Microsoft Q&A with Corinne Hoisington

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for a conversation with Corinne Hoisington and the Cengage Learning team to learn about the exciting updates from Microsoft as well as the exciting product launches from Cengage. We received many questions during the WebEx and have answered them below. If you have further questions, please contact your Learning Consultant to continue the conversation.

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2016 Questions
Q: How do you access Office 365 offline?
A: Office 365 is locally installed and always available offline. It does not live in the cloud.

Q: Is Access included in the Office 365 Pro Plus?
A: Yes, see Microsoft’s product details here.

Q: Will you be able to send the information out on how to not update to Office 2016 when using Office 365? I have the same issue with my current students, and I don’t want them to update yet.
A: Please see the directions on our blog.

Q: We have been told that we do not need to turn off automatic updates until February. Is this correct?
A: Please see Microsoft’s post.

Click here for more information on the Office 365 Pro Plus branching options.

Q: Is there any advantage to using Office 2016 as opposed to Office 365?
A: This answer depends on the industry that your business sits in and the use cases you have for your software; however, in academia we believe that there isn’t an advantage to using Office 2016. Your students will be purchasing devices with Office 365 on their machines and Microsoft is pushing the enterprise Pro Plus license to institutions, which again would give students Office 365. Therefore, ensuring that you are teaching to what your students are using is important to mirror their real world setting.

Q: Can you give us more detail on what it means that Office 2016 doesn’t update?
A: Office 2016 is the traditional version of Office software which is downloaded at purchase and will be static until a new version is released from Microsoft, estimated in 2-3 years (Office 2018 or 2019).

Q: Has the Virginia Community College System sent information to the IT Depts. about stopping the automatic upgrade for Office 365?
A: Please talk to your individual school about how they want you to stop upgrades. This will be an ongoing maintenance for a school in that you have to select out of this updating. This will not be a one-time flip to switch.

Q: What is the price point of the subscription for Office 365?
A: Here are pricing details for Office 365 for Home plans and Office 365 for Business plans.

Q: What are the document formats/extensions for 2016 (e.g., docx, xlsx, pptx, etc.)?
A: The exact same as Office 2013.

Microsoft Office 2013 Questions
Q: Can you run Office 2013 and 2016 on same computer; How do you run 2013 and 2016 simultaneously?
A: Microsoft recommends faculty who wish to test Office 2016 without replacing their existing Office 2013 installation should consider using a virtual machine equipped with Office 2016 for testing purposes.

Q: If students update to 2016 without really knowing the consequences, can they go back to the 2013 version?
A: No.

Q: If my student buys office 365 today, can they install Office 2013 today instead of Office 2016 so that it will match their Office 2013 textbook?
A: No, Microsoft does not allow you to go backwards with Office 365. Cengage is working on a solution to purchase Office 2013 trials (180 day licenses) that can be bundled with orders for Spring 2016.

Q: In 2013, themes “randomly” appear and disappear – is this fixed in 2016.
A: Microsoft states that the themes will remain constant.

Q: Will Office 2013 still be available in the Fall of 2016 for free at colleges even though Office 2016 is the current version?
A: Microsoft’s Office 365 Pro Plus enterprise license is available for an institution to purchase. This Pro Plus solution is for Office 365 therefore is for Office 2016 and beyond (with the continuous updates); therefore Office 2013 is not available through Office 365.

Application Questions
Q: Do you need a business account in order to use Skype for Business?
A: Skype for Business is a featured app of Office 365. It can be purchased as a stand alone subscription.

Q: Will the Skype for business be available in 2016 Professional or only for 365 users?
A: Skype for Business is a featured app of Office 365. It can be purchased as a stand alone subscription.

Q: How many students can participate in a Skype for Business “video call” at one time?
A: 25 on the video portion; 10,000 on the phone call line.

Q: Can you use the Skype feature to share the desktop and audio without the video?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Office 365 include features such as Developer and Mail Merge?
A: Yes Office 365 is a full featured locally installed program identical to Office 2016.

Q: Is the new tell me feature a replacement of the help or F1
A: “Tell me” is not a replacement for Help (or F1). It is in addition.

Q: Can we turn off Tell Me? Sounds like students taking a test could just use Tell Me to basically do the test for them.
A: No.

Q: Is the entire PowerBI suite available with Office 365, or is there a “pay for it” layer above it that is only available by subscription?
A: PowerBi is an app included within Office 365 the subscription for no additional cost.

