852 of 883 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
There has been enough written about using Microsoft's office apps versus Apple's on the iMac. I'll not rehash that here. I need every feature I can get my hands on so I checked Amazon today for the best price on Office 2011 for the Mac. Given that I only have one Mac in the house I was happy to see I could save a few bucks on the 1 license/1 mac version.
Then I saw the download version available and wondered if I should do that or wait the two days for the disks. The item description said it could take from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 5 hours to download. One of the reviewers said the download didn't work. I thought I'd take the risk anyway given I have all the latest hardware and software, fast cable internet connection, a little bit of tech knowledge, trust Amazon to take care of its customers, and am increasingly enjoying the new world of online availability of everything without having to store disks.
So here's my take: It took me 8 minutes to download the software and 4 minutes to install it. Then I had to get back on Amazon for the software key, as you need to quit Safari to finish the install. Upon starting the software it checked for updates and I needed to install service pack 1 which took another couple of minutes. All in all the process was completely error free and under 20 minutes. It doesn't get any better than this! Highly recommend!
The only reason I might reconsider the digital download is if I was unsure about my internet or hardware/software setup. But if that was the case, then I wouldn't be looking at Office 2011 anyway, as it might not work well on my setup anyway. The thing people need to remember is that upgrading necessitates upgrading -- the best way to keep your old hardware is to keep your old software, but when you want the latest and greatest, be prepared for the costs for all the latest to go with it.
394 of 430 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2012
This software reminds me of why I recently gave up the PC and moved to the Mac.
All I wanted for work was Word and Excel. I am a pretty advanced user and did not want to start experimenting with Mac productivity suites. So I just decided to buy this, the cheapest version of Office I could find and download onto my 2012 MacBook Air.
Now I may have missed the avoid bloatware button when I installed this software but I was very annoyed to see completely unnecessary garbage installed on my computer without my permission. Microsoft Instant Messenger, a dozen tiny programs I am never going to use. Microsoft even had the audacity to install an Outlook icon on my task tray. Since this package does not come with Outlook I was intrigued (as well as annoyed that so many icons had just been installed) so I clicked it. Nothing but a message telling me I had to buy Outlook if I wanted to use it. Seriously? One of the biggest software companies in the world using adware like a cheap shareware program?
It's especially annoying to have unnecessary junk like that on a machine with only 256Gb of hard drive space. So consider that when installing, maybe there is an option to be more selective and I skipped over it by mistake.
So annoying hard drive wasting bloatware aside, it's Office, just like I'm used to. The interface has changed some, but it seems perfectly usable for my needs. I've not used it enough to establish if there is any major flaws in it so far, I guess time will tell.
140 of 171 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
Okay, so this is a serious review of the features and functionality of this product. In order for this software to be successful (actually applicalble rules for any software, I think) these criteria need met;
1) Does Office 11 on my Mac work almost seamlessly with documents created on my or another's PC in that systems Office software?
2) does the software take advantage of the system coding and structure (in this case Mac OS X) to deliver functional, user friendly results?
3) all else failing, is the software customizable to a large enough degree that it will be able to accomplish the required tasks (tasks natively supported on other versions of the same software) essential for your or your business's/organization's needs?
4) and lastly, is the software accessible, i.e. is it easy enough to use or train yourself to use functionally.
Sadly, 1 & 2 are not universally true, 3 is a 'it depends' and 4 - well it has a ton of features and that requires work to get a handle on, and the structure is a little more Mac specific than Windows specific (which I can't argue with) so it takes some work and a little bit of relearning some tasks but this is just a necessity and there is good documentation out there, so I don't score any points against it for 4.
Some background on my uses of the program. I have a small business. Part of my taskings and services offer me up as a linguist where I use multiple languages, some in right-to-left Arabic and/or Asian scripting as well as standard European and Cyrilic writing styles. I often have to be able to transfer seamlessly between the different languages even within the same document, on occasion in the same sentence, and sometimes this means collaborating, proofing and editing a file worked on by a colleague on their system which may be running a Windows based version of Office.
My difficulties are that this is mind-numbingly tedious and cumbersome to do on the Mac Office 11 software. The documents I am reviewing often fail to carry over the language specificity of certain document sections so that when I create new text in the target language it often outputs incorrectly, illegibly or even uncomprehensively. I could open the same file on a Windows version of Office and not have this problem.
