Microsoft updates its Office 365 applications regularly, and February brought one interesting update for those who use Word for writing or editing: a new “Editor overview pane.” It’s not a new feature, but a new presentation for existing features. Since Word is overstuffed with features people never see or use, packaging those features and making them easy to access is a meaningful improvement.
These Editor features are ones you should use, too. I still hear people warn that spell-checking a document is not good enough—it misses errors like an incorrect word choice that happens to be spelled correctly. But Microsoft has improved its spelling and grammar tool in the past few years. It will catch many of the errors the old spellchecker wouldn’t. It can also make suggestions for good style, such as avoiding passive voice and wordiness. You can pay for programs that make these suggestions more thoroughly and accurately, but Microsoft’s built-in tools are pretty good on their own.
This update isn’t live for everyone yet (I don’t have it). Check out Microsoft’s blog post to see it in action.