Microsoft Begins Implementing Touch Bar Support in Office for Mac for Insiders

Posted on February 8, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Mobile, Office, Office 365 with 12 Comments

Microsoft Begins Implementing Touch Bar Support in Office for Mac for Insiders

Back in October, Microsoft said it that it would support the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro in Office for Mac. This month, that support is appearing for the first time in the pre-release versions of Office for Mac provided to Insiders.

If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s various Insider programs, you get the basic idea: These programs allow enthusiasts and others to receive early access to new versions and features, and to provide feedback to the company that can help drive product development.

For Office for Mac specifically, Microsoft provides two levels of Insider access, Office Insider Fast and Office Insider Slow. As the names suggest, Fast provides the earliest preview builds, and these builds are released more frequently than with Slow. Office Insider Slow, meanwhile, provides “fully supported builds with minimal risk.”

So it is odd, then, that Touch Bar support is coming first to Office Insider Slow, and not Fast. Starting with the February 2017 updates, Office Insider Slow users will see the following new functionality:

Touch Bar Support on the New MacBook Pro. Available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The most relevant commands to what you’re working on are at your fingertips. (Compatible with MacBook Pro with Touch Bar only).

According to a separate post to the Microsoft Answers forums, this functionality is appearing via Office for Mac build 15.31 (170207). If you are in the Insider Program, just check for Updates (Help > Check for Updates > Check for Updates in any supported app) to get the new build.

I don’t have a MacBook Pro, let alone a new model with a Touch Bar, so I can’t test this feature.


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