Office 2021: Available Now for Faculty and Staff

Office 2021

Microsoft Office has been available since 1990. Over the past 33 years, the tools included in the Office suite, such as Word, Outlook, and Excel, have expanded and improved (to see just how much, scroll through the visual history of Microsoft Word).

ITS is excited to announce that Office 2021 is now available as an optional update on most Clark-provided Windows computers for faculty and staff. Labs and public computing spaces will be updated over the Summer.

How Do I Update?

Update to Office 2021 by following these step-by-step instructions. If you’d like further guidance on using the new features and functions discussed in this article, please contact

Why Should I Update?

Curious about what this update has in store? Keep reading to learn more about the exciting changes coming to a (Windows) screen near you!

Accessibility Checker

Microsoft’s accessibility checker is now available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This tool identifies ways you can make your document or presentation more accessible for everyone, including adding alternative text for images and optimizing file format for screen reading. You can see these suggestions by going to the “Review” tab in any of these three tools.

Dark Mode in Microsoft Word

Late night writing session? Turn on dark mode in Microsoft Word to reduce blue light exposure, which can contribute to eyestrain and headaches. Bonus: using applications in the dark mode can save battery power on your laptop, tablet, or phone.

XLookup in Excel

If you’ve ever used HLookup or VLookup in Excel, you know that they are extremely powerful and frequently tricky functions. XLookup is their sleeker younger sibling, which doesn’t require you to specify the direction of your data and simplifies formula input. Check out this YouTube video to learn more about how this function can save you time.

Cat with a crown

A cat with a crown

Improved Drawing and Ink

Do you like to scribble over your data or lecture slides? Office 2021 includes improved drawing and ink functionality in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can even replay your annotations if presenting information to a group or enhance existing pictures for research (or for your beloved pet).

Translate emails in Outlook

Many Clarkies communicate in multiple languages or collaborate with international colleagues. Outlook for Windows can now quickly and easily translate incoming or outgoing messages into another language to improve communication. Follow Microsoft’s instructions to learn how to enable this feature.