Apple Macbook Pro users are about to get more hands-on with their work
Your new Apple MacBook Pro might be about to get even more useful.
The company’s premium laptop wowed the technology world last year with its immense power and super-detailed screen, but the headline new feature was slightly flashier.
The most recent MacBook Pro ships with a small multi-touch display, which replaces the traditional function key row at the top of the keyboard, and allows Apple users to manipulate some functions with touch.
Dubbed Touch Bar, this touchscreen strip is actually an independent Retina display and is therefore capable of changing its appearance based on whatever applications appears on screen at the time.
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Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Now, Apple has made the Touch Bar more work-friendly, thanks to a new partnership with one of the world's biggest computing giants.
MacBook Pro users are now able to get up close and personal with their Microsoft Office documents in a move that looks to transform working on the go.
A number of the most popular Microsoft Office programs are covered in the update, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint, all of which now get a bit more hands-on.
Get more hands-on with your documents with this new Touch Bar update
Microsoft Word with Touch Bar now comes with a new Word Focus Mode, which strips back your documents for a more focused view on your work.
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Previously located at the top of the windows, the ‘ribbons’ and commands are all transported to your Touch Bar, meaning you can quickly make changes with just a tap.
Users can also now insert comments, photos or hyperlinks directly from Touch Bar, meaning that making quick changes is easier than ever.
Microsoft Word is able to be far more stripped-back under the new update
The update also makes editing the images in your PowerPoint slides easier than before, bringing a number of new buttons and options to the Touch Bar.
This includes a more straightforward way to may objects around the slide, and ensure you don’t get caught out when editing.
Sliding your finger across the Touch Bar will now quickly rotate an object to get just the right angle, and there are some new tools when a presentation is on Slideshow View, including slide thumbnails and a timer to help you keep track of time as you present.
Excel users will find editing their cells easier with the update
Microsoft Excel also gets a useful boost, as typing an equals sign into a cell now brings up the most recently used functions for formulae and ranges.
The Touch Bar also provides quick access to borders, cell colours and recommended charts—making it easier than ever to organise and visualise your data.
Lastly, Outlook also brings the most-used commands to the Touch Bar, and will also let you manage your calendar with a tap.
The Touch Bar also now displays a list of recent documents when you start typing a new email, and can attach a file either by an attachment or a link.
In a blog post announcing the news, Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer wrote, “We have a long history of working with Apple to support new form factors and devices, and—as you can see from the news this week,”
“We’re continually evolving Office to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations across the industry.
“Through the Touch Bar, Office intelligently puts the most common commands at your fingertips—all based on what you’re doing in the document.”