Microsoft on Wednesday announced a design update to Office suite which includes popular applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook. The new user experience updates will be rolled out to Office.com and Office 365 users starting this month.
The latest update is focused on delivering “a balance of power and simplicity” to Office users. Among the top changes that will come with the update is a simplified command ribbon at the top, new icons and colours and a better search function.
The new simplified ribbon will “help users focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others”, the new colours and icons, built as scalable graphics “are designed to make the software more inclusive and accessible”, said Microsoft in a blog post.
The new search function would provide access to commands, content and people along with the “zero query search” that would bring up recommendations powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Microsoft Graph, just by placing the cursor on the search box.
The first application in Office suite to receive the Simplified ribbon is Microsoft Word. The new update is aimed at delivering more screen space for the writing pad while users can still access the complete suite of commands by expanding the ribbon to classic three-line view.
New colours and icons
The new colours and icons will be first rolled out web versions of Word for Office.com.
“Then, later this month, select Insiders will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. In July, they will go to Outlook for Windows, and in August they will begin rolling out to Outlook for Mac,” said Microsoft in the blog post.
Microsoft will be now empowering the search box with the company’s AI and Microsoft Graph technologies. The company hopes the new search tool makes it easier for users to access to key commands, content and other necessary information.
“Commercial users can already see this experience in action in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app, and it will start rolling out to commercial users of Outlook on the web in August,” Microsoft added.
(with inputs from IANS)