Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

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

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

It also comes with a word translator, improved inking functionality, customisable Office ribbons, and overall accessibility improvements.

Office 2016 was the last version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft today announced it is going to start implementing a lot of design changes to Office. And almost two months later, the company is back with another important announcement about the Office 2019. Created to make the apps look more modern, the new icons are built as scalable graphics "so they render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size", Microsoft says.

Microsoft on Wednesday announced a series of changes in store for its Office suite of productivity applications. Like the simplified ribbon, the new colors and icons will first appear in the web version of Word.

The default is now a scaled-down ribbon with only the most commonly-used tasks shown as buttons on a single line. "Then, later this month, select Insiders will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows".

Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac previews improved inking features and more

The ribbon redesign is meant to provide a more simplified way for you to get things done. Still, even after it's rolled out to everyone, and you're not a fan or want to ease into the new design, you'll have the ability to revert to a classic ribbon with one click. You can see the evolution of Microsoft Office icons over the years in the image below.

But for those who actually bother to look at the screen as they work, there's good news, especially if you need a bit of extra help. Features will only become generally available once they've successfully navigated rigorous rounds of validation and refinement, says Jared Spataro, corporate vice preside for Office and Windows marketing.

Before users type a query into Outlook's search box, for example, the application will offer recommendations generated by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and Microsoft Graph, a collection of APIs that deliver contextual information to users based on employee information and content stored across Microsoft's business software and cloud offerings.

This new search feature is already available in, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app and will be rolling out to Outlook on the web in August.

While Excel is getting funnel charts and 2D maps along with new functions, Outlook is getting a @mentions feature which is similar to the revamped Gmail.

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