Since its release, Microsoft Office has been the leading office suite for home and business. With over 1.5 billion users worldwide, Microsoft Office is arguably the most popular productivity suite worldwide. In 1989, Microsoft released the first official version of its powerful office productivity suite for Mac, affording Mac users the power of Microsoft Office. Office for Mac features the same powerful apps and tools for Mac users as it does for PC users. Microsoft Office for Mac features office flagship products like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access, OneNote, and Outlook (not available since 2001), Office for Mac allows business users, students, and home users to experience a boost in productivity and the ability to get more done in the most efficient way possible. In this Office for Mac buyer’s guide, our goal is to highlight Office for Mac and tell you what you need to know to make an informed buying decision when you’re ready to buy Office for Mac.

Versions of Office for Mac and How to
Choose What’s Right for You

There have been a number of versions of Office for Mac since its inception. All versions include the mainstays, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Other versions include additional apps and features designed specifically for business. Let’s take a look at the versions of Office for Mac.

If you are a home user or a student, you’re needs are probably different than the needs of a business or corporation looking for advanced productivity tools and apps. Microsoft offers offers an edition of Mac designed specifically to fit your needs as a home user or a student. This edition of Microsoft Office includes Word for creating professional word processing documents, Excel for compiling detail-driven spreadsheets, and Powerpoint for creating stunning visual presentations. Office Home and Student for Mac features all the important Office apps. Word, Excel, and Powerpoint are the highlights of this powerful, versatile office suite. It also includes OneNote, which allows you to elevate your note taking to another level by letting you compile notes, web links, video links, and audio links all in one place.

Business users need a different set of apps than homeowners and students. Microsoft Office Home and Business for Mac is designed with the needs of business owners and corporations in mind. The business version of Office for Mac includes the flagship products in addition to the powerful email client Outlook, which is designed with the rich features necessary to keep on top of all things related to your business.

Microsoft Word for Mac

Word is the premiere word processing software in the world. The Mac version of Word gives Mac users the same power, flexibility, and productivity Windows users have known about for decades. With Word for Mac, Apple users can now harness all the word-processing power Word brings to the table. With Word for Mac, you can create, polish, and share professional documents with anyone anywhere. Word features state of the art authoring tools to help you work better and smarter. The new Insights pane shows relevant contextual information from the web inside Word. A new Design tab lets you accomplish more by making it easier to manage layout, colors, and fonts across a document. You can work with others using built-in tools to share and review documents. Many people can work on the same document simultaneously and use the threaded comments feature to carry on a conversation or brainstorm right next to relevant text. Whether you are working on a paper with classmates from school or collaborating with co-workers, the latest version of Microsoft Word for Mac lets you do it more efficiently and with professional results.

Microsoft Office for Mac includes Smart Lookup, which provides contextually relevant information for any highlighted text, allowing you to access web-based data. For instance, you can highlight the word "Microsoft" within your document, right click the word, then select “Smart Lookup,” Word will open a window containing Bing search results. This search will return a summary of Microsoft, Microsoft’s Wikipedia page, and Microsoft’s official website in the top search results. Smart Lookup can be accessed on the Tools menu as well.

Multiple team members can create and edit a single new Word document at the same time. When a user working on a file saves changes to a document, a notification that highlights the changes for the other users working on the same document. There’s also threaded comments that allow collaborators and reviewers to conduct a conversation regarding a document. This allows writers and other members of your team to address comments in real time during the writing and editing phase.

Word 2016 for Mac features a Design tab. The Design tab makes it easier for Mac users to access preconfigured design elements and allows them to quickly create professional documents even without having extensive graphic design expertise. While earlier versions of Word for Mac allowed for some sharing options, Word for Mac 2016 takes file sharing to another level. The sharing features are found on the File menu. Now Mac users can find their OneDrive cloud-based file share listed right inside Word, which makes it easier to take advantage of Dropbox and iCloud integration for storing, backing up, and sharing Word documents. Users are presented with several options when selecting a file and choosing Save As. Users who want to save files to their OneDrive account can select the Online Locations button within the Save As window.

Mail Merge comes with improvements too. The Mailings tab makes it easier to connect Word, Excel, and Outlook to generate and distribute mass mailings. Icon options are included for creating envelopes and labels. Mac users will find additional options for generating mass mailings using Apple Address Book or FileMaker Pro.

As soon as you take a look at the latest version of Word for Mac, you will know you’re in new territory. Office 2011 and it’s dated interface are gone. The new Word is less cluttered and easier to navigate. It’s clean and sleek, with brighter colors and a more modern appearance. Microsoft has redone the Ribbon for Word for Mac and now it looks and works just like it does in the Windows version. The Ribbon is more outstanding and closer to the top of the screen. Since not everyone is a fan of the RIbbon, it can easily be hidden away by clicking a small up arrow at the Ribbon’s far right.

