What’s new in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

www.office.com/setup Blogs: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows has all the functionality and features you're used to, with some added enhancements and the best new features from Office 2016.

February 2017 Updates

NOTE: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Easier background removal

We've made it easier to remove and edit the background of a picture. PowerPoint automatically detects the general background area; you no longer have to draw a rectangle around the foreground of your picture. The pencil for marking areas to keep or remove can now draw free-form lines, rather than being limited to straight lines.

A straightedge for drawing straight lines

On devices that have touch screens, you can use the Ruler on the Draw tab of the ribbon to draw straight lines or to align a set of objects. The Ruler pivots to any position you want: horizontal, vertical, or anything in between: it has a degrees setting so that you can set it at a precise angle, if necessary.


PowerPoint QuickStarter gives you research ideas and design suggestions for a presentation on a subject of your choosing. Just choose the QuickStarter template from File > New, and specify the subject you want to study. For detailed information, see Research a topic with PowerPoint QuickStarter.

PowerPoint QuickStarter is only available to the following languages: English (United States), Japanese (Japan), German (Germany), French (France), Spanish (Spain), Italian (Italy).

December 2016 Updates

View historical versions of PowerPoint files

Office 2016 automatically saves versions of your SharePoint, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business files while you’re working on them. These versions allow you to look back and understand how your files evolved over time and allow you to restore older versions in case you have made a mistake. For more information, see View historical versions of Office files.

Closed captions, subtitles, and multiple audio tracks

PowerPoint supports the playback of video with multiple audio tracks. It also supports closed captions and subtitles that are embedded in video files.  For more information, see Accessibility features in video playback on PowerPoint and Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible.

New PowerPoint training

The Office Training Center has 12 new PowerPoint courses, created in partnership with LinkedIn Learning. Watch videos at your pace to learn about PowerPoint 2016, including formatting images and using Presenter View. Also learn how to get unlimited access to over 4,000 video courses from LinkedIn Learning. See all our PowerPoint training.

November 2016 Updates

Edit with others in real time

Office Insiders who have an Office 365 subscription can use real-time collaboration with auto-save. This feature allows you to see what other users are doing (such as typing words) while they are doing it. For more information, see Work together on PowerPoint presentations.

Segment Eraser for ink drawings

Segment Eraser allows for precise control when you are tidying up an ink drawing. It erases ink back to where it intersects with another line. For more information, see Draw and annotate with ink in Office 2016.

The Segment Eraser on the Eraser menu is found on the Draw tab in PowerPoint 2016

Use a digital pen to select and change ink objects

With a digital pen in hand, you can switch between inking mode and selection mode without needing to tap the selection tool on the ribbon. Use the pen to select an ink object. For more information, see Draw and annotate with ink in Office 2016.

October 2016 Updates

Shared with Me

The Shared with Me view lets you see the files others have shared with you. After you’re invited into the presentation, that presentation will automatically appear in the Shared with Me list. To learn more, see See files others have shared with you.

SVG images

Office Insiders who have an Office 365 subscription can insert and edit scalable vector graphic (SVG) images in presentations to create sharp, well-designed content. SVG images don't lose any quality if they are zoomed or resized. For more information, see Insert SVG images.

September 2016 Updates

Design ideas for process-oriented text

PowerPoint notices when you write a bulleted process list on a slide, and it reacts by offering to turn your text into a SmartArt graphic to represent that process.

PowerPoint Designer can turn process-oriented text into a graphic.

Better presentation recording

NOTE: Better presentation recording is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription, and is currently only available to Office Insiders.

The look and feel of presentation recording in PowerPoint is changing to an even better experience than it was before. First of all, you can now add a Recording tab to the ribbon in PowerPoint. (See Customize the ribbon in Office. Or you can just use the Record Slide Show command on the Slide Show tab.) You can use the Recording tab to create a presentation that includes recorded slides, screen recordings, narrations and audio, and videos. You can even embed quizzes and other apps in your presentation to make it more interactive for your audience. To learn more, see Record a slide show with narration and slide timings.

Shows the Recording Tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint 2016

You can also now change the ink color right from the palette in the recording pane, as well as use simpler controls to record narrations and audio.

The Presentation Recording screen in PowerPoint 2016

Ink replay

You can replay ink drawings on a slide. Play them forward or backward. This special effect allows you to hide and reveal content on your slides or emphasize individual elements in a group or series. You can see the order in which ink was drawn, pause the replay, and select the point to start the replay from.

