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Review: Microsoft's Office 2011 for Mac - Page 3

post #81 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMC View Post

I use Entourage 2008 for Exchange in a corporate environment, and one of my biggest complaints is that it won't support a simple table in an email. Even forwarding an email with a table completely mangles the layout of the forwarded message.

That's the question I've been asking here and elsewhere since 2011 was first announced. Unfortunately, none of the beta testers have responded to that query... It's not just replying to an email with tables that drives me crazy, it's the inability to copy an Excel table into an email - instead I have to either export to PDF, or paste a screen capture.
post #82 of 106
I use Word (2007 and sometimes 2010) every day for making complex test reports that are classes of legal documents, and use LOADS of the features, tables, diagrams/drawing tools/formatting options/outlining/document maps/TOCs/etc/etc. (VBA too). I also currently use Office:Mac 2008 at home since I have a mac, and am also studying part time.

Why so much hate for the Ribbon? I was unsure about the ribbon when we went from office 2003 to 2007, but 2003 (and previous) had lots of different toolbars, half of which would appear when you didn't want them, then if you made them go away, then chose something related they wouldn't come back and you'd have to go and find them. If you turned them all on and put them in the top you'd use half you screen real-estate up! The only benefit was that you could make custom menus which 2007 didn't offer. However, with 2007 onwards you can right click anything, anywhere in the ribbon and put it in the quick access toolbars. Don't like the ribbon "getting in the way" like lots of the complainers here? Double click the name of that tab and it auto hides! Then when you want something click the tab you want, it appears, click the item you want, it's gone again. Job done. What's wrong with that!?!

So IMHO since having the ribbon means you can find anything (relatively) easily, then all the stuff you want all the time you put in the Quick Access bar. Good solution, especially to find stuff you don't use much. Sure I have other complaints (like the document map has NEVER worked properly in office 2007 and you have to hide and reopen different levels in large complex documents and that's now SP2???), and other niggles, but the ribbon isn't one.

So the questions I really want to know that the review doesn't answer is:

Does the office 2011 version auto-hide the ribbon if clicking it like the windows version? Does it have a Quick Access toolbar like the windows version? If not it's a poor implementation and is a case where the ribbon IS a poor idea.

How similar is it? I use Office 2007 all day every day at work and it drives me up the wall doing reports at home as nothing's in the same place in 2008! Is it really the same, or only superficially? The last thing I want is to be search round different menus and toolbars trying to find something that I know instantly where it is in the other version. They shouldn't be that different! You should be able to sit down at a computer running any OS and the application should be nearly identical to how it is on any other OS (OS specific parts excluded).

What about drawing objects? I use them a lot as VISIO and all sorts of other apps are fine, but Words not bad, and it's completely cross-compatible and I don't have to count on other PCs not having the same S/W installed. When I want to do a diagram at work, I draw one. Every time I do one at home on Office Mac 2008 everything comes out with super-thick lines, bright blue, with shadows, etc on. I want a diagram, I don't want it to default into some kinda f'in cartoon!!! Is this still the same? I can't set a default so have to change each of the drawing objects (the first line, first box, first circle, etc) all to sensible settings then set them as default autoshapes. Then it's ok for the rest of the document. If I start a new document though they're all gone! Are there sensible defaults now?

Also in drawing tools in complex diagrams, if I have shapes drawn and set them to be allowed to overlap, if I group copy them in Office 2007 they're fine, in Office 2008 it doesn't copy all the wrapping and overlap settings and ruins the pasted bits. Then i have to go through all the bits individually and set the settings right which takes ages! Has this been fixed?

I've got other important questions but these are the main ones which'd annoy me on a nearly-every-use level. If someone can answer these I'd be grateful and figure it'd be worth upgrading.

Pages and Openoffice are no good for me, but 2008 is a complete pain too when you know the windows version so well!
post #83 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Can you place a picture object and move it to a desired placement on a blank page yet? Or do you still have to get Steve Hawkins and the entire Mensa membership on the phone to walk you through the 4 day process?

Yes, I can do it without having to contact customer support, as I imagine most people can.

Also, I believe you are referring to "Stephen Hawking," not "Steve Hawkins."
post #84 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Yeah, I do! PhotoShop, Elements and Excel for that matter!

iWork is a dream compared to the MS software.

