Handy nuggets you may not know and will always use
Apple's Numbers spreadsheet is not Microsoft Excel. To be frank, it's not as good as Excel but that's not why we say it: Numbers is a first-class application, but people tend to think of it as an Excel clone -- and that misses the point a little. Instead, Numbers is a different approach to solving the same problems and giving the same tools as Excel. You'll get more from it if you don't think of how Excel would do something. You'll also get more from it by using the many little touches that Numbers has but, in typical Apple fashion, are not forced down your throat.
Hugely-recommended overhaul, but few new features
It's no longer enough for Microsoft to add the odd new feature and scrub up the appearance of an app: the world has moved on, not least in that we now call them all "apps" instead of "applications." With Office 2016 now available to Office 365 users (if their companies have enabled it, or if they sign up themselves), our attention did go first to the new version of Microsoft Word. Office for Mac really contains four major applications (and OneNote, which we'll call a minor one) though, and while we personally might lump PowerPoint and Outlook together into the guest-cast category, Microsoft Excel 2016 15.11.2 is definitely a star of the show.
Basic editing now open to users without Office 365 subscriptions
Microsoft has updated its previously iPad-only iOS Office apps with iPhone support. Although the iPhone interfaces are said to have full feature parity with the iPad, Microsoft has made various changes to accommodate a smaller screen. Chief among these is the "vertical ribbon," designed to keep editing tools within thumb reach at the bottom of the screen. In addition, Microsoft has decided to drop the Office365 subscription requirement previously needed to do anything more with the suite than read Office documents.
Includes Home, Personal tiers
Microsoft has today updated the Office iPad apps -- including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- with in-app purchases of monthly Office 365 subscriptions. These are divided into Personal and Home tiers. The first costs $7 per month, and is limited to one iPad and one PC/Mac. It does, however, come with 1TB of cloud storage, and 60 minutes of Skype calling to cellphones and landlines.
Excel, PowerPoint get custom improvements
Microsoft has updated its trio of Office apps for the iPad -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- adding a number of significant features. Perhaps the biggest addition is support for PDF export, but new third-party fonts have also been added, as have new Picture tools that let people crop an image or reset it to an unaltered state. Other changes are specific to Excel and PowerPoint.
Android version of Office apps allegedly scheduled for release later this year
Microsoft is building a full suite of Office apps for Android, a report claims. Following the official port to the iPad it launched in March, Microsoft is said to be privately testing separate apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the mobile operating system, with the company apparently seeking businesses and individuals to provide feedback on pre-release versions.
Stats doubled in one month, says Microsoft
Downloads of Office for iPad have exceeded 27 million, according to the general manager for Microsoft's Office division, Julia White. White made the comment today during a keynote at Microsoft's TechEd conference in Houston. The figure is more than twice the 12 million Microsoft quoted on April 3rd, just a week after the suite reached the App Store.
Excel gets improved AutoFit, PowerPoint gets SmartGuides
Microsoft has released its first update for Office for iPad, introducing AirPrint support to all three apps. Word lets users print files with or without markup. Excel gives options to print a whole workbook, a single sheet, or a selected range, and all three apps let users print specific pages or slides.
Excel Online adds comments, OneNote gains printing options
Microsoft has made a number of updates to its Office Online web apps, just over a month after its rebranding and relaunch. Changes to the online versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote apply to all users of the online productivity suite, with Chrome users also benefiting from the addition of the Office Online apps to the Chrome Web Store.
Technical limitations partly blamed for suite's delay
The recently-launched Office for iPad will get printing support "in due course," according to a Reddit AMA conducted by members of the software's engineering team. The team says it is also considering mathematical notation in OneNote, and working on implementation of comments and add/change conditional formatting in Excel. Something the suite won't support, though, is third-party Office apps, despite the fact that Microsoft allows desktop developers to hook into Office 365. Microsoft blames the situation on Apple's App Store policies, which block apps from installing code other than their own.
