Office 2016’s secret updates

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The January 2016 updates to Office 2016 for Windows weren’t just security patches, there were also bug fixes and updates that Microsoft is doing their best to keep secret.

We know of at least two bug fixes in Office 2016 that haven’t been properly documented by Microsoft. (Thanks to Office Watch reader Ron S for the tips).

Word 2016 Styles bug

Best described by “PeterKnight111 ” in a Microsoft forum

The styles pane has started behaving very strangely.  I am unable to select the style I want – another random style in the list is applied.  When I click the style I want again the style applied moves to the next one up in the list from the one previously (and randomly) applied.”

That’s now been fixed in the build 6366.2056 (or later) that’s rolled out to Office 365 customers.  No word on whether this fix (and the next one) is available to other Office 2016 customers.

Quick Access button size

Microsoft has been tinkering with the size of Quick Access Toolbar buttons in Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 2016.  The ‘progress’ has been making the QAT buttons bigger to suit touch screens.  Nice idea but a lot of Office users don’t have touch screens and want standard size buttons.  Advanced Office users can have crowded QAT that’s ruined by the enlarging buttons.

Happily, the right people at Microsoft listened and the same 6366.2056 build tinkered with the buttons.  There’s now room for 30 QAT buttons in Word 2016, instead of 20.

 

Neither of these fixes has been properly documented by Microsoft.  Ron S. gave us links to Microsoft forum discussions where MS staff have let the discussion know that the issue has been fixed.  But that’s not a proper disclosure, even by Microsoft’s low standard.

The QAT button size change deserves much better explanation.  There are people out there who manage their QAT closely and should be told, in detail, about changes to the UI.  Have the buttons changed size or the spacing between the buttons or some combination?   Is there any change to the ‘touch’ version of the QAT.  All this should be disclosed, clearly and openly.

Is this fix related to KB3114536  “After you change from Mouse mode to Touch mode in Office 2016 applications, the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) icons aren’t enlarged.

Despite what Microsoft thinks, fixes and updates aren’t anything to be ashamed of.


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