Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

The ribbon in Microsoft Office is getting a Fluent Design redesign

The ribbon in Microsoft Office is getting a Fluent Design redesign

Microsoft says it isn't quite ready to bring the new ribbon to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows just yet, but it'll eventually make its way to those apps as well. Apart from that, there is a new Focused Inbox, summary cards for travel and delivery details. "Users have a lot of "muscle memory" built around these versions, so we plan on being especially careful with changes that could disrupt their work", Microsoft wrote in today's announcement.

The new ribbon experience is rolling out first to the web version of Word starting today, and Insiders will start to see it pop up in Outlook for Windows in July. Microsoft favors its subscription based Office 365 ProPlus, and all these features being added to the perpetual update are already available to those paying a monthly fee. This is created to help people focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others.

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. They include a simplified ribbon-the once-controversial collection of menu items and tools that reside near the top of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will soon take on a more streamlined appearance meant to help users focus on their work and collaborate with others. The new icons will be vector graphics, so they should be able to render on screens of different sizes and resolutions.

Second, Microsoft will incorporate new colors and icons. The updates will be exclusive to on Office.com and Office 365 and won't happen all at once, but instead tested in stages. These will first appear in in the web version of Word for Office.com, and then roll out in later this month to the Insider versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. To name a few, features like the roaming pencil case and ribbon customisations will debut in the Office apps with the new edition. They are also introducing a new feature called "zero query search", when a user simply places the cursor in the search box, Microsoft will display recommendations powered by AI and the Microsoft Graph. Microsoft is rolling out new features in waves so it can collect feedback and improve Office slowly, which is definitely a good idea given the reaction to some of the changes it's previously implemented.

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