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Office 2008 for Mac features previewed

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue September 18, 2007

Office 2008 for Mac peek

A new page has been posted to the Microsoft Mac Business Unit's site demonstrating many of the new features in Office 2008 for the Mac, which is due to be delivered sometime in the first half of 2008. The site previews Elements Gallery, a user interface that gives users quick access to tools and formatting options within applications. There's also Document Elements which automates document tasks, such as adding a table of contents, bibliographies and headers and footers.

Publishing Layout View is a new workspace in Word that allows users to create graphics-rich document layouts. OfficeArt is a graphics engine provides users the ability to apply graphic effects like 3D, reflections and shadows, coupled with SmartArt Graphics, a set of professional-quality images to transform bulleted lists into charts, diagrams, graphs and tables.

There are also new chart templates to create modern charts and modify their look. Finally, My Day is a standalone application that provides an at-a-glance view of daily schedule and tasks.

In August, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit announced that the next Mac version of its industry-standard Microsoft Office suite will be delayed. Saying the decision was purely "quality driven." The company told MacNN that the release of the highly anticipated Office 2008 for Mac suite has been pushed back from its originally projected late 2007 release date to early 2008 -- "hopefully" in time for the annual Macworld Expo Conference, which takes place in early January. As recently as June, the Mac BU said that Office 2008 was "on track" for release in the second half of 2007. In a briefing with the Mac BU's new General Manager (GM), MacNN learned that mitigating factors for an on-time release included issues related to the new Open Office XML file format and problems with transitioning the Office code-base to an Intel-optimized Universal Binary.

Office 2008 was first announced at the Macworld Expo in January.

by MacNN Staff



  1. johnhummel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not bad, but...

    I still don't see any indication that Entourage will *truly* support Exchange servers (instead of having to do either an IMAP or web link) - and I still don't get what's up with the removal of script support from the Mac version (which will make porting excel spreadsheets between operating systems a pain in the butt).

    If they're going to delay it for "quality issues", I'm hoping those are the two things they decide to make work correctly.

  1. designr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Entourage continues to be

    Entourage continues to be a disgrace!

    Where is the complete Exchange support? Where is the calendar that doesn't self-destruct in an enterprise environment? Where are archives which are usable? Where is .PST support? Where is password support?

    All promised years ago and never delivered!

  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Universal Binary

    Hurry up with that Universal Binary. Using Office 2004 on my MBP means running Rosetta while on battery, chopping my battery life in 1/2!

  1. nitant

    Joined: Dec 1969


    OLD UI

    I hate you b*******. WHY OH WHY?? Why cant Office 08 have a decent UI.

    I hate the Office 2004 Formatting Palette so much, and seeing the earlier screenshots of Office 08 I was very glad. I was hoping that Office 2004 Formatting Palette was just a one off design error.

    But now you guys bring it back. Why?? It is a waste of desktop space, coz you cant resize the Word Window Fully. It just stays there. If supposing you do resize the Word Window fully, the Formatting Palette disappears beneath.

    Then you goto View and Formatting Palette. Also it is even more inconvenient to Open each drawer and find the option you want. It takes atleast 20 Clicks and squinting to try to figure where the option I want is. Eg: Background Color.

    In Office 2007, there are 6-7Tabs and big Icons. I can actually use Office so much faster.

    SO Please give an option to choose from a Office 2007 style Ribbon and the traditional Office Palette.

    And dont give me a Bullshit answer about Mac UI and what users expect. I respect their POV's and just want you to give an option for both interfaces.

    PS: I currently have Office 2003 Installed in Crossover and use that instead of 2004. Dont even get me started on Pages. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    With no TRUE cross platform Visual Basic support, it is now a dead product for us. Loosing that has brought us the freedom to choose an entirely different route. Too bad...

    btw, I use TextEdit and iWork 08 now and am very happy.

  1. UnCal

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...get that text anti-aliased before I die of Aqua withdrawal symptoms.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And, they never will get


    Does anyone else wish Adobe would make a word processing program?


  1. Tanker10a

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big Deal

    What the heck is all this? iWork puts this to shame. What's the BIG Deal? I'll keep using my iWork and Excel 2007.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    @ that ppt slide

  1. dawho9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looking OK...

    I hate to admit it but I love Office 07 on the PC. It has its quirks but damn it works well. I do understand some of the challenges that the MacBU would face with the ribbon design.

    First off, in PC land there is no menu across the top of the page. So if you did ribbons, what do you do with the menus? I guess you could duplicate everything into the menu as well but that would be a little strange. If you go to their demo site and see it in action it seems like they tried to combine the ribbon into the window at the bottom below the traditional command bar. Look at the smart-art for a good example of that.

    That said, I agree, the formatting pallet drives me crazy at times. I come from work on 07 and than at home I sit and fiddle around trying to find some of the simplest commands. h***, I just hope we get some of the small features from 07 like the minitoolbar, live preview and a few others. That would be nice.


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