App of the Week: Microsoft Office for Mac

Check Out All the Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

By Alexander Fox of Apple Gazette

The first time I realized that there were differences in Microsoft Office for Mac, I was waist-deep in a complicated Excel table. I knew that there must be some clever way to solve my data dilemma, so I Googled a solution. And I found one, right away! Only to discover that, mystifyingly, the tool I needed simply didn’t exist. I had the right version of Excel, and the tool wasn’t just somewhere else. That’s when I first found the differences in Microsoft Office for Mac. Turns out that there are many disappointing differences in Microsoft Office for Mac when compared to Microsoft Office for Windows.

Unavailable Applications

There are a number of office applications that you simply won’t find on the macOS version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Publisher: This desktop publishing app aimed at beginners isn’t a major loss for Mac users. There’s plenty of other apps that can do the job, from something as simple as Pages to something more complex like InDesign. And there’s plenty in between: one thing the Mac doesn’t lack is creativity software.

Microsoft Access: this database management tool is a much more useful application. It’s often used to take the place of unwieldy Excel databases. While it’s not the best version of the software available, it does come with Office, making it an attractive addition to the normal productivity suite. Unfortunately, Mac users won’t have access to this application.

Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

 

Here’s a list of the major features you won’t find in Microsoft Office for Mac. It’s not guaranteed to cover everything, but it should hit in the highlights.

Office Suite

There’s some stuff missing from all parts of the Microsoft Office for Mac suite.

Visual Basic: This proprietary programming language is available on the Mac. However, some functions are missing, and the implementation is not as fully-featured as the Windows version. Code that works in Windows might not work in macOS. And it’s generally harder to write and execute.

SharePoint Support: SharePoint is used for sharing files and distributing data in corporate environments. Office for Mac does include support for SharePoint, but some features are missing.

Accessibility Checker: checks your document for formatting or content that might make it difficult to read for users with disabilities. If you have government-mandated reporting styles, or your organization cares about accessibility, this can be a great help.

Office Roaming: Windows users can connect to a streaming copy of Office on a PC for temporary use.

Right-to-left Language Support: Hebrew and Arabic text direction is not supported.

ActiveX: you might be most familiar with these macro-style document plugins as security risks. They also allow for significant programming within the Office environment.

Document Inspector: Scans for hidden data and personal data in documents, helping you stay safe when sharing files.

Word

 

Embed Fonts: When sharing documents on Word for Windows, you can embed custom fonts to display with your document. macOS users instead must save out PDFs, which don’t allow users to easily edit them.

Booklet Printing: Printing for booklet binding is not available in Office for Mac.

Open and Repair: Office for Mac can try to open damaged files, but it won’t do as much to fix them as Windows’ Open and Repair.

Built-in Screenshots: Word for Windows includes a built-in screenshot tool, which can automatically take screenshots and insert them in to your document. macOS has a pretty powerful screenshot tool that can help make up the difference, however.

Smart Lookup: This tool search through Bing for the selected text. Useful for quickly defining a term or acronym you’re not familiar with, but hardly essential.

Digital Ink: this digital drawing and annotation tool won’t be found on the Mac version of Word.

Excel

PivotCharts: these charts work with PivotTables, visualizing information created by your new layouts to reveal patterns. While some of this functionality can be captured manually, the automated features of PivotCharts won’t be available.

PowerPivot: this ultra-powerful add-in version of PivotTables isn’t available on the Mac.

Built-in Database Connectivity: Mac Excel cannot sync with data from external databases. Some data can be imported from external sources, but updated sync is not possible.

Customized shortcuts: You can’t assign your own keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Mac. All the modifiers are different too, so your muscle memory is probably shot.

Outlook

Outlook users might have a problem that’s more annoying that missing features. The email and calendar app is not super compatible with iCloud calendar, especially not when it comes to the iPhone and Windows machines. So if you’re a big iCloud user, you might look elsewhere.

Google Security: Outlook for Mac is not as secure as its Window’s counterpart when it comes to Gmail addresses. You’ll need to explicitly permit less secure apps to get Outlook to interface with your Gmail address. This is not so for the Windows version.

Email editing and exporting: tables in email and composing emails in Word are both excluded. “Save As…” for emails is also not present.

Exchange: In general Exchange is supported, but certain features like managing distribution lists or supporting all Exchange Server versions are not.

Voting Buttons: not available in the Mac version

Social Connector: likewise, not available in any Mac version of Outlook

A Solution?

These missing features will almost certainly not be added to Office for Mac in the future. If you absolutely require the missing features, you can install Parallels to run the more complete version of Office or install Boot Camp on your Mac. Just keep in mind that single-license users can only install the suite on one machine. Multi-license users could install Office on both Windows and macOS. But pure cross-compatibility seems to be out of the question for now.

