Outlook 365 Ribbon, etc

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Occasional Contributor

The ribbon on Outlook 365 looks different after a restart this morning. For example rather than a X (cross) for Delete it now a symbol of a rubbish bin. Also other symbols have changed on the ribbon to this style of look and even things like reply purple arrow.

 

Any idea how to get back to the original classic look?

53 Replies
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That’s the way office is going to look. You can’t really change it. Your only option is to turn back your release to a release that hasn’t brought these updates to it like current etc. see this post for registry to edit.

http://tomtalks.uk/2016/01/choose-office-2016-branch-local-group-policy/

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Hey Chris, thanks for the reply. So do you know when did this particular feature get deployed, only saw it after an Outlook restart a few hours ago. Any details/link on this particular feature release? This doesn't really match up with what I am seeing: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/your-ribbon-icons-have-a-new-look-c6bc4cd8-d151-41d3-8276-f...

 

It seems to impact many other areas too outside of ribbon bar like Send symbol for new email, etc. Seems to be a whole new theme of some description.

 


@Chris Webb wrote:
That’s the way office is going to look. You can’t really change it. Your only option is to turn back your release to a release that hasn’t brought these updates to it like current etc. see this post for registry to edit.

http://tomtalks.uk/2016/01/choose-office-2016-branch-local-group-policy/


 

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Can you share a screenshot of what you see?
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That's the blog post where i heard about Outlook redesign first time https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Outlook-Blog/Designed-for-Simplicity-User-experience-updates-...

But, for me it updated icons in whole Office (Excel and Word also) and my ribbon is not compact yet. Just a regular ribbon with new tabs animation and icons.

 

I don't like the new design much either. Especially that it had slowed down my Office significantly (new animations are too slow). But that's Microsoft's decision and i don't think it will change. So installing older build is not an option, as you would have to go to the latest builds eventually to get security updates.

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Do you know how to change the new ribbon bar to the single line/row ribbon - cannot see how to switch to this mode.
@Oleg K wrote:

That's the blog post where i heard about Outlook redesign first time https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Outlook-Blog/Designed-for-Simplicity-User-experience-updates-...

But, for me it updated icons in whole Office (Excel and Word also) and my ribbon is not compact yet. Just a regular ribbon with new tabs animation and icons.

 

I don't like the new design much either. Especially that it had slowed down my Office significantly (new animations are too slow). But that's Microsoft's decision and i don't think it will change. So installing older build is not an option, as you would have to go to the latest builds eventually to get security updates.


 

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I don't know and i think this is not available yet.

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@Oleg K wrote:

I don't know and i think this is not available yet.


Certainly single-row ribbon bar is discussed heavily on the announcement of the "new features" - crazy they have updated all and not included the ability to choose this option.

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Hello Juan Carlos,

 

I have exactly the same problem and I can provide you with a screenshot of the hideous new look my Outlook suddenly has.

 

outlook.jpg

 

I am very bothered that I wans't asked about this change / update! I think the design is horrible and it is definitely ruining the whole office 365 experience for me.

 

How can I undo the changes and go back to the previous UI ? These kind of undates should be optional.

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Microsoft is not going to ask every individual user of millions they have. They can gather feedback via feedback dialog, feedback hub type of apps, etc. I think they are already set in stone to go with this redesign. So i doubt you will have an option to use older version (unless HUGE amount of users complain and some big companies). Having to support two UI variants is also not efficient.

 

You can go to the previous build using this instructions https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2770432/how-to-revert-to-an-earlier-version-of-office-2013-... but you will not receive new security updates and other updates this way.

 

Having a redesign at some point is how tech works. We are not using same websites and programs designed 20 years ago. Everything evolves and changes..

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Come on. It’s not THAT bad or different. You guys are over reacting a little bit. But same thing happened with the ribbon design. People will get used to it and move on. Everyone had their own opinion. I personally like the changes.
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What bothers me is that all icons feel the same, they all are black and white on top of a very bright / pale grey background. Thin lines and a very very simplistic design, almost sterile. You know what came to my mind when I fist saw it??

