this manually. In just a few clicks, and without help from IT, Visio diagrams become yet another interactive Power BI visualization that can help you make informed decisions faster.
Get more out of your data using Visio and Power BI together
Consider this fictitious example: Contoso is a large retailer working to improve its inventory management. Using Power BI, the current inventory per store can be represented in a series of visualizations, including a treemap that shows stock by item (left-side chart in the image below).
The visualizations are perfect for an all-up view of inventory at this store. But what if Contoso needs more nuanced details, like sales and inventory data for specific clothing racks? What if it needs to understand where each rack is located in the store and how they are positioned relative to one another? Using a Visio diagram of the store’s layout, Contoso can overlay the data in Power BI on Visio’s clothing rack drawings. The resulting Power BI dashboard provides an accurate, up-to-date representation of overall store inventory while also giving it the ability to drill into specific items.
In the animated image above, the treemap was replaced with individual item racks, color-coded and labeled based on inventory levels from Power BI data. When Tea Dresses is clicked in the Visio diagram, you quickly see that sales are very strong, which helps explain why inventory is low. Similarly, when Suit Coats is clicked in the Power BI bar chart, you see the item is well below its sales target and inventory is still high. You also can see that the suit coat rack is located in a back corner of the store, making it less accessible to customers. Based on this information, the Contoso team might decide to use more rack space for tea dresses and less for suit coats, or reposition the racks for greater accessibility.
Visio visualizations in Power BI offer detailed insights for nearly any diagram type, including:
Flow charts for identifying interdependencies.
Fishbone diagrams for root-cause analysis.
Organizational charts for assessing the impact of hierarchies on process decisions and people management.
Visio flowchart illustrating a sample home loan approval process for a bank. Using the Power BI charts, the bank sees that actual ticket response times for performing property risk assessments are higher than expected. In the Visio diagram, that process step is highlighted in red and, because it’s so early in the process, could affect other steps in the future if the ticket processing issue isn’t resolved soon.
Fishbone chart showing that poor working conditions—specifically excessive noise and temperature, which are highlighted in red in the Visio diagram—are the root cause of diminished product quality. The diagram relies on the employee ratings of operational categories depicted in the Power BI charts on the right.
Dashboard showing how certain people and departments, illustrated by the Visio hierarchy diagram in the upper left, affect different organizational processes. In this case, the marketing and sales department is over budget on tele sales and tele call efforts, all of which are highlighted in red.
Visio and Power BI are inherently visual tools—each helps you to dissect data in new, meaningful ways. Together, they can uncover even more insights.
Q. Can I import a Visio diagram saved on my desktop into Power BI?
A. No. You can only import diagrams saved on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. Because of this, you will need an Office 365 license to use the new Visio visualization in Power BI.
Q. Do I need both a Visio and Power BI license to use this feature?
A. Not necessarily. If you’re creating a Power BI dashboard or report with a Visio visualization, then you will need a Visio license to create and edit the diagram. If you are only viewing that dashboard or report, you will not need a Visio license. The Visio visualization works with the free version of Power BI, so you do not need a license for Power BI.
Recent updates for security and compliance include enhancements to Advanced Threat Protection, eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced Security Management and expanded support for Windows Information Protection. Read on to learn more about these updates.
Enhancements to threat protection visibility and controls
Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) were designed to keep your organization protected against cyber-attacks while supporting end-user productivity. The Office 365 team continues to enhance both EOP and ATP by offering deeper insights and more flexible controls. This month, we are introducing the following new capabilities:
Threat Protection status report—New reporting for ATP and EOP that adds visibility into malicious emails detected and blocked for your organization. This supplements the recently introduced reports in the Security & Compliance Center for ATP Safe Attachments.
Threat Protection status report.
Enhanced quarantine capabilities—Now all emails classified as malware from both EOP and ATP are quarantined. This builds upon the existing quarantine experience by allowing administrators to review and delete emails from quarantine.
New ATP Safe Links Policy features—Four new features build upon the Safe Link policies.
Per-tenant block list—Provides the administrator the ability to block specific URLs.
Email wildcarding for domains and handles—Enables you to save time by writing partial domain/handle names.
Split Safe Links policies—Allows Safe Links policies to be customized for specific user lists in the organization, including groups, individuals and divisions.
Expanded character limit for URLs—Enables blocking/allowing URLs with longer character lengths.
