The ribbon in Microsoft Office is getting a Fluent Design redesign

The ribbon in Microsoft Office is getting a Fluent Design redesign

It features "roaming pencil case and ribbon customizations across Office apps; focus mode in Word; Morph transitions, in-click sequence, and 4K video export in PowerPoint; new charts and functions in Excel; and focused inbox in Outlook", according to Spataro.

The changes are inspired by a "new culture of work" and will bring fluent design, a simplified ribbon, and search enhancements to the Office 365 experience.

Microsoft has a new redesign coming up for Office 365 users. While two are relatively minor and focus on visuals and efficiency, there's one major change that even Microsoft knows it needs to tread carefully with.

Key to the Office app redesign are an updated Ribbon, icon refreshes and new ways to more easily see changes coming to the Office suite. The new ribbon will be far more customizable, letting you add or remove any icon you want.

Collaboration Pane
Microsoft's Office UI update includes a simpler, cleaner ribbon

For those who are interested in this Office 2019 for Mac preview, the company published a "how to participate" website here which allows businesses to sign-up for its Commercial Preview program, including all of the prerequisites before a business can actually sign-up. Today, Redmond announced that it will be simplifying the ribbon and using the slick new Fluent Design system that's been making its way into Windows 10. Later this month, a select group of Office Insiders also will see these new design elements in Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows. They'll hit Word on the Web first, followed by Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the desktop later this month. Even when simplified ribbon does roll out at some point in the future, you'll still be able to pull up the current three-line ribbon whenever you need it.

That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface. Essentially, this ensures that icons have smooth lines and render correctly regardless of the display you view them on. Then in July, they'll show up for users of Outlook for Windows and in August for Outlook for Mac users. Leveraging the Microsoft graph, the new search experience will immediately bring up search recommendations when you place your cursor in the search box.

This new search feature is already available in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app and will be rolling out to Outlook on the web in August. Word on Windows will also have to wait as Microsoft collects feedback from a broader set of users.

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