Microsoft Releases Office 2016 for Mac With Updated Versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and More

Following a beta testing period that began in March, Microsoft today announced the official launch of its next-generation office software designed for Mac users, Office 2016. The new Office 2016 software is the first major Mac release since Office 2011, and it brings new versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with redesigned, Retina optimized interfaces, new features, and a focus on collaboration and cloud integration.

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If you already use Office on a PC or iPad, you will find yourself right at home in Office 2016 for Mac. It works the way you expect, with the familiar Ribbon interface and powerful Task panes. Mac users will appreciate the modernized Office experience and the integration of Mac capabilities like Full Screen view and Multi-Touch gestures. With full Retina display support, your Office documents look sharper and more vibrant than ever.

Office for Mac 2016 has adopted many elements previously found in the Windows version of Office and the mobile Office apps for better cross-platform familiarity. For example, Office for Mac now uses the Ribbon to organize tools and formatting options, plus there's a task pane for improved graphics customization in all three of the main Office apps, along with new themes and styles.

The software includes a new Yosemite-style design that takes advantage of features like full-screen support, Retina displays, and multi-touch gestures, while cloud integration makes all Microsoft files available across a range of devices.

Word 2016 for Mac includes a new Design tab for quickly customizing layouts, colors, and fonts while working on a document, and the multi-author experience has been improved. There's a sharing interface at the top right of the app that allows multiple people to work on the same document at once, with threaded comments to communicate.

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Excel 2016 for Mac's chart preview feature suggests the charts that best fit a set of data and it adds deeper data analysis functionality with PivotTable slicers for dealing with large amounts of data to find patterns. Shortcuts within Excel and the other Office apps have been updated to match their Windows counterparts, and there's improved autocomplete and a better formula builder that makes it easier to create spreadsheets and add data.

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PowerPoint 2016 for Mac includes an improved Presenter view that shows current slide, next slide, speaker notes, and a timer, much like the PowerPoint for iOS app. In the top left, the presenter sees exactly what the audience sees, including animations in real time, for a better idea of how a presentation is going. There's also a new animation pane for designing and tweaking animations, plus new slide transitions.

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Outlook for Mac, released last October, is also designed to work with the new Office apps, with push mail support, an improved conversation view, and message previews, as is OneNote for Mac, released in March of 2014.

According to Microsoft, several major changes like improved Mail Merge for Word, Propose New Time in Outlook, and support for External Data Connections in Excel were added based on user feedback during the beta testing program. Microsoft plans to introduce new updates to the software at least once per quarter going forward.

Office 2016 for Mac is available for all Office 365 subscribers users beginning today, and is officially supported on machines running the latest version of OS X, Yosemite. Office for Mac will also be available as a one-time purchase in September.

Office 365 Personal, which includes Office access for 1 computer, 1 phone, and 1 tablet, is priced at $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month. Office 365 Home, with access for 5 computers, 5 tablets, and 5 phones is priced at $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month. There are also Office 365 plans designed for students and businesses at different price points.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
66 months ago
After running the betas on Yosemite, this software is in no way shape or form ready for prime time...
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
66 months ago
Office 2011 still flies... Office 2016 slow and buggy...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
66 months ago
$7 per month forever indentured servitude? No thanks MSFT.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
66 months ago

$7 per month forever indentured servitude? No thanks MSFT.

You really have no idea what indentured servitude means.
I would advise you to refrain from using those words until you do,
sparing you any further embarrassment
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
66 months ago

So, Microsoft are trying to force me on to the 'Pay us whatever we demand, for the rest of your life, or your files stop working' model.

There's no way I'm ever going to do that, either sell me the software or do without my money.

Or your files stop working? What?

Considering that Pages/Numbers/Keynote can read Office files, and so can Google Docs and even Microsoft's own, OneDrive (which is free), your files don't "stop working".

OneDrive also replicates the desktop layouts pretty well (since Docs and iWork sometimes mangle layouts).

Also, since you clearly didn't read the article:

Office 2016 for Mac will become available as a one-time purchase option this September.

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
66 months ago
Should be clearer in the article that this is for Office 365 users only at this point.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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