Skip to main content

Microsoft previews Office support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Microsoft previews Office support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
James Bareham / The Verge

Microsoft announced its plans to support Apple’s new Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro back in October, but the software giant has only started testing these features with Office users recently. Starting this week, Office Insiders on the slow ring for Mac will be able to test the new Touch Bar support across Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook for Mac.

It’s relatively easy to become an “Office Insider” and test new features, but if you’re not interested in encountering bugs and issues then the Touch Bar support will arrive for everyone in the coming months. Microsoft is adding Touch Bar support to each Office for Mac app. In Word, Office users will be able to activate Focus Mode to remove the Ribbon for less distractions, alongside the ability to format text and change font styles. PowerPoint will display a graphical overview of all the slides in a deck, allowing you to reorder slides. Excel has the most useful changes, with the ability to quickly pick recently used functions and color cells or pick out charts.

Microsoft’s work on Touch Bar support for Outlook on the Mac includes a today view to display calendar appointments for the day. The Touch Bar will also list recently used documents when you compose an email, allowing you to quickly attach documents. You’ll be able to activate Skype for Business calls straight from the Touch Bar, and Microsoft is extending that Touch Bar support over to Skype so you can end or mute calls, and enable video straight from the Touch Bar.