Safe Links Block URL list.
Additional details on these new features can be found in the Microsoft Tech Community, as well as on the EOP and ATP product pages. EOP is offered across our enterprise E1, E3 and E5 suites. ATP is offered as both a standalone SKU or as part of E5.
New features streamline your compliance process using Office 365
Businesses around the world must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant to continue to meet legal, business and regulatory compliance requirements. At Microsoft, we know how demanding and complex compliance can be and have recently released several new eDiscovery and Data Governance features in Office 365 to support your compliance needs. These features include:
Optical character recognition in Advanced eDiscovery—Extracts text from image files or objects within the files, significantly reducing the amount of manual remediation work required to analyze image files.
Rights management (RMS) decryptionin Office 365 eDiscovery—Automatically decrypts RMS-encrypted email messages at export time when you choose the MSG Export option.
Unified case management—Provides a consistent user interface spanning the eDiscovery capabilities in Office 365, from core to advanced, which helps to reduce potential human errors by streamlining eDiscovery case definition and eliminating several steps in the process.
Unified case management in Advanced eDiscovery.
Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the new eDiscovery features. Unified case management and RMS decryption are included with Office 365 E3. Optical character recognition is included with Advanced eDiscovery in E5.
Announcing general availability of Supervision capabilities in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance
Many organizations have the need to perform supervision of employee communications. This need stems from internal security and compliance guidelines, or from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In both cases, failure to have a demonstrable supervision process in place could potentially expose organizations to liability or severe penalties.
To address this need, we’ve released the new Supervision feature in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. Supervision covers not only email communications, but also third-party communications streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, Bloomberg and many more. Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the general availability of Supervision.
Supervision policies in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance.
Supervision is part of Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which is available as part of Office 365 E5 or the Office 365 Advanced Compliance SKU.
Windows Information Protection now supports Office desktop applications
In August, we announced our support of Windows Information Protection (WIP) for Office mobile apps on Windows tablets and phones, to help prevent accidental business data leaks while letting users maintain control over their personal data by designating content as “work” or “personal.” We’re pleased to announce we have expanded support for WIP to include the Office 365 ProPlus desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Skype for Business. This will help provide more comprehensive protection of your business data on Windows 10 devices. To read more about WIP, check out our Microsoft Tech Community blog.
SIEM connector—now available for Office 365 Advanced Security Management
A year ago, we announced a way for you to get greater visibility and control over Office 365 with Advanced Security Management (ASM). Since then, we have added new features to help you better determine shadow IT activity. We also enhanced control over third-party apps connected to Office 365. After these updates, we started hearing that some of you were looking for a way to export alerts to other systems that are integrated into your existing workflows. Today, we are releasing a solution that supports centralized monitoring of ASM alerts with your security information and event management (SIEM) software. Integrating with an SIEM allows you to better protect Office 365 while maintaining your organization’s security workflow, automate your security procedures and correlate between your cloud-based and on-premises events.
Join the Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community
These new features help broaden and enhance the scope of security and compliance capabilities within Office 365. Join our Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community to further evolve your organization’s security and compliance with these services and learn and contribute to security, privacy and compliance best practices. The Tech Community is a great resource to communicate and learn from your peers—as well as offer your insights on the growing importance of security, privacy and compliance.
OneDrive makes it easier for you to access your files, and we are continually working to ensure you have the best OneDrive experience on every platform and every device. OneDrive already supports many iOS capabilities, including OneDrive for iMessage, the Share extension, and Apple Pencil and split-screen support on iPad. Today, Apple announced the new Files app at WWDC for iOS 11, and we are excited to announce support for the new app and its file management capabilities. OneDrive integration with the Files app will make it easier for you to access your content from any Apple device and will provide a better file management experience on iOS for your personal and work OneDrive and SharePoint sites. We will share more details when iOS 11 releases.
Today’s post was written by Sarah Bau, a Year 4/5 teacher for Our Lady Grace School in Australia.
I love a good checklist. There’s something very satisfying about making a list and checking off each item as I go. The humble checkbox is one of the first things that I discovered about OneNote—and it’s still one of my favorites.
When I began using the OneNote Class Notebook, I quickly realized that my students also get a lot of satisfaction out of checking off tasks as they finish them. Breaking tasks down into smaller sections, each with its own checkbox, helped my students with planning difficulties—such as those with autism, dyslexia and processing disorders. Projects or inquiries, which went over several lessons, became less daunting to these students because they could reopen their OneNote at the start of each lesson and see exactly where they were at a glance.