Word only Office app in Grossing category's top 10
Just a day after their release, the Office for iPad apps are already in high positions in the Top Free and Top Grossing charts at the App Store. The top three Free apps are currently Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, in that order; a related Microsoft app, OneNote, is in fourth. Word is #5 on the Top Grossing chart, while Excel is 12th, and PowerPoint is 29th.
Microsoft brings industry-standard document editing to iOS
Although a lot of apps have tried to fill the gap with degrees of success, there's always been an undercurrent of demand for a full-scale iPad version of Office. Even if you can escape using Office personally, it's the workplace standard -- it just makes sense to have the suite on the world's most popular tablet. Now Office for iPad is here, and it's time to share some first impressions.
Adds features to Outlook
Microsoft has released a new patch for Office for Mac, v14.3.7. The code is primarily a maintenance release, cleaning up bugs in the software. It does however add a collection of improvements to Outlook, such as pane navigation, item sort order in the View menu, and the ability to insert images via the Format menu.
Serves as companion for Office 365 subscribers
Microsoft has released Office Mobile, a companion iPhone app for Office 365 subscribers. The app lets users access and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents hosted on SkyDrive or SharePoint, or else attached to email messages. Documents can also be created wholesale and/or commented on, but only in the case of Word and Excel.
Productivity suite update gets a "Metro" look
Earlier this week at Microsoft TechEd 2012, a Microsoft on-screen demonstration let slip a few screens from the forthcoming version of Office 2013 meant for Windows RT devices. The screens, picked up by Within Windows, show the company's newest version of its Excel spreadsheet program, which appears to have undergone a user interface makeover bringing it more in line with the "Metro" UI that forms the basis of Windows 8.
Office 15 to support web extensions dubbed Agaves
The Office 15 program suite coming alongside Windows 8 will support web extensions dubbed Agaves from third-party developers, The Verge found. Developers will have the ability to make a section in an Office app to let websites interact with documents in order to bring extra features. Users will get the Agaves from Microsoft's Office Marketplace as well as the developer sites themselves.
Features taken from technical preview
Microsoft's upcoming Office 15 release has been exposed in yet another leak, shedding light on several of the new features. Sources with access to the company's technical preview have reported to The Verge details surrounding new touch-based interface navigation methods, a reading mode in Word, new chart analysis methods in Excel, and weather notifications in Outlook, among other features.
OnLive launches Android-compatible Desktop app
Users of Android tablets can now install the OnLive Desktop app (free, Android Market) to access Windows apps. The new version mirrors the iPad edition with cloud access to a virtual machine with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Adobe Reader for non-web PDFs. There is also 2GB of cloud storage included to save the resulting work.
Tools require Internet access to function
A new app, CloudOn, is offering use of Microsoft Office on the iPad without having to connect to a remote desktop PC. This includes access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint via a Windows-style interface, and support for many major tasks and features. Among these are things like commenting, spellchecking, and running PowerPoint presentations.
2011 patch solves problems with earlier updates
Microsoft has released two new Office for Mac updates. The first, Office for Mac 2011 14.1.4, deals with security vulnerabilities, as well as as some "extremely important" stability and reliability issues. It should in fact allow some copies of Office to finally update properly, since earlier patches would potentially fail if they were installed simultaneously, through SSH, or to a system where the home directory contains a space.
2011 update disables Mail import under Lion
Microsoft has released new updates for the 2011 and 2008 editions of Office for Mac. The 2011 update, v14.1.3, solves a bevy of problems, including documents not opening in some browsers. The bulk of fixes appear to be directed at Outlook, targeting issues such as contact images not displaying in the Contacts Search box. The email client has had import from Mail disabled under Lion, however, since the option "does not work as expected" under Apple's new OS, according to Microsoft.
