Microsoft has released a preview of Office 2016 for Mac, free to all users of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite until its official release later this year.
This is the first new version of Office for Mac in five years, and brings a lot of features Windows users have had for some time.
For instance, all of these applications now integrate with Microsoft cloud storage, meaning you can save to and open files from OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint.
On the collaboration front, Word also gets the ability for co-authors to work on a document simultaneously, Google Docs-style.
It also gussies up the suite’s look across Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook, making it way prettier — including retina display, a redesigned Ribbon interface, and full-screen view support.
Otherwise, there are a lot of little improvements: Word gets better formatting options and a navigation pane that makes it easier to find specific spots in long docs. Excel’s keyboard shortcuts are now the same between PC and Mac, which will probably save at least a few users some headaches. PowerPoint presentations get more slide transition options. Outlook gets the “conversation view” that lets you organise email chains into threaded conversations, support for external apps, weather information right in the app, Online Archive support, and other minor improvements.
Microsoft’s major goal with Office 2016 for Mac isn’t to reinvent the wheel, but rather to close the gaps and bring some of the cool stuff back to the Mac. The full version is expected to come out this summer for an unannounced price.
The new Presenter view in PowerPoint:
Here’s conversation mode in Outlook:
And here’s a view of the Word preview pane: