Office for Mac – interesting things coming

Office 2016 for Mac is getting some big improvements in the next few months.  That’s not just Microsoft hype, it seems very real.

Last week, Microsoft quietly declared that they were making some big changes to how Office 2016 for Mac works.  Those ‘under the hood’ changes would let them add new features a lot faster than in the past.

That boast worried us.  We’ve been hearing Redmond hype for so long that boasts of major changes mean either unstable programs (while the new systems get debugged) or a hollow boast that ends up with little for the customers.

The first may happen (touchwood) but Office 2016 for Mac does seem ripe for some (overdue) improvements.

Real-Time Authoring, Share Menu and QuickStarter

The latest Insider Fast build 16.6 (171001) has these goodies for Office 365 customers.  They will be familiar to Office 2016 for Windows users.

  • Real-time co-authoring and AutoSave for OneDrive and SharePoint files. Changes are automatically saved as you work, and when you co-author with others, you can see their changes as they work.
  • A new Share menu makes it easier to share files that are stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint.
  • PowerPoint QuickStarter is now on Mac! Powered by the Bing Knowledge graph, QuickStarter reinvents the deck creation process by building a presentation outline to help you get started researching a topic of your choosing.
  • New and modern chart types: Say hello to Waterfall, Funnel, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst-six powerful charts that help you quickly visualize common financial, statistical and hierarchical data.

Excel 2016 for Windows got the ‘new’ chart types two years ago.

Better VBA in Office for Mac

In addition, all Office 2016 for Mac users (including perpetual licence buyers) get:

  • “Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Some additional methods, properties, objects, and enums available to Windows Office users will now work on Mac as well. There are still differences between the Mac and Windows Object Model, so you will still see “not supported on this platform” for some elements. More details on the Object Model changes will be available soon.

All this is available to Fast level Insiders. The features will filter through to Insider Slow then public and finally organizations in the coming months.

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