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Mac Office 2008 SP1 optimizes suite, VBA coming back

updated 03:05 am EDT, Tue May 13, 2008

Office 2008 SP1 unveiled

The Microsoft Mac Business Unit on Tuesday announced the release of Microsoft Office 2008 Service Pack 1, a major update that provides increased stability, security, and performance enhancements, as well as an update for the former 2004 version. The update culminates several months worth of feedback from the Microsoft Error Reporting Protocol tool into optimization and improvements. Microsoft is posting the download on its website, but says it is also available through Microsoft Auto Update.

Excel's compatibility with files exchanged between 2008 for Mac, 2003, and 2007 for Windows has been enhanced, and error bars can be formatted through the Error Bars panel. Printing from Excel 2008 workbooks is also more reliable.

Microsoft Entourage's calendar was also improved, with increased reliability for reoccurring reminders on all-day events, and calendar views. Exchange synchronization support is enhanced, allowing users to remove attachments from Exchange Server messages. Synchronicity and editing message contents via AppleScript have all been optimized.

Printing from Word 2008 now features improved accuracy when orienting tables with cell shading, while the document map offers increased reliability and responsiveness. Notebook layout mode provides users with updated formatting, recording status, and several display options.

Lastly, PowerPoint's printing engine was also refined, resolving crashing issues when used with high-DPI printers, while also improving print speeds by up to 10 times on larger presentations. Windows Mobile compatibility with Mac .PPTX files was added, as well as the ability to use the PowerPoint selection object in AppleScript for implementing custom scripts.

In addition to Service Pack 1, Microsoft is offering users a glimpse of its product roadmap for Office 2008 and beyond. Microsoft will bring Visual Basic for Applications back to the Mac platform in a future revision of Office, in addition to the current Automator and AppleScript support initiatives. The move comes from Microsoft in recognition that users require cross-platform macro compatibility, since Windows users can not use the previously mentioned scripting methods.

Update The SP1 update will be available by noon PST.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does it finally fix Office 2008's problem with Spaces?

  1. pdy3

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just downloaded it and it claims that I don't have Office 2008 on my hard disk ... but I do!! As a result it won;t upgrade. Typical MS waste of time again.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huh x 2

    The download does not exist - and Autoupdate doesn't find it either

  1. phil_w73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huh x 3

    I'm confused too - Macuser keeps talking about the 12.01 update from March...

  1. Nai no Kami

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huh x 4

    I also made a significant sacrifice by browsing Microsoft's site and couldn't find anything.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    welcome to

    MS Vaporware! :)

  1. frdmfghtr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Check this afternoon...

    macNN may have posted the story early. According to TUAW, it should be available after noon PDT:

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Can everyone please just switch to the free NeoOffice so we don't have to hear about MS proprietary gravy train any more...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: neooffice

    I would use neooffice, except I don't have the patience to wait for it to open. And people thought Word 6 was slow....

    However, I don't use officeMac either, so I have nothing to compare it to.

  1. moteltan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    inroads to enterprise

    Until officeMac is made compatible with the billions of man-hours worth of VBA code out there, I will not be able to totally switch. Oh, I'm still an owner of officeMac now, but just so I can write letters on word while supporting further development of the suite, but I can't work professionally w/o VBA. Kudos to MS for continuing to develop for the OS X platform. Apple will make inroads to Enterprise and, if MS is smart about, Office will still be the suite of choice when that time comes.

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