My students also became more proficient at checking over their work. One student hit upon an idea, which I had her teach to the rest of the class. Once she completed a task, she went back and unchecked all the checkboxes, then she went back through her work and rechecked all of the boxes to make sure that she hadn’t missed anything! This idea quickly took off, and I saw a dramatic decrease in the number of times where I had to tell a student, “Please go back and do this section; you skipped it.”
But I really hit checkbox gold when I began incorporating them into my assessment rubrics. We have a big emphasis on making learning visible at Our Lady of Grace School, so rubrics are always given to students with the initial assignment information. We go through the rubric at the start of the unit. Students have their own copies to look over as they work. I have taught them to refer to the rubric throughout their assignment so that they can make sure they are on track and have given themselves the best opportunity for success. Changing the layout of the rubric slightly allowed me to add the checkboxes. The students were then able to self-assess their work as they went—ensuring that they had met each assessment criteria.
My students use these rubrics in a variety of ways. One of my students told me that he makes sure that he has covered each assessment criteria to a “C” standard (average), and then goes back over his work and attempts to improve upon each assessment criteria—beginning with the criteria that are worth the most points. This student was just eight when we had this conversation! Not only is he using rubrics and checkboxes in a sophisticated manner, but he is also using the checkboxes as a time-management tool!
With my encouragement, students are permitted to have another student give them feedback on an assignment before submitting their work to me. They copy their page to the Collaboration Space, where another student reads and assesses their work using a copied and pasted rubric. The student attaches their peer assessment to their own work and attempts to make improvements before submitting to me.
When I assess their work, I copy and paste the rubric into my Assessment notebook, adjust the checkboxes as necessary and write a comment. I then take a screenshot of the whole lot and paste it back into the student’s page. This way there can be no “accidental” changes made to the checkboxes after I have assessed, and I have a record in my own OneNote that cannot be tampered with.
I give my students time to review their completed assessments and to set goals on which areas they will work to improve in their future work. As OneNote allows students to sign in to their OneNote Class Notebook anywhere, I encourage my students to share their learning achievements with their parents at home. Parents and students love the accessibility of OneNote and the prompt feedback that it provides. Using checkboxes in rubrics with OneNote has enabled my students to become independent in their learning, proficient at peer assessment, better at time-management skills and reflective in their own learning. Not to mention they have the added satisfaction of checking off work as they complete it!
Join our #OneNoteQ TweetMeet on the first Tuesday of every month to learn from the OneNote experts on Twitter. Visit the Microsoft Education blog for details.
In February, we announced the availability of the Microsoft Learning Tools Immersive Reader on Word Online and OneNote Online. As a result of customer demand, we are pleased to announce that Immersive Reader is now available for Outlook.com, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app. Immersive Reader includes a view that utilizes techniques proven to help people read more effectively, such as:
Read Aloud—Reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the reader’s focus and attention.
Spacing—Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users with visual crowding issues.
Syllables—Shows the breaks between syllables to enhance word recognition and decoding.
Parts of Speech—Supports writing instruction and grammar comprehension by identifying verbs, nouns and adjectives.
In addition to the Immersive Reader rollout across new apps and platforms, we are also adding new language and geographic availability for the Read Aloud, Syllables and Parts of Speech features. This expanded language support—coming to Word Online, OneNote Online, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app—will allow more customers across the world to experience the benefits of both the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader. For the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in, we are launching Japanese dictation, plus bug fixes and other small improvements. See all of the details at the Learning Tools language support page.
And finally, we are excited to announce the availability of Try it out—an updated and enhanced capability on the recently redesigned Microsoft Learning Tools landing page. Try it out allows anyone to quickly and easily try out the Immersive Reader, without needing an Office 365 ID or a Microsoft account. We hope these announcements enable more people to read in a way that works best for them, and we look forward to hearing impactful stories from more of you, such as this story about empowering students to read in a new way.
Immersive Reader brings increased accessibility to Outlook on the web
In talking with customers, a common request we heard was to bring the same Immersive Reader capabilities of Word Online and OneNote Online to those accessing Outlook via the web. Starting today, the Immersive Reader will begin rolling out to Outlook.com and Outlook on the web worldwide.
