Office 2016 Preview – Retreat from the Ribbon

Microsoft released Office 2016 Preview last week and the retreat from the reviled ribbon has begun.

Why the retreat from the Office Ribbon? Because it sucks on tablets and small screens. And this version of Office is geared to the smaller screen. By default, the ribbon is hidden in the Outlook. See screenshot.

Office 2016 Preview

What else is changed?

Excel power users are going to be thrilled by the new chart capabilities. Lots of new designs and chart “recommendations” (recommendations from Microsoft always make me a bit worried but they are helpful to basic Excel users).

Excel 2016 Preview

Of course any charts changes roll over into PowerPoint – so better charts there. Also some nifty presenter options such as where you can change the mouse pointer into a laser pointer in Presentation View.

I haven’t had time to explore the new Word. So watch this blog for updates. But Word, Excel, PowerPoint now come with “Tell me what you want to do” option on menu now.  The Tell Me search bar is supposed to make it easier for you to find out how to do things. Much easier to see than the extremely tiny question mark icon they brought in with the Office 2007. Unfortunately you have to use Microsoft speak to get results so if you don’t know what Microsoft calls the function you’re looking for you don’t get anything useful.

More details on the new features here.

Office 2016 will be rolled out in the fall, automatically with Office 365. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, you can get the free preview by logging into Office 365 and look for additional install options. This is still beta software so don’t put it on a machine critical computer as it does crash and break 3rd party plugins.