The new Conversation View lets you group threads together so you can view an entire conversation in one place. With plenty of competition in Google's online Gmail search tools, Outlook needed to make attractive new features to continue to be competitive, and this feature makes searching through e-mail much easier. You also can run Clean Up to strip out redundant messages and threads so you have just the info you need without scanning through several e-mails.
Microsoft got mixed reviews during beta testing of this feature, but we think that this might be one of those features like the Ribbon that will become more useful as users become acclimated with a new way of doing things. A new feature called Quicksteps lets you create macros for common daily tasks like regular forwarding of specific e-mails to third parties.
Say you have sales e-mails from several parties that are sent to you on a regular basis, but need to go to another person within your company. With Quicksteps you could custom create a macro that would automatically send that e-mail on with the click of a button. Like the Conversation View features, Quicksteps is not immediately intuitive, but after some study, it will save you an enormous amount of time processing e-mails in the future. Even with the tweaks for simplifying your e-mail processing, Outlook still seems more in tune with large business clients than with smaller companies that could probably get by with online alternatives.
New coauthoring in Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, as well as advanced e-mail management and calendaring capabilities in Outlook, make collaboration much easier, reducing the time it takes to finish large projects with several contributors. Word and PowerPoint now have a syncing mechanism to avoid sudden changes while you're working on a project a major concern in the beta. We wonder how people will react to this specific change, since now the only way to have live coauthoring without the need to sync up changes will be through OneNote.
In any case, offering access to shared documents in key business applications from anywhere is something any international business or business traveler can appreciate. Google Docs, though not as elegant, are extremely easy to share with other users, so offering OneNote as the only option may not be enough. Live edits in OneNote are only one of the new features for Microsoft's notebook-like application, however.
Sketching out ideas, collaborating in real time, and adding images, video, audio, and text are all available in OneNote as it sits to the side of what you're working on. This enables you to drop sections of text, images, and other tidbits into OneNote's interface to keep all your ideas in one place.
An upgraded Navigation Bar makes it easy to jump between notebooks to copy or merge information. When you're collaborating on a project, OneNote now features automatic highlighting so you can quickly find changes to your notebook since your last save. Features like these, along with new visual styles and a Web version with live changes, make OneNote the key collaborative tool of the suite. Our only question is whether people will accept OneNote as their mainstay for live collaboration since it has less name recognition than bigger apps in the suite. In addition to upgraded collaboration tools, you'll now be able to work on your documents anywhere with slimmed down Web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.
The Web based components will make sharing information easier whether it's from your home computer, your phone, or when you're traveling for business. The Web apps preserve the look and feel of a document regardless of the device you're working on--even if it's your smartphone. These apps seem to work as advertised mostly, but we wonder how well the Web-based versions will work when server loads reach into the several millions of users.
What sets these apps apart from Google Docs and other services is that your documents and spreadsheets retain their formatting, giving Office 's Web apps a leg up against its online counterparts. Excel has received some tweaks as well, with easier-to-read, color-coded spreadsheets and smart tools to bring in the information you need. In Excel , you can flip through the tabs to access formulas, insert diagrams and charts, and quickly import data from connected sources.
A new feature called Sparklines lets you create a small chart in a single cell. This lets users compare data across multiple cells with added graphical elements to make them easier to read and spot trends over time. These moves seem to suggest that Microsoft is trying to make spreadsheets a little more accessible to a wider swath of users. We welcome the new customization features, especially as Excel retains the powerful tools users have come to expect. Those who are involved in creating their own publications and newsletters will appreciate new changes to Publisher With several available templates, you can add your personal business logo graphics and branding and then preview them in real time across each template style.
Microsoft has added ligatures and Stylistic Alternates to fonts so you can add your own personal touches to your publications. Like the other applications we've talked about in Office , Publisher offers the same new useful image-editing tools, so effects, color-correction, cropping, and more are only a few clicks away. Late to our labs and late to the game, some might say, with Google and Yahoo leading the pack are some of the new features that Windows Live Hotmail will support when it launches to all users in July or August.
Microsoft says users will be offered the option to upload Office documents or images to their SkyDrives, and then send a link of their work to a friend who uses Hotmail. This will eliminate the need to use caution when sharing large files for presentations, videos, or large collections of photos, because the documents will exist in the cloud.
The recipient will be able to view documents in their original format and large multimedia files in their Inbox without the need to wait for a huge download.
