This new design is being rolled out gradually, with the new interface coming today for Word users on Office.com Later this month, a test group of Office Insiders will will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.
With the improvements to the Office Ribbon, users can expect a focus on working and collaborating with others in a more natural way. Word on the Web will be the first to get the new interface-some users can opt into it today-and in July, subscription versions of Outlook for Windows will also get it. 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. The new ribbon will be far more customizable, letting you add or remove any icon you want.
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The Ribbon-that collection of icons for frequently needed functions at the top of the program window-drew ire when it first appeared in Microsoft Office, but most users now find it indispensable. 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.
The new icons are meant to render more crisply and cleanly on screens of any size and to look better for those with vision impairments.now there are more than 10,000 different icons in Office, Friedman noted, and Microsoft wanted to make them more consistent and accessible from the get-go, using color, contrast and other design elements. Following on from the initial business preview of Office 2019 for Windows in April, the company has now announced that Office 2019 will be available as a preview for Mac machines with immediate effect. It's launching a new feature it calls "zero query search", which surfaces AI-powered recommendations as soon as you place your cursor in the search box. Introduction of email templates, and read and delivery receipts are some additional features which will make their way to the Office portfolio apps. Microsoft has been testing the simplified Ribbon with 30 large Office 365 customers and has been flighting changes to users there to see how they would be accepted, Friedman said. Microsoft plans to roll it out to commercial users of Outlook on the web in August. Microsoft will monitor the usage of these new features and will listen to feedback from users.