 

system-1.png

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When I saw the primitive icons, I thought it was a technical fault, as if it had reverted to some archaic form of Office. As they say, "s**t happens", and in this case, it's happened.

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Strange. I have the new ribbon in Outlook, but not in Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Is this because I also have Visio and Project installed?

However, another PC of mine does have all new Ribbon. Office is reporting same build numbers as of 10/10/2018

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I also have Visio and had Visio 2013 (now it's Office 365) and had Project installed as a test a few weeks ago. My colleague has Visio also, but for him only Outlook icons have updated. Although in Word it shows new first page layout.. 

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I think my biggest grief with the new icons is that they /feel/ larger; which in turn makes the ribbon feel taller (taking up more space).  I don't know if they actually are larger, but that's my initial reaction to them.  Seems like the interface got a little more touch friendly, much to the chagrin of keyboard/mouse users.

 

Edit:  The ribbon definitely feels larger because the tabs are now the same color as the ribbon rather than a contrast color.

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I have two laptops, sharing an Office subscription, and with all the same settings and programs installed - I keep them in synch.  At least I thought they were completely in synch.  Both have been updated to the latest version in the last couple of days.  One is showing the original ribbon in Outlook, the other is showing the funky new ribbon.  I don't know what the new ribbon style adds to the user experience - it looks very retro.  I don't like it but no doubt will get used to it.  I don't know why my two laptops are now different though.

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I have another computer with Visio and project and that has the full new ribbon bar across the main office apps of Outlook, word, excel and PowerPoint.
My half in half out version has the new ribbon UI in Outlook and has since 1st Oct 2018, but not for Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
My file menu seems to show a slightly different UI.

It’s annoying because it’s different on different installs using the same account.

I like the new clean UI and would lover to be able to force the change to my main machine.

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D. Bentley....The update they show in the video would be fine. They missed your point and I have the same problem.  See picture...

 

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@Dale Helvig wrote:

D. Bentley....The update they show in the video would be fine. They missed your point and I have the same problem.  See picture...

 


The single-row ribbon bar discussed on the announcement of the "new features" certainly would be good to have the ability to select compared to this wide  ribbon bar complete with throwback style symbols, Strange many days later since release they have updated all except not included the ability to choose this option.

My Word, Excel, etc are still the old classic ribbon bar, only Outlook has seen the update applied. certainly is an unusual way to rollout a major change to these products.

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Just be glad it's not deleting your files :D Sorry, couldn't resist :)

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@Oleg K wrote:

Just be glad it's not deleting your files :D Sorry, couldn't resist :)


Don't think I have ever seen any update start deleting files ... maybe missed the point of your "glad it's not deleting your files" comment.

Then again last week a Microsoft server update removed access to the Global Address List for our 200 staff, that was a fun day :D

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So, you haven't heard about the latest Windows 10 feature update (October 2018 Update) struggles?

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@Oleg K wrote:

So, you haven't heard about the latest Windows 10 feature update (October 2018 Update) struggles?


Ahhh hadn't been impacted across our business by this "Microsoft introduced code in the 2018 update to remove these empty and duplicate known folders, but in some cases, there was still some data leftover in the folders." 
Thanks for the reminder. Now back to lobbying for that single-row ribbon option. 

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In the past for things like this, Microsoft would make the old design as a "theme" or "skin". Those that didn't like the new look could go back to the old one. This is the right way to do it - give the end user choice and control.

 

Keep in mind too that businesses may have documentation on how to do things based on specific ribbon designs. This funky new look is all well and good, but it really is just change for the sake of change, and there are quite a few who do not like this, myself included.

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This reminded me i have to look through a few guides and update images ;) As much as i agree that the user has to have options, from a developer standpoint it is a pain to support different designs (MS would also have to maintain different documentation for two designs).

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They just need to publish a guide to the new icons (which is what I came here looking for). With the contextual menus, I can't rely on knowing where the function I want is, since it's in a different place every time I right click, depending on what MS "thinks" I want to do.

 

I use the "dark grey" theme, because it's easier on the eyes, and while I agree that the icons bring back memories of the old black and white screens from the 80's, I think the simplicity of the design makes it easier to distinguish between icons, and fit more information per pixel. Now I just need an option to change the actual email "background" away from bright white. Even with the "black" theme, the emails themselves are displayed as bright white.

