Microsoft Announces Office 2019 Commercial Preview for Mac Users

Morph transitions in Power Point are a part of Office 2019 for Mac

Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac previews improved inking features and more

Microsoft, of course, would prefer the masses of its customer base to actually move across to its Office 365 subscription package, but for those who haven't yet done that, or who choose not to for their own internal reasons, Microsoft offers a yearly update of Office that allows businesses to handle all of their productivity needs.

It starts with a simplified ribbon that's meant to help users focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others.

The first major change is the updated design for the ribbon.

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Microsoft is adding new colors and icons to Office, starting, again with the web version of Word at Office.com. There will be new colors, icons, and new animations and reveal effects in ribbons. Microsoft is starting to roll out this new Ribbon in the web version of Word to "select consumer users today in Office.com". Introduction of email templates, and read and delivery receipts are some additional features which will make their way to the Office portfolio apps. Office 2019, the next perpetually licensed version of the suite, will retain the existing ribbon interface. They'll hit Word on the Web first, followed by Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the desktop later this month. Users can also still expand the ribbon back to the classic three-line view if they see the need.

The new icons are meant to render more crisply and cleanly on screens of any size and to look better for those with vision impairments.now there are more than 10,000 different icons in Office, Friedman noted, and Microsoft wanted to make them more consistent and accessible from the get-go, using color, contrast and other design elements. The update also includes icons that scale better with screen size and a more prominent Search feature in the Office applications. The Office 2019 for Mac commercial update will roll out alongside the Office 2019 for Windows update sometime later in this year. As such, simply placing your cursor in the search box will trigger a "zero query search" with recommendations power by AI and the Microsoft Graph.

According to Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing, search "will become a much more important element of the user experience, providing access to commands, content, and people". Microsoft will monitor the usage of these new features and will listen to feedback from users.

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