New PowerPoint handout feature isn’t new at all

A supposedly ‘new’ feature in PowerPoint 365 for Windows is already in regular PowerPoint?

The latest Insiders version of Office 365 for Windows has no truly new features.  The only ‘new’ feature is something that’s already in Office 365.

As we looked down the list of changes in version 1909 build 16.0.12013.20000 it was all bug fixes except for one ‘new’ thing.

Snapshot of What’s New page – Office 365 for Windows, Insiders fast track. Taken 21 August 2019.

Print slide numbers on handouts

Slide numbers are now automatically included on printed handouts.  The option to disable them has been moved to Print Options from Advanced Options.


We had a touch of déjà vu (the type only for Office nerds) because that ‘new’ feature seemed very familiar.

Sure enough we started an ‘old’ PowerPoint 365 released to the public last month (version 1907 build 11901).  The non-insider Office 365 already has this ‘new’ feature.

Go to File | Print and choose a Handout option and there’s the choice ‘Print slide numbers of handouts’.  Already available for standard Office 365 customers.

We don’t have the time to dig back and find exactly when slide numbers where added into PowerPoint 365 for Windows … but it’s definitely not ‘new’.

PowerPoint 2016 and 2019 don’t have the handout slide numbers option (not even in the Options | Advanced).

Office 365 for Mac (as usual) miss out. “Print slide numbers on handouts” isn’t available, even in the latest Insiders release for Mac.

What’s going on?

It’s another example of the increasingly poor, if not downright wrong, Microsoft Office documentation.

In this case it’s hard to know what they are playing at.

A mistake?  If so, they’ve had five days to notice and fix the error.

Deliberate?  It would not be the first time Microsoft has ‘announced’ a new or changed feature that’s already in the public product. But such marketing tricks have no place in documentation for Insiders testing Office for Microsoft (at no charge).

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