Microsoft testing MacBook Pro Touch Bar support in Office


All Office users will be able to enjoy it soon.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft has started testing support for the MacBook Pro’s new Touch Bar in Office. Preview testers can enjoy it in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook starting this week — and it’s scheduled to rollout to everyone in the coming months.

Microsoft confirmed back in October that it would be supporting the Touch Bar in Office, but it is has been quiet about those plans over the past three months. Now it is rolling out its latest Office Insider build with Touch Bar compatibility baked-in.

In Word, you’ll be able to use the Touch Bar to access many of the controls found in the Ribbon — like text formatting and font styles — which can then be hidden to give you more space. In Excel, you’ll have handy shortcuts for recent functions and color cells.

In PowerPoint, you’ll get an overview of the slides in your presentation, and you’ll be able to reorder them from the Touch Bar. In Outlook, you’ll see a today view of all your upcoming calendar appointments, and shortcuts to recent files that you can attach to emails.

If you want to try the changes early, you can become an Office Insider by simply opting in through an Office 2016 app on your Mac. Click the Help menu, select Check for Updates, then check the box alongside Join the Office Insider program.

If you’d rather stick to final and more stable Office builds, you’ll be seeing Touch Bar support “in the coming months,” according to The Verge. Microsoft is also planning to add shortcuts to Skype that will let you mute and end calls, and switch from voice to video chats.


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