Office 2021 professional plus : Understanding the New Features and Enhancements

office 2021 professional plus

office 2021 professional plus, the successor to Office 2019, is a non-subscription offering from the tech giant Microsoft, which was released alongside its subscription-based counterpart, Microsoft 365. This version caters to users who prefer a one-time purchase for their productivity software over a recurring subscription. In this article, we delve into the new features, improvements, and relevant aspects of Office 2021 that users should know about.

office 2021 professional plus Standalone Version: What It Means for Users

Office 2021 is a standalone version of Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and for PC users, Access and Publisher. Unlike Microsoft 365, Office 2021 does not require monthly or annual subscription fees. Once purchased, it provides access to the software suite and any updates that come within the support window. It’s ideal for individuals and businesses looking for a traditional software experience without the frills of cloud services.

New Features and Improvements of office 2021 professional plus

Visual Refresh

office 2021 professional plus introduces a visual refresh that aligns with Windows 11’s design language but is also compatible with Windows 10. It offers a cleaner look with a neutral color palette that reduces eye strain, rounded window corners, and refreshed tab bars that improve user focus.

Performance Enhancements

Microsoft has worked on under-the-hood improvements to make Office 2021 faster and more efficient. This ensures better performance even on older hardware, emphasizing the company’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.

Excel: Improved Functions and Features

Excel 2021 boasts new functions like XLOOKUP, LET, and XMATCH, which enhance data manipulation capabilities and improve upon previous functions. Dynamic arrays have also been introduced, which allow formulas to return multiple values and spill them into multiple cells.

PowerPoint: Better Presentation Tools

PowerPoint 2021 has embraced new features like Slide Show recording, Ink Replay, and improved slide transitions, which elevate presentations’ quality. Live subtitles and translation during presentations also make it more accessible to diverse audiences.

Word: Writing Made Better

In Word 2021, Microsoft has introduced new tools such as a modern commenting experience to improve collaboration. Additionally, an improved inking functionality and a more robust spell-checker enhance the writing and editing process.

Collaboration and Accessibility

Even as a standalone product, office 2021 professional plus has not entirely forsaken the cloud. Users can collaborate on documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint with a real-time co-authoring feature. Accessibility is also a focus, with improved support for assistive technologies.

Office 2021 vs. Microsoft 365

The main difference between office 2021 professional plus and Microsoft 365 is the payment model and the frequency of feature updates. Microsoft 365 users receive continuous updates and have access to a broader range of cloud services, including extra storage on OneDrive and access to the latest features as soon as they’re released. In contrast, Office 2021 users will only receive security updates and bug fixes but no major feature updates until the next standalone release.

Who Should Choose Office 2021?

Office 2021 is suitable for users who:

  • Prefer a one-time purchase.
  • Do not require constant updates.
  • Do not need cloud services.
  • Work in environments with restricted or limited internet access.

System Requirements and Compatibility

Microsoft has kept the system requirements for Office 2021 relatively modest, ensuring that it remains accessible to users who are not running the latest hardware. However, it is essential to note that Office 2021 is only compatible with Windows 10, Windows 11, and the three most recent versions of macOS.

Support and Lifecycle

Microsoft Office 2021 has a fixed lifecycle policy, typically around five years, which means that users can expect to receive security updates and bug fixes during this period. After that, they would need to upgrade to a newer version to maintain support.


Microsoft Office 2021 represents a balancing act between tradition and innovation. It provides a static, stable, and familiar suite of productivity tools for those who are comfortable with a one-time purchase. While it may lack the cutting-edge features and cloud services of Microsoft 365, it remains a robust choice for users who do not require these extras. The improvements in performance, collaboration tools, and the subtle visual overhaul make it a worthy consideration for users looking to upgrade from older versions of Office without moving to a subscription model.