Microsoft has officially announced details about the newest upgrades to its office 365 suite moving forward along with its new OS release.
It seems that Microsoft has listened to its user base and feedback since Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are getting much-needed redesign taking into account many suggestions from the community.
The new office should feel more like an application suite guiding focus on the interconnection of applications themselves providing users with a much more natural experience of using them.
The new office features so far
From Microsoft themselves:
“This Office visual refresh is based on feedback from customers who asked for a more natural and consistent experience within and between your applications, specifically on Windows. With this update, we deliver an intuitive, coherent, and familiar user interface, using the Fluent Design principles, across all your applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio. We aligned this visual refresh with the design of Windows 11 to provide seamless experiences on your PC.”
It is always refreshing to hear when a company listens to its user base and actually does what is needed instead of trying to invent the wheel.
How to switch
Since beta is already rolling and if you have an active 365 subscription to office suite visual refresh will be automatically available to all Office insiders running beta channel builds. It can be turned on and off using the coming soon feature in the top right corner of the menu in any application.
Just click on the megaphone icon to open the coming soon pane and apply settings to all office apps.
Note that The Coming Soon feature is not available in Access, Project, Publisher, or Visio. If you turn on the visual refresh in any of the 4 apps mentioned above (Work Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote), it will also be available in these 4 apps.
The Home tab menu still has a familiar look with a few tweaks. For example, accessing frequently used Word commands will be a lot easier. By navigating to Designer > Show Quick Access Toolbar, users can add a customizable shortcut ribbon to Word that houses conveniently placed options.
Also, the office will not match your Windows operating system color theme so if you have a dark theme enabled, the office will also have a dark color theme.
Color palettes are more neutral, corners are a bit softer but customizable ribbons are a win here for me.
There was not much said other than visual upgrades and small tweaks that were supposed to make your life easier but then again Windows 11 itself is in the same boat.
I am not sure if this is a great update offering just some visual tweaks and focus on workflow mechanics or just being plain lazy and trying to cash in visuals as a completely new product.