Microsoft's Office UI update includes a simpler, cleaner ribbon

Image Sarah Tew  CNET

They'll then make make their way to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows later this month, to Outlook for Windows in July and then to Outlook for Mac in August. Following on from the initial business preview of Office 2019 for Windows in April, the company has now announced that Office 2019 will be available as a preview for Mac machines with immediate effect. That may sound like old news for some commercial users who can already see the behavior, but it's still bound to surprise some people when it rolls out to all commercial users of Outlook on the web in August. Microsoft has been testing the simplified Ribbon with 30 large Office 365 customers and has been flighting changes to users there to see how they would be accepted, Friedman said. Nearly all these features are already available for Office 365 ProPlus users, but owners and users of stand-alone Office for Mac 2016 have been missing out on them. In addition, there are features in Office 365 ProPlus that aren't in Office 2019 for Mac. There's also a new focus mode in Word that essentially removes all the editing tools and other noise to just show the document on the laptop screen. Powerpoint also gets a new Morph transition feature, 4K video support, play-in-click sequence.

New features in Excel include funnel charts and 2D maps, and new Excel functions like CONCAT, TEXTJOIN, IFS, and SWITCH.

Over the coming months, Microsoft will begin rolling out changes to the interface of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Office 365 and Office Online (Office.com) users. Apart from that, there is a new Focused Inbox, summary cards for travel and delivery details.

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Microsoft also explained in its blog, "Office 2019 for Mac also includes features for IT that will help simplify deployment and management". A send later feature has also been added that lets you delay or schedule delivery of emails. Introduction of email templates, and read and delivery receipts are some additional features which will make their way to the Office portfolio apps.

The Office 2019 is supported over two latest versions of the macOS, and now the Office 2019 Commercial View program is open for participation by the users.

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