MAC for Office Questions
Q: Does the Mac version have Pivot Table slicer capability?
A: Yes, it will.

Q: Will Office Mix work on Office 2016 for Mac? (for authoring Mix presentations)
A: Yes, it will.

Q: Does Excel 2016 map the Mac’s F4 key to change cell reference types like the PC does?
A: No. I recommend reading this article.

Office: Which Version Am I Using?

With all of the new Office products rolling out, it’s easy to get a little confused by which version of Office your computer is actually running. We’ve put together a short guide to help you figure out which version you’re using!


  • Open any Office application (example: Excel, Word)
  • Go to the File tab
  • Go to Account
  • Click “About Word”/”About Excel”/Etc. to see the version of Office (see screenshot below for what will display)
  • The first two lines in the example below display the version in use (Microsoft Word 2013, Part of Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus)


Have you signed up for Cengage Learning’s Microsoft blog updates?
We are delivering the most important Windows 10, Office 365 and Office 2016 product information to our instructors and students. We distill what Microsoft and the media are saying down to what is most important for you. This helps you cut through the noise and get to the imperative information. We make sure that you get the latest information is delivered right to you when you sign up for the email updates from the blog as well!

To sign up, just look on the right hand side of the home page! Find the link that says “Stay Updated” – enter your email and then click Subscribe. You’ll get a confirmation email and then you will receive the information directly in your inbox.

How to Stop Office 365 Auto Updates


Over the past year, Microsoft released over 450 updates to Office 365. That’s a lot of changes to keep track of! If you would like to stop your Office 365 auto updates, you can use this link to learn how to change your Office update setting. Follow the instructions for your Operating System. You can also keep track of Office 365 updates using these Microsoft resources.


*Updated information from Microsoft can be found in this blog post.*

Office 365 Customer Success Center

Microsoft has created the Office 365 Customer Success Center to help customers get the most out of Office 365 and stay up to date on the latest Office 365 news and information. The Center’s helpful information include tabs on Scenarios, Deployment, Adoption, Roadmap, Community, and Resources. The Roadmap tab lists updates that are currently being planned for Office 365.  Customers can get information on recently launched updates available to all customers and updates that are currently rolling out that may not be available to all customers yet, as well as updates that are in development or updates that were cancelled. The Community tab features links to Microsoft’s blogs, virtual training, and the opportunity to join the Office 365 Network. This Network allows users to connect with other members of the Office 365 community by sharing knowledge and first hand experiences.

Learn more.

Microsoft Testing Office 365 Features for Educators


Microsoft is creating new features to make its Office 365 service work better in schools and recently announced private beta testing for Microsoft Class Dashboard and Microsoft School Information Sync.

Class Dashboard is a website that compiles content from various Office applications into one central location for teachers and students to use to stay on top of what’s going on in their classes. It will pull in notes, assignments, calendars and class materials to provide a digital home for all of the information that students need to know. Each class with a Class Dashboard site will also have a OneNote Class Notebook. Teachers will be able to track progress on assignments and provide students with feedback and grades through the site.

School Information Sync will join student information systems with Office 365 applications. Through the new service, administrators and teachers will pull information, like a student’s name and class enrollments, into Office 365 apps.

Learn more

New User Experiences in Office 365


Last week Microsoft released a set of new user experiences coming to Office 365 including access to notifications, help and what’s new feature introductions, contextual and immersive settings, and the integration of Skype for Business conversations. The new features will be accessed through icons in the top right of the navigation bar that will remain in place across Office 365 web applications. Be on the lookout for the new features to begin rolling out to those in the First Release program over the next few weeks, and then all Office 365 business customers over the next several months.

Learn more

Delve to Roll Out for Office 365 in Mid-May

Delve, the first application built for Office 365’s Office Graph machine learning engine, is expected to finish rolling out to Office 365 customers by mid-May. Delve is designed to analyze how people work on Office 365. The application then automatically makes relevant data on colleagues and content easily accessible by linking to content via card icons in a dashboard interface. Delve is also set to gain the ability to analyze content within Exchange Online email attachments, and will also soon work across Yammer. Another feature of Delve is its use as a conventional search engine, into which users can enter keywords and run queries. However, Delve also offers users preconfigured search filters to see, for example, what’s been “shared with me,” “liked by me,” “modified by me,” “viewed by me,” “presented to me” and what’s “trending around me,” which flags recent actions in Office 365 taken by relevant colleagues.

Learn more