Skip to main content

Refreshed Microsoft Office designed to 'shine' on Windows 11

Office 2021 Windows11
Office 2021 Windows11 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Updated June 29, 2021: This article has been updated to reflect that the update is not avaialble in the Beta Channel yet, but will be in the future.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Office has been refreshed with Fluent Design language and to align with Windows 11.
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio all have a visual refresh.
  • The visual refresh will be in testing with Beta Channel users now.
  • The refreshed Office apps will be available on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Alongside the first preview build of Windows 11, Microsoft rolled out a visual refresh for its Office apps. While Microsoft says (opens in new tab) that the redesigned Office apps are built to "shine on the new Windows 11 OS," they will also be available for anyone using Windows 10.

The refreshed Office apps will be available for testing for Beta Channel users running build 14228.20000 or later on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

People can turn off the visual refresh by using the "Coming Soon" feature in the Office apps, which is in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. If you enable the refresh in any of those four apps, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio will also show the new look. This is also the case for Outlook, even though the app has a "Coming Soon feature" (which cannot be used to turn the visual refresh on and off).

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio all have a visual refresh. The apps now use Fluent Design principles and align with the look of Windows 11.

Office now matches whatever theme Windows is set to by default, but you can manually select black, white, color, or dark grey if you prefer.

The Quick Access toolbar is now hidden by default, but you can display it by right-clicking the ribbon and selecting "Show Quick Access Toolbar." You can also customize the ribbon, including creating shortcuts to access features quickly.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

13 Comments
  • This does not appear to be available for everybody yet. I am on Windows 11 dev build with Office beta chanel and I do not see the new office UI and Coming Soon is grayed out, no updates available. Microsoft Office Insider twitter account confirmed it's not available yet. Office Insider
    https://twitter.com/OfficeInsider/status/1409635541205749770
  • No, not seeing it here either, Windows 10, Office Beta in UK. 14217 is the most current build I have.
  • I got build 14226 this morning, no sign of 14228 yet
  • This was a mistake on the Office Insider Build to announce it as availbale and all of the windows sites are following suite, it's not out yet.
  • I even had an email from the Office Insider program, but the latest beta build is 14226
  • It will be probably available next month but as other say is not yet ready for testing. A lot of desinformation in Windows sites recently, jeez
  • True dark mode in Word is going to be a godsend. The other, smaller visual touches are welcome too.
  • Oh never mind. We already have true dark mode in Word. Have for a few months, I just didn't realize it. I've been working on one document for a long time now and I really could have used dark mode...
  • Does this include the UWP versions of office in the Windows Store?
  • Maybe its just me but I dislike the rounded corners of the new UX. I mean I dislike the Metro apps as being way too simple but I like the clean design of Windows 10 in general. I get moving away from "tiles" as they really didn't catch. And they are keeping the ribbon on Office and yet removing it from File Explorer.... for reasons. I mean I get giving an option for simple buttons or ribbon but why take the ribbon away? The vast, vast number of users will be using Windows with mouses and keyboards, not touch.
  • I don't mind the rounded corners on the windows, I think they soften the look of the OS. However, I don't want rounded corners EVERYWHERE: windows, popups, search bars, notifications, widgets, start menu, context menus, right click menus, file menus, browser tabs, etc. etc.
  • Latest build even fo