Simplified ribbon design begins rolling out to Office Online

In June, Microsoft revealed a pretty big makeover coming to Office 365. Now, as spotted by, some of those design elements are making their way to Office Online, courtesy of a "simplified" ribbon UI.

Office Online apps like Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint, are beginning to show a "Simplified Ribbon" toggle for some users. Toggling the option on will show the new look, but you can return to the older three-line look by toggling it off.

If toggled on, you'll see a cleaner design that replaces the bulkier design that has dominated Office apps for years. According to Microsoft when it announced the changes, the change is "designed to help users focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others."

The design is still very much in the testing phases, so you may see differences as Microsoft iterates across the apps. And it's worth noting that this appears to be a part of a measured rollout, so not everyone will see the new look right away. However, it's a good sign that things appear to be moving along as Microsoft prepares to expand a modern look to its Office apps more broadly.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Looks like Office 97 mode is back.
  • This is cool and clean. I love it very much.
  • Great for Sets purposes I guess. And the reason why Sets is postponed probably.
  • The Insider builds of Office have been getting the new look ribbons and it's quite odd at first but it's growing on me.
  • My Office 365 desktop apps look like this - I am on Insider Fast for Office which is probably why. I like the new icons for all the buttons on the toolbars, but I think I preferred when the tab bar was slightly more colourful. I also think they should implement the lighting effect on the toolbar like in OneNote, for consistencies sake.
  • Looks great IMO, one thing I really disliked about the big ribbon is how much vertical space it wastes especially with 16:9 displays, unless you have it hidden
  • You have the hideous Chrome. FYI to get the normal Chrome you can either
    use this theme: or go to chrome://flags and go to #top-chrome-md and set it to normal or hybrid. If you don't like the new new tab page you can also disable #ntp-ui-md. You can also disable native notifications. The real settings are in the flags! Well anyway. I've been using the simplified ribbon before the 4th of September on Office Online so they must've flicked the switch for all users. The UI with the colour extending to the tabs looks amazing. The whiter UI looks rather bad. I really dislike that they put the redo button under a dropdown. I'm honestly not a fan of the wireframe icons. I can see what they were trying to do but after looking at icons like the paste icon I thought it didn't look that nice. It's a great upgrade for Office Online though. It hasn't gotten any TLC in a long time