You might also like the following posts:

Microsoft, Apple and Burying the Hatchet

Why Apple’s Productivity Apps Should Replace Microsoft Office for Mac Users

 

What’s your preference? Microsoft’s Office suite or Apple’s iWork suite? Sound off in the comments below!

How to: Master Microsoft Word

 

 

By Thorin Klosowski of Lifehacker

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

Get Up and Running with Word Quickly

 

Of all of the Microsoft Office programs, Microsoft Word is probably the simplest from a user interface perspective. If you’ve ever used a word processing program in your life, you’ll recognize the menus for opening and creating files in the top left corner. The larger menu that runs across the top of the document Microsoft refers to as the “ribbon.” The ribbon has all the formatting tools you’ll need, as well as a few contextual commands that change depending on which tab you’re on.

For this series, we’ll assume you know the basics, but if you want a refresher, Microsoft’s quick start guide for Word gets you through the basics.

How to Do the Most Common, Essential Tasks in Microsoft Word

Of course, everyone’s needs are a little different, but considering most people use Office in an office setting, we’re willing to bet you’ll need to do things like edit styles, compare two documents, prepare a table of contents, and more.Let’s go ahead and cover some of those common tasks.

How to Apply and Edit Styles

A style in Word is a preset formatting for your document. This is what the document looks like, so it includes the font, font size, paragraph style, and so on. Creating or changing a style makes it possible to alter the look of a document all at once so you don’t need to go through and highlight individual sections and make specific changes. You can do things like set a universal heading style,or change what the default bulleted list looks like.

For example, if you’re working on a book, you might get a list of style guidelines from a publisher. Or if you’re working on weekly interoffice memos, a style is an easy to way to create a format guideline so every one you make looks the same way every time. Plus, you get the flexibility to change styles at any time, so if one department likes their memos one way, but your boss prefers a different style, you don’t have to change a bunch of formatting every time you open a new document.

To apply a style, make sure you’re on the Home tab, select a block of text in a document that you want to alter, and then click the Style menu in the ribbon. For example, if you want to make a heading in the middle of a block of text, you’d select the text you want as a heading, then click Styles > Heading 1. It’s as easy as that.

Making your own specific styles is pretty easy too. This is useful when you’re writing something consistently, like a newsletter or a book, and want a specific set of rules you can easily apply to a document as a whole. For example, you might want to change the font size of the default heading option, or change how creating a list works. Here’s how to do it:
From the Home tab, click on Styles Pane.
Click New Style or select the style you’d like to edit.
You’ll get a pop up window to edit a number of parameters here
including type, basis, and formatting.
Click through the options you want to change.

If you’re confused about what each term means, don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward. Paragraph styles determine the look of the text on a paragraph level.

When you apply this style, it’ll change the whole paragraph. Character styles determine the look on a character level, so you can make one word stand out. Table styles alter the look of tables, like the header row or how the grid lines work. Finally, list styles alter the look of a list, such as bulleted lists or a number scheme.

How to Add a Table of Contents to the Beginning of a Document

 

If you’re working with a big document, a table of contents adds quick navigation. Thankfully, creating a table of contents in Word is easy and it’ll update itself automatically as you add more to the document.

Word’s automatic table of contents generator takes each heading you add to a document, and then creates the table of contents based on that. If you plan on creating a table of contents, make sure you style each of your section titles with a heading.
Click an empty paragraph where you want to insert the table of contents.
Click the References tab.
Click Table of Contents and then select the appearance you want to use.

That’s it. Word automatically updates that table of contents any time you add or alter a header.

How to Compare and Merge Two Documents

If you have two versions of a document, whether it’s because someone did edits in their own copy, a cloud backup failed, or if you’re just trying to hash out what exactly changed between two versions of the same thing, you’ll need to use the compare and combine functions.

If you just want to see what changes exist between two documents, you can compare them. Here’s how to compare two documents:

Open one of the two documents you want to compare.
Click Tools > Track Changes > Compare Documents.
Pick your original document and revised document files.

Type in a name under “Label changes with” text field so you can tell the difference between the two documents. This way, Word will add a note telling you where each change comes from.

Combining a document works the same way, but the end result is a single document that merges the contents of both documents together so everything that’s the same is overwritten:

Open one of the two documents you want to combine.
Click Tools > Merge Documents.
Pick your original document and revised document files.

When the documents are merged, the differences between the two are highlighted. From here, you can go in and pick what you want to keep in the final version.

How to Format a Document Properly with Tab Stops and Indents

If you’re the type who formats a document by pressing spacebar or tab a bunch of times, it’s time to learn how to do it the right way: Using indents and tab stops. The video above shows off how tabs and indents work so it’s easy to understand, but let’s just sum up what the two terms actually mean.

