Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Productivity primed: MacBook Pro's Touch Bar now supports Microsoft Office

Sherri Watson | 17 February, 2017, 01:26

A few weeks ago, we had reported that Touch Bar support was added in a February Insider Slow update for Office 2016 on Mac.

While the original blog post announcing Touch Bar compatibility (published 27 October 2016) included Outlook, version 15.31 appears to only include support for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

On Thursday, Microsoft released Touch Bar support to all Office for Mac users.

Word Focus Mode hides all of the interface ribbons from the screen, monopolizing the display with a page, while all of the editing input moves down to the Touch Bar. In Word, you can use the Touch Bar to insert photos, hyperlinks, or comments in your document. At that time, Microsoft outlined the Touch Bar's capabilities, highlighting unique capabilities for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Similar to supported apps like Spotify and Photoshop, Touch Bar support allows MacBook Pro users quicker and easier access to the Microsoft Office suite's most used features - as well as make the Touch Bar itself more enticing to customers than just a fancy way of playing DOOM.

In PowerPoint, Touch Bar commands assist with graphic manipulation, with shortcuts for accessing, moving and rotating images. In addition to the functions, users will also get access to cell colors and recommended charts on the Touch Bar.

One of MacBook Pro's main attraction is its Touch Bar display which can provide you with shortcuts to the tools which are sometimes hard to find. When composing an email, for example, the Touch Bar will surface recent files so that you can add an attachment with one tap. Additionally, there will also be a "Today" view on the Touch Bar which will essentially display a list of events from the day - you can either view that event or start up a Skype for Business meeting right from the Touch Bar.