Microsoft teases major Office for Mac updates, public version coming soon

Posted:
in Mac Software
Microsoft on Monday issued a number of so-called "Insider Fast" builds of Office 2016 for Mac to Office Insider beta testers, teasing a slate of upcoming features that should roll out to consumers in the coming weeks.




Detailed in a combined release notes webpage for current Office for Mac apps, the latest Insider Fast builds are considered previews of the "next major version" of Microsoft's app suite.

The latest releases incorporate a number of highly requested features, new additions and bug fixes for Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. As expected, most upgrades impact users with Office 365 subscriptions, Microsoft's cloud-based productivity solution.

Starting with Word, Office 365 subscribers will benefit from a new AutoSave feature when working with OneDrive and SharePoint files, which automatically saves documents as users work. The function is similar to other auto-save products like Google Docs, and can be deactivated in program settings.

Also new for Word is real-time collaboration and sharing. Office 365 subscribers can co-author OneDrive and SharePoint files with other users, while new options streamline the process of sharing OneDrive for Business and SharePoint files with colleagues.

Finally, Microsoft is adding a series of new chart types for embedding in Word documents, including Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst. The company touts the charts as designed to enable quick visualization of common financial, statistical and hierarchical data.

Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet tool benefits from collaborative features similar to those built into Word, meaning users can simultaneously edit workbooks stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. The app also gets access to the same new chart types mentioned above.

Specific to Excel are new IFS and SWITCH functions, which simplify and shorten spreadsheet formulas. The Insider Fast build includes better support for charts with PivotTable data sources, as well as Table Slicers for quick filtering.

Microsoft is bringing its Mac iteration in line with Widows with updated Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), though not all object models are supported at this time.

PowerPoint comes with a raft of upgrades, including real-time collaboration, document change and revision tracking, auto-save and more.

QuickStarter, which leverages the Bing Knowledge graph to build a presentation outline on specified subject mater, is now available for Mac, as is Trim Media, which allows users to cut unwanted content from the beginning and end of inserted audio and video clips. PowerPoint Designer on Mac adds additional triggers and layouts to match the full functionality of its Windows counterpart.

Moving on to Outlook, the email management tool receives a modest update with emoji support when composing messages.

Microsoft's OneNote, did not receive a new Insider Fast build on Monday, suggesting only minor changes are in store for the digital note taking tool.

When Microsoft plans to roll out the major Office 2016 for Mac update is unclear, though a rapid Insider Fast build release schedule suggests public availability is imminent.
Sean__WongSean__Wong
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Microsoft is bringing its Mac iteration in line with Widows with updated Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), though not all object models are supported at this time.
    Aww, a lot of husbands died I see.
    jdwAvieshekalanhdysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,863member
    Lost me when I saw Sharepoint. Started gagging. Glad I don’t have to use Office products anymore. 
    MacPromagman1979rotateleftbytewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 34
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 186member
    Can Excel for Mac export XML using my own schemas? 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 4 of 34
    The Insider slow builds got an update to the Updater app/agent  today...  which usually means a significant change to the structure of the apps and/or update process. 
  • Reply 5 of 34
    If only Apple was serious with their own iWork suite like Microsoft than Office wouldn't be required at first place.
    decoderingGG1macxpresscyberzombiedysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 34
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 162member
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    jdwjdw Posts: 591member
    Preposterous!  To successfully "tease" would-be buyers with a fancy new product, you truly new fancy new compelling features which, after reading this article, we clearly see that Office 2019 Mac does NOT have!  Seriously, WHAT is compelling about it?  What?  What in the article is better than what we have now in Office 2016 Mac?  What?

    The article pretty much talks about "cloud" and "collaboration" -- both of which really only benefit business users, which I doubt comprises the majority of us (AppleInsider readers who comment in forums like this).  I therefore don't see anything compelling in it at all.
    rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    Not really, but in any case, Office 2016 for Mac (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) are a must to be compatible with the rest (95%) of the world (read, Windows). The world use Windows, not Mac. In other words, if Office for Mac was not available, we would be forced to switch to Windows. A shame, but true.
    decodering
  • Reply 9 of 34
    The Insider Fast build includes better support for charts with PivotTable data sources, as well as Table Slicers for quick filtering.

    If Excel finaly supports Pivot charts, Power Pivots (inc slicers) and Power Query this will be some genuine progress towards collaboartion & sharing.  How can I share a spreadsheet that doesnt even work with half of my team???   Extra features based on one-drive etc are of limted utility in my working environment. 

    It is a pity to note the feedback from Excel users doesnt exactly put one-drive & sharing stuff high on the agenda, but MS seems to prioritise this area of development, whilst consistently leaving Mac Excel several technical steps behind the Win version.


