Last month, Microsoft unveiled a visual refresh for its Office apps on Windows 10 and Windows 11. After a short delay, the new Office design began rolling out to select Office Insiders last week, and the company has announced that it’s now generally available in the Beta channel.
We have an update about the visual refresh, #OfficeInsiders. It’s now available to 100% of users in the Beta Channel. NOTE: You may need to restart your app once or twice to show the new experience. Thanks for your patience! https://t.co/RbiM1llTVN
— Microsoft 365 Insider (@Msft365Insider) July 14, 2021
The much-anticipated visual refresh brings a consistent user interface across all Office apps, and it includes rounded corners, a new customizable ribbon, and a neutral color palette. “With this update, we deliver an intuitive, coherent, and familiar user interface, using the Fluent Design principles, across all your applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio. We aligned this visual refresh with the design of Windows 11 to provide seamless experiences on your PC,” the Office Insider team explained.
Microsoft says that this redesigned Office UI will also offer automatic theme switching based on the Windows theme, and Insiders will notice some significant dark mode improvements in Word documents. The Office Insider team noted that the Quick Access Toolbar is now hidden by default, and Insiders will be able to opt-in or out of the new design by clicking the “Coming Soon” option available at the top of the apps.
This new UI update will be automatically available to all Insiders running version 2108 of the Office apps (build number 14301.20004 or newer) on Windows 10 or Windows 11. However, it’s still a work in progress, and there are still some issues that could lead to design inconsistencies. We hope that the company will address these problems before making it available for everyone.