Microsoft Office 2016 for the Mac is the kind of upgrade I hope for but rarely get. It took five years from Office 2011's release to get this latest Mac office suite, but it was well worth the wait. Almost everything is improved, with a bright, spacious interface, yet the learning curve is almost flat. That's because all of the suite's essential features work as they always did, though with added options and conveniences. There's nothing so startlingly new that it will get in the way of. In August 2016, Microsoft released an automatic update that replaced the old 32-bit code of Office for the Mac with 64-bit code.
The 64-bit version starts up faster, but otherwise it looks and acts like the earlier code, which was already an Editors' Choice for office suites. Payment Options Microsoft managed to make using Office for the Mac easy for anyone familiar with Office for Windows, while also integrating it more closely than ever into the OS X ecosystem. Subscribers can download Office 2016 for as little as $6.99 per month for one license, or $69.99 per year. If you prefer the traditional buy-once-use-forever model, Office Home and Business will run you $229.99 for one license. A stripped-down Office Home and Student is also available for a $149.99 one-time fee. The main difference in Home and Student is that it does not include Outlook or Access. If you can't afford even the $6.99 per month, you might try the free, but you'll be sacrificing some polish and capabilities by doing so.
Improved Everything Office 2016 looks and acts better than Office 2011—and it closely resembles. The ribbon interface is redesigned, with the same flat look as the Windows version and the Office mobile apps. The Mac version features a modern task-pane interface for selecting text styles, building formulas, and similar features. Long-term Windows users will rejoice that Windows key assignments, such as Ctrl-O for Open and Ctrl-F for Find, now also work in the Mac version. There's no need to remember to press Cmd instead of Ctrl. Mac-Native The suite also gets Mac-native features like pinch-to-zoom as well as support for Retina displays, so text and graphics have sharper resolution than ever before.
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Word and PowerPoint allow simultaneous editing by multiple users. Under the hood, the whole suite has been rewritten with up-to-date code, and it runs only on the most recent versions of OS X, specifically Yosemite.
Online sharing via Microsoft's SharePoint service or its cloud-based service is seamless among all Office platforms. You can stop work on one platform and pick up exactly where you left off on another—I tried it with the Mac, Windows, and iPad versions—and you can easily restore earlier versions of files saved to the cloud. It would be nice to have built-in integration, but I doubt it's going to happen any time soon.
Components The Mac version of the suite comprises Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. Microsoft updated Outlook and OneNote prior to this release, so the latest versions of these two components are only a minor, though welcome, upgrade. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all faster, easier to use, and more elegant. Most features are almost identical those of the Windows versions, but not all.
Office for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other productivity tools, is available in various different forms. Here, we help dispel the confusion with our complete guide to Office.
For example, the Mac version can't import PDF files and create editable Office documents from the contents, but the Windows version can. However, PowerPoint for the Mac continues to outclass the Windows version in its Reorder Objects feature. On the Mac, you reorder objects by dragging them forward or back in an animated three-dimensional view, while in Windows you drag objects up and down in a less convenient list format. A few features have disappeared from the previous version. For example, the Publishing Layout option in Word that made Word act more like a page-layout app rather than a word processor is gone, as is the ability to rearrange the tab order on the Ribbon. Apple's Word competitor simply can't compete on power-user features like advanced typography and footnotes and endnotes. Likewise, trails Excel when it comes to advanced scientific and technical work., on the other hand, is better than PowerPoint in many ways.
It lacks some of the technical abilities of Microsoft's offering, but it's impressively powerful and creates amazing-looking presentations, winning it the Editors' Choice for OS X. Overall, Apple's suite is quite good. As a whole, however, Office trumps it. Interface The Ribbon interface on the Mac closely matches that of the Windows version, with the same tabs and features on both platforms, though with slight differences to match the operating system—for example, the Mac version supplements the Ribbon with a top-line menu, like the menu in all other OS X apps, though the Windows version has only the Ribbon.
Opera's chromium-based browser for mac. As in the Windows versions of Office, Word gets a Style pane instead of a floating Inspector panel, Excel gets a Formula-building pane, PowerPoint gets an Animation pane. Word and PowerPoint get threaded comments—comments that can be linked to earlier comments to create collapsible discussion threads. Excel gets the strong Recommended Charts feature from the Windows version—and also PivotTable Slicers and improved AutoComplete.
Word for the Mac finally gets the one feature I've wanted forever—the ability to click on the blank space between pages and hide the page header and footer, so that text flows from one page to the next with only a thin line between the pages, not an inch or more of blank space. I noted one first-release glitch when I originally looked at Office for the Mac when it first released in 2015. When I saved a Word document to PDF, the hyperlinks in the saved PDF didn't work, because an extra character somehow got added to the Web address. The problem has been fixed in the latest update, however. Mac MVP Overall, Office 2016 for the Mac is a highly successful update, bringing the best of Office to Apple users.
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If you're choosing an office suite, the choice is clear for anyone who needs advanced features. Word and Excel surpass Apple's Pages and Numbers, and PowerPoint is close enough to Apple's superb Keynote to keep Office users from envying Keynote users. Office for the Mac is the clear winner of the Editors' Choice award for OS X office suites.
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