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Microsoft Office has a fresh new look - here's how to update

Microsoft Office Visual Refresh
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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If you've upgraded to Windows 11 and want Microsoft Office to match the look of the company's latest operating system, then you're in luck as Microsoft's visual update for its office software is now available.

Back in June, the software giant announced a new look for Office designed for Windows 11 though it will also improve your experience if you're running Windows 10 according to a new blog post from Microsoft. 

At its core, Microsoft's new visual update for Office delivers a simple and more coherent experience across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. It's worth noting that the update isn't available for some of the company's other software including Access, Project, Publisher and Visio. 

Once enabled in one of the compatible Office apps such as Word, the visual refresh will also be applied to the others so Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook will have a new look as well.

Office Visual Update with Word Dark Mode

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Enabling the visual update for Office

Microsoft's new visual refresh for Office can easily be turned off or on using the Coming Soon feature which is located in the top right corner of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

To get started, simply click the megaphone icon to open the Coming Soon pane, navigate to the bottom and use the toggle to move between the new and current interface and apply the setting to all of Microsoft's compatible Office apps.

The biggest change in this visual update is the fact that Office now matches your Windows theme by default. This means you can experience it in whichever Windows theme you want including black with Word Dark Mode enabled, white, colorful or dark grey.

Another change is that the Quick Access Toolbar is now hidden by default to make the user interface of Office simpler. To display it again, just right-click the ribbon or click on the Ribbon Display Options icon and then click Show Quick Access Toolbar.

Microsoft's visual update is now now available for users running Windows 11 as well as for those running Windows 10 version 2110 and build 14527.20226 or later but if you don't see the update, restarting Office should make it appear.

We've also rounded up the best Microsoft Office alternativesbest free office software and best online collaboration tools to help you work more productively

You might also want to check out how to download and use Microsoft Word for free.

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. He has been a tech enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has spent countless hours researching and tinkering with PCs, mobile phones and game consoles.