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Microsoft Office is getter a simpler, cleaner look

Microsoft Office is getting a cleaner look.

The company announced Wednesday it will begin rolling out subtle changes to the Office.com and Office 365 app designs in order to make them look simpler and less cluttered. 

The biggest change by far is coming to Microsoft Word, where the toolbar at the top of the screen (officially dubbed "the ribbon") will be pared down to just one line. Fans of the classic design will be able to expand it back to the larger ribbon if they choose.

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The changes fit in with Microsoft's overarching Fluent Design language, which can be found across most parts of Windows 10. The updated ribbon will also include new animations, icons, and a few small color changes.

Image: microsoft

Microsoft is delaying the rollout of the simplified ribbon to desktop by a few months. The company appears to be testing the new designs with the online apps and will take a look at feedback to see if any other changes should be made for the desktop versions.

Image: microsoft

Microsoft is also making Search more powerful by adding artificial intelligence to the backend. Following the new update, the Search field in Office 365 apps will begin recommending results based on what it thinks you're looking for. This will theoretically make it way easier to find things in apps such as Outlook.

The update will also include a ton of small changes that people might not immediately notice, such as cleaner, more modern icons in the toolbars. The icons, like all other parts of the update, will first appear in the web versions of the apps before rolling out to desktop.

Microsoft's big update to Office is long overdue, considering that Windows 10 has been a major success and has generally been well-received among its users. It was really only a matter of time before we started seeing some of the apps take on greater parody with the operating system. While this certainly isn't the biggest news coming out of Microsoft these days, it should be a welcome update the the products for anyone that uses them on a daily basis.

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