What Is the Latest Version of Microsoft Office?

It’s easy to confuse Microsoft Office and Office 365 or Microsoft 365. Microsoft Office is the standard office suite you’ve used for years and can include the desktop app versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher depending on the edition you get.

Office Home & Student has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Office Home & Business adds Outlook. Office Professional adds Publisher and Access. All are available for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac operating systems, and it’s a one-time purchase.

Office 365, now known as Microsoft 365, is a subscription service that can provide access to any of the desktop and web-based Office applications and other services like OneDrive cloud storage, Teams, SharePoint, Intune, Exchange, and built-in security services .

To add more confusion, there’s also Office Online. That’s the free version of Office apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and the Office app for Android and iOS devices.

What version of Office do you have?

Other standalone Office products for purchase include Visio for flow-charting and Project for project management.

The Latest Version of Office is Microsoft Office 2021

For the home user, you might not see a difference between Office 2019 and Office 2021. However, at work, it’s wise to get on the most current version to ensure you have the latest features, maximum compatibility, and security, especially when exchanging files with other companies. If you’re using older versions than 2019, you need to update to Office 2021. Do it for the security updates at the very least.

Feature Updates in Microsoft Office 2021

If you use Microsoft Office, you’ve noticed that it’s becoming a collaboration platform. Whether you’re a small business or a Fortune 500 company, you’ve become reliant on integrated communications with apps like Microsoft Teams. This functionality grows in Office 2021. We’ll note the Office applications the feature is in, and if it’s available on Windows desktop, macOS, or both.

Microsoft Office 2021 Visual Refresh

Office Apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Visio, Project

Platform: Windows

When you install Office 2021, you’ll notice it looks ‌different. Microsoft’s goal is to simplify the look and feel so you can focus on your work. It’s still familiar enough that you can easily find your favorite tools in the ribbon. The Office Visual Refresh doesn’t have too many surprises.

Co-authoring and Collaborators in Real-time

Office Apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Platform: Windows, macOS

No more emailing spreadsheets back and forth, with copies bloating your inbox. Share the file you’re working on and everyone can work in real-time. Near the top-right of the app, you can see who’s working on it right now, with you. This requires saving the document to OneDrive or SharePoint.

AutoSave Every Change

Office Apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Platform: Windows, macOS

Use your Microsoft account to get the free or paid version of OneDrive. Then, any document you store in OneDrive will automatically save every change as you work on it. Never worry about having to recover a lost file or repairing a corrupt document.

Save Your Eyes with Dark Mode

Office Apps: word

Platform: Windows, macOS

Along with the visual refresh, Word now has Dark Mode, and it’s not just the ribbon. The page itself goes dark. Many people find ‌Dark Mode reduces eye strain. It may also reduce exposure to blue light and help your sleep.

Read Aloud for Proof-reading

Office Apps: word

Platform: Windows, macOS

An old writer’s trick is to read their writing out loud to see how it sounds. It works very well to help find missing words and adjust the tone for your readers. Or maybe you’d just like to give your eyes a rest. Word will read back your document in a realistic masculine or feminine voice.

Free Stock Media

Office Apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visio

Platform: Windows, macOS

Keep everyone’s eyes on your great work with the use of Office’s Premium Creative Content library. Insert images, icons, photos, illustrations, and more with just a few keystrokes. No more searching for public domain images on the web for hours.

Go Global with Outlook’s Built-In Translator

Office Apps: Outlook

Platform: Windows

A growing trend is doing global business from home, so having a translator would really help. Outlook can now translate emails in over 70 languages ​​and create a transcript so you can keep the original too.

Stay Accessible

Office Apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Platform: Windows

Thankfully, we’ve become more aware of the challenges some people face and Microsoft makes it easier for us to keep our work accessible through their Accessibility Checker.

How Do I Update to Office 2021?

Convinced that Office 2021 is worth getting? Great, upgrading is simple and easy.

  1. Make sure your device meets the requirements of Office 2021:


Windows – Windows 10 or Windows 11
macOS – 3 most recent versions of macOS


Windows 1.1GHz or better with at least 2 cores
macOS – whatever is supported by the 3 most recent versions of macOS


Windows – 4 GB
macOS – 4 GB

Drive Space

Windows – 4 GB
macOS – 10 GB


Windows – minimum 1280×768
macOS – minimum 1280×800

  1. Buy the edition of Office 2021 that you need, using the links to Microsoft’s official pages.

Office Home & Student 2021 – $149.99

Office Home & Business 2021 – $249.99

Office Professional 2021 – $439.99

  1. Download and install Office 2021. The Office 2021 install should remove previous versions of Office if you have them. If the install doesn’t, then uninstall your old Office versions as you would any other program. If you use Outlook, make a backup of the Outlook data files. Security updates for Office 2021 should happen automatically.

What Else Is New in Microsoft Office 2021?

There are too many feature updates to fit in here. Your Windows or Mac version of Office holds a lot of pleasant surprises for you. Take the time to look around and search them out. What’s your favorite new feature? What do you want to see Microsoft include or change in Office? Let us know.

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