Microsoft's Mac Business Unit on Tuesday pointed customers to a "sneak peek" at a number of new features slated for Office 2008 for Mac. The site offers animated screen grabs of the new UI and significant changes to the suite and to most of the applications.
The most interesting is the Elements Gallery, a new bar at the top of the document that provides thumbnail views of the parts of a document, art and even tools. It takes up a hunk of real estate. Microsoft says it gives users "quick access to tools and formatting options within applications in a simple and visually appealing way.
In Word 2008, this Elements Gallery, called Document Elements in the demo, provides a new tabbed access for structured parts of documents, such as headers and footers, as well as parts of longer documents, including table of contents and bibliographies.
From my clicking around the site, it doesn't appear that Microsoft wants to share any forthcoming features of the PowerPoint 2008 for Mac. Perhaps a sign of the tough going against Apple's Keynote presentation authoring solution.
Late last month, the organization took the wraps off another Office Mac site, called the Art of Office. This user-generated community site is supposed to be a “fun way to show unique applications of our product and helps people think of Mac Office in ways they may not have thought of before.”