Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Microsoft announces refreshed user experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

Microsoft announces refreshed user experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

Simplified ribbon-Microsoft is introducing an updated simplified version of the ribbon that is created to help users focus on their work and collaborate easily with others.

This new design is being rolled out gradually, with the new interface coming today for Word users on Office.com Later this month, a test group of Office Insiders will will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.

Microsoft says that it won't be rolling the feature out to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows just yet. 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. This feels like a much improved, and much more grown-up version of Office.

With the improvements to the Office Ribbon, users can expect a focus on working and collaborating with others in a more natural way. Microsoft is starting to roll out this new Ribbon in the web version of Word to "select consumer users today in Office.com". The company promises that, at least for now, users of those applications will be able to revert to the old ribbon should they prefer it. Like the simplified ribbon, the new colors and icons will first appear in the web version of Word.

Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac previews improved inking features and more

In addition to new features baked right into the array of apps within Office 2019, the new suite will also include a set of command-line tools that, as Microsoft puts it, "will allow IT admins to centrally control how and when Office updates are applied to users' devices". This feature is already available for commercial users in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile.

That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface. The roaming pencil case also makes its way to Powerpoint as well, besides the new update will bring the ability to insert and manage icons, SVG, and 3D models on board.

After getting a peek at some new design elements coming to Microsoft's Office apps this week, Microsoft has now confirmed it is planning a makeover for the Office 365 experience. Leveraging the Microsoft graph, the new search experience will immediately bring up search recommendations when you place your cursor in the search box.

Microsoft specifically mentioned that they are planning to carefully monitor usage and feedback as the changes roll out, and they will update their designs based on that.

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