The ribbon in Microsoft Office is getting a Fluent Design redesign

Doris Richards
June 13, 2018

You can see the new icons in the image above, and as with the simplified ribbon, we'll see these launch in Word for this month before arriving to Insiders using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows later in June.

The changes are inspired by a "new culture of work" and will bring fluent design, a simplified ribbon, and search enhancements to the Office 365 experience.

With the improvements to the Office Ribbon, users can expect a focus on working and collaborating with others in a more natural way.

The improved Office ribbon will only roll out to starting today, with Insiders seeing it in Outlook for Windows starting in July.

Today, Microsoft announced a bunch of design changes to its Office applications, the most major changes that the suite of apps has seen since the Office 2016 apps; possibly before that, depending on your perspective.

For those who are interested in this Office 2019 for Mac preview, the company published a "how to participate" website here which allows businesses to sign-up for its Commercial Preview program, including all of the prerequisites before a business can actually sign-up. Like the simplified ribbon, the new colors and icons will first appear in the web version of Word.

For everyone else, Microsoft is moving forward cautiously, especially when it comes to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. Users can expand the ribbon to the classic three-line view whenever they want. Microsoft is launching new colors and icons in Office 365, with the new icons being launched as scalable graphs. The new icons will be vector graphics, so they should be able to render on screens of different sizes and resolutions. In July, they will be available on Outlook for Windows, and in August they rolling out to Outlook for Mac. The updated so-called "zero query search" feature will give users suggested content, people and documents based on which app they're in and where they are. Introduction of email templates, and read and delivery receipts are some additional features which will make their way to the Office portfolio apps. This is available to commercial users in some capacity already, but it will start making its way to Outlook on the web for commercial users in August. Microsoft will monitor the usage of these new features and will listen to feedback from users.

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