Office For Mac 2011: First Impressions

A week or two ago, I waxed poetic about Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, which is set for release on October 26th. After a few quick e-mails, I was in contact with one of the MS press team, and just today I received a free press copy of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. It’s going to take me some time to really dig into the program, but I wanted to put out my first impressions, just to get it out there.

I haven’t used Office for Windows in years, so I had no idea what was different between the two systems. My wife is however, so she came by and took a look at the programs in action. Turns out that they look and react in a similar way to their Office 2010 counterparts.

This is, in my opinion, a good thing. Office was my first purchase when I came onboard from PC land, as a sort of security blanket into the world of OSX. Office 2004 was great, but I hated Office 2008, even though I had to use it because of interoperability between my docs and Windows PCs. But now with 2011, my initial impression is pretty good. The apps look fantastic, albeit with lots of shiny buttons to choose from. Fortunately, each program can be customized almost infinitely, meaning you can remove the ribbon, navigation bar, or  task bar whenever you wish. The built-in templates seem neat so far, but for me, the biggie here is Outlook. Not only does it function well, but it looks amazing.

These are just my first thoughts, and I’ll have full reviews on the suite as I spend more time with them in my workflow. But for now, these are not only very functional, but look like a big step forward for Microsoft and the Mac Office suite.

Comments

  1. Can Word/Excel handle macros/VBA ?

  2. I’m looking forward to your review. I haven’t purchased Office for Mac (the 2004 and 2008 versions weren’t that appealing to me), but if 2011 is OK I’ll probably pick it up. If you get a chance, I’m especially interested in Excel.

  3. Is there really enough meat to change from NeoOffice? At first blush, it appears that much is window dressing.

  4. I look forward to the day that only those in the margins of computerdom use Word. It just plain sucks!

  5. @Iters: Yep, VBA is back (and functioning properly, AFAIK)

  6. Yes, Excel 2011 can handle VBA again – full support at last :-)

    There are major changes and improvements throughout the suit, it really is a singificant update for once. Excel has some fantastic tools for sorting and analysing data (great visual formatting)

    Word is much improved, each to their iown of course, but the editing view where it clears away all of the clutter and distractions of the desktop is great – really lets you focus on your work.

    And last but not least Outlook back on the Mac – much better compatability with Outlook on PC, pst import, Time Machine support and great Exchange sync for those in an business.

  7. Marc Anthony says:

    With so many people relying on iPhone devices, calendar integration with Outlook:mac 2011 is now even more vital than ever. Working in healthcare, I have noticed a quickly increasing trend of healthcare providers who have migrated from other handheld devices to Apple iPad and iPhone devices. Where Entourage has seamless contacts and calendar synchronization with iPhone and Macintosh desktop applications via iTunes, Outlook:mac 2011 seems to miss the mark by not offering calendar synchronization. I hope that Microsoft is not shooting itself in the foot by disenfranchising the Apple iPhone community.

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