Keynote and Pages, sure, but Numbers is piece of crap compared to Excel. At least for anyone who needs to use spreadsheets professionally and not just for fun.
post #85 of 106
Why does it say Office:mac on the box? It's confusing, it should say Office for Mac.
post #86 of 106
Microsoft fixed what wasn't broken. The Ribbon that replaces the menu bar was a poorly thought out idea. It is an example of what happens when you let your Marketing department and programmers work together unsupervised.

Someone at Microsoft heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. What they failed to realize is that communicating with pictures isn't efficient, and a picture (icon) isn't necessarily capable of communicating an idea universally. If it were then heiroglyphics and ideoglyphs would be easier to use. In other words a simple icon like a printer will inform you that it is connected to printing, but only if you have that cultural context in place. To communicate more complex information, say about table of contents, indices, and other compiled lists, what do you use?

The amount of space that is used by the Ribbon is also wasteful. The need to now have multiple tabs for what was accomplished before in a single menu bar is confusing. It is particularly frustrating to have to hunt through all of these areas to find what you need. Even something simple as breaks, which was once grouped together under one menu selection is not broken up into two different areas. Why?

It is obvious, that instead of fixing the broken Master Document feature, or the horrible numbering stream feature, they simply put pretty icons on the program.

It's now possible that they have increased the number of clicks you need to get any particular feature or function.

I find particularly irritating that Styles is now truly hidden away, and very difficult to manage. As though it weren't borked up enough in previous versions.
post #87 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

No idea why none of you could figure this out. Sure, the controls are clunky, but a Word expert should be able to do it.

Big Surprise people!

Word is NOT a competent page layout program.

Word is NOT a competent program to use for large, complex, documents. It still throws up and corrupts the file when said file is large, contains numerous graphics, numbering, cross-references, hyperlinks, etc. In other words used for documenting systems, processes or other large, detailed, entities.

It was, and is designed for writing letters. It has the bells and whistles for graphics and and all the other things, but it won't work well enough to justify using it.

Technical writers know that Word is more likely to increase the time and effort required to produce documentation with it than other programs. If for no other reason than to go back and fix the file that just corrupted itself.
post #88 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sturner0430 View Post

Word is NOT a competent program to use for large, complex, documents. It still throws up and corrupts the file when said file is large, contains numerous graphics, numbering, cross-references, hyperlinks, etc. In other words used for documenting systems, processes or other large, detailed, entities.

It was, and is designed for writing letters. It has the bells and whistles for graphics and and all the other things, but it won't work well enough to justify using it.

Technical writers know that Word is more likely to increase the time and effort required to produce documentation with it than other programs. If for no other reason than to go back and fix the file that just corrupted itself.

Wrong on many counts. I wrote my Electronics PhD thesis (312 pages, boatloads of figures and cross-refs) in Word no problem.
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post #89 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sturner0430 View Post

Word is NOT a competent program to use for large, complex, documents. It still throws up and corrupts the file when said file is large, contains numerous graphics, numbering, cross-references, hyperlinks, etc. In other words used for documenting systems, processes or other large, detailed, entities.

Maybe for highly specialized technical writing it is not adequate, but every profession, at it's extremes has custom apps. For general office use it is just fine, and that's what it is sold as: part of "Office."
post #90 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Not sure how it happened, but I've had office 11 for a few days now (maybe academics get it early?). Anyway, my main complaint is that it still screws up files copied from Chemdraw (a simple drawing program used by organic chemists nearly ubiquitously), so that they cannot be reedited ever again once pasted into an Office document.

very frustrating.

This frustrates me too, every time I send my word or powerpoint to a windows user my chemdraw drawings just come out as a pixelated mess.

