Earlier in the month, we reported on Microsoft Office support for the Touch Bar display on Apple’s newest MacBook Pro. The support reached Office Insiders eight days ago, after months of development. Microsoft has today brought the features out of preview and made them available to all Office users.
Shortly after Apple launched the MacBook Pro last October, Microsoft confirmed it would bring Office support to the Touch Pad. The company has been developing Office support since that announcement.
The Touch Bar is a Multi-Touch strip of Retina display that sits above the MacBook Pro keyboard. While Apple’s claims it revolutionizes the keyboard experience are a stretch, it is a very useful tool. The Touch Bar changes icons and settings depending which app is in use and what the user is doing.
This allows for different controls and features across Microsoft’s Office apps, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Office Touch Bar Support
Microsoft has previously detailed how Office will be integrated with the Touch Bar:
Word – The MacBook Pro Touch Pad lets users enter Word Focus Mode directly. The feature hides the ribbons and commands, which Microsoft says lets users focus on their work. Quick access presents the most common Word features instantly, while users can open the full app for all Ribbon commands.
PowerPoint – The Touch Bar doubles for 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.
Excel – Users can see the most recently used functions when an ‘=’ is placed in a cell. Microsoft explained this feature in October:
“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”.
Outlook – The Touch Bar presents the most common commands from Outlook. Other features include a view of recent documents displayed on the Touch Bar. With a single tap, an attachment or link can be added to an email. Also, though the Today view, Outlook will join into a Skype for Business meeting.