Office For Mac Is Getting A Major Update

Mac users often lament being left behind when it comes to updates from Microsoft. But it looks like that is going to change with a new update that is making its way to Office for Mac users who are enrolled in Microsoft's Office Insider program. A new release that's coming to those on the Office Insider Fast ring promises some major changes that will make it easier to deliver new features.

I use Office for Mac quite a bit and one thing that I really don't like is the current AutoUpdate tool. Wile almost every other app I run on my Mac can update and then clean up after itself, the Microsoft AutoUpdate application remains active after it's done its work of checking for updates, downloading and then installing them. That aside, one of the reasons Office for Mac is sometimes behind its Office for Windows is architectural.

According to Microsoft engineer Derek Snook, some significant changes are coming.

Snook said

In the next few days, we plan to release a significant update to Insiders enrolled in the Fast level. You’ll have a chance to preview a bunch of new features. In addition to the new features, we’ve made a number of foundational changes to the product architecture. These underlying improvements will ultimately enable us release new features for Office for Mac more quickly. In the short term, you may hit a few more issues than normal. We hope you’ll stick with us if things are a little bumpy at the start.

Among the new features are

  • New chart types
  • Improvements to PowerPoint including real-time co-authoring of presentations as well as PowerPoint QuickStarter making its way from Windows to macOS
  • New options for sharing documents including better integration wth SharePoint and OneDrive for Business
  • Enhancements to VBA that narrow the gap between the functions supported on Windows so platform compatibility is improved

Instructions for joining the Office Insider are found on Microsoft's website. But, be warned. If you choose the Fast Ring, you can occasionally experience some application instability. The Slow Ring gives you access to new features after they've been through the Fast Ring users for a while and the kinks are ironed out.


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