Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Office 365 interface redesign to roll out in coming months

Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac previews improved inking features and more Download: Office 2019 For Mac Preview Released, Here’s How To Get It
Kayla Schwartz | 14 June, 2018, 18:15

Microsoft will roll out this experience to the web version of Word first and will start to roll out to select consumer users today on Office.com.

The Ribbon-that collection of icons for frequently needed functions at the top of the program window-drew ire when it first appeared in Microsoft Office, but most users now find it indispensable. People who prefer to dedicate more screen space to the commands will still be able to expand the ribbon to the classic three-line view.

Microsoft is taking a phased approach to introducing these changes because the company has found that muscle memory is strong among the one billion Office users on the planet.

The ribbon redesign is meant to provide a more simplified way for you to get things done.

The company recently also announced a preview version of the Mac version of Office 2019, which will be coming to the Mac App Store.

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Microsoft's also talked up new menu aminations, plus "inclusive and accessible" icons that use colour to achieve "higher contrast". The new look, Microsoft says, sports a cleaner and simpler look while giving users the ability to customize it with the tools they use most, mimicking the experience of pinning items to your taskbar in Windows.

The new Ribbon will have just one row of icons, which were redesigned to be scalable not only for a sharper, more modern appearance, but also help with accessibility.

That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface. In July, they'll be added to Outlook for Windows, and in August, Outlook for Mac.

The final release of Office 2019 for Mac will ship alongside Office 2019 for Windows in the second half of 2018. Leveraging the Microsoft graph, the new search experience will immediately bring up search recommendations when you place your cursor in the search box. Gradually rolling out over the next few months, users should first expect to see enhancements to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It comes with new features across Office apps like Powerpoint and Word.

Spataro explained that for the new design effort, Microsoft had researched and analysed customer input, and given them access to concepts and involvement in creating the new look for Office 365. Microsoft has been testing the simplified Ribbon with 30 large Office 365 customers and has been flighting changes to users there to see how they would be accepted, Friedman said.

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