Microsoft is testing a Windows 11 new look for Office applications

Microsoft Office UI refresh in Windows 11
(Image credit: TechRadar)

A visual refresh of Microsoft Office has been unveiled, showcasing a unified user interface that matches it with Windows 11, released for Insider users.

A new look has been one of the biggest rumors for the next versions of both Windows and Office, especially as the Ribbon interface, first introduced in 2007, had been going stale, with an overload of features causing confusion for some users.

According to Kori Loomis, a Program Manager on the Office Experience team, they are looking for feedback into the big visual update that’s available right now to test.

A new Office on Windows 11

Alongside Microsoft announcing the availability of Windows 11 for Insider users through the Beta and Dev channels, a blog post also announced that the Fluent Design language is coming to Office as well, across both Windows 10 and 11.

Users who are part of the Beta channel can switch on the new look by going to the megaphone icon and using a toggle to activate it.

This update applies to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for now, but in the meantime features such as Dark Mode can be used here, matching whichever theme you have in Windows 11, alongside a more simple layout compared to the Ribbon interface.

“This Office visual refresh is based on feedback from customers who asked for a more natural and consistent experience within and between your applications, specifically on Windows. With this update, we deliver an intuitive, coherent, and familiar user interface, using the Fluent Design principles,” added Loomis.

Windows 11 and the new version of Office are both rumored to become available for eligible devices this winter.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.