Although Windows 11 has been stealing most of the limelight in recent months with its new look, Microsoft yesterday (July 7) started testing the redesign for its Office productivity suite.
Right now, it's not a great deal more than just a fresh lick of paint. Microsoft is readying Office's UI for Windows 11, with the software maker revealing that Office’s new UI is designed to match the redesigned Windows 11.
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For now, Microsoft is gradually introducing a cleaner and crisper look for Office, with the main changes coming in the shape of a more rounded Office ribbon bar, along with smaller tweaks to the buttons throughout Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and Word. The Windows 11 influence is certainly clear to see. As far back as January, Microsoft's official blog (opens in new tab) said that Office's visual refresh intended to "provide a seamless experience" with the upcoming Windows 11.
Microsoft is still tinkering with 'adaptive commanding' for the Office productivity suite. Accordingly, Office’s ribbon interface should eventually be replaced with a detachable toolbar, which undocks and floats in the vicinity of documents you're working in. That's according to The Verge, which expects to see such changes arrive on web and mobile Office first.
Beta channel tester ready
The newly revamped Office UI is now available for budding testers on Windows 11 and Windows 10, with Microsoft looking to roll it out to everyone else later this year.
It's important to note that anyone wanting to give the new UI a try will need to be signed up to the Office Insider program (opens in new tab) and enrolled in the beta. Once the update has been properly configured, a megaphone icon should appear towards the top of Microsoft Office. From here, you can then switch the new UI on or off, depending on your preference.