Ink Replay button

In-app feedback

Have a comment or suggestion about Microsoft Office? We need your feedback to help us deliver great products. In PowerPoint, you can suggest new features, tell us what you like or what's not working by clicking File > Feedback.

Click File > Feedback to let Microsoft know if you have comments or suggestions about PowerPoint

August 2016 Updates

Modern, In-App Help and Support

Now, when you enter a search for a certain task, function, or question where it says Tell me what you want to do, you'll see a wide variety of options. If it's a quick task, PowerPoint will try to let you take care of it right from the Tell Me pane. If it's a more complex question, we'll show you help that we think best matches your needs. Try it out to see how fast you can find what you're looking for and get things done.

Shows modern help and assistance in the Tell Me box for the search term "Crop".

July 2016 Updates

Zoom for PowerPoint

NOTE: Zoom for PowerPoint is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription.

If you'd like to make your presentations more dynamic and exciting, try using Zoom for PowerPoint. When you create a Zoom in PowerPoint, you can jump to and from specific slides, sections, and portions of your presentation in an order you decide while you're presenting. There are three kinds of Zooms you can create: Summary Zooms, Slide Zooms, and Section Zooms. To learn more, see Use Zoom for PowerPoint to bring your presentation to life.

Shows the Summary Section slide of a Summary Zoom in PowerPoint.

June 2016 Updates

Text Highlighter

PowerPoint now has a Text Highlighter similar to the one in Word, by popular demand! You can use it to pick different highlight colors to emphasize certain portions of the text in your presentations.

Shows the text highlighter on the ribbon in PowerPoint.

April 2016 Updates

Enhanced collaboration

Collaboration in PowerPoint 2016 is better than before. You can still share your PowerPoint 2016 presentation with others and work together in real time by using OneDrive or SharePoint.Now when you open your shared presentation, in a glance you can see who is working within the document and where. You can chat with them instantly by using Skype for Business and can view document activity, all from the top-right corner on the ribbon.

Collab Corner

Choose a thumbnail picture of a person to begin an IM conversation by using Skype for Business or open their contact card information. Choose the Skype for Business button to start a group chat with everybody working in the document.

Document activity

The new Activity pane lets you see the complete list of changes made so far, and gives you access to the earlier versions. Choose Activity Version History icon on the ribbon to see the Activity pane.


Now with one click of Comments on the ribbon you can make or view comments in your presentation. With enhanced collaboration, it's easier to reply to or resolve comments and mark them as complete.

January 2016 Updates

NOTE: The following features are only available to Office 365 subscribers. They will first roll out to Office Insider participants, and later to consumer and commercial Office 365 subscribers. If you have an Office 365 subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Real-Time Presence

Collaboration is getting better and better in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. When you share your presentation with others using OneDrive or Office 365 SharePoint, you can work together in real time. You can now not only see when others are working on the same shared presentation as you, but also see an indicator that shows you exactly what slides they're working on, and where in the slides they're working. To learn more about real time co-authoring, see Collaborate on PowerPoint presentations with real time co-authoring.

Shows the icon indicating someone else is collaborating on a slide in PowerPoint 2016

Shows icon showing someone working on a section of a slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Ink Annotation

On touch-enabled devices, you'll now see a Draw tab on the ribbon in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint where you can select inking styles and start making ink annotations directly in your files. In PowerPoint, you can also convert your ink drawings to Shapes by selecting them and then selecting Convert to Shapes. That way, you get the freedom of freeform drawing with the uniformity and standardization of Office graphic shapes. To learn more about inking in Office, see Draw and annotate with ink in Office 2016.

Shows the Draw tab in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Black Theme

The highest-contrast Office theme yet has arrived. To change your Office theme, go to File > Account, and then click the drop down menu next to Office Theme. The theme you choose will be applied across all your Office apps. To learn more about Office themes, see Change the look and feel of Office 2016 for Windows with Office themes.

Shows the Black Theme in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

November 2015 Updates

NOTE: The following features are only available to Office 365 subscribers. They will first roll out to Office Insider participants, and later to consumer and commercial Office 365 subscribers. If you have an Office 365 subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Morph Transition

PowerPoint 2016 comes with a brand-new transition type, Morph, that can help you make smooth animations, transitions, and object movements across the slides in your presentation. To use the morph transition effectively, you'll need to have two slides with at least one object in common—the easiest way is to duplicate the slide and then move the object on the second slide to a different place, or copy and paste the object from one slide and add it to the next. Then, with the second slide selected, go to Transitions > Morph to see how morph can automatically animate, move, and emphasize your objects across slides.

