Microsoft Black Themed Office: A Sneak Peek

Microsoft Black Themed Office: A Sneak Peek
Highlights

The next version of Office from Microsoft will reportedly include a Clippy-like \'Tell Me\' helper and will also feature a new black theme

Washington: The next version of Office from Microsoft will reportedly include a Clippy-like 'Tell Me' helper and will also feature a new black theme alongside the light gray, dark gray, and white themes.

Microsoft is privately testing an ' Office Technical Preview' for the next version of its popular Office suite, and sources have revealed that the company has been distributing copies of a future version of Office to partners and testers recently, providing an early look at new features.

While testing is in the early stages, Microsoft is adding the ' Tell Me' helper, which sits at the top of documents as a type of help and search tool. It's similar in function to Clippy, providing a quick way to discover features and ask questions without digging into the vast help documentation found in Office, The Verge reported.

There will be no animated character like Clippy, just a simple bulb icon to indicate its presence in documents.

Microsoft will retain its Office Ribbon, and there are no major user interface changes just yet. The software giants, however, added a new black, as it was the number one feature request for Office 2013 , likely because it existed in Office 2010, and Microsoft is seeking feedback on its implementation to tweak any areas that are too bright.

It's an unusual look for Office, but if the user is used to regularly working in documents then it appears to be easier on the eyes than the white theme. The black theme isn't default; it's just an option for Office users alongside the light gray, dark gray, and white themes.

Other new features for the next Office will include automatic image rotation, allowing Microsoft to use camera metadata to correctly position images in Office documents. Microsoft is also improving its Outlook email client with sync options to just download 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, or 14 days of email, the report added.

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