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Computer with Windows 7 and Office 365 - cannot edit existing Word documents after October update.  Ribbon only has File, Tools, View... no other ribbon tabs and no Ribbon Display Options icon or "..." icon on ribbon.

 

Need to use my Word files.  What do I do for full functionality.  Help!  Urgent!

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Hi!
Please provide a screenshot. Cant you change or alter the Document at all?
Tried doing a repair from the programs and features in control panel?
adam
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I wish I could hate it too, but despite trying both Monthly and Monthly (Targeted) -- and even Insider Fast -- the new icons have never shown up. Not sure why.

 

The most I've seen is the "Coming soon" toggle with Insider Fast--for about six weeks. That only related to the Simplified Ribbon (and other changes in Outlook specifically) though, not what I'm talking about above. In recent weeks, even the "Coming soon" toggle disappeared, so everything is back to the way it was (i.e. no Simplified Ribbon).

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@Brian . wrote:

I wish I could hate it too, but despite trying both Monthly and Monthly (Targeted) -- and even Insider Fast -- the new icons have never shown up. Not sure why.

 

The most I've seen is the "Coming soon" toggle with Insider Fast--for about six weeks. That only related to the Simplified Ribbon (and other changes in Outlook specifically) though, not what I'm talking about above. In recent weeks, even the "Coming soon" toggle disappeared, so everything is back to the way it was (i.e. no Simplified Ribbon).


In complete opposite to yourself now all my Office 365 apps have been updated with this new style ribbon. Took a few weeks for this to happen from the initial Outlook 365 only change. 

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I agree, the ribbon is bigger and uglier.  I am not against upgrades/updates, but I would like them to enhance my user experience.  In this case, it is definitely a step down, the ribbon is more cluttered and takes more of my page.  The worst thing is that the ribbon that I use the most is the one with the worst new icons.  The other ribbons aren't too awful - I could live with them, for the most part - the send/receive is also big, but the rest are pretty ok.

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After a relative period of stability with the new Ribbon Icons yesterday my installs all reverted back to the classic 2016 Icons. I say relative, as sometimes it would start with the legacy icons and then switch to the new Icons when the application was restarted.

Now my ribon Icons are back to 2016. This maddening. I do not know which interface I will have whenever I start Office.

Microsoft: How can we fix this. I like the new interface, but I'd like it to stick. I don't like that fact that it keeps changing.

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Very confusing indeed.

And what, exactly, is the relationship between the new-LOOK ribbon and the ribbon that looks completely different (i.e. half the height with most of the functionality reorganized--you get it by toggling Coming Soon, assuming you have the toggle)?

Was the new-look ribbon Phase 1 and the half-height one Phase 2?
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We've just deployed the October release of Office 365 suite into our Citrix UAT environment to test some fixes for bugs in the Semi-Annual Channel release, and we've discovered this strange behaviour of ribbon icons changing randomly.  It would be really good if someone from Microsoft could explain why this is happening.  We are looking to roll this out to the wider organisation, but don't want to end up with calls coming into our Service Desk about their ribbon icons changing constantly!

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Yes, I've noticed it, too. I thought it was a reflect of capabilities of contemporary Microsoft programmers and program managers - blank surface with one black line on it. Also the level of cheapness - that's how much they are willing to give us back for the money they collect with utter greed.

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I understand it's a pain. So, I would suggest something to modern generation of MS programmers and program managers - please, stop trying to improve things! Just feed the pigs and don't change anything!

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MS modern quality assurance, I'd guess.

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That’s BS.

Office is one of the highest used desktop application suites which means it should be going through extensive user interface testing when that facet of the suite changes. I can’t see the majority of users responding that they like the UI changes.

If the change was to make the icons more scalable, they could have found a solution that didn’t end up with a cartoonish UI.
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I remember the uproar when Office 2007 and the Ribbon were announced. Now it is a standard. Personally i don't like the new icons either (they look better in youtube advertisements, but not so much live). But i don't think MS cares enough for a few annoyed users. They are set to full redesign (icons, web version, ribbons, etc.).

