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 (opens in new tab) and want Microsoft Office (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) is now available.

Back in June, the software giant announced a new look for Office (opens in new tab) designed for Windows 11 though it will also improve your experience if you're running Windows 10 (opens in new tab) according to a new blog post (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), Excel (opens in new tab), PowerPoint (opens in new tab) and OneNote (opens in new tab).

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 (opens in new tab) by default. This means you can experience it in whichever Windows theme you want including black with Word Dark Mode (opens in new tab) 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 alternatives (opens in new tab)best free office software (opens in new tab) and best online collaboration tools (opens in new tab) to help you work more productively

You might also want to check out how to download and use Microsoft Word for free (opens in new tab).

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.