There are several ways to launch the Immersive Reader in Outlook on the web or Outlook.com:
On any received message, select the Reply all drop-down and then select Show in immersive reader.
Right-click any message and select Show in immersive reader.
From the main message view, click the…and select Show in immersive reader.
Immersive Reader comes to the OneNote Windows 10 app
Since the release of Learning Tools for OneNote Desktop, many customers have asked for these same capabilities in our OneNote Windows 10 app. With the June OneNote Windows 10 app update, the Immersive Reader will be available to all customers via the View menu and will be pre-installed.
Expanding the global reach of the Immersive Reader
Since the Immersive Reader rolled out to Word Online and OneNote Online in February, customers all over the world asked us to expand these capabilities to more languages. Today, we are pleased to announce that Read Aloud is now available in 14 new languages and geographies, including:
In addition, the Syllables feature is being added to four languages: Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian and Slovak.
Finally, the Parts of Speech feature for German, Italian and Dutch will be enabled for Word Online, OneNote Online and Outlook on the web in the next few weeks. Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Brazilian Portuguese languages will be available later this summer.
Try it out—the updated and enhanced landing page for Learning Tools
With the recent interest and popularity of the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader, we wanted to allow anyone to quickly try out the functionality through any web browser and experience all its benefits and features. We recently updated our Learning Tools landing page with the Try it out function that immediately launches the Immersive Reader. You can also put your own custom text in and try it out. The new Try it out feature supports 39 languages, so people from around the world can immediately experience the Immersive Reader.
Japanese dictation language added to the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in
Support for Japanese dictation on OneNote Desktop has been added, in addition to bug fixes and stability improvements to the add-in. You can grab the latest version (v1.3) of the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in on the Microsoft Learning Tools page.
Over a year ago, we launched the OneNote Class Notebook add-in, with assignment and grade integration, connected to a Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS). Teachers from all over the world have connected OneNote Class Notebooks with their systems. We have heard requests for additional LMSes and SISes to be supported. The OneNote Class Notebook now integrates assignments and grades with over 40 LMSes and SISes—with more on the way.
With today’s OneNote Class Notebook add-in update, we are rolling out new LMS assignment and grade integration for Blackbaud onCampus and eSchoolData. To see the full list of committed education partners, please visit our OneNote Education Partners page. This page also has helpful training videos demonstrating how Class Notebooks integrate with each of the different LMSes and SISes.
Additions and improvements for the Class Notebook add-in, version 188.8.131.52, include:
Assignment and grade integration with Blackbaud onCampus.
Today, we’re introducing several updates to Microsoft Forms, including improvements to the Forms portal, more languages and right-to-left reading support.
Microsoft Forms portal improvements
We are introducing significant improvements to the Forms portal page. With the new design, users will see a snapshot of each form, which includes the form title, background image and number of responses. The new search box, on the upper right corner, will help users quickly find a form either by its title or owner’s name.
Updated Forms portal page.
Search in Forms portal page.
More languages and right-to-left reading support
With this update, we’re introducing 26 new languages to Forms—bringing the total to 68 languages. We are also enabling RTL (right-to-left) reading support for Hebrew and Arabic users, so users can create and respond to forms, as well as view forms results.
Forms RTL (right-to-left) reading support.
Create your own form or quiz
Educators can easily create a new form or quiz, add questions, customize settings, share their forms and check on the results. Just follow these simple steps:
When teachers talk, we listen. We’re committed to listening to users on how we can keep improving Forms for your everyday use. Please send us feedback on our UserVoice page, where you can vote on other users’ suggestions or add your own ideas on how we can serve you better.
Today’s post was written by Cathy Quigan, Digital Learning Technology teacher at Sacred Heart Girls’ College.
I teach Digital Technologies from Year 8 to Year 13 at a girls’ high school with 700 students. As part of the curriculum, I teach everything from basic document formatting and spreadsheets to programming, web and game design. I try to give the students a broad base of skills, so each year focuses on a different project of the student’s choice. At the beginning of the year we discuss issues that are relevant to them—such as how the work that they do is recognized by the school—and we come up with ways we can address these issues using IT skills. The solutions are always varied, so that at any given year level, I can be teaching up to three very different sets of skills.
