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The MacNN Gift Guide: holiday gifts for the writer in your life

11/29, 8:00am

That can mean yourself too, you know

There are two things to know about writers: they are fabulous human beings, clearly, and they are in no way biased. The other is that there are better-paid jobs in the world, so if you have a writer in your life, you'll love them for their sheer brilliance -- and they'll love you for the human contact. Get them something that will truly help them and while you're at it, get the same for yourself.


Hands On: Apple's Notes 4.0 (OS X, iOS)

10/27, 1:50pm

So, hang on, is this competition for Evernote or Pages?

We're all for Apple disrupting industries but, honestly, we were fine here. No disruption needed, but we got it anyway. You got Pages if you wanted to write anything serious, you got Microsoft Word if you had to, and you used Apple Notes if you didn't know any better. It was ever thus -- until now. As of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9, we have Apple Notes 4.0 and it is just about world-changing. The only problem that, possibly not your world, though.


Pointers: Five tips for Apple Pages

10/26, 9:00am

Apple's word processor likes to hide its best features

Pages is the anti-Microsoft Word. Where Word has every single conceivable feature going -- and quite a lot of them work, even! -- it does rather show them to you. Despite the promise of the Ribbon making it easier to find what you want, Word users still have to hunt through buttons and icons that they'll never need to know, nor care about. In contrast, Pages does less, and looks like it does a gigantic amount less. We've had people ask us about swapping to Word because Pages doesn't do X or Y -- when it does.


Hands On: Documents - Word Processor and Reader for Microsoft Office 5

08/10, 10:26am

Don't buy it: simple as that, really

This gives us no pleasure to say, but you should not buy Documents -- Word Processor and Reader for Microsoft Office 5.4. Nobody should. What it does, it does poorly, and it is intended to be a replacement for other apps that are freely available, and maybe not infinitely better but at least geometrically better. Documents is a throwback to a time when we didn't have Microsoft Word or Excel on iPads.


Hands On: Microsoft Excel 2016 v15.11.2 (OS X)

07/29, 2:20pm

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.


Pointers: Text Expansion in Microsoft Word 2011 and 2016

07/27, 9:26am

Speed up your writing by automating Microsoft Word

Say you write 30 invoices in Word every week. The amounts and the people you're writing to will change, plus over time you may get less and less polite. Word can't help you with people you have to send reminders to (sometimes, we'd like to see the "it looks like you're writing a threatening letter" feature) but it can speed up a lot of the repetitive work. Type a couple of characters, and you can have Word write out entire letters, with gaps for names and figures wherever you want.


Hands On: Alphabear 01.01.00 (iOS)

07/21, 2:00pm

Adorable word puzzle game comes with tons of features and lots of fun

Whether you're a fan of Words with Friends, Bookworm, or Boggle, there's a lot of fun to be had playing word games. The juxtaposition of the challenge of finding words, and the relaxing low-stress gameplay, makes for a great way to pass the time and unwind after a long day. Today, we bring you Alphabear, a word puzzle that is so adorable you won't be able to stand it.


Hands On: Microsoft Word 2016 (OS X)

07/17, 11:02am

The new version of Word for OS X is very, very good -- but so what?

If you have to use Microsoft Word at work, go get this now and be delighted with it. If you don't have to, if you're looking for a great word processor, it's just a little harder to recommend Word quite so readily. It's harder, and it's also very unfair, as 30 years of using various versions of Word have left us with biases against it. Word earned those biases, it's just difficult to think about going back to relying on it, even though Microsoft Word 2016 is the best and the shiniest version ever.


Hands On: Puzzle Cards 1.2 (iOS)

07/13, 10:42am

Solve fun, albeit challenging word puzzles with this casual puzzle game

Word games are a great way to help wake your brain up first thing in the morning, which would explain the immense popularity of newspaper crossword puzzles, as well as the plethora of word games available in the App Store. There's something that is both relaxing and energizing about working through word-based puzzles. We checked out Puzzle Cards, a fun little puzzler that we found quite enjoyable.


Hands On: TinyWord 2.0.0 (OS X, iOS)

07/10, 9:48am

Lightweight word processor does what it says

Back when Microsoft Word was king, you could do well selling a different word processor if it could open and save documents in Office format. You also needed to be cheaper, and it would help if you were easier to use -- neither of which, to be fair, were hard to pull off. Lastly, if you're in an App Store, finding a way to get the name Word in your title helped people find you. TinyWord 2.0 wants to tick every one of those boxes.