Microsoft Excel for Mac

Excel is Microsoft Office’s powerful spreadsheet, available to Mac users with all the same great features. There’s a lot of new features in Excel for Mac 2016 that will have Mac users happy. One of those new features in Excel is that now Excel recognizes most Windows keyboard shortcuts. That doesn’t mean abandoning Mac Excel shortcuts, though, because Excel for Mac still recognizes them.

Regular spreadsheet users will be happy that Excel now has many of the features from the Windows version of Excel like slicers to pivot tables. Slicers let you create buttons that make it easy to filter data in a pivot table report, without the need for drop-down lists. There are also many statistical functions added, such as moving averages and exponential smoothing. All of these additional features are designed to make Excel more powerful, efficient, and easier to use. Mac users will love having the same capabilities available to them in Excel as Windows users have had for some time.

Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac

There’s no better way to create stunning visual presentations than with Microsoft PowerPoint and Mac users have a new PowerPoint available that brings all the best features of PowerPoint to Mac. The new Presenter view is a great addition. Presenter lets you project a presentation and while the audience sees the current slide, you can view your notes, the next slide, and a timer. This allows you to manage the presentation and stay on top of where you’re at and how the presentation is going.

There’s also a new animations pane that’s great for creating and previewing all the animations in your presentations. It’s particularly useful because it lets you control everything in your animations, including customizing the duration of the animation, playing sound with it, and an array of effects options. It’s also useful for adding multiple animations to a slide and rearranging the order of the animations in the pane. You can also use the pane to add and delete animations on the fly, allowing you to customize your presentations to the fullest.

Microsoft Outlook for Mac

The current version of Outlook has a visual makeover to make it look and work more like the Windows version. The clutter has been reduced with the Ribbon look, making it easier to work and keep up with business. Unread messages are denoted by a blue vertical bar rather than bold text, which helps make them stand out. Links to your calendar, notes, contacts, and tasks are no longer buried underneath the mailboxes on the left-hand pane. Now they appear in big type at the very bottom of the screen, making it nearly impossible to miss them.

Like all Microsoft for Mac apps, the new Outlook for Mac boasts improved performance. Managing your email, calendar, contacts, and tasks has never been easier. The new Outlook for Mac features push mail support so your inbox is always up to date. The improved conversation view automatically organizes your inbox around threaded conversations, eliminating the need to search for related messages. The new message preview gives you the first sentence of an email just below the subject line, which lets you immediately determine the importance of the message.

Which Version of Office for
Mac to Buy

This Office for Mac buyer’s guide is designed to help you understand the important features of Office for Mac and how Office for Mac can help you be more productive whether at home, at school, or in the business world. We also want you to be able to purchase cheap office for mac no matter what you need it for. To that end, it’s important that you understand the differences between versions of Office for Mac and the difference between the different editions of Office for Mac. We’ve already shown you how Office for mac comes in an edition designed for the home and student user. That’s Office for Mac Home and Student.

There’s also Office for Mac Home and Business. Students will find all they need in the former, while business users will want to take advantage of the latter, with its important tools for business like Outlook. Those are features that most casual users and students won’t need. Do you need the latest version of Office for Mac? While support for Office for Mac 2011 has ended, some hardcore users who resist change continue to use it. Office for Mac 2011 still works perfectly fine, but there are no new updates. If you purchase the product, know that you will not get updates for it and there will be no support from Microsoft on Office for Mac 2011. For many users, this is fine. If you want the latest version, however, you have two options. You can get a subscription to Office 365, which is the subscription version of Office that comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft apps, depending upon the plan you choose. With Office 365, the apps are available on your computer and through your browser, and one subscription plan allows you to use both them on both your Mac and PC. The second option is to purchase the stand-alone version of Office for Mac 2016, which is the latest version.

While you’ll still be able to use Office for Mac 2011, you might want to consider and upgrade to a newer version of Office so you can stay up to date with all the latest features, patches, and security updates. If you’re a student or casual home user who is comfortable with Mac software and you want to save a little money, you might be comfortable staying with Office for Mac 2011 if you own it, or even buying it new because it will be less expensive than the newest version. Business owners should purchase a subscription to Office 365 or a multiple user license for the standalone version of Office for Mac 2016. This is a good idea because the new features make the software so much more powerful and allow you so much more productivity. Additionally, no business should be operating on older versions of software that will no longer be supported. A business is too important to risk loss of productivity over a few dollars in savings, and it’s likely you will want the latest, most up-to-date features and customer support when you need it.

Office vs iWork

Apple users know there is a productivity suite available for Mac called iWork. This suite is Apple’s answer to Office for Mac and it’s free. Many Apple users wonder why they should pay for Office for mac when they can get iWork free of charge. iWork includes Microsoft Office equivalents. There’s Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations. On the surface, it seems iWork would be a good choice for Mac users. Mac users can certainly use iWork, even for business, but there can be issues. One problem is with collaboration, which is something many businesses and corporations rely on. Pages, for instance, can import and export Word, but it doesn’t do it without issues. The same with Keynote, which can import and export PowerPoint, but not perfectly. Numbers can read an Excel spreadsheet, but it lacks some of the fundamental tools that Excel offers.

