QA | 11 September 2013

It is no secret that in general, the Apple Mac and Windows worlds simply do not want to get along. Owners of either machine constantly argue about who has the better system, whether it is features or simply the hardware itself.

Well it's nice to know that the Microsoft Office environment is one place where they are certainly starting to meet in the middle with Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac.

The Office 2011 suite comprises Word, PowerPoint and Excel in the Home and Student version (with 90 day support), and it also includes Outlook in the Home and Business Version (with 1 year support).

The change this time around is that the interface difference between the Windows version and the Mac version is much less of an issue due to the Mac version now employing the Ribbon interface (first introduced to the Windows version in Office 2007).

The vast majority of tools can be accessed using the Ribbon, but for 'old school' users, the Office 2008 menu bar is also still available.

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Alongside the new interface, Office for Mac is now fully compatible with SkyDrive (one of Microsoft's cloud storage options) which offers complete collaboration with your files, allowing you to share documents and work on them together.

The new features of each application will be discussed in more detail in later blogs, but in summary.

In Word 2011, the new features include Publishing Layout for easier display of layers and text. Styles have also been updated along with SmartArt graphics and Theme options.

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PowerPoint 2011 has been improved with better object layering tools, image editing and media effects and improved Presenter View options.

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Excel 2011 has lots of new features, such as Sparklines, Conditional Formatting and Chart options as well as Tables and enhanced PivotTables and Charts for your data analysis.

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The compatibility between Office 2011 for Mac and Office 2010 for Windows is virtually seamless now, ensuring sharing your files with clients across different platforms is no longer a problem.

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All in all, Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac is a great improvement for Apple owners helping to create and share state of the art, professional looking documents with the great range of new features.

QA is now offering training courses for Word, PowerPoint and Excel at various levels on Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, and for Mac owners it is well worth taking a closer look.

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