In addition, due to the lack of students choosing technology as a subject, I have several classes with different year levels in the same computer lab, at the same time. For example, in one class I have Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students, who have a variety of skills. Currently, my Year 10 students are working on projects that involve word processing and graphing survey results, Year 11 students are learning to construct a basic program and Year 12 students are designing print media and websites.
My Year 12 students are spread across two different classes. I have two students in my mixed class above, and I teach the rest of these students at the same time as my Year 13 students, at a different time.
It becomes clear then that teaching and learning in my classroom needs to be organized and individualized.
Each year group has a OneNote Class Notebook set up with tasks to complete either individually or in collaboration with others.
These OneNote Notebooks contain resources and instructions, allowing students to work independently, at their own pace. Year 12 students, who work in separate classes, all have access to the same teaching and, seeing as all the discussions and group work is recorded (either in written or audio form) in the Collaboration Space, no one misses out on any of the teachable moments.
Another benefit of the OneNote Class Notebook is that I can store resources like tutorials, links and how-to guides, so that students can access them at their own pace as and when they need them.
This allows them to be self-sufficient while I work with other students.
Using OneNote to make toast
However, the one thing that I try to make sure of in my classes is that not all the tasks are computer-based. While accessing resources and working independently is an important skill, it can get boring. I ensure that I include some tasks that require the students to be physically active, talking and/or collaborating. This allows them to engage with each other and the content in a more authentic way. And this is how they learned to make…
In this activity, Year 11 students used OneNote to deconstruct a problem into small steps. This is a well-known activity that is often carried out using Post-it notes. However, with two other year groups working in the same space, OneNote allowed the students to work collaboratively but, at the same time, quietly. This activity was their initial introduction to programming, although they were not yet aware of this. Following some confused looks and wondering whether I had lost my marbles, their first task was to draw the steps for making toast individually on a page in the Collaboration Space.
They then had to work together, in the Collaboration Space, without speaking, to put together the best sequence of steps to explain how to make toast.
This allowed them to identify any issues (bugs) in their thought processes and to identify where the process could be more efficient. It also forced them to improvise and communicate in different ways instead of their normal verbal cues and hand gestures. Students began to get an idea of clarity and efficiency in giving instructions.
At different points throughout all the activities, we give feedback. Given the nature of the mixed class, this is not always possible to do face-to-face, so we use Microsoft Forms embedded in OneNote to record their thoughts and come back to discuss them later.
The second task they completed focused on giving instructions. Students had to give clear instructions for others to follow to make their way through a maze. In this way, they gained understanding of the “language” that computers “speak” before being introduced to any specific terminology.
For this activity, each student drew a maze, as above, in the Collaboration Space. A second student wrote out the directions to get through the maze using only arrows.
A third student read these instructions out loud while the others drew them. We took to the chalk and pavement, as it was right outside my classroom window, so I could still supervise. But this would have worked equally well if carried out in OneNote using Surface Pro or another digital inking device. Even (dare I say it…) on paper!
Completing this activity was a great time for feedback. Realizing that they have drawn different shapes even though they have received the exact same set of instructions and working out why this happened is key to understanding programming. Commands must be specific and precise if they are to be followed accurately by an inanimate computer that has no understanding of nuances.
It is only at this point that the students began to actually look at coding. Using Sphero robotic balls and Lightning Lab on their mobile phones, the students converted their instructions into block-based Oval programming language.
This allowed them to see their instructions in action. They got to see the blocks of code and the kinds of instructions a computer will need to complete a set task, in this case, directing the Spero around the maze. Over time, by comparing different sets of instructions, they also learn the value of efficiency in programming.
It also boosted their level of engagement. Who wouldn’t like to play with robotic balls at school and call it “learning?” I didn’t need to refocus their attention very often.
The assessment for this course required the students to construct a basic program for a specified task. They decided to choreograph the Spheros to a piece of music. They used the Collaboration Space to collate their planning so that they all had a record of what they needed to construct.
Students wrote their individual programs themselves and came together to test the movement.
They went from programming novices to a coding choreographers in a matter of weeks with very little coaching from me. Having resources and activities prepared in OneNote made it easy for the students to thrive in the mixed-level classroom. The students were engaged, autonomous and motivated. And it all started with making toast.
Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.
Earlier today, Microsoft announced the availability of Surface Studio, Laptop and Hololens in China along with the new Surface Pro and Surface Pen coming next month. At our event in Shanghai, Panos Panay showcased new inking capabilities in Office apps that are coming first to Windows and brought to life on Surface. These advances make your digital pen faster, more fluid and more personalized, helping you express yourself with rich, creative content.