Hands On: SmartDown 1.0.4 (OS X)

04/25, 8:00am

Text editor and outliner, all with Markdown

It's not as if you are stuck for applications to write in: whether you go for Microsoft Word or TextEdit, there are just about 40 different word processors for every man, woman and child on the planet. It's just that not many work in Markdown, which is a form of writing, a format, and a syntax that works well for the web. SmartDown is one of those, and it works very well.


Hands On: Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 (OS X)

03/28, 10:37am

The beloved word processor is still a contender

The very name Nisus may bring you back to the 1990s and if it doesn't, then one look at the software possibly will. That's cruel: it is nothing less than fantastic that Nisus has survived where so many other word processors have died, crushed under the force of Microsoft Word. So this version, Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 should be celebrated. It's just that there is something a tiny bit old about how it looks and feels.


Pointers: Pages 5.5.2, 2.5.2 (OS X, iOS)

03/02, 7:55am

Get more from Apple's deceptively powerful word processor

You probably own Apple's Pages, and you may even have opened it. If you did, what you think depends on what you're used to: new users just dive right in and start typing, while we've heard Word users complain that it simply isn't powerful enough for them. This is an odd one: they are actually right, but not in the ways they expect. Pages does lack some of the very heavy-lifting word processor functions that Word has, but few people use those. What Word fans think is missing from Pages is the more general day-to-day features that in fact it has, and has very well.


Microsoft updates iOS Office, adds free document editing and creation

11/06, 10:13am

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.


Office for iPad updates with support for monthly subscriptions

09/02, 1:40pm

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.


Office for iPad gets PDF export, new fonts and Picture tools

07/31, 3:32pm

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.


Microsoft reportedly starts testing Office for Android apps

07/02, 1:53pm

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.


Office for iPad downloads top 27 million

05/12, 2:46pm

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.


Microsoft updates Office for iPad with AirPrint support

04/29, 1:17pm

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.


Microsoft updates Office Online, adds apps to Chrome Web Store

04/15, 6:36am

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.


Office for iPad to get printing, serve as basis for Office for Mac

04/08, 2:44pm

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.


Office for iPad apps grab top spots in App Store charts

03/28, 3:12pm

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.


Hands-on: Microsoft Office for iPad

03/27, 5:18pm

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.


Office for Mac 2011 14.3.7 makes bugfixes, minor upgrades

09/11, 10:57am

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.


Briefly: iBattz launches new battery case, SecureWords app released

08/23, 2:12pm

Mojo Refuel made for iPhone 5

iBattz has announced the immediate availability of its latest removable battery case, the Mojo Refuel. The case provides additional battery life to the user's phone with its two interchangeable 2200mAh batteries. The case is intended for reducing one's need to recharge, and can provide enough power to last through a long work day or a power outage. Currently available in matte black, the Mojo Refuel is available online for $90.


Microsoft debuts Office Mobile app for iPhone

06/14, 9:21am

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.


Microsoft Office 15 to allow 'Agave' web extensions

03/15, 10:25am

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.


Leak previews new features in Office 15 apps

03/06, 11:15pm

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 Desktop app now available for Android tablets

03/01, 1:25pm

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.


Apple posts Mac OS X 10.7.3 with new languages, RAW

02/01, 4:40pm

Apple takes Mac OS X 10.7.3 live

Apple on Wednesday afternoon posted Mac OS X 10.7.3 (release notes). The Lion upgrade adds several languages, including Catalan for Spaniards as well as Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian. RAW photo compatibility has expanded to several new cameras, including the Nikon J1 and V1, Olympus' current PEN cameras, and current Sony Alpha and NEX cameras, such as the NEX-5N.


CloudOn promises MS Office suite on iPad

01/03, 5:10pm

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.


Microsoft posts Mac updates for Office 2011, Office 2008

09/13, 4:30pm

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.


Apple details security fixes in iWork 9.1

07/25, 3:30pm

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.


Microsoft's Office 365 goes live worldwide

06/28, 11:00am

Office 365 service now available in 40 markets

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of its cloud-based Office 365. Available in 40 markets, it includes Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online. All apps are always up to date and accessing them costs $6 per month, though service plans range from $2 to $27 per user per month. This full-blown launch follows a beta release launched last fall.


