Here’s how to find the best for you. By Sarah Mitroff September 23, 5: If you’re eager to use the new apps, they are available now, but first, you have to figure out how you’ll purchase them. Long gone are the days of grabbing a box of CDs at the store — today, subscriptions are the norm, but they’re not the only way to buy.
Best Microsoft Office Version for Mac
The main difference in Home and Student is that it does not include Outlook or Access. 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. 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. 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 and El Capitan.
Online sharing via Microsoft’s SharePoint service or its OneDrive 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 iCloud integration, but I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon. 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.
For example, the Mac version can’t import PDF files and create editable Office documents from the contents, but the Windows version can. 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 Pages simply can’t compete on power-user features like advanced typography and footnotes and endnotes.
Likewise, Numbers trails Excel when it comes to advanced scientific and technical work. Keynote , 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.
Word and PowerPoint get threaded comments—comments that can be linked to earlier comments to create collapsible discussion threads. 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 The problem has been fixed in the latest update, however. If you’re choosing an office suite, the choice is clear for anyone who needs advanced features. Microsoft Office for Mac excellent.
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