Tab stops: A tab stop is the location a cursor stops after the tab key is pressed. In Word, it’s a way to easily align text. When you click the ruler in Word, a tab stop appears as a little curved arrow. When you tap the tab key, the cursor and text will jump to that arrow. If you add in multiple tab stops, you can make it so you can format text by simply tapping the tab key a couple of times to get it in place and perfectly lined up.

Indents:
As the name suggests, indents determine the distance of the paragraph from the left or right margin. On the ruler, you’ll see two triangles that adjust the indentation. You can click either triangle and move it to change the indentation. The top triangle adjusts the indentation of the first line of a paragraph. The bottom triangle adjusts the indentation for subsequent lines (aka the hanging indent) in the paragraph. You can also click on the square below them to move both at the same time.
Learning how to use these indents and tab stops can make creating a document like a resume or academic paper a lot easier.

How to Add Citations and References

 

Academic papers are a beast to write, but Word makes creating bibliographies and citations super easy. Once you’ve created a new document and you’re writing that paper, you can add a citation with just a few clicks.

Click the Reference tab.
Click the Dropdown arrow next to Bibliography style and select the style
you’re using for that paper.
Click the end of a sentence or phrase where you want to add the citation.
Click Insert Citation. In the Create New Source box, enter in all the info you
need.

Once you enter a citation once, you can add additional citations from the same text by selecting a sentence, then clicking the Citations box and selecting the reference you want to insert. When you’re all done, click the Bibliography button and select either Bibliography or Works Cited to automatically generate the reference page for your paper.

The Best Features in Word 2016

Word 2016 is a word processor—that means it doesn’t have to make giant, revolutionary leaps over its previous versions. However, Word 2016 does have a few improvements worth noting:

You can search the ribbon: In Windows, above the ribbon, you’ll see a “Tell me what you want to do” box. Here, you can type in any question you have and Word will tell you how to do it. For example, you can ask it how to insert a picture, how to format text in a specific way, or how to create lists. It’s basically a boring version of Clippy for the 21st century. For whatever reason, this isn’t included in the Mac version.
You can see collaborators edits in real time like in Google Docs: You’ve been able to work on Word documents as a team for a while, but Word 2016 adds in live edits, so you’ll see other people’s notes and updates instantly.
– Smart lookup makes research a little easier: Word is now a little more connected to the web than it used to be. In Word 2016, you can right-click a word, then select “Smart Lookup” from the menu to look up a word’s definition, the related Wikipedia article, and top search results from Bing.

Other than those minor improvements, if you’ve used older versions of Word you’ll be right at home in Word 2016 within minutes.

Work Faster in Word with These Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft has full lists of every keyboard shortcut in Word for Windows and Word for Mac that are worth bookmarking,, but let’srun through some of the big ones you’re likely to use every day, and a few specific to word that are really useful:

CTRL+N/CTRL+O/CTRL+S: Create, Open, and Save a document.
CTRL+X/CTRL+C/CTRL+V: Cut, Copy, Paste
CTRL+B/CTRL+I: Bold, Italic
CTRL+A: Select All
CTRL+Z: Undo
CTRL+K: Insert a hyperlink
CTRL+P: Print a document
CTRL+H: Open Find and Replace
Shift+F3: Toggle Capitalization options
CTRL+SHIFT+C: Copies the formatting for selected text so you can apply
it to another set of text with CTRL+Shift+V
CTRL+Shift+N: Applies the normal style to the selected text

Beyond that, Word supports universal text editing keyboard shortcuts like Shift+CTRL+Up/Down arrows to select whole paragraphs. These can make navigating and highlighting text a lot easier, and we’ve got a list of all of them here. If you use Word heavily, get to know these shortcuts, they will make your life better.

Additional Reading for Power Users

Word’s a big program and we can’t cover everything here. Here are a few more guides to help you push the boundaries of what Word’s capable of.

Six tips for better formatting: Formatting is a big deal in MS Word, and if you want to get better at skills like showing hidden characters, dealing with sections, and more, this post should help.
Select all text with the same formatting: This hidden little menu in the ribbon lets you select blocks of text based on its formatting.
Everything you need to know about collaboration: Collaboration is a big part of Word. From tracking changes to learning how to use markup, this post covers everything you need to know about working on documents as a group.
Create your own keyboard shortcuts: Word has a ton of keyboard shortcuts as it is, but if you want more, you can make your own.

Word might just look like a boring old text editor at a glance, but as you can see, it’s a lot more complex than most people give it credit for. Mastering it can take a long time, but once you have the basics and understand what’s possible in Word, you’ll be well on your way to being a Microsoft Word ninja.

What are your best practices for Microsoft Word? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: