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Microsoft Office 2016 Beta on the Mac – Does It Still Have to Feel Like Work?

March 5, 2015 — by The Social Clymer

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AppleAppsPreview

Microsoft Office 2016 Beta on the Mac – Does It Still Have to Feel Like Work?

March 5, 2015 — by The Social Clymer

Does Microsoft Office feel too much like work on your Mac? Try the new Beta and see if it changes your mind.

It’s about time!  As much as I have been able to move my whole life over to my Macs, Microsoft Office has always been the one anchor to the old PC world – Microsoft Office.  Working away on the current version (2011) has never seemed like that much of a chore.  It does the things I need to do, but it has always felt like you use it because you HAVE to, not because you WANT to.

Today, Microsoft released a public beta of its new 2016 version of Office.  The beta includes all your old favorites like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, but it also includes Outloook and OneNote.  9to5Mac did a great write up.  In their initial review, they found…

Office for Mac 2016 takes the “cloud first, platform second” approach of Microsoft’s other Office 365-compatible apps. For example, multiple users can collaborate on documents in real time when using the same app on different platforms like Word for Mac, iPad, or PC. Microsoft also treats the ribbon tool bar similarly across versions of Office so the user experience is familiar regardless of which platform you’re using.

Sounds like Microsoft is learning a bit from the collaborative nature of some of the Apple products of the last couple of years.  The integration of cloud technologies (OneDrive, DropBox, etc.) will also help in the new shared development experience.

When it comes to the individual programs, there are a couple of features that I’m really interested to use:

  • A new presenter mode in PowerPoint that should make giving presentations much easier than just staring at the same slides as your audience
  • New animations in PowerPoint to liven up flat presentations
  • Improved math and functions in Excel
  • At first blush, more intuitive tools in Word

I’m also thinking about giving OneNote another try.  I gave it a go several years ago, but it never really stuck.

You can download the new beta for FREE and start trying it today.  I’d love to hear about your experience and new ways that you’re using Office on your Mac.

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