While there are new features in Windows 11, the main attraction of the latest version of the operating system is its updated look. Microsoft doesn’t limit itself to using the new look in Widows 11 alone; a similar aesthetic is finding its way into other products, and Microsoft Office has now been updated.

With the visual update, Microsoft Office is getting a Windows 11 makeover, although the same look is also available for Windows 10 users who run Office. Microsoft describes it as an “easy and more coherent experience”; Here’s what you need to know, including how to enable or disable it.

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In addition to the Windows 11 styles, the design overhaul for Office includes other changes, including the default hiding of the Quick Access Toolbar. Microsoft advises that with the update, Office will now also match your Windows themes by default and that all Office themes have been updated.

You can turn the visual update on and off using the “Coming Soon” function (the megaphone icon in the top right corner of Office apps). Currently, the setting can only be changed in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, but the change here will affect all apps, including Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio.

Microsoft says:

This visual update became automatically available for some Current Channel users on Windows 10 with version 2110 and build 14527.20226 or higher. If you don’t see the update, you’ll need to restart all of the Office apps to see the visual update. Otherwise, if you don’t see the megaphone icon in the top right corner (as per the instructions above), the update is not yet available to you. If you are using Windows 11, the update is available for you. You must restart each Office app to see the visual update.

As we are used to from Microsoft, there are known issues with this update:

  • the Deactivate dark mode The check box in Microsoft Word does not work when “Use system settings” is selected. Please toggle the dark mode on the View tab or switch to the black theme to enable it. note: The dark mode only affects the color of the document page and is separate from the Office theme.
  • The topic selection in the option menu of Word has a bug for 64-bit users. Please go to File> Account and click on that Office theme Drop down menu to change themes.
  • The dark gray design has been updated to meet new color contrast requirements for accessibility. We’re listening to your feedback on the change and reviewing options to better assist the theme design.
  • The Backstage (ie: File menu) has not been updated yet, but will follow in a future update.
  • The mica background effect hasn’t been added to our apps yet, but it will be available for Windows 11 users in a future update.

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