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This gives Hotmail users the opportunity to pick and choose which content they want to download from SkyDrive. As a result of new feature additions to Hotmail, images and video will receive new options, too, including the ability to automatically view a collection of images in a slideshow, and the ability to view photos and video from third-party services like FlickR, SmugMug, Hulu, and YouTube, all without having to leave Hotmail.
Microsoft also says it will push Windows live e-mail, calendar, and contact information, and more to your Windows Mobile phone using Exchange ActiveSync. Other new features we saw in the demo included separate sections for viewing shipping information and e-mails from social Web sites, which represent a significant amount of all e-mail messages. Does Office offer enough to make it worth the upgrade from earlier versions? We think that largely depends on how you use Microsoft Office. New templates and quick access to video and image-editing tools are welcome additions for those who create visual presentations of their content.
Serious spreadsheet power users will like the new features that tie data together in Excel while making complex data more accessible in the Ribbon and more exciting visually. Outlook's new conversation-scrubbing features and Quicksteps for common e-mail actions could save daily e-mail users a lot of time, if they're willing to learn the ropes initially. If you feel like Office or Office have all the features you need in your line of work, then there's probably little reason to upgrade.
Obviously, the Ribbon is now the preferred method across the entire suite for getting to features quickly. If you didn't like the Ribbon in Office , you probably won't like it now, but we think there's plenty of utility in having a common interface tool across all the apps; it might be worth learning a new way of doing things if you want to streamline your work flow. The new Hotmail integration features that will launch alongside Office may give Google Docs a run for its money if they work as advertised. We're impressed with what we've seen so far, but we'll need to reserve judgment until users are relying on the new features en masse.
Office is a worthy upgrade for those who desire new templates and visual styles, better ways of editing multimedia content in publications and presentations, and easier methods of collaboration. The ability to work from anywhere with the new Web apps is surely a big reason to upgrade if your job requires that kind of flexibility. Microsoft Office Home and Business has the tools you need to stay connected and productive--at home, the office, and on the road.
With powerful e-mail, scheduling, and task list tools in Outlook you can access virtually anywhere, you'll always be in touch. With rich media editing and visual effects in Word and PowerPoint , you're ready to create professional-looking reports and presentations that command attention. Manage finances smoothly with the data analysis tools the pros use in Excel You can create your document on your desktop, for example, then save it to the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive or SharePoint , then make small edits on the road via the Web apps, and then open them again on your desktop to continue editing.
What sets these apps apart from Google Docs and other services is that your documents and spreadsheets retain their formatting, giving Office 's Web apps a leg up against online counterparts. When you need to work on a project with one or more co-workers, new co-authoring in Word and PowerPoint lets you edit the same document or presentation with someone in another location. Once connected, you'll be able to see who is working on the document and you can quickly communicate with them as long as you have Microsoft Messenger 8 installed on your Mac. Also, with Office 's new co-authoring technology, you won't get locked out of a document when your co-worker goes offline; all of your content is still available so you can continue working.
Conclusions Does Office for Mac offer enough to make it worth the upgrade from earlier versions? With all the new features that will save you time from quick image edits within the suite to easy sharing of your work, and much more, Office is a huge improvement over Office New templates and quick access to video- and image-editing tools are welcome additions for those who create visual presentations of their content. Serious spreadsheet power users will like the new features that tie data together in Excel while making complex data more accessible in the Ribbon and more exciting visually with Sparklines.
Outlook's new conversation-view features for saving time managing your e-mail could save daily e-mail users a lot of time, if they're willing to learn the ropes initially.
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With it's return in Office , the Ribbon is clearly the preferred method across the entire suite for getting to features quickly. If you didn't like the Ribbon in Office , you probably won't like it now, but we think there's plenty of utility in having a common interface tool across all the apps. If you're still not convinced the Ribbon is worth your time, you can turn it off easily and use familiar drop-downs and palettes. The new Web apps and co-authoring features make Office a bit better than Google Docs solutions, letting you easily retain your original formatting and providing an easy way to switch from online to desktop with only a couple of clicks.
Office is a worthy upgrade for those who desire new templates and visual styles, better ways of editing multimedia content in publications and presentations, and easier methods of collaboration. The ability to work from anywhere with the new Web apps is surely a big reason to upgrade if your job requires that kind of flexibility. Share files with confidence knowing that the documents you create using Office on your Mac will look the same and work seamlessly when opened in Office for Windows.
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Co-authoring allows you to save time and simplify your work by allowing you to edit the same Word document or PowerPoint presentation at the same time as others in different locations who are using Office on a Mac or Office on Windows. Office Web Apps allow you to get things done when and where you want, from virtually any computer with an Internet connection. Sparklines visually summarizes your data using tiny charts that fit within a cell near its corresponding values.
