Apple’s latest lineup of MacBook Pro laptops comes with a long full-color touchscreen where the function keys used to be. The idea is that whatever app you’re using can make use of that touch-sensitive space however its developers see fit. Apple showed it being used as a scrubber for music and video apps, and a predictive text space for typing. Microsoft has its own plans for how to use the Touch Bar in its Office apps.
According to an Office blog post, each Office app will add different shortcuts to the Touch Bar. For instance:
Now from the Touch Bar you can enter Word Focus Mode, a brand-new experience that hides all of the on-screen ribbons and commands so you can simply focus on your work. The Touch Bar is perfect for this moment, putting the most relevant Word features at your fingertips. One tap and you can quickly apply a new style to a heading or paragraph.
Touch Bar commands in PowerPoint allow you to easily manipulate graphic elements. The Reorder Objects button produces a graphical map of all the layers on a slide, making it easy to find the right object and move it where you want it. And by sliding your finger across the Touch Bar you can easily rotate an object to get just the right angle.
Typing an equals sign into a cell in Excel immediately pulls up the most recently used functions in the Touch Bar. For example, with a tap (for the formula) and another tap (for a named range) in the Touch Bar, you can quickly sum a range in your spreadsheet. The Touch Bar also provides quick access to borders, cell colors and recommended charts—making it easier than ever to organize and visualize your data.