PowerPoint Transitions tab, Morph option in Transitions in This Slide group

PowerPoint Designer

PowerPoint Designer is a new service that lets you take your content and automatically generate a variety of ideas that you can choose from to make your slides look better. When you add a photo or other unique visual content, the Designer pane will open automatically with a variety of suggested visual treatments you can choose to apply to your slides. Try adding a photo to a title slide to give it a try.

Example of the mobile version of PowerPoint Designer

September 2015 Updates

Both Office 365 subscribers and Office 2016 one-time purchasers get the following new features.

Do things quickly with Tell Me

You'll notice a text box on the ribbon in PowerPoint 2016 that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases related to what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You also can choose to get help related to what you're looking for, or perform a Smart Lookup on the term you entered.

shows the "tell me" search box on the ribbon in PowerPoint

Shows a query being entered into the tell me field on the ribbon in PowerPoint

Six new chart types

Visualizations are critical to effective data analysis as well as compelling storytelling. In PowerPoint 2016, we've added six new charts—with the same rich formatting options that you are familiar with—to help you create some of the most commonly used data visualizations of financial or hierarchal information or for revealing statistical properties in your data.

When you go to Insert > Chart on the ribbon, you'll now notice five new options that are especially well-suited for data visualization: Box and Whisker, Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, (and within Histogramoptions, Pareto), and Waterfall.

shows the new charts in PowerPoint2016

Insights into what you're working on

The Insights pane, powered by Bing, offers more than just definitions. When you select a word or phrase, right-click it, and choose Smart Lookup, the insights pane will open with definitions, Wiki articles, and top related searches from the web. You can also get to Smart Lookup any time by going to Review > Smart Lookup and entering a query there.

Showing results of a Smart Lookup in PowerPoint using Insigts

Ink Equations

Including math equations has gotten much easier. Now, you can go to Insert > Equation > Ink Equation, any time you want to include a complex math equation in your presentation. If you have a touch device, you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand, and PowerPoint will convert it to text. (If you don't have a touch device, you can use a mouse to write, too). You can also erase and select and correct what you've written as you go.

Shows insert equations button on the ribbon in PowerPoint

Insert ink equation by using PowerPoint Math Input Control box

Screen recording

Perfect for demonstrations, you can now include screen recordings in your PowerPoint presentations with just a few clicks. Just set up whatever you'd like to record on your screen, then go to Insert > Screen recording, and you'll be able to select a portion of your screen to record, capture what you need, and insert it directly into your presentation in one seamless process.

Shows insert screen recording button in PowerPoint2016

NOTE: This feature is also available in PowerPoint 2013 if you have the most recent updates.

Simpler sharing

Choose the Share tab on the ribbon to share your presentation with others on SharePoint, OneDrive, or OneDrive for Business.

Shows the Share pane dialog in PowerPoint

Better conflict resolution

Now, when you're collaborating with others on a presentation and there are conflicts between changes you've made and changes others have made, you'll see a side-by-side comparison of the slides with conflicting changes, so you can easily choose visually between which changes you'd like to keep.

Shows conflicting changes dialog in PowerPoint

Improved version history

Now you can go to File > History to see a complete list of changes that have been made to your presentation and access earlier versions.

NOTE: This feature is only supported for files stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint.

Colorful, Dark Gray, and White Office Themes

There are now four Office themes that you can apply to PowerPoint: Colorful, Dark Gray, Black, and White. To access these themes, go to File > Account, and then click the drop down menu next to Office Theme.

Office Theme pull down menu, Colorful, Dark Gray, and White theme options

Better video resolution

Now, when you export your presentation as a video, you can choose to create a file with resolution as high as 1920 x 1080, which is great for presentations on larger screens.

NOTE: This feature is also available in PowerPoint 2013 if you have the most recent updates.

Improved Smart Guides

Smart Guides no longer turn off when you insert a table. Now you can use them to make sure everything, tables included, is aligned properly on your slides.

NOTE: This feature is also available in PowerPoint 2013 if you have the most recent updates.

Quick Shape Formatting

This feature increases the number of default shape styles by introducing new “preset” styles with theme colors to quickly get the look you want.