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Office Insiders on Windows get faster account switching, new icons, and more

Office icons
Office icons (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is pushing out a set of updates (opens in new tab) to its Office suite for Insiders on the Slow ring, and there's plenty of new stuff to check out. Most prominently, you'll now see the revamped Office icons present across the suite, but Microsoft has also added in a new feature to quickly switch between accounts on the fly, along with several improvements to Outlook and Word.

Here's a quick rundown of everything that's new:

All apps: Seamlessly switch between accounts

  • The new account manager shows all of your work and personal accounts in one place, and puts you in control of switching between them. This updated experience makes it clear how you're logged in, and now you can toggle between work and personal accounts without having to sign out first or deal with complex dialogs.
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Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote: Product icons have a new look

  • The product icons have been redesigned to reflect simple, powerful, and intelligent Office experiences.

Outlook

  • A simplified ribbon that's customizable too: Enjoy a streamlined, single row of the most frequently used buttons. Easily switch between classic and Simplified views, and pin/unpin commands.
  • Relaxed or tighter layout? Choose what feels best: Tighter Spacing lets you decide if you want more space between items, or a tighter layout to see more in your Inbox.
  • Set once and forget it: Your Focused Inbox preferences are now stored in the cloud. Enjoy the same experience when you use Outlook for Windows on any computer or Outlook on the web.
  • Pick your favorite actions: Don't use Flag and Delete? How about Archive or Mark as Read? Customize the quick action menu for easy access to the commands you use the most.

Access

  • Get smart with Microsoft Graph: Import or link to smart contextual data stored in Microsoft Graph and reinvent your desktop database with Intelligent Technology.

Word

  • Say goodbye to distractions: A favorite Mac feature comes to Windows! Switch to Focus on the View menu to remove distractions and concentrate on the work at hand.
  • More colorful pages: With the addition of more page theme colors, which allows the changing of the background color of the page, we hope to enable people who have challenges reading with an all-white or all-black background to make adjustments that suit them.

The latest updates are currently available on the targeted monthly channel for Office Insiders enrolled in the Slow ring. Presumably, should testing go well, we'll see these features make their way to everyone before too long.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • New icons are horrible, how can this have gone through all quality controls without being vetoed...
  • What's so horrible about it? They look modern compared to the dated and old icons of previous years. It is human to criticize any new thing or change just for the sake of voicing an opionion.
  • What makes them look horrible is the tile behind them in the start menu.
  • They look mushy, and indistinguishable to some significant degree.
  • Most people don't like change even if it's positive change. I think they're fine personally, but overall I don't care that much about icons and I always get used to however they may change over the years.
  • I much prefer the flatter look. I miss Windows 8.
  • I dunno, I really like 'em.
  • Interestingly, nothing has changed w/OneNote. It's still exactly the same as it was.
  • Onenote is not included in Office 2019. App or Onenote 2016 is what is available.
  • I thought I just saw an article explaining that OneNote received that icon change separately...not that I'm complaining that original icon/tile is still there. But just the inconsistency of Microsoft always gets me.
  • Is icons all people care about? We should be demanding more. Especially on the collaboration side. O365 needs to improve a lot. Quite difficult to do simultaneous work at this point.
  • I was confused about the prices. I was sure that personal subscription was $69 and the next one was $99 for use by a family. I see now that those are Amazon prices.