Publishing Layout view combines a desktop publishing environment with familiar Word features, giving you a customized workspace designed to simplify complex layouts. Picture Editing gives you tools throughout the suite to crop, recolor, remove background and compress photos within your document. Charts and SmartArt gives you dozens of SmartArt layouts from more than diagram layouts, ranging from organization charts to lists, processes and relationship diagrams.
Dynamic Reorder helps you simplify complex layouts. Get an instant, 3-D view of all layers on your Publishing Layout view page and PowerPoint presentation. The new ribbon creates an intuitive experience for the Mac user. Familiar Office for Mac tools are still available so you can take advantage of the new ribbon without reinventing the wheel.
Template Galleries give you easy, organized access to a wide range of online and custom templates and recently opened documents. You can also access movies and iMovie projects right from the Movies tab. Rich presence and on-the-spot communication lets you instantly connect with your contacts without leaving your work. Presence and communication are available while editing documents with others. MS Office is not for me. It's expensive and has extremely poor support for non proprietary file formats like OpenDocumentFormat.
LibreOffice does all I need. It's more buggy, but it's slowly evolving and becoming more reliable. But Outlook is absolutely refusing to open the main window, whatever I do. Without that, I can't even export everything to Mail! Has anyone any ideas? Read reply 1. Happened to me too, twice. Only way I got back was to erase my accounts and set time up again. Then everything was fine I love this Microsoft product, it's the best ever with all its tools. Don't know I would live without. Expands PDF files to make them approx.
I also had compatibility issues, because the first one I bought was supporting PowerPC applications, which my Mac does not so I had to get a refund and get another one. Other than that, and PDF issues, Office is a well rounded software. This is the standard word processing program. You must use it or be unable to function with the rest of the English speaking world. There is no use complaining about something that cannot be changed. Whoever wrote this part of the program does not know grammar.
My latest complaint is that the use of possessives before gerunds is marked as an error. This is not an error. This is the way it should be. The user must know grammar, not rely on the checker.
I do feel sorry for writers who do not know grammar On line help is also bad. There are many problems for which there is no help. I don't think Microsoft cares whether or not the product is perfect. There will be a new version next year, with another purchase required, more glitzy, and no one will fix the old ones. Word, Excel and Powerpoint are good. Not as good as on PC, but good enough to get the job done. A bug Microsoft has not been willing to solve for many years.
So your emails will look like having been written by a 5 years old if viewed on PC. Avoid Outlook on Mac. Good pack except for Outlook. Problem is, there is no good email client software for Mac as far as I know unless you use Gmail or very simple emails. As a Snow Leopard user previously using Word , I now use Office with no problems and liking it very much, but continuing to use Entourage for my mail.
From managing home projects and planning important gatherings, to helping your kids polish their homework, Office helps your family make the most of every opportunity, every day. Create great-looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Communicate and share with family, friends, and colleagues, whether they're on Macs or PCs. And access your files whenever you need them, using any computer with a web browser and the free Office Web Apps.
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Improved compatibility Share files with confidence knowing that the documents you create using Office on your Mac will look the same and work seamlessly when opened in Office for Windows. Create professional content Publishing Layout view combines a desktop publishing environment with familiar Word features, giving you a customized workspace designed to simplify complex layouts.
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Visual styles provide you with consistent formatting that is easy to apply. Familiar, intuitive tools The new ribbon creates an intuitive experience for the Mac user. User Reviews. Reviews Current version All versions. Sort Date Most helpful Positive rating Negative rating. Pros you can open word docs Cons why steve why.
Pros test test test Cons test test test Summary test test test. Read reply 1 Reply by bocphe on May 20, Happened to me too, twice. Report this post. Pros I love this Microsoft product, it's the best ever with all its tools. Pros This is the standard word processing program.
Summary I don't think Microsoft cares whether or not the product is perfect. Pros Word, Excel and Powerpoint are good. Summary Good pack except for Outlook. Read reply 1 Reply by Tom Older on December 18, As a Snow Leopard user previously using Word , I now use Office with no problems and liking it very much, but continuing to use Entourage for my mail. Summary I'd rather use Windows for document working Read reply 1 Reply by sauna6 on June 5, The link for a free download of MS Office, gives only an Update, not the whole program suite!
Pros Not a lot worth mentioning. Cons The product is useless for anyone working with locked documents, such as the many thousands of report writing templates in the workplace. Summary Don't buy a mac thinking thinking Office Mac will make the transition easier.