Hands on with Microsoft’s Touch Bar-enabled Office for Apple’s new MacBook Pro

“I’ve been working with Microsoft Office for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for a short time, and while it’s in beta,” Jonny Evans writes for Apple Must. “I’m planning to look at it in a little more detail over at Computerworld, I thought I’d sketch out a few first impressions.”

“The challenge with every app that uses the Touch Bar is the need to develop new habits,” Evans writes. “This need to develop habits is why I don’t think Touch Bar is something that most people will use to control all their apps, but I do believe that any smart Mac user will quickly get to grips with making use of the new control strip when working in the apps they use most often. Because it’s incredibly useful once you develop the habit for it.”

“I think most people will focus on learning to use Touch Bar with their most important apps first. It’s worth it, as it saves so much time in exchange,” Evans writes. “The problem I’ve always had with Word is that its so huge. Important controls are in illogical (to me) places and I hate having to click through menus endlessly and repetitively in order to engage in some tasks. This is radically improved with Touch Bar, as some of the most commonly used tasks are situated right there on the control strip on my keyboard.”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Anything that improves a Microsoft-produced UI is indeed magical.


  1. I remember the days when software GUIs offered real user-customizable toolbars. The user always was able to put the commands he wanted where he wanted them. It eliminated the mess of clicking, swiping, and pulldowns that Apple and Microsoft both have chosen to push today. Apple just loves to play the game of hide and seek. It’s all contextual, as if Apple had any clue what the user was going to do next. Most of the time Apple is just wrong. Efficient users want to have fully customizable toolbars that are predictable and unchanging, so he DOES NOT HAVE TO LEARN NEW HABITS. That is efficiency,

    The touchbar isn’t going to make anything more efficient, just more expensive. And Jony now gets to hide more stuff from the main screen, so advanced users again have to swipe scroll and dink with an ever-changing Ribbon above the keyboard. NO THANKS.

    1. I respect that opinion, but I totally disagree. And of course some of that is personal taste. It’s just that to my mind, and maybe this is partly from being an ex-Apple engineer who’s been designing and coding Mac software since 1984, I don’t want my users to have to design the user interface for my app. They shouldn’t have to do that to have a great experience. If I have to give users configurable options for something I should have designed well, especially something as basic as UI layout, I have failed.

      I look forward to seeing what Microsoft did with the Touch Bar. I don’t expect much, because it’s Microsoft, but every few years their Mac Business Unit does something that doesn’t suck so we have to give them a chance.

      1. Obviously the software gui has to be designed for users. So what if most users never want or need more tool bar customization. Power users do.

        I side with Mike. Apple has been removing important controls for several years now. With sophisticated software like Office or iWork or even iTunes, having the option of an always visible tool panel is very very useful. I still don’t see the advantage of Microsoft shoving its Ribbon down users throats in 2007. Just because Ive wants people to have a blazing white flat interface shining in the users face with no visible buttons doesn’t make the relocation of the ribbon from screen to keyboard an improvement. Just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. With all the resources Apple has, why can’t you give the user a bit of control????

  2. For those that are a little more patient, you can customize the Touch Bar now to a point.


    I have heard that Keyboard Maestro (KM) is working on something and having over 75 KM shortcut keys now, I can’t wait.

    As for learning new habits, that is human nature. I just prefer that they are good and beneficial and not the visceral fear of change that often adulterates the conversation here.

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