Microsoft pushes out Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.9

04/13, 3:15pm

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.


Microsoft rolls out Office for Mac 2011 SP1

04/12, 4:45pm

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.


Microsoft intros 30-day trial of Office for Mac 2011

01/25, 3:25pm

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.


Office for Mac 2011 gets first major patch

11/09, 4:45pm

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.


EndNote X4 adds file importing options, improvements

08/24, 3:50pm

Now transfer up to 10,000 references

Thomson Reuters has launched a new version of its bibliography software, EndNote X4. The app enables users to create notes and compile references, as well as develop multiple bibliographies within Word documents. In the latest release additional PDF management tools have been added, which makes it possible to now import a file or folder of PDFs directly into the library. The update also supports references transfers up to 10,000 between the desktop and EndNote Web, as well a new Cite While You Write feature.


Solid PDF to Word for Mac converts PDFs to multiple formats

04/29, 7:45pm

PDF converter recognizes forms, formatting, tables

Solid Documents has launched Solid PDF to Word for Mac. The PDF converter arrives on the Mac platform with the ability to export to formats compatible with Word, Excel, Pages, HTML and text, giving a user numerous choices when editing a PDF document is necessary. The converter recognizes headers and footers, retains formatting, recovers tables and recognizes hyperlinks. It can also recover rotated text and recognize and reconstruct PDF forms.


Early Office 2011 for Mac images emerge

03/29, 4:05pm

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.


PDF2Office Personal 5.0 converts PDFs for Word '07/'08

02/24, 1:20pm

Also adds full Snow Leopard compliance

Recosoft has released PDF2Office Personal 5.0 for the Mac platform. The program rebuilds the layout of PDF documents for Microsoft Word. It automatically reforms paragraphs, preserves styles and regroups independent graphic elements. It also creates tables, and processes headers and footers, endnotes and footnotes, and columns and sections. The software operates as a plug-in.


PDF2Office Pro 5.0 adds workbook, new Office formats

01/15, 12:45pm

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.


Word for Mac to be patched to meet court order

01/11, 9:25am

Follows patch for Windows systems

Word for the Mac will soon be patched in order to comply with a recent court ruling, says Microsoft. In an unusual turn the update will actually remove functionality, specifically some custom XML support. "While Office for Mac products were not accused of infringement, we are changing the product to allay any potential concerns about compliance with the [court] injunction," explains Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz.


Microsoft evades Office ban with update for OEMs

12/23, 10:45am

MS requires new Office fix to obey ruling

Microsoft has acted quickly on its promise to keep Office on shelves by pushing an Office update to computer builders. The supplement, intended for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) version of Office 2007 from October, removes the support for reading custom-generated XML within DOCX, DOCM and pure XML files. It should continue to open files with the code inside but will no longer show the code to comply with patent infringement claims.


Microsoft loses appeal, Office banned without update

12/22, 2:40pm

MS must pay i4i and take Office off shelves

Microsoft on Tuesday lost its appeal against a $290 million infringement verdict that threatens to remove Word and the Office suite from the market. The US Court of Appeals has upheld a verdict that claims XML code in Word 2003 and 2007 violates patents developed by Toronto, Canada-based i4i for XML plugins. It also removes a temporary stay and would ban all sales of infringing copies of Word as of January 11th unless changes are made by Microsoft.


Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.3 fixes stability, security issues

11/11, 11:35am

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.


Keynote Objects FX 4.0 adds 50 new 3D images

10/29, 12:00pm

Expands collection to 150

Jumsoft has announced Keynote Objects FX 4.0, an update to its 3D image collection for Apple’s iWork suite. The upgrade brings the total number of objects up to 150, covering items ranging from classic furniture to gift boxes. The 50 new ones are geared towards sports and leisure. Each image is optimized for Keynote presentation use, at a resolution of 1024x768.


Documents To Go iPhone app adds Excel editing, creation

10/01, 11:00pm

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.


Microsoft granted stay on Word sales ban

09/03, 11:10pm

Court says MS can sell Word until appeal is done

The US federal Court of Appeals today granted Microsoft a temporary stay on an injunction that would have banned sales of Word until the conclusion of an appeal against the successful lawsuit filed by Canadian firm i4i. Originally, the developer would have had to stop sales on October 10th and would have forced Microsoft to shut down sales of virtually all copies of Office unless it could plead its case.



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