Microsoft announced a preview version of Office 2016 for Mac on Thursday. The release is the first major update to Office for Mac suite since Office for Mac 2011. The new suite is available for download by all Mac users running OS X Yosemite, and will be free to use during the preview period.
Office 2016 for Mac shares an unmistakably Office experience–but it is also thoughtfully designed to take advantage of the unique features of the Mac. The new apps offer full retina display support with thousands of retina-optimized graphics, full screen view for native immersive experiences, and even little Mac affordances like scroll bounce.
Office 2016 is Microsoft’s next step in its plan to make Office products available on any device, anywhere, anytime. The suite works with Office 365, and OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service.
Office 2016’s new versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are redesigned with Retina-optimized interfaces, and new features with a heavy emphasis on collaboration and cloud integration.
While an Office 365 account is not required to use the preview edition of Office 2016 for Mac, Microsoft says users will get the best experience with the suite of apps if they are signed into Office 365, as it will allow them to access all of their documents on all of their devices.
Current users of Microsoft Office 2011 will be glad to know they can use the Office 2016 for Mac preview version alongside the 2011 version.
Microsoft Word features new editing, reviewing and sharing tools, and a design tab that allows you to manage layout, colors and fonts across your document. The navigation pane helps you refine the document structure and efficiently navigate the document.
Microsoft Excel offers charts, graphs, keyboard shortcuts and data entry enhancements, along with support for Excel 2013 for Windows functions that allows you to easily share files across platforms. The new Analysis ToolPak offers a wide range of statistical functions, including moving averages and exponential smoothing, and PivotTable Slicers.
Microsoft PowerPoint brings a new Presenter View to the table, displaying the current slide, the next slide, notes and a timer on your Mac, while showing only the presentation to your audience on a big screen. A new animation pane, and new slide transitions are also included.
The recently released Outlook for Mac is also included, and its improved conversation view automatically organizes your inbox around threaded conversations. Outlook’s new message preview gives you the first sentence of an email just below the subject line so you can quickly decide if and when you want to read the entire email.
Microsoft OneNote allows users to capture, organize and share ideas via digital notebooks that can be accessed on any device. Tags like “To Do,” “Important,” or “Question” can be used to to add structure to notes. A search engine tracks your tags, indexes typed notes and even uses OCR to recognize text in images and handwritten notes.
For more information about the preview release of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac, visit the Microsoft Office blog, or you can download the preview version of the suite from the Office 2016 for Mac preview website.