    Appex wrote:
    "if Office for Mac was not available, we would be forced to switch to Windows. A shame, but true."
    ......Indeed
    sandor
  • Reply 10 of 34
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    I enjoy using Word... ever since V 1.0 which shipped on a Mac floppy disk.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,591member
    appex said:
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    Not really, but in any case, Office 2016 for Mac (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) are a must to be compatible with the rest (95%) of the world (read, Windows). The world use Windows, not Mac. In other words, if Office for Mac was not available, we would be forced to switch to Windows. A shame, but true.
    Mmmm. Dunno. Possibly. Depends on your usage I think. 

    I have a new customer who sends everything in word format. I thought about getting a subscription for Office, but it seemed a bit steep since I don’t use it that much myself. So I gave Libre Office a go for a couple of weeks, and sent them a donation for their hard work the other day. It renders the customers documents perfectly, and we can still do all the collaboration stuff without any problem. 

    I dont mind mind paying for subscriptions, but there has to some value in it, other than the vendor not being able to think of any other way to keep the cash cow alive. 
  • Reply 12 of 34
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,569member
    Still waiting on multi processor support in Excel. Windows Excel has had this since 2007 and the Mac Office team just acknowledged, maybe a month ago, they were starting work to implement it. No timeline. 
  • Reply 13 of 34
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    I enjoy using Word... ever since V 1.0 which shipped on a Mac floppy disk.
    Likewise. Perfect is the enemy of excellent. Without Microsoft's involvement from nearly the beginning, there would be no Apple and no Mac. Microsoft and Apple have always been symbiotic and the best of frenemies.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,522member
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    I enjoy using Word... ever since V 1.0 which shipped on a Mac floppy disk.
    Likewise. Perfect is the enemy of excellent. Without Microsoft's involvement from nearly the beginning, there would be no Apple and no Mac. Microsoft and Apple have always been symbiotic and the best of frenemies.
    Microsoft began their own marginalisation when they withheld the (allegedly long-done) Office from iOS in order to not legitimise the platform and save that bonus for their own Surface line. 

    Unfortunately, they waited long enough to prove that a mainstream computing platform could be successful without Microsoft support. 

    They’re here now, but the damage has been done. And Surface RT died anyway. 
    edited October 2017 rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 34
    jumejume Posts: 145member
    bitmod said:
    Word - the worst program that ever was and ever shall be. 
    Wee I sure know one thats worst - Pages
  • Reply 16 of 34
    technotechno Posts: 661member
    Thank God I don't use that crap anymore. However, I can look forward to another round of bloated, memory leaking, crashing problems for my clients.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 34
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 457member
    I still have Office 11 for Mac, but it looks like it's being sunsetted by Microsoft. Too bad - I've used the newer versions and the UI is about the worst I've ever used. It's so bad I'd swear it was designed by Microsoft. I use Pages for most of my light wordprocessing use. I may check out open office again since most people at work use Word and the Pages compatibility isn't the best IME.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 18 of 34
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,994member
    Avieshek said:
    If only Apple was serious with their own iWork suite like Microsoft than Office wouldn't be required at first place.
    Why aren't they serious? What is it that iWork lacks that most people need? I don't get it. The suite runs ONLY on Apple devices, so no matter how good they make it will never reach anywhere near Office for adoption. Office on Mac is often required for 100% compatibility with other office files received and sent. Thats it. If it wasn't for that, 99% of people could get by with iWork.
    rob53
  • Reply 19 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,863member
    slurpy said:
    Avieshek said:
    If only Apple was serious with their own iWork suite like Microsoft than Office wouldn't be required at first place.
    Why aren't they serious? What is it that iWork lacks that most people need? I don't get it. The suite runs ONLY on Apple devices, so no matter how good they make it will never reach anywhere near Office for adoption. Office on Mac is often required for 100% compatibility with other office files received and sent. Thats it. If it wasn't for that, 99% of people could get by with iWork.
    I just realized I hadn't launched Word 2011 in a very long time (still leftover from work). I open Word documents in Pages because the majority of people who send me Word files don't do anything the Pages translator can't handle. Same with Excel. Of course there are people who try and use Word and Excel as if they were try pagination and database software but that's what they were forced to learn on, which is why they continue to use them. I never use Powerpoint, one of the crappiest pieces of software ever designed. The thing is, for more people who aren't forced to use Office products, we just don't write formal documents that way anymore. Times have changed and the way people use software has changed. The iWork suite is more than enough for (as you say and I agree) 99% of Mac users. As for Windows users, sorry that you continue to use software you don't really have to use.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 34
    65026502 Posts: 67member
    I'm a heavy Windows Excel user at work and I find it unusable on the Mac. Keyboard shortcuts are all different, cursor doesn't change as it is supposed to and it's laggy.
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