Microsoft is redesigning the Office desktop apps for Windows 11

jsilva

Posts: 176   +1
Staff
In brief: With Windows 11 coming later this year, Microsoft decided it was a good idea to revamp the Office desktop apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Although the redesign is being made in alignment with the Windows 11 release, Windows 10 will also support it.

With a new Microsoft Office perpetual release coming in the second half of 2021, Microsoft asked users to choose which would be the next Office default font, but as it seems, that wasn't the only thing changing.

Microsoft has announced the redesign of Office's UI following user feedback. According to the Redmong giant, users asked for a "more natural and consistent experience within and between... applications." The new Office apps will be following Fluent Design to create "an intuitive, coherent, and familiar user interface" that matches Windows 11.

The visual refresh is coming to all Office Insiders running Beta Channel builds. If you have one of such builds, you may disable the new visual experience in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote through the Coming Soon feature, accessible via the megaphone icon located in the top right corner. Besides the toggle to try the new visuals, the Coming Soon pane also shows notes about the visual changes.

The Coming Soon pane is not available in Access, Project, Publisher, or Visio, but enabling the visual refresh in any other apps will pass on to them. As for Outlook, despite having the Coming Soon pane, users can't turn on the visual refresh, but you can still do it through one of the other apps.

Some features coming to the redesigned Office include better cross-referencing between Office apps, a default neutral color palette, customizable ribbon, and soft corner windows. Moreover, Word will support co-authoring/writing features like online text processors such as Google Docs and Word Online.

The new Office redesign will also allow users to match the app's theme with Windows, but there will also be other options for users to choose from, including white, dark mode (black), colorful, or dark gray.

The quick access toolbar is now hidden by default. If you rather have it displayed, you can right-click the ribbon or click the 'Ribbon Display Options' icon, and then click 'Show Quick Access Toolbar'.

The new Office desktop apps will be available for Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel before a wider release. Office Insiders will need a system running Version 2107 Build 14228.20000 or later on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

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seeprime

Posts: 578   +704
Wow. Libre Office's Tabbed UI now looks to be more user friendly than Microsoft Office is. I wonder if Microsoft Office's market share usage is going to drop. After all, Windows share of the desktop dropped from 91% eight years ago to 75% today, with Chromebooks, Macs, and Linux (to a lesser extent) kicking Windows to the curb. With usable free Office suites Office might follow this trend, except where corporate IT dictates its use.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 385   +315
It's main problem with M$ right now. They re-designing crap UI to be even more crap without actually improving and fixing programs they make.

Long live Libre Office and to hell with M$ abominations (Office, W11 and flat interface).
 

yukka

Posts: 980   +152
Anyone that knows what they are doing in each office app has a customisation file saved with all their regularly used buttons in a single tab on the ribbon. Stop moaning that things move when you don’t use the application properly anyway.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
None of this is necessary, MS are literally just changing how it’s software looks so it can charge more money. This company really is the scum of the earth. The only reason I’m considering windows 11 is because it might fix some of the windows 10 issues. It’s backwards!
 

GregonMaui

Posts: 284   +102
Looks like they still have the terrible ribbon interface - worst UI design ever. I literally do not know anyone who likes it, or thinks it was even professionally designed. Kindergarten kids and a box of crayons would have done better.

But here is to improvements, go big, go bold!
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 444   +709
"Some features coming to the redesigned Office..... and soft corner windows."

Yeah, right. In all my years of using Windows or MS office (multiple versions from 2004 up to the clunky garbage of 2016 and newer) I have never once wanted "soft corner windows" and I have never heard anyone ask for "soft corner windows".

I hate how MS changes around all the settings and hides functions in stupid places whenever they "update" their software.

I still can't find things with any ease in the Windows 10 Settings. The search function on it doesn't help either. I have to f'ing google where to find the settings because it's not intuitive. And it irritates the helI out of me that once easy to find settings in the Control Panel are no longer there because they were moved to the Settings and are renamed or put in a stupid spot that doesn't make sense.

It's like they take all the setting options, write them on paper, pin them to a wall and let monkeys fling poop at the wall. Then they start putting those random options in whatever location monkey poop hits first.
 

GregonMaui

Posts: 284   +102
"Some features coming to the redesigned Office..... and soft corner windows."

Yeah, right. In all my years of using Windows or MS office (multiple versions from 2004 up to the clunky garbage of 2016 and newer) I have never once wanted "soft corner windows" and I have never heard anyone ask for "soft corner windows".

I hate how MS changes around all the settings and hides functions in stupid places whenever they "update" their software.

I still can't find things with any ease in the Windows 10 Settings. The search function on it doesn't help either. I have to f'ing google where to find the settings because it's not intuitive. And it irritates the helI out of me that once easy to find settings in the Control Panel are no longer there because they were moved to the Settings and are renamed or put in a stupid spot that doesn't make sense.

It's like they take all the setting options, write them on paper, pin them to a wall and let monkeys fling poop at the wall. Then they start putting those random options in whatever location monkey poop hits first.
You nailed it
 

BadThad

Posts: 616   +657
Here we go again with MS and dumb designers. Instead of working to fix the problems with Office they choose to work on eye candy - the LEAST IMPORTANT feature. I held on to the old Office 2013 as long as I could - I was very productive with it - no ribbons or relearning a convoluted interface. (Why remove the "send to mail recipient" option???)

