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March 21, 2017

Outlook 2016 for Mac now works with the Touch Bar and all of those cool add-ins

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Users of Outlook 2016 for Mac are no longer on the outside looking in after it gained support for add-ins and the MacBook Pro Touch Bar.

Microsoft has been working hard to bring its Office 2016 productivity suite up to date on Apple’s MacOS machines. As part of the effort, the company added MacBook Pro Touch Bar support for a number of Office apps in a recent update.

Now, Microsoft is making a couple of significant improvements to Outlook 2016 for Mac. Specifically, it’s adding Outlook to the list of MacOS applications with Touch Bar support, and it’s making add-in support available to production builds after the feature spent some time in Office Insider builds.

More: MacBook Pro Touch Bar support added to Office 2016 for all users

Touch Bar support in Outlook means that Apple’s OLED touchscreen will now respond to a variety of email- and calendar-based tasks. For example, when users compose emails or meeting requests, the Touch Bar will show off common formatting options. In addition, the Touch Bar can be used to switch between calendar views, as well as to join online meetings with a single tap when viewing the reminders window. Touch Bar support is available to Office 365 subscribers, as well as all Office 2016 for Mac customers.

Next up is support for Outlook add-ins, which are basically extensions to Outlook that add more functionality and tie to a variety of external systems. Add-ins are another Outlook feature that is making its way from the Office Insider program, and they work for all Office 2016 for Mac customers connecting to Exchange 2013 Service Pack 1 or higher, or to Office 365 or mailboxes.

Here are some of the add-ins that are now available to Outlook for Mac users:

  • The Nimble add-in provides real-time insights about Outlook contacts.
  • The Dynamics 365 add-in provides business intelligence and email-tracking functionality.
  • Some supported external systems including Evernote, Trello, Microsoft Translator, Smartsheet, and Citrix ShareFile.
  • The Boomerang add-in lets users add email reminders and schedule emails.
  • Users can grant gifts via the Starbucks for Outlook add-in.
  • The GIPHY add-in can help make emails more fun and expressive.

Using add-ins is easy enough. Once you’ve updated to the latest version of Outlook 2016 for Mac, just click on the “Store” icon in the Office ribbon. Next, search for the add-in you want to check out, and then toggle it on. You’ll see the add-in command show up in your inbox, and if you install an add-in on any Outlook for web, Windows, Mac, or iOS client, they’ll be available on any others.

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