Peek into a touching Office future

How we might be editing Office docs in the future, try it today.

One of the more interesting Windows 8 apps is ‘Onenote MX’ an experimental version to see how Office might look in a world of Windows 8 apps, formerly known as Metro.

Part of OneNote MX is the touch control called the Radial Dial sometimes called a wheel.

It’s easy to overlook in OneNote MX, because it’s just a round button on the page.

OneNote radial dial button image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

But click or touch that button for a pleasant surprise.

OneNote radial dial image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

The button opens up with a quick animation to show some content options for a OneNote page. The items with solid arc sections and arrows will reveal more options in the same area. Here’s what you get clicking on Bullets.

Onenote radial dial bullets image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

Select some text and the dial changes to different options.

OneNote text formatting dial image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

Click on Font Size to see a fun dial to swipe around to your preferred type size.

OneNote font size change dial image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

Or Font Color selection is a whole lot different.

OneNote font color dial image from Peek into a touching Office future at Office-Watch.com

Tap on the middle arrow to return to the last dial level.

With a mouse the radial dial is a little clumsy and when we tried it back in July left us underwhelmed.

trying it on a Windows touch device is another story entirely. The dial interface is smooth, intuitive with small animations that give a sense of fun. Just the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from the underappreciated OneNote team.

With Windows 8 you can try OneNote MX for free, just search the Windows Store for ‘OneNote’ and it’ll show up.

You won’t be seeing this in Office 2013. In a future where there’s an Office dedicated to touch screens we’d hope to see something like the radial dial in Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Maybe in the upcoming Office for Windows RT? Here’s hoping.

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