Microsoft should really work together with cambridgesoft to sort this out. IF windows users can edit their drawings once put into their document why can't we?
Switched permenantly! 12/08/2006
Unibody MacBook Pro ▪ 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo ▪ 4Gb Ram ▪ 500Gb 7200rpm HD ▪ Geforce 9600M GT ▪ Wireless Mighty Mouse ▪ Silver iPod Classic 160GB ▪ Black iPhone 3GS...
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Switched permenantly! 12/08/2006
Unibody MacBook Pro ▪ 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo ▪ 4Gb Ram ▪ 500Gb 7200rpm HD ▪ Geforce 9600M GT ▪ Wireless Mighty Mouse ▪ Silver iPod Classic 160GB ▪ Black iPhone 3GS...
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post #91 of 106
Can some one please axplain, why the Ribbon is "Ugly" and how the Mac solution is better (given that they offer less features, as I can tell). In simple words, possibly with an example.

I frankly, do not see any difference / advantage what iWorks offers.
post #92 of 106
iWork (Pages) all the way.

The typography controls in Word are horrible.
post #93 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

If its not made by Apple, its crap!

Reminds me of this quote: The Macalope has long considered starting a class action suit against Apple for ruining his enjoyment of anyone elses products.

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post #94 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

iWork has it's flaws. However, Office... my god man, there will be tribunals for crimes against humanity.

My grammar nitpickiness notwithstanding (its is possessive; it's == it is), I agree.
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post #95 of 106
Ok - so now we are back in the 70's???

Honestly I can not understand why such a feature is so hard to implement - and Microsoft wants me to see Office 2011 as a professional "state-of-the-art" product, which I can use in my business...

If I was going to upgrade, then I apparently must import/export my calendar data? Maybe it is the way things are done at Microsoft - but not at Hojgaard IT.

Better luck next time, Microsoft!
post #96 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

Can some one please axplain, why the Ribbon is "Ugly" and how the Mac solution is better (given that they offer less features, as I can tell). In simple words, possibly with an example.

I frankly, do not see any difference / advantage what iWorks offers.

From my personal perspective, the Ribbon appears to exist simply for the sole purpose of saying, "look people - you have to upgrade to the new Office because it has new features." I'm not saying there's no room for improvement, but the core components of Office have been around long enough that they matured quite some time ago, and for Microsoft to continue to gain upgrade revenue, they have to make the current product look more attractive than what users are already using. Does the Ribbon give the tools any new functionality? Not really. They simply have moved things around for the sake of moving things around. Frankly I think it now takes longer to find things I'm looking for (it took quite some time, for example, for me to figure out how to change an email from plain-text to RTF). The Ribbon is much larger and, as far as I'm concerned, far less customisable than what I saw with Office 2003 (I'm talking Office for Windows - Office for Mac has never really had a truly customisable toolbar).

As for iWork, its inspector panels have everything you need, right where you expect them, and I find the panel contexts change only when appropriate.

I guess for me, I've used the Office products since Word for Windows v1.0. I got used to them. I even liked them. But when iWork came out (well, when iWork '08 came out and the apps had finally matured to the point of being really useable), I immediately found it matched my workflow with far less clutter. I haven't used Word in years, I refuse to use PowerPoint (what a festering pile of poop it is in comparison with Keynote), and I only use Excel if I need to work with large amounts of data (I much prefer Numbers' free-form layout, and its graphs, while not as powerful as Excel's, are much more attractive and easy-to-read), although I do hope Apple adds something akin to PivotTables (categories are nice, but really not the same).
post #97 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brazilian Joe View Post

Outlook



The Ugly, ugly, ugly



Constructing searches is also utterly broken. First: you can't use boolean searches unless you go on the arcane 'Raw Query'mode. It's always an 'AND' search, there is no way to change the multiple criteria to an 'OR' search. Want to get email from either joe@gmail.com OR joe@yahoo.com? Good luck with raw searches. They are not a problem for me, but the average user will not grok them. And they shouldn't have to, for certain trivial cases.

But wait, there's more. do you think you can group two folders in a single advanced search? Well, I found a way, but not without much hair-pulling and head-banging on the keyboard. are you still following me? Let me elaborate.

First, folders inside Outlook aren't folders in a tangible sense, like folders inside your disk. Surely, Outlook arranges the files in folders on disk, but it's for it's internal organization only, and the structure means nothing for the average user. It's just a bunch of folders and subfolders named as two-character hexcodes.

Outlook folders are there only to represent the mailbox structure, and there is no 'folder tree' exposed in any way to the searches. So, if you want to do a smart search picking up only the files inside a specific folder and its subfolders, you are out of luck. There is no way to do it, period.

