Microsoft rolls out new UI for Office apps for Insiders on Windows 10 and Windows 11

Microsoft Office apps with refreshed UI sporting rounded corners and new color palette

Microsoft released the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build to Dev channel users today, officially bringing the new OS to testers. While the build features a majority of the features announced last week, it does miss out on support for Android apps – which is expected to be added later. There are also a few known issues in today’s build, which is to be expected.

Along with the Windows 11 Insider release, the company is also introducing refreshes to the Office suite of apps, bringing the offerings’ overall design in line with that of the new OS. The update is rolling out to Office Insiders and will be available for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 users. The apps include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio.

The Office apps now feature rounded corners – unsurprisingly – which apply to not just the app windows but also the ribbon UI. There is a “neutral color palette” in the apps and the offerings also feature automatic theme switching based on the system theme, which applies to the canvas as well on Word. There are improvements to the ribbon UI itself, with the Quick Access toolbar now hidden by default to offer a cleaner UI.

Microsoft Office apps with refreshed UI sporting rounded corners and new color palette

The new design will be enabled for Beta channel users by default and can be switched off from the Coming Soon pane at the top of the apps. It must be noted, however, that the pane is not available for Access, Project, Publisher, or Visio, so the toggle in any of the other Office apps will automatically apply to these apps as well.

Since this is still a preview build, the firm does note that there will be a few rough edges leading to choppy animations and some design inconsistencies. It adds that the apps will receive the ‘Mica’ background effect seen in Windows 11 in a future update. Here is the complete list of known issues:

  • The team’s focus has been on primary app surfaces like the ribbon and document canvas. As a result, there will still be some color and style inconsistencies across different UI surfaces. The backstage (i.e. File menu) is not yet updated.
  • There is currently a bug with animations in our apps on Windows 11, which can make transitions look less polished.
  • The Mica background effect has not yet been added to our apps. It will be coming in a future update.
  • The preview gallery for Data types and Shapes have a color bug in dark grey theme. Please expand the gallery to view contents while we resolve this issue.
  • There is a bug where the document title appears misaligned within the title bar.

These refreshed Office apps will be available to Beta Channel users running Office Insider version 2107 build 14228.20000 or newer on both Windows 11 or Windows 10.

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