MACWORLD - New Office for Mac coming

Office for Mac users who've been wondering about a new version -- and Office 2007 compatibility -- got some answers on Tuesday as Microsoft said it will ship Office for Mac 2008 by year's end.

At MacWorld in San Francisco, officials of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit also announced plans for spring delivery of beta versions of converters that will allow the current version of the popular suite, Office for Mac 2004, to open, edit, and save files in Office 2007's new default XML formats for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The final converters will appear six to eight weeks after Office for Mac 2008 ships, Microsoft says.

Office for Mac 2008 will appear in the second half of this year and will be fully compatible with both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs, said Geoff Price, product unit manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit.

The new version doesn't duplicate Office 2007's interface overhaul. Price said Office for Mac has historically followed Mac design conventions -- for example, it uses palettes to do some of the work the new ribbon interface does in Office 2007.

Thumbnails illustrate options

But Price added that, like their Windows counterparts, Office for Mac designers did seek to make the suite's existing features more accessible. To that end, Office for the Mac 2008 introduces an Elements Gallery -- basically a slim taskbar with several entries that runs beneath the basic toolbar in the current interface.

Clicking on an entry produces a drop-down bar of visual options. For example, an entry for a new feature called Document Parts produces thumbnails of a template-like title page, table of contents, and so on. Price says they differ from templates in that are not static documents; rather, they incorporate themes and styles.

Some of the entries in the Elements Gallery are specific to the application; others appear in several of the suite's apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage. For example, SmartArt Graphics -- which are fully compatible with the concept-expressing graphic elements in Office 2007 -- appear in several Elements Galleries. In fact, Office for Mac 2008 shares the Office Art 2.0 graphics engine introduced in Office 2007.

New features for Mac version

Price also mentioned some innovations that pertain to specific Mac apps. My Day, for example, is a stand-alone applet that provides easy and quick access to the day's appointments and to-do list without requiring that you launch Entourage, which is Office for Mac's answer to Outlook in the Windows versions of Office.

Excel, meanwhile, comes with Ledger Sheets, which are preconfigured worksheets for common and simple financial calculations.

The new Publishing Layout View provides easy access to desktop publishing tools to help users create common business-oriented publications such as brochures and newsletters.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Yardena Arar

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?