You can concatenate one or more folders though, like I found out, in an extra-convoluted way.

First you must locate a file in your first folder which is there and only there. The easiest way is to create a draft with a unique word like 'rumpelstiltskin' or 'mytzoplyk' and move the draft there.
Then you must locate the real file on-disk using the Terminal, with the command-line version of spotlight, mdfind. This file will be in an obscure folder in the not-intended-for-humans structure created by Outlook. Still using the Terminal, you must locate the 'so-and-so-FolderID' file attribute, which you do using 'mdls', another command-line program which lists all attributes useable to perform searches using Spotlight. If you are still with me, you are brave.

With this valuable information, you can then start to write your Raw Query: so-and-so-folderID = (number) || so-and-so-folderID = (other number) . You must search for a unique file on each folder to get its ID using the command line. Simple, don't you think?

Only, it may not work, because Raw Queries are not as Raw as you may think. On the Search ribbon, there is a group of four buttons to the left, which set a super attribute to your search. If you left it on the 'folder' option, your 'Raw Query' will have an invisible restriction and will take place only in the current folder. You must click on 'All Folders' to be able to concatenate folders using the above excessively-arcane way.

And, for some reason, the Smart folders are at the BOTTOM on the left pane. It's like they knew it was so broken they wanted to hide it. Outlook for Windows has 'Favorite Folders' on the TOP of the left panel. Apple Mail has its smart folders (which work as advertised) at the top too, it's where it makes sense. Outlook for Mac's Smart Folders don't work, but if they did, they should be placed where it makes sense: at the top of the left panel (or let the users decide).

So, if you come from windows, and especially if you are a power email user, don't delude yourself thinking that Outlook for Mac will solve all your problems.

If you are willing to give up a bunch of functionality to ditch windows and go all-mac though, feel free to give it a try. But buyers beware, this Outlook is still in its infancy, and its immaturity shows up on its lack of options, polish and ill-advised interface decisions.

I needed to use a raw query for the purpose of building a set of email addresses for which one or more of those addresses would result in a match (the "OR" case he mentions below). The way I did it was to compose it in Spotlight, using "OR"'s between each item, then I saved the query to the saved searches. From there I was able to "Get Info" on the saved search and copy the raw query over into Outlook. This worked perfectly.

Not elegant, but it works...
post #98 of 106
I have the office for Mac 2011. The outlook is not working for me. Im using gmail on it and everytime i delete an email it(the deleted email) pops back up few seconds later with an error message - erroe code 1025 - an unknown error has occured.

Please help me configure it properly. There has been no updates released yet
post #99 of 106
My $0.02 of Microsoft's suite? I've been using it since it was released and I'm fine with using Word/Excel/Powerpoint. I'm also fine with using iWork. Right tool for the right job is all. I'm not big on religious arguments.

HOWEVER. Outlook blows. Really spews chunks. When its not erroring out when I try to configure junk settings (which doesn't work very well anyway), its erroring out when I'm doing anything else. The searching function is halfassed. The fact that it has an integrated calendar that won't sync to the most popular smartphone in the world, iPhone, on the platform that the iPhone was developed on is egregious.
When I try to view something in my junk folder, I have to keep setting my preview window since there is no default override.
It completely broke my certificate handling of CAC certs.
It wouldn't import my inbox... it imported everything else from Mac mail except the inbox. I had to copy all my emails (5000+) into a newly created mailbox and import it again... and rather that actually asking where to put all this email, it just dumps it into "on my mac". Is it so hard to ask where they belong?
I think the last straw was when it threaded my business email and my spam together into conversations.

It would have been really nifty if they'd run the type of Beta for Mac that they ran for Windows Office. Send it out as beta and fix the issues we report.... not this cloak and dagger double secret probation Beta.

Word, Excel, Ppt? Pass. Outlook? Fail.
post #100 of 106
Hi
I moved my whole company from windows to Mac osx. The reaction from the 20 employees has been very positive.

We work as consultants to corporate clients and MS office is the reality of that world.

We tried iWork. Love it but poor interoperability with Office.
We tried Open Office - same complaint
We went with office 2008. It was the best but entourage sucked.

