In tandem with today’s release of Windows 11 via the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft has also issued a beta visual refresh of Office to match. So it’s not just Windows on ARM that will benefit from some major Office updates today.
“The visual refresh of the Office desktop apps for Windows 10 and Windows 11 delivers a simple and more coherent experience across the Office apps you depend on, so that you can focus on your work more easily,” Microsoft’s Kori Loomis writes of the update. “In alignment with the release [of Windows 11 in the Insider Program], we are also releasing an Office visual refresh that will shine on the new Windows 11, but will also be available to anyone using Windows 10.”
The Office visual refresh impacts Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio, and is described as “a more natural and consistent experience within and between [the] applications.” It uses the Fluent Design principles, whatever that means, and utilizes neutral color palettes, customizable ribbons, and soft corners. Office will also now matches your Windows theme by default, though you can configure that.
The Office visual refresh is now available to any Office Insiders running the Beta channel. It can be turned off if you’re not interested.