Don't miss the latest stories
Microsoft Office Redesigns ‘Word’, ‘Excel’, ‘Powerpoint’ For Simplicity & Space
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Jun 2018
Image via Office
It’s likely that you’re relying on muscle memory to navigate around Microsoft Office, as being astute with its software has long been a basic skill. Nonetheless, the company has recently announced an overhaul to further streamline your work processes.
As paradoxical as it might seem, too much simplicity can complicate things—which is why Microsoft isn’t intending to make extreme changes to the software. In the coming months, it will gradually roll out user experience tweaks to ‘Word’, ‘Excel’, ‘Powerpoint’, ‘OneNote’ and ‘Outlook’ that help you accomplish tasks quickly, based on what it’s learned about user behavior throughout the years.
A prominent change is a simplified ribbon, which will first make its way to the web version of ‘Word’. Microsoft is minimizing the classic three-line view to a single row that spotlights the most important commands.
Before. Image via Office
After. Image via Microsoft
Since it might take away some familiarity, the company is practicing some caution by first testing it out on one program.
“Users have a lot of ‘muscle memory’ built around these versions,” Microsoft explained. “So we plan on being especially careful with changes that could disrupt their work. We aren’t ready to bring the simplified ribbon to these versions yet because we feel like we need more feedback from a broader set of users first.”
Select Microsoft ‘Insiders’ can expect to be able to view the new ribbon in July. Those uncomfortable with the change can switch it back to the traditional mode at the click of a button.
New colors and icons will also be making their way to the apps. These visual elements are built to be scalable and ensure crisper, clearer lines “on screens of any size.”
‘Outlook’ users might soon enjoy an improved search experience, powered by AI and Microsoft Graph, that offers suggestions as soon as you place your cursor in the search field. Commercial users can already access the feature in ‘Office.com’, ‘SharePoint Online’, and the ‘Outlook’ mobile app.
Image via Microsoft
So far, Microsoft’s testers have great things to say about the interface’s increased space and accessibility. “It’s simpler and I feel like I can open it and immediately get my bearings and move forward. Not a lot of extra information. The tasks are obvious on this screen,” described one. Another wrote, “The toolbar provides the most frequently used features… maximizing the screen real estate for the actual content.”
You can check out an overview of the facelift in the video below.
Video via Microsoft Office 365
[via TechCrunch, video via Microsoft Office 365, images via various sources]
More related news
Also check out these recent news