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I totally agree and hate the new look.

@Mauricio Kieczka 

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aaahahahahaha look at this crap**bleep** design hahahahahaha

   https://imgur.com/a/4aXm28i 

OMG what monkey designed fresh Outlook 365 ahahahahahaha

What's next, we will need 3 monitors 1 above another to read header of the mail?!

outlook.png

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You can use tighter spacing setting to reduce these gaps
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Any how does one go about finding this adjustment.

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@Dale Helvig 

Obviously you mail to always quick to reply MS support. Wait!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHG6fXEba0A

 

World-renown Microsoft UX expert and MVP Risitas, the CIO of the highly prestigious Spanish software company Las Paelleras S.A., talks about Windows 10 in an...
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@Dale Bentley 


What seems to be missing more than anything is a set of testable requirements for a good UI:

  • Intuitive / Low learning curve (all users)
  • Readable (average user)
  • Accessible (special needs readable)
  • Efficient (ordinary user)
  • Customizable (power user)
  • Aesthetic (artsy user)

It seems Microsoft catered to the Aesthetic users for "Fresh icon" updates and another recent Ribbon update, while ignoring all the others.  Learning curve and efficient would compete for priority in a good update, while all the others should be verboten in every update.

 

Many on the thread are making mention of "get over it, that's the price of newness".  I don't buy that.  Others are saying "I hate the new icons".  I don't buy that either.  What we need is to tell Microsoft in detail what our needs are, in non-emotional terms. 

 

The Quick Access toolbar is basically required for efficiency by me, because the ribbon changes often enough that I don't want to deal with the recurring learning curve of the constantly changing drama of the (non-)standard Ribbon interface.  Even at that, the icon art changes enough that from time to time I open Office and can't read my own custom Quick Access toolbar.

 

Microsoft throws away every other major release of Windows because they don't do good testing to actual user Use Cases.  They now have a way with Office 365 subscription processes to ensure everybody is stuck with every crap release, and the only way out is 3rd party...  

 

I highly prize my classic Office 2007 software install.  It does everything I want it to and it doesn't kill me with unsolicited updates that force a new learning curve.  I use 365 at work because that's what I get...  I can get it free at home but don't.  Meanwhile, I am constantly upgrading to the latest versions of almost all other software because others respect the user experience far more deeply than it seems Microsoft does.

 

Sincerely,

-VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER

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@Gary_K 

You are kind and polite person. I appreciate that. I am neither kind nor polite, but can be when I have to. I don't have to, but I want to back you up.

I look it through effectiveness. I am seasoned IT pro and enthusiast, and ex-MCSE and who knows what. I like computers for efficiency. And modern GUI is - utter crap - regarding that. I have to use mouse and aim things on the screen which are almost always all over the screen, click left, click right, look down, press Space, **bleep**, Alt-<key>, **bleep** doesn't work, where is the button, what is this giant thing covering 25% of dialog window, oh, that is the button, ... 

This web GUI is awful. It is adjusted to clickety-click generation that is used to have one hand on mouse and other is for scratching genitals and randomly picking some snack, for hours. It is generated by new generation programmers, as someone wrote - "High maintenance, low output" - developers who would die of starvation without copy/pasting totally unchecked and unsecure code from Stackoverflow.

"MMC-style" consoles were The Thing. Fast, eficient, adjusted to both keyboard-people and mouse people, you had everything logical grouped on screen, ... 

But hey, it progress.. actually - it is not. I use computers close to 40 years. This crap is getting more and more useless, partially because of total incompetence to protect data, but also because developers are not developers, they are biochemists, or space-engineers, or sewage-cleaners turned to programmers after 6 week free course on Coursera. And they turned to programmers  because sallary is great. Passion? Zero points. 

Edit: letters

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@Dale Bentley 

So Microsoft actually says there's nothing to be done against it, that we should accept it as a fact?

It looks terrible and users hate it!

Please bring back the old ribbon!!

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I find it interesting that this thread has been  going since mid 2018, only today have we received the update that gives us the new ribbon icons...though the actual app icons have not changed.