Microsoft Office for Mac Preview

A new Office for Mac, but is it worth upgrading to?

  • Streamlined Ribbon in Word, Excel and PowerPoint; improved performance and reliability for Outlook
  • Few new features for Word and PowerPoint; may only run on Yosemite

The love-hate relationship between Apple and Microsoft is clearly back in love' mode at the moment. Following last month's launch of the iOS version of Outlook, Microsoft has now released a public preview of the next version of Office for Mac. It's been five years since Office 2011 was released for the Mac, back in 2010, so this new version is certainly long overdue.

However, Office 2011 received mixed reviews from some Mac users, who saw the introduction of the Ribbon' toolbar as an unwelcome intruder from the Windows world. The Ribbon isn't going away, but the streamlined makeover that it receives in this new version of Office for Mac should ensure that it gets a much better reception from Mac users.

Ribbon Redux

The adoption of the Ribbon in Office 2011 marked a conscious decision by Microsoft to bring the Mac version of Office more in line with its Windows counterpart. However, the sheer number of tools crammed into the Ribbon meant that the Mac versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint became much more cluttered and not to put too fine a point on it less Mac-like.

That criticism has clearly been taken to heart by Microsoft, as the single over-riding theme of the new Office for Mac is the move towards a more streamlined Ribbon. There are a few minor cosmetic changes that help here nudging one small set of buttons into a slightly different position eliminates a chunk of wasted space at the top of each document window, and removing the text headings that previously labelled different sections of the Ribbon helps to make the Ribbon look a little less cluttered. But, more importantly, there have also been some major changes to the way that the Ribbon itself is organised.

Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Recommended

Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more

25 Mar 2021
M1 Mac mini users suffering Bluetooth connectivity problems
Hardware

M1 Mac mini users suffering Bluetooth connectivity problems

25 Nov 2020
Yes, you can use Excel as an enterprise database tool
databases

Yes, you can use Excel as an enterprise database tool

5 Oct 2020
Common malware slipped past the macOS notarization process twice
malware

Common malware slipped past the macOS notarization process twice

31 Aug 2020

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience

14 Jul 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution
Security

Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution

28 Jul 2021