Inking is smoother, more personalized and collaborative in Office
Inking has become a primary tool for personal expression, and the digital pen a critical way many people work. We’re continuing to improve and evolve the digital inking experience in Office, helping you create, collaborate and share ideas with ink. Building on our announcements last October, today we introduced new inking capabilities coming first to Windows touch-enabled devices and designed to work best with the new Surface Pen:
Fast, fluid and expressive ink—The new Surface Pen’s industry-leading technology shines when you write and draw in Office apps. With the new Surface Pen, your ink reacts to your unique touch with increased pressure sensitivity of 4,096 pressure points (from 1,024), as well as new tilt functionality that adjusts the thickness and texture of your ink granularly, based on the angle of your pen. Your ink also flows even more beautifully and effortlessly when you use the new Surface Pen in Office apps, with almost zero latency between your writing and the pen. Simply pick up your Surface Pen and start writing more expressively!
Availability: Increased pressure sensitivity, low-latency and tilt improvements for inking will work automatically for Office 365 subscribers using the new Surface Pen on the new Surface Pro (devices sold separately).
A new collaborative whiteboard experience—We showed future inking innovation coming first to the Microsoft Whiteboard app on Windows 10, such as collaborative inking, geometry recognition, table conversion and automatic table shading. Whiteboard is currently available in private preview on Surface Hub, and our vision is to bring it to more Windows 10 devices later this year (including the Surface Studio and Surface Pro, as demoed today) with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers. This will help you iterate on ideas together with others regardless of the device you’re on. Stay tuned for more!
Microsoft Whiteboard provides a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration.
Availability: Microsoft Whiteboard is currently available in private preview on Surface Hub devices, and for education customers. It will expand to other Windows 10 devices and more segments later this year, with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers.
More ink options to express yourself—The pencil texture and ink effects like rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, silver and more are coming to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This helps you showcase your creativity in new ways with drawing and writing that pops off the page.
Express yourself with the pencil texture and ink effects in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Availability: The pencil texture and ink effects in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops are coming in July, for Office Insiders Fast. Both the pencil texture and rainbow, galaxy, gold and silver ink effects were already available in OneNote for Windows 10 (ink effects require an Office 365 subscription).
A digital pencil case that goes where you go—Office apps now include a customizable gallery for your favorite pens, pencils and highlighters, which automatically roams with you across apps and devices. This means your personalized inking tools stay handy wherever you work.
The new customizable pens gallery roams with you across apps and devices.
Availability: The new customizable and roaming pens gallery in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops is coming with the June Office 365 updates. The new customizable pens gallery in OneNote for Windows 10 is also coming in June for all customers, with roaming coming later this year.
Updates for Office 365 commercial customers
This month, we have updates for our commercial subscribers including new tools for understanding and transforming their organizations, as well as new capabilities and a look at our vision and roadmap for SharePoint:
Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI—The new Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI combines the intelligence of Office 365 usage reports with the interactive reporting capabilities of Power BI. This means admins can visualize and analyze their organization’s Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights with Power BI—pivoting by attributes such as location and department. This better understanding of how their users adopt and use Office 365 can help admins drive more targeted end user training and communication.
Understand Office 365 usage and drive targeted end user training with the new Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI.
Availability: The Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI is available in public preview for Office 365 commercial customers.
Inform and engage employees with SharePoint communication sites—Introduced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, SharePoint communication sites let you create beautiful, mobile-ready intranet sites. While SharePoint team sites allow sharing of content, knowledge and apps within your group, communication sites let you share resources, news and information with a broad audience, across the organization. Integration with Yammer lets you engage your audience, solicit feedback and encourage best practice sharing. Communication sites are easy to create, customizable and look great on whatever device you use. Learn more about communication sites.
Create beautiful communication sites to reach a broad audience across your organization.
Availability: Communication sites in SharePoint are coming to First Release for Office 365 commercial customers starting in June.
Access all your files in File Explorer—Introduced at Build, OneDrive Files On-Demand allows you to access all your work and personal files in the cloud without having to download them to your device and use up storage space. This helps you work the way you’re used to, with all your files—even online files—visible in File Explorer and available whenever you need them.
