Microsoft announced on October 27, 2016 that it would be offering MacBook Touch Bar Support for it Office 365 users and began the beta version users could download on February 08, 2017. However on February 16, 2017, just eight days later, it was announced on the Microsoft Blog by Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President for the Office team, “We have a long history of working with Apple to support new form factors and devices, and—as you can see from the news this week—we’re continually evolving Office to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations across the industry. Through the Touch Bar, Office intelligently puts the most common commands at your fingertips—all based on what you’re doing in the document…..As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to bring these ideas to life, and it’s a thrill to finally show you what we’ve been up to.”
appleinsider points out that according to release notes for the Office 365 for Mac productivity suite this gives wider availability of the new features and the release notes gives the user the download link for these new features. 9to5Mac points out “if you don’t have automatic updates already turned on you can navigate to Help → Check for Updates in the menu bar when in one the Office suite programs.”
So what will using the Touch Bar do for your Office 365 experience?
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OutLook
Touch Bar support: The most relevant commands to what you’re working on are at your fingertips. (Only compatible with MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.)
In Word, this enhances your work on the document because this new feature hides all onscreen ribbons and commands on the main display, called Word Focus Mode, to help users focus on their work. Formatting tools are instead displayed on the Touch Bar, keeping them available to use, but not distracting the user. In Excel, the Touch Bar will show recently used functions in Excel, allowing users to quickly select a commonly used formula. Users will also be able to access recommended charts and other spreadsheet formatting tools through the Touch bar. With PowerPoint, in Slideshow View, the Touch Bar displays slide thumbnails and a timer, as well as presentation controls. The Touch Bar commands allow you to easily manipulate graphic elements. For example, the Reorder Objects button produces a graphical map of all the layers on a slide, making it easy to find the right object and move it where you want it. And by sliding your finger across the Touch Bar you can easily rotate an object to get just the right angle. In OutLook, the Touch Bar provides quick access to the most commonly used commands as you work on email and manage your calendar. When composing a new mail, the Touch Bar displays a list of recent documents. One tap and you can add a file—either as an attachment or a link. And from the Today view on the Touch Bar you can not only see your calendar events for the day, but even join a Skype for Business meeting.