The bottom line on using iWork as a replacement for Office is this: iWork is only just getting started as a contender for business productivity. It’s a simple suite of productivity apps. It’s suitable for casual home use and school use, and if you want to write papers or create decent-looking documents or presentations that don’t require a lot of collaboration, iWorks might work for you. If you run a corporation and rely on power-user tools to sync workflow, create professional documents, and share ideas and work throughout your company, you should buy Microsoft Office for Mac because it is still the best choice for your business.

Features Summary for Microsoft
Office for Mac

Professional Communications

The latest version of Microsoft Office for Mac has the tools you need to run a home-based or a small business. You can create, edit, and share documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and other files via email. Office also lets you publish them on the web so the documents are accessible to a large audience.

Online Extension

Instead of relying on email attachments and online file storages for sharing files, you can upload documents to Office Online instead. This lets you collaborate on files with your team in real-time. This ability to share and collaborate means you work smarter, faster, and more efficiently, leading to a more productive work environment in less time.

File Security

While you use Office Online for web-based file sharing and editing, your documents are remain private and unseen by anyone unless you share with them. You can send your collaborators invitations by email that contain links to any files you want to share. You choose how others can view and edit your documents, so you always have complete control over your files at all times.

Templates for all Documents

With Microsoft Office Professional 2016, you can start a document from scratch or you use a professional template to inspire your document. Office for mac Professional business suite includes a library of templates that you can edit to fit your exact needs. In addition to the pre-installed templates, users can download a wide variety of templates as well, allowing for a variety of creative choices.

Personalized Interface

Microsoft Office Professional 2016 applications are customizable when it comes to the interface design. You can opt for dark and grey backgrounds, white spaces, or colorful themes. This way, you can tailor the programs for the comfort of your eyes.

Reading Enhancement

When you read a document in Office, Microsoft offers insights based on the content you are working with. The software connects with Bing and delivers additional information from the Internet so you no longer need to switch back and forth between Office and your web browser to do your research. This save a great deal of time while you’re working.

Enhanced Search Bar

Every application in the Microsoft Office Professional 2016 has an integrated search bar. Whenever you require help, you simply input what you want to do and you will be presented with a list of options meant to offer you customized help on the fly.

Summary

If you’re a Mac user who is looking for a powerful office suite, Microsoft Office for mac is for you. Whether you’re a casual home user, a student, a small business, or a corporation, Office for Mac is for you. The latest version of Office for Mac offers and edition that’s perfect for your needs. Office for Mac is the most powerful, most widely recognized professional business productivity suite on the market. Users worldwide have been using Microsoft Office for decades, and with the latest version of Office for Mac, Microsoft has finally delivered the same power and features Windows users have been used to. Finally, it seems, Office for Mac is getting the respect it deserves. In a world dominated by Microsoft Office, it’s hard not to recommend Office for Mac in this Office for Mac buyer’s guide. Even with the advances in Apple’s own iWork suite, Office for Mac is the top-of-the-line office application meant to power businesses with everything they need to operate effectively and efficiently in a fast-paced environment that requires the ability to stay on top of your business.

Office for Mac 2016 or Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is the way Microsoft would like to sell you its Office products these days. Rather than pay for the standalone software up front, Microsoft wants you buy a subscription to Office 365, which gives you access to its Office apps in a cloud-based system. Many Mac users wonder if it’s better to buy the standalone Office for Mac suite or subscribe to Office 365. What are the differences between the two? There is really very little difference between the two as far as functionality is concerned. Office 2016 for Mac is the traditional Microsoft Office product. You pay for it one time and essentially own the product.

You can install on a single Mac and use it for as long as you have possession of the product. It will never expire. The problem with this is that if there is a new version of the product released, you will need to buy the new version to have access to the new features. Eventually, Microsoft will stop providing support for your version of the software and you will need to upgrade anyway. Office 365, in contrast, is the new way Microsoft would like for you to purchase its Office suite. Instead of paying for the standalone software in one lump sum, you pay a monthly or yearly fee and get access to the latest version of Office as long as you continue to pay the fee. You also have additional OneDrive cloud storage and free access to the Office apps for tablets. There is a subscription available that allows you to install Office on up to five different computers, which lets you share it with your family. Also, a subscription to Office 365 gives you access to versions of Office for PC and for Mac, so even if you have team members working on different machines, they will be able to take advantage of the Office 365 subscription.

Whichever way you to choose to use Microsoft Office for Mac, you can be assured that the power of Microsoft Office is the way to go for business. Our goal is to make sure you get MS Office for Mac cheap because that is our goal as a Microsoft Partner. It’s the most used office software in the world and its compatibility makes it the most versatile and well-respected office suite worldwide.