Back in June, Microsoft announced that it is revamping the Office desktop apps for Windows. The idea was to bring the apps in line with Windows 11's design language, even on Windows 10. In the following weeks, the company began rolling out the refresh to those on the Beta Channel, and in September, this extended to Current Channel users, but only as a preview. Today, Microsoft has announced that it is speeding up the pace of rollout.
If you're on Windows 10 and running Office version 2110 and build 14527.20226 or later, there's a possibility that the visual update will be available to you. This is because Microsoft has made the update automatically available to 50% of all users on the Current Channel. Meanwhile, if you're on Windows 11, the revamp will necessarily be available to you. In both cases, you might need to restart your Office apps to receive the visual refresh.
As a recap, the visual revamp includes Office themes that now match with your Windows theme (including Dark Mode) with the Quick Access Toolbar hidden by default to make the interface simpler. You'll also notice Fluent Design elements. You can simply click on the megaphone icon on the top-right corner of the title bar of your Office app and then switch on the toggle in the Coming Soon pane to enable the visual updates. The same toggle can also be used to return to the existing UI.
The Coming Soon pane is available for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. If you enable the new UI via any of the aforementioned apps, it will also become available in Access, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Outlook. Although the dedicated Coming Soon pane is also present in the Outlook app, it doesn't really do anything.
The revamp is currently available automatically to 50% of Current Channel users running Microsoft Office Home & Student 2021, Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021, Microsoft Office Professional 2021, or Microsoft Office Personal 2021. Here are the known issues:
- The Disable dark mode checkbox in Microsoft Word does not work when "Use system setting" is selected. Please toggle dark mode from the View tab or switch to Black theme to enable it. Note: Dark mode only affects the document page color and is separate from the Office theme.
- The theme picker in Word's options menu has a bug for 64-bit users. Please go to File > Account and click on the Office Theme dropdown to change themes.
- The dark grey theme was updated to meet new accessibility color contrast requirements. We're listening to your feedback about the change and we're exploring options to better support theming.
- The backstage (i.e.: File menu) is not yet updated, but will be coming in a future update.
- The Mica background effect has not yet been added to our apps, but will be coming in a future update for Windows 11 users.
Microsoft has requested users to submit feedback about the refresh via Help > Feedback and to use the #OfficeRefresh hashtag so that it's easier for the company to spot your feedback.
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