Word Features, by Program Version

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 2, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Debi needs to create some training material that explains how to use Word within her company. This will be used by both employees and out-of-house contractors. These individuals are using many different versions of Word. To give the proper direction, Debi needs to figure out what Word features were introduced in which versions of the program. So, she is looking for resources that might help in pulling together this information.

We've not been able to locate any such list for Word. Lists like this are available for Excel, primarily because it is important to know when various worksheet functions are introduced and, therefore, when it is "safe" to use those functions in formulas. Not so for Word, however.

The reason for this is twofold. First, features in Word are often not new "features," per se, but are instead changes in how long-existing features are accessed. For instance, Microsoft 365 recently (mid-2023) added a shortcut to paste text only (Ctrl+Shift+V). This wasn't a feature change, but a new shortcut key that allowed users to access an existing feature differently. When Word makes these sorts of changes, there is no record kept or published that details when those changes are made.

Second, Word doesn't really add major features that often. I'm hard-pressed to think of the last time a major feature was added. Some could call dictation capabilities a major change, but it didn't really modify how Word worked—it just provided a new way to get text into a document. As such, it was more a "promotion" of an accessibility capability, rather than a new feature.

It is important to know dates for worksheet functions in Excel because formulas won't work if they rely on functions that weren't available in a particular version. That is not the case with Word; it will gracefully just not use the "feature." A big example of this was almost 15 years ago when Word dropped "emboss" and "engrave" as formatting options for text. Any old documents that use this formatting will still work in current versions of Word, albeit without the formatting—it doesn't make the document unusable.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6858) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Adding One More Line

It always seems to happen—you print a document and then discover that you should have included one more line of ...

Discover More

Getting Page Number Formatting Changes to Stick

Placing a page number into your document can be easy. Getting that page number to look the way you want it to can be more ...

Discover More

Formatting a SEQ Field Number

The SEQ field is a great way to insert a sequence of numbers within your document. If you want those numbers to be ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making Word Remember My Settings

Ever had the experience of setting some configuration option in Word, only to have the option revert to a different ...

Discover More

Keeping Word Open after Closing Documents

Usually when you are done working on a document, you want to close Word completely and move on to something else. There ...

Discover More

Fonts Missing in Word

What are you to do if you find that you have no fonts available in Word, but they are available in other programs? There ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.