microsoft-office-macbook-pro-touch-barWith the launch of the new MacBook Pros, Apple also introduced a new hardware feature called Touch Bar. This is a touchscreen strip that replaces the function keys, and allows users to interact with software by providing shortcuts, access to tools, and so on, all of which can change and adapt accordingly.

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Microsoft’s suite of Office apps was announced as being compatible with Touch Bar, and for those who do use Office on their Macs, Microsoft has since published a blog post detailing exactly how this will work across the Office apps such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.

With Word, Microsoft is introduce a Word Focus Mode that hides all the toolbars on the screen, thus allowing users to focus on their writing. Instead the toolbars and some shortcuts have been moved to Touch Bar, so if you need to change font color or adjust the formatting, those options are still there.

For PowerPoint, Microsoft will let users manipulate graphical elements within the presentation slides. Users can slide their finger across the bar to rotate objects. In Excel, Touch Bar will provide quick access to formulas, allowing users to quickly calculate the sum of different cells, as well as adjusting borders, cell colors, and more.

Last but not least is Outlook where Touch Bar will provide access to the most commonly used commands. It will also change when composing new emails, and will also be able to display recent documents so that you can attach it or send it as a link. Whether or not these shortcuts and features will be of use to you remains to be seen, but know that they are there if you want to use them.

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