New apps cope with Word, Excel vulnerabilities
Several days after the release of iWork 9.1, Apple has at last published a list of security fixes in its productivity suite. Only three have been made, all revolving around files from Microsoft Office. Two of the closed vulnerabilities are attached to Excel files; prior to the v9.1 update, it was possible to code Excel files to trigger certain buffer overflows or memory corruptions in Numbers, in turn creating crashes or allowing system hijacks.
Adds support for SkyDrive cloud storage
Microsoft has released a new version of Office 2008 for Mac, 12.2.9. The patch is mostly a maintenance update, fixing security vulnerabilities in Excel, PowerPoint and the suite as whole. It likewise copes with issues that can potentially trigger program crashes.
Implements Outlook sync features
As promised last week, Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for Office for Mac 2011. Changes to the suite primarily revolve around Outlook, which can now communicate with Sync Services in Mac OS X and exchange calendars, notes and tasks with other apps. Resend and Redirect buttons have also been added, and the updated software can make use of Exchange-based server-side rules.
MobileMe calendar sync halting on May 5th
The first Service Pack for Office for Mac 2011 will go live next week, Microsoft has announced. The company is promising a collection of stability, security and performance updates, as well as "some new features." Chief among these is calendar, task and note sync between Outlook and Mac OS X's Sync Services, which will for instance allow Outlook appointments to be copied to an iPhone or iPad.
Pages among 11 other formats
Google on Friday gave Google Docs its first real file format update with 12 new standards. The release supports an Apple-specific format for the first time and will let users read Pages documents in-browser. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop images also now work, and modelling gets its first support through recognition of Autodesk's AutoCAD.
Includes trial of Outlook
Microsoft has rolled out a new trial version of Office for Mac 2011. The release contains all of the apps in the Home and Business edition of the suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the first Mac version of Outlook. Although the trial expires after 30 days, a valid product key unlocks the full program.
Copes with freezes, crashes
Microsoft has posted its first-ever update for Office 2011 for Mac, v14.0.1. The patch is 110.5MB, and deals mainly with stability problems that could lead to programs freezing, or simply quitting entirely. Only Outlook has not received any stability tweaks.
Outlook shows streamlined interface
Some early screenshots of Microsoft's Office 2011 for Mac have been leaked, a report claims. Not the least because the updated software is only due late this year, the shots are said to represent early code, still in transition to a final Cocoa-based form. Of special note may be Outlook, which is replacing Entourage and employs a streamlined design paired with the ribbon interface first introduced for Office on Windows. Several of the screenshots can be seen below.
Software now supports Snow Leopard
Recosoft has updated its Mac-based PDF conversion tool for Microsoft Office, PDF2Office Professional. The software converts PDF documents into formats such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint and HTML. It automatically recreates the original layout of a document, detecting styles, forming paragraphs and regrouping graphics. It can also extract images, and supports tables, headers and footers, column formatting and endnotes and footnotes.
Also makes tweaks to specific features
Microsoft has posted a fresh update for Office 2008 for Mac, v12.2.3. The patch primarily addresses stability problems, such as one affecting the entire suite which could result in application crashes after a program was opened. Several unique crash scenarios have been fixed in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Document Connection. Security has also been upgraded, closing a hole which could be used to overwrite memory with malicious code.
Improves computation speeds
KnowledgeMiner has released v2.0 of KnowledgeMiner (yX) for Excel, a data mining tool. The software scrutinizes Excel spreadsheets for patterns, highlighting trends in a more explicit fashion. It can also use data to generate predictions based on algorithms. Among the new features in v2.0 is support for 64-bit processing, which accelerates computations by scaling to the number of cores present on a Mac.
App now enables editing of DOC and XLS files
DataViz has launched the latest version of its Documents To Go app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Following through with the company's earlier promises, v2.0 adds full support for creating and editing Excel documents. The previous release limited users to just viewing the spreadsheet content.
