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Four months after preview, Microsoft adds Touch Bar support to latest Office betas

After teasing Touch Bar support for the omnipresent Office in October, Microsoft has added preliminary support for the MacBook Pro feature in its most recent build for the "slow ring" of its beta testers.




First spotted by The Verge, the addition has been a long time in coming. Support for the Touch Bar was teased just hours after the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar debuted.

In Powerpoint, the company has implemented graphic rotation tools, as well as a graphical map of all the slide layers. Microsoft Excel has added an auto-fill formula bar, pulling up the most recently used functions in the Touch Bar when a cell is selected. Excel's bar also now includes formatting options, like cell colors, and borders.

The touch bar on Outlook now provides quick access to the user's most commonly used commands. While composing a mail, the Touch Bar displays a list of recent documents for inclusion in an email, with communication facilitation through Skype possible through a single touch.

Microsoft Word's implementation is "Word Focus" mode, where the formatting ribbon for an open document are taken off the screen and put on the Touch Bar.



Initial AppleInsider testing of the features has resulted in a few application crashes above and beyond the normally rare instabilities experienced by most Mac users of the suite. The Touch Bar-related crashing is expected, however, given the beta nature of the release.

It it not yet known when the Touch Bar support will exit beta.

Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions begin at $69.99 per year for a one-user personal license, or $5 per month per user for businesses.