Access all your work and personal cloud files in File Explorer, without downloading them and using up storage space.
Availability: OneDrive Files On-Demand is coming to Windows 10 Insider Preview early this summer and will be publicly available with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Share from File Explorer and Finder on Mac—Introduced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, a new unified sharing experience for OneDrive lets you share files or folders with specific people right from your desktop, as well as send sharing links to people inside or outside your organization. You can also easily view or modify the permissions you have granted, including how long access will last. Learn more about the unified sharing experience for OneDrive.
Easily share OneDrive files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization.
Availability: The new unified sharing experience will start rolling out to consumers and Office 365 commercial customers in June and July. It will be consistent across File Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7, Finder on Mac and on the web.
SharePoint and Microsoft PowerApps integration—As announced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, you’ll soon be able to use PowerApps to easily create custom forms and rich, digital experiences right from within a SharePoint list or library. This will help your company transform team and organizational processes, with users creating, viewing and interacting with data from your custom form or app, rather than default SharePoint forms. Learn more about PowerApps integration with SharePoint.
PowerApps integration will let your users create, view and interact with data within an app from within SharePoint lists and libraries.
Availability: Custom SharePoint forms built with Microsoft PowerApps will be available starting this summer, for Office 365 commercial customers.
Since March 2016, the usage reports in the Office 365 admin center have been providing admins with insights about how users adopt and use the various services in Office 365. Today, we’re pleased to announce the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI, which enables customers to get more out of Office 365.
The content pack combines the intelligence of the usage reports with the interactive analysis capabilities of Power BI, providing rich usage and adoption insights. With these insights, admins can drive more targeted user training and communication that helps them transform how their organizations communicate and collaborate, enabling a truly modern workplace.
Insights you can act on
Office 365 gives users the freedom to work from anywhere and the services they need to be more productive and collaborative. Sometimes, however, people need a helping hand to get started with Office 365. For example, if someone doesn’t use Skype for Business, they might not know how to get started using Skype or understand how they can leverage it to communicate better. In either case, the IT department might want to connect with this person to provide them with more information or training resources.
The new Office 365 adoption content pack gives you a cross-product view of how users communicate and collaborate to help IT admins provide more targeted user communication. When you better understand how employees use the various services within Office 365, it is easy to decide where to prioritize training and communication efforts. The content pack lets admins further visualize and analyze their Office 365 usage data, create custom reports, share insights and understand how specific regions or departments use Office 365.
Gain deep insights on usage trends
The centerpiece of the content pack is a pre-built dashboard, which provides IT admins with a cross-product view of how users are accessing the suite of products within Office 365. For most of the metrics, the content pack provides data for the last 12 months, so you can easily see how usage is trending and has evolved over time.
The dashboard is split up into four main areas: Understanding adoption, Communication, Collaboration and Activation. Each area provides you with specific usage insights.
Understanding adoption area—Offers an all-up summary of adoption trends that helps you understand how users have adopted Office 365. You can easily see how many licensed users actively use the various Office 365 services, what combination of products are popular within your organization, and analyze adoption trends for individual products.
Communicationarea—Highlights the services that people use to communicate, such as Skype for Business, Exchange and Yammer. You can see which communication methods are used most by users and drill into details to understand if there are any shifts in how employees use the various tools to communicate.
Collaboration area—Shows how people in your organization use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint to store documents and work together—including how many users are active on their own accounts versus accounts owned by others. This information is a good indicator to understand if people use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint primarily to just store files, or if they are also using these services to share content and collaborate with others.
Activation area—Helps you understand Office 365 ProPlus, Project Pro and Visio Pro activations in your organization. You can easily see how many users have activated the products, enabling admins to ensure that users have the latest versions of Office applications. The report also provides information about the type of device users have activated the products on, helping admins understand what devices are popular in their organization and how many users work on the go.
Access richer usage insights
Every organization has unique questions around usage and adoption. The content pack helps answer these questions, enabling you to pivot, analyze, customize and share the information.
Analyze usage by department, organization or location—Many of you want a full picture of how specific departments or regions use Office 365. To enable these advanced analytics scenarios, the content pack combines the usage data of users with their information in Azure Active Directory (AAD). You can pivot the reports by AAD attributes like location, department or organization information.
Leverage built-in filters to get insights relevant to you—On many reports, contextual filters allow you to easily slice and dice the data available, for example, to understand adoption trends for individual products.
