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Microsoft's new Office icons are part of a major design overhaul



Microsoft modernizes the Office icons as part of a broader focus on design for their various Office applications. This is the first time the Office icons have changed in five years, and they are designed to be simpler and modern to span across multiple devices and platforms. Office now exists on Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android, and Microsoft has built a kernel code base to make quick, monthly improvements to the apps. These icons are designed to reflect how Office has changed recently, with new AI features, multiple collaborative features and platform independence for key applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

The new icons deemphasize the letter for each office app, but still managed to see known. "Our design solution was to unlink the letter and the symbol from the icons, essentially making two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate," explains Jon Friedman, partner of Microsoft Design. "This allows us to maintain awareness while still emphasizing simplicity when in the app."


Microsoft has replaced the documents in previous icons for text lines for Word and individual cells for Excel. Surprisingly, the icons are instantly recognizable, which is important for millions of users who start these apps every day. Elsewhere, the OneDrive and Skype icons keep their unique looks in a more modern way. OneDrive is still a cloud, while Skype has dropped most of the bubbles into what looks like a call button with a simple S logo.

Icons are just part of design, and Microsoft makes some subtle changes to Office elsewhere. The software giant simplifies the tape interface and brings its Fluent Design system from Windows 10 to Office apps. The subtle color change to modernize the look of Office comes to Windows, Mac, Mobile and the Internet. One of Microsoft's most popular mobile apps, Outlook Mobile, also gets a big design overhaul soon with shared mailbox support and new movements for accounts and folders.


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