Named range support, WiFi password protection
Mariner has released v2.0 of its spreadsheet editing application for the iPhone, Mariner Calc. The app is used to view and edit Microsoft Excel documents, with the ability to manage multiple sheets and wirelessly transmit files. The latest version features named range support, a find and replace tool, and utilizes a password protected WiFi web based file server. Version 2.0 also boasts customizable settings for e-mail options and user information.
exceLogger, miniME ship
Intelligent Assistance has released two new software projects, exceLogger and miniME, the latter of which is used to read QuickTime metadata, imported from non-tape sources, into Final Cut Pro. The application also provides tools to view hidden metadata in XML files or export Excel spreadsheets. Metadata can be remapped to visible fields in Final Cut Pro, while multiple sources can be merged into one field.
MS Office Web and 2010
Microsoft today used its Windows Partners Conference to expand the details of Office 2010, including its web version. Initially considered separate, Microsoft now says Office Web is a counterpart to 2010 but will make it freely available to anyone with a Windows Live account. It will also be free to use on the local network for companies that buy volume licenses of Office 2010, though companies that just want the web app component will also have the option of a subscription.
MS Office Web Apps Monday
Microsoft's Monday event should mark a more formal debut for the company's Office Web suite, tipsters said on Thursday. Although announced nine months ago, the suite is now said by Neowin to be getting a demonstration. It's not known if Microsoft will commit to a public release at the gathering.
iPhone spreadsheet app
Mariner Software has released Mariner Calc, a spreadsheet application for the iPhone and iPod touch that enables users to view and edit Microsoft Excel files. The program provides a number of functions, with categories including math, finance, trigonometry, statistic, and lookup. The document dates, content or plus-logic information can also be edited, with support for splitting panes, freezing, border creation, font and color customization, or alignment. Users can view documents in either portrait or landscape mode.
AnalystSoft has updated StatPlus:mac, improving ease-of-use and adding new graphics and calculations. The package has the same features as the Microsoft Analysis Toolpak offered in Excel 2004, but StatPlus:mac works with both Excel 2004 and 2008. The new release adds more data analysis types and a number of brand-new graphs, statistical charts and control charts like CUSUM and XBar chart, that are not available in Microsoft Excel.
First Look Numbers 09
As the last new application for iWork, Numbers introduced superior features, but lacked calculating firepower when put head-to-head with Microsoft's Excel. Numbers '09 attempts to remedy this problem, while building on the unique paradigm of a canvas where you place objects like tables, charts and shapes to create a visually-pleasing spreadsheet.
EasyCatalog InDesign CS4
65bit Software has released a new version of its EasyCatalog tool for Adobe InDesign, now adapted to support InDesign CS4. The app is used to import data from databases into InDesign layouts, saving effort on manual input. Data can come from a variety of sources, including XML files or ODBC databases, as well as CSV or tab-delimited files produced by Microsoft Excel.
Excel 2008 gets Solver
Solver for Excel 2008 has arrived ahead of its mid-September prediction, via Frontline systems, according to the Mac Business Unit blog, Mac Mojo. Solver for Excel 2008 brings linear programming to Excel 2008, allowing Solver users to finally move from the Excel 2004 versions they had to run to utilize the add-in's abilities. Solver allows businesses and schools to execute programs in Excel, determining capacities, minimums/maximums and scheduling loads.
Mariner Calc for iPhone
Mariner Software on Friday confirmed plans that it is working on an Excel document editor for the iPhone, an application it calls Mariner Calc for iPhone. While the finalized version is far from completion, developer Michael Wray writes on the Mariner blog that it already supports viewing and editing documents that can range up to 1 million rows by 32,000 columns. A CocoaTouch native app, it also includes support for multiple sheets, as well as charts and objects.
Statistical analysis Excel
AnalystSoft today unveiled StatPlus:mac, a front-end for Microsoft Excel that turns the application into a statistical analysis tool. The application reportedly offers users a user-friendly interface with a non-interactive set of calculations, which provides repeatable results. StatPlus:mac is capable of computing normality tests, Pagurova Criterion, correlation coefficients, GLM ANOVA, and non-parametric statistical analysis and is available for $200 per license.