The result was that many of the staff worked inside VMWARE to access outlook and for 100% compatibility.

With MS Office 2011 the schalles to VMWARE have been broken. We all love it, ribbon and all, and we especially love Outlook as it frees us from entourage (reuse exchange).

Everything works fine and mail fully integrates well with our iPhones and the coUple of blackberries we have.

I personally prefer iWork and we use that in out marketing team for brochures , videos and other creative content where the output is a PDF or movie.

But when it comes to exchanging work with our clients Office 2011 fills the bill more than adequately.

And to respondt to someones previous comment - I've never been accused of being "Mensa"
and i can definitely move any picture to anyplace within a word doc. I especially like the new picture formatting options.
post #101 of 106
Here are some early thoughts on 2011. 2008 was very limited but (in the end) it became a stable release, after 2 years of bug fixes. Not totally stable, but acceptable. 2011 (other than the horrible Ribbons) can be configured pretty much like 2008. Of course 2011 is a new release so it has a "few" bugs (although it's stable for me). I am working with some pretty complex 80+ page formula-laden documents. It seems to open 2008 documents well without corrupting their Equations. This is a big deal for me.

Excel now launches without the stupid "print view" default that dims out everything outside a typical page view. In other words, 2011 Excel seems to behave pretty much like normal Excel. It also seems fast. The pivot table is the new Excel 2010 for Windows-style where you must deselect everything you don't want. It takes getting used to, but ultimately Excell 2011 is a huge, huge upgrade (considering VBA, the speed improvement, general compatibility).

Office 2011 ain't perfect but it is hard to imagine a bigger upgrade from 2008. It's a very impressive upgrade. PowerPoint is beautiful too, BTW.. its templates far better than Keynote IMHO (90% of Keynote templates appear designed for a small florist, yoga studio or similar, not business or academic). PowerPoint 2011 stepped up big time. Nice work Microsoft.
post #102 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Can you place a picture object and move it to a desired placement on a blank page yet? Or do you still have to get Steve Hawkins and the entire Mensa membership on the phone to walk you through the 4 day process?

Yes, you can. You just need to set the Text Wrapping properties to "Behind Text". Office have several text wrapping options. Just Right Click on any picture and see the many Text Wrapping options. They are many good flexible options.
post #103 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

That's the point, dude!

I refuse to call these stupids "Experts".

Right Click on the picture and set the Text Wrap option to "Behind Text". Then drag the picture to anywhere you like.

How hard is that?
post #104 of 106
Quote:
I needed to use a raw query for the purpose of building a set of email addresses for which one or more of those addresses would result in a match (the "OR" case he mentions below). The way I did it was to compose it in Spotlight, using "OR"'s between each item, then I saved the query to the saved searches. From there I was able to "Get Info" on the saved search and copy the raw query over into Outlook. This worked perfectly.

Not elegant, but it works...

 

A million thanks. I registered just to leave this feedback thanking you. No more trying to remember or look up the awful metadata attributes just to search a group of messages "x OR y..." and build an incomprehensible query by hand. Now instead of this "...kMDItemTextContent = "0188577*"cdw) || …" I just type "0188577 OR …" and let spotlight do the work. 

Thanks. 

post #105 of 106
The biggest trouble with Microsoft Word is that it crashes a lot. It crashes for me at least 2 or 3 times a week. Some files it crashes routinely on and have to be opened in older versions of Word, especially when you are changing the address on an envelope and enabling the bar code and some files that use pdf files as images in the document. This is a primary reason why I have still not migrated to Lion as I can't yet give up Word version X which is fully stable and never crashes and is my back up version whenever Word 2011 crashes.
post #106 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by scowls View Post

The biggest trouble with Microsoft Word is that it crashes a lot. It crashes for me at least 2 or 3 times a week. Some files it crashes routinely on and have to be opened in older versions of Word, especially when you are changing the address on an envelope and enabling the bar code and some files that use pdf files as images in the document. This is a primary reason why I have still not migrated to Lion as I can't yet give up Word version X which is fully stable and never crashes and is my back up version whenever Word 2011 crashes.

Perhaps you should upgrade to (Mountain) Lion as my Word 14.2.5 doesn't crash. Ever. Their patches do seem to fix things, actually.
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