Apple’s Hello Again event included some Microsoft-focused news. The company announced that the Microsoft Office suite of apps will get support for Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. To build on this announcement, Microsoft has detailed exactly how that will work for each Office app.
In an official blog, the company shows how the Touch Bar will support Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Microsoft explains how this is a continuation of its long-time collaborations with Apple:
“We have a long history of working with Apple to support new form factors and devices, and—as you can see from the news this week—we’re continually evolving Office to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations across the industry. Through the Touch Bar, Office intelligently puts the most common commands at your fingertips.”
Microsoft says users of the MacBook Pro can enter directly to Word Focus Mode from the Touch Bar. The company says this is a new feature that hides the ribbons and commands so users can simply focus on work. This quick access allows users to have the most important Word features instantly. Of course, for more in-depth ribbon-based features, users can open the full app.
For PowerPoint, the Touch Bar is in the form of the Reorder Objects button. This opens a graphical map of all layers on a slide. Users can manipulate the elements by rotating objects with the Touch Bar and moving objects to where it is wanted.
The most recently used functions can be viewed in the Touch Bar when an = sign is placed into a cell. Microsoft explains this feature in its Office blog:
“For example, with a tap (for the formula) and another tap (for a named range) in the Touch Bar, you can quickly sum a range in your spreadsheet. The Touch Bar also provides quick access to borders, cell colors and recommended charts—making it easier than ever to organize and visualize your data”.
Using the bar in Outlook gives users quick access to the commands that they use most often. In terms of composing email, a list of recent documents are displayed by the Touch Bar. With a single tap, users can add an attachment or link to the mail. In the Today view, Outlook will join a Skype for Business meeting. Incidentally, Skype for Business was made widely available for Mac this week.