In fairness, iWork software isn't really functional in this area either. Arabic script often presents itself disjointed or incorrect. Sometimes certain Dari text is made illegible or whole sections are corrupted. Fortunately Office 11 preserves the structure and style of the original document keeping it legible. It's nearly when you begin revising that document, adding or modifying text, that the issues arise. Also, Apple's history of support for multi-language support is itself been very poor, but has dramatically improved in the last two major OS releases and is very strong (though not perfect) today. But, it isn't an excuse for this software to be buggy in this regard, especially since I've painstakingly configured my Mac to function seamlessly in all necessary languages.
Ah, but there is the rub! Taken from a review on appleinsider.com "text input within the Office suite fails to work with modern Mac OS X features such as its system wide auto text substitutions, corrections, transformations, dictionary and thesaurus; you'll have to configure these features in parallel both in Office app preferences and in Mac OS X System Preferences to have things work somewhat consistently between Office and all of your other apps, because Office continues to roll its own unique text input system and reference tools" [...]. What does this mean? Quite simply, I have to customize Office 11 separately to offer better language support and for each language I want it to support and in some cases for each document I want it to extend this support to! Not only this, but there is no, none, ZERO support for Middle Eastern languages such as Dari, Arabic, Hebrew, Pashto, etc.! What a freaking pain and and unnecessary hassle, and in some cases, a crippling blow to the functionality of this software! Hence my rationale for saying that my earlier point 3) - is it customizable - was answered "it depends". It is customizable, just not universally so and not to a truly useful degree. In fact, for me, it means this product was a complete waste of a purchase.
Now, you may ask why ever buy this over the iWork versions of word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software which is much cheaper? Well, Office, even on a Mac, is so much more powerful and all the basic features are still there. Excel formulae and data handling are much better than Numbers and the transferability of documents from PC to Mac, in this regard, is seamless in my experience. PowerPoint presentations are easily produced and exchanged with the more powerful animation abilities intact on the Mac Office version. It is mostly just when it comes to multi-language support that this sucker falls apart! It's better than iWork, but that's like saying my dull, rusty hatchet is better for cutting down a 20 year old Pine than is a sharpened stone chisel. I'd still rather have a freaking chain saw! Office on Windows is a chain saw and Office 11 on my Mac is my rusty hatchet, just no getting around it.
There are other transferability issues - Macros, VBA scripting, some stylistic template layouts that don't port seamlessly from Windows produced documents to Mac Office accessibility and modification. These are, in my opinion as equally frustrating.
So, in summation, you have to ask yourself why you're buying this software to begin with.
- Is it just because you want to be able to open your friends/colleagues/etc. .DOCX file - your better off getting a converter for cheap or free and sticking with iWork.
- Is it because you like the Office word formatting features and you only work in English with simple layouts and form designs that have no VBA scripting? Well this will likely work for you, but than you might as well just learn to use Pages at a quarter of the cost and see it's almost every bit as capable in those regards with only minor hiccups in porting to and from Word.
- Is it because you have a need for Excel spreadsheet designs? VBA Scripting? Business capable presentation designs? Yes, this will be a life saver. This is why you must buy Office 11. Numbers seriously won't cut it for you if your a serious spreadsheet user, and fortunately, I've found few hiccups with performance or portability on between Mac Office and Windows Office files. And you'll need this if your handling any VBA, you just do (minor problems in portability aside - annoying but manageable, much more so than the text language portability issues). And Keynote is just lacking compared to PowerPoint in some areas (I even have it on some authority that even Apple prepares their presentations on PowerPoint as opposed to Keynote for their product unveilings - at least it wouldn't surprise me if this were true).
- Do you use multiple languages, especially non-indo-european languages? STEER CLEAR!!!! get a copy of Parallels or VM or just set up a Boot Camp partition, or something on your system and install Windows and a Windows version of Office. This may cost you $350 - $400 compared to the $90 this Office 11 for Mac would cost, but it will likely be worth it to avoid the headaches I've mentioned. Sad but true. It's what I do, and I count my $90 purchase a waste.
Basically, all the great things about Macs sadly seem to still be lacking in simple business world usability. It's like there's some gentleman's agreement between Apple and Microsoft that they will always give me a need to keep a version of Windows installed somewhere on my computer. *sigh*