Forced to switch to Office 365 by my company two years ago. I admit some things are much better than 2013 but the program is buggy and slow as molasses. MS needs to keep working on the meat and not the dressing!
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +387
So what microsoft is saying is that it wants people to keep using open-source Office Suites like Libre Office and Open Office. Ok, microsoft. On this one you can have it your way. Libre Office it is.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 56   +62
Most Microsoft apps are an abomination, not designed for touchscreen (and a lot of devices nowadays are touch / hybrid as Yoga, Surface, iPads, DeX mode, etc) and just a mini revision of the older ones.

See the W10: from W8 they could get touch UI better but... No. They could already have all in new mode but... No. Still 50% W10 UI, 50% W7 style... what?! ...

W11: what W10 should have been but still... 2021!
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +387
See the W10: from W8 they could get touch UI better but... No. They could already have all in new mode but... No. Still 50% W10 UI, 50% W7 style... what?! ...
No one wants a touch UI. Windows is a DESKTOP operating system. Microsoft needs to introduce a mobile version of Windows that is 100% code compatible with existing programs for mobile hardware platforms. Otherwise they need to leave mobile computing alone and refocus on desktop platforms instead of continuing to try blending the two. This continuing effort to "mobilize" the desktop is mentally bereft and needs to stop.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,234   +507
Still kinda ugly. Office 2007 had the best user interface. You could easily separate toolbars from the "paper" because not everything was the same color. Nowadays apps and web pages make it hard to differentiate user interface from content, and selected items from those not selected, contributing to decrease in productivity.

So, it looks worse and it's less productive. Congrats to Microsoft designers.
 

yukka

Posts: 980   +152
No one wants a touch UI. Windows is a DESKTOP operating system. Microsoft needs to introduce a mobile version of Windows that is 100% code compatible with existing programs for mobile hardware platforms. Otherwise they need to leave mobile computing alone and refocus on desktop platforms instead of continuing to try blending the two. This continuing effort to "mobilize" the desktop is mentally bereft and needs to stop.
A version of window that is 100% code compatible? That’s just windows then with a touch UI. There are years of compatibility under the hood in windows hence the bloat.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +387
A version of window that is 100% code compatible? That’s just windows then with a touch UI. There are years of compatibility under the hood in windows hence the bloat.
Flawed logic. Let's take Linux for example. There are versions of it that are extremely lean and can run perfectly on mobile hardware or even very old hardware and yet retain 100% code compatibility. If Microsoft made the effort, it would take some doing, but they could easily produce a version of Windows that ran very lean and thus able to run on a mobile platform and yet would retain 100% code compatibility. They are just too lazy.
 

yukka

Posts: 980   +152
Flawed logic. Let's take Linux for example. There are versions of it that are extremely lean and can run perfectly on mobile hardware or even very old hardware and yet retain 100% code compatibility. If Microsoft made the effort, it would take some doing, but they could easily produce a version of Windows that ran very lean and thus able to run on a mobile platform and yet would retain 100% code compatibility. They are just too lazy.
The reason windows isn’t lean is because they support so much old software.
 

yukka

Posts: 980   +152
That's not the way things work.
You are talking about removing all of Windows features, like if you took all the features away from Windows, you would be left with this streamlined 100% compatible OS that wouldn't be Windows anymore but would run all Windows apps. That isn't how things work. Go have a chat with Windows RT and see how far that got for a start. If it doesn't run the existing library of Windows apps then it won't be successful and if it can run ALL the windows apps because its 100% compatible then its Windows. Do you want it to run apps that are reliant on existing Windows services? Then its windows... Do you want developers to make one version for Windows desktop and another for Windows Mobile (or whatever you call it - that ones been taken). Then no one is making apps for Windows Mobile and its a fail.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +387
You are talking about removing all of Windows features, like if you took all the features away from Windows, you would be left with this streamlined 100% compatible OS that wouldn't be Windows anymore but would run all Windows apps.
Something like that, yeah.

That isn't how things work.
Oh? I'm doing it right now. Windows 10 without Cortana, Edge, Windows Store, or any of the crap that really isn't needed for the OS to function. Runs lean and clean on an old Emachines EM250(single core 1.6ghz Atom CPU) Netbook with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD. And when I say it runs lean & clean I mean to say that it runs well, as in smoothly. I can watch movies, YouTube even a little bit of light gaming. And if I can do this on THAT old-AF system, Microsoft can slim it down to run on much more modern mobile tablet and phone platforms. Sooo, you were saying?

Go have a chat with Windows RT and see how far that got for a start.
Yeah, at this point you're not arguing merit anymore, you're arguing pride and ego as you don't want to admit or accept that you are wrong. I'm done here...
 
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yukka

Posts: 980   +152
Something like that, yeah.


Oh? I'm doing it right now. Windows 10 without Cortana, Edge, Windows Store, or any of the crap that really isn't needed for the OS to function. Runs lean and clean on an old Emachines EM250(single core 1.6ghz Atom CPU) Netbook with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD. And when I say it runs lean & clean I mean to say that it runs well, as in smoothly. I can watch movies, YouTube even a little bit of light gaming. And if I can do this on THAT old-AF system, Microsoft can slim it down to run on much more modern mobile tablet and phone platforms. Sooo, you were saying?


Yeah, at this point you're not arguing merit anymore, you're arguing pride and ego as you don't want to admit or accept that you are wrong. I'm done here...
Fair enough. Don’t get your point but whatever. Stick it on a tablet and uninstall the bits you dont want. Sell the config to people and make some money.