Quickly find out who your power users are—The content pack includes a user activity report for each service to identify power users. These users typically have very thorough product knowledge and can help train other users. They can share how they are using the service, how it helps them every day to be productive, and offer tips on how to get started. Power users can help lead the digital transformation in your organization by example. The user activity report also lets you identify users that have yet to use a particular product. Armed with this information, you can be very targeted in your adoption campaigns.
Customize the content pack—The dashboard and the underlying reports are templates to help you quickly get started with the content pack. The true power of the content pack lies in the underlying data. We want admins to have full control over their data, so we have made sure that you can customize the content pack and structure the charts based on your organization’s needs.
There are three ways to customize the content pack:
Take one of the pre-built visuals and modify it—by removing information or by changing the visual format, for example.
Create a brand-new visual by leveraging the underlying data sets.
Connect to the pbit file in Power BI Desktop, which enables you to bring in your own data sources.
Share the content pack—Using the sharing capabilities of Power BI Pro, you can easily share the dashboard with people both inside and outside of your organization, such as business stakeholders or your leadership team.
Importance of your feedback
We’d like to thank each one of you who participated in the limited preview and who provided feedback on the early versions of the content pack. Over the past several months, we have received numerous pieces of feedback that have helped us identify gaps and ensure that the content pack provides you with actionable insights. And it’s great to hear how it’s already helping many of you to derive even more value out of Office 365:
“The adoption content pack is one of the best Office 365 admin tools for us. It gives us a clear picture of how our organization uses Office 365, and it allows us to get really targeted in our user training efforts, as we know exactly how each user uses the products—or often more important—does not use the products yet.” —Customer feedback
Get started with the content pack
The content pack is available to all customers free of charge. You’ll only need the free Power BI service to connect to the content pack—use your Office 365 admin account to sign up. You can also customize the dashboards and reports with the free Power BI service. To connect to the content pack, you first need to enable it in the Office 365 admin center. On the Usage Reports page, you will see a new card at the bottom of the page where you can opt in to the content pack. This step kicks off a workflow that generates your historical usage trends. This data processing task takes between 2 and 48 hours, depending on the size of your organization and how long you’ve been using Office 365. After data preparation is complete, it’s ready to show in the content pack. Please follow the steps described to connect to the content pack for your organization.
Please note that you must be a global admin or a product admin (Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint) to connect to the content pack.
You can find additional information about the content pack, including FAQs, in the following support articles:
If you have questions, please post them in the adoption content pack group in the Microsoft Tech Community. Also, join us for an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session, hosted by the Microsoft Tech Community on June 7, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT. This live online event will give you the opportunity to connect with members of the product and engineering teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Add the event to your calendar and join us in the adoption content pack in Power BI AMA group.
Let us know what you think!
Try the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower-right corner of the Usage Reports page in the admin center. And don’t be surprised if we respond to your feedback. We truly read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure the Office 365 reporting experience meets your needs.
—Anne Michels, @Anne_Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team
Excel 2016 includes a powerful set of features based on the Power Query technology, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities and can be accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.
Today, we are pleased to announce three new data transformation and connectivity features that have been requested by many customers.
These updates include the following new or improved data connectivity and transformation features:
Split Column by Delimiter—automatic detection of delimiter character
Combine Files—ability to select sample file to use
DB2 Connector—option to specify Package Collection
Split Column by Delimiter—automatic detection of delimiter character
When splitting column by delimiter inside Query Editor via Home > Split Column, Excel will automatically detect and populate the Delimiter field in this dialog, based on text pattern detection in the data preview rows. Note that you can still change the delimiter if needed, but this automatic detection saves a few clicks in many cases.
Combine Files—ability to select sample file to use
This month, we continue making incremental enhancements to the Combine Files experience. One of the common areas of recent feedback has been to add the ability to select a file from a folder to use as the sample file to select objects and specify any custom transformation steps (if needed).
With this release, we added a new control in the file preview dialog to allow you to choose a file available in the selected folder. The default selection is the first file found—however, this can now be easily customized by users.
DB2 connector—option to specify Package Collection
The DB2 connector window now includes an option to specify the package collection to connect to within a given DB2 server. This new option, available under the Advanced Options section in the DB2 connector dialog, can only be used with the Microsoft IBM DB2 driver.