on October 28, 2010
In general, I think Office 2011 is a good upgrade to 2008. A lot of the deficiences in Office 2008 have been addressed, and the application is a bit more "mac like".
Probably the biggest change people will see out of the gate are interface changes. I think the move to a more "ribbon like" interface was a good one, that helps keep everything you want together (especially on multiple monitors), but the formatting toolbars are still around if you want to back to those.
Help is now Apple help based, all versions support Automator actions, apps are much more friendly to spaces, spotlight and time machine, VBA is back, etc.
Outlook is a great addition if you're connecting your Mac to an Exchange server at work, and is actually pretty decent on it's own. I think I may actually prefer it to Mail.app, but we'll see how my thoughts are over a longer time scale.
Office 2011 is now intel only, but considering the fact that Apple has also started dropping PowerPC support, I don't think that's a huge deal.
Licensing has changed for the business version, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your situation. Office 2008 let you install a copy on a desktop and a portable computer. Office 2011 now comes in a "1 license" and "2 license" version. If you don't have 2 computers, this might be a positive thing for you, but if you've got a desktop and a laptop, you're probably not too happy about it.
Office 2011 also does require activation, although that's quick and painless. I'm sure some people won't like it though.
on January 29, 2013
If you were a heavy user of Excel and Outlook be prepared for hours of frustrating web searches for work arounds which usually involve buying or downloading what seems to be an endless stream of apps needed for the most basic of operations.. Despite what Apple tells you this is NOT a duplicate of Office Professional. NO BCM, no Paint, no syncing of calendars with your phone or iPad and forget any CRM Outlook interface. Excel is much slower than Office 2007..hurry up and wait. Highlighting and moving text in Outlook is horrible and takes several attempts. If you want to include a section of an excel sheet in the email body there will be no grid lines or cell outlines. If you want to include an image in the body of your email there is no way to change the size once you paste it into the body of the email. The rec. work around? Open Word , paste , resize ,copy and paste again . Lather* rinse* repeat until you obtain the size you need....great fun and so productive. Or feel free to download an app to take the place of the non-existent Paint and resize there. Do you like delivery receipts or confirmation of delivery of your emails ..won't get them here as that feature was removed. Outlining and Bullets. Well..you get one or the other and only one level plus you cannot adjust the spacing.... horrible. There is no RSS feed in Mac 2011. There is no print preview in Excel but you can save it to a pdf and then preview it..click,click ,click, click. You cannot drag email signatures to contacts for auto fill, nor drag an email to the calendar for entry, forget adding comments or notes to an email...the list sometimes seems endless.
Once you get past the above there are some nice features but I can't recall them offhand.
on May 31, 2013
I've been using Office 2011 for about a month now. I am running the latest version of OS 10.8 and I have installed the latest update for Office. Here are my observations:
Word: I reliably lose the ability to copy text and can only correct the problem by restarting Word. In addition, Word 2011 has crashed more in a month than 2008 crashed in 3 years. Combined with the loss of the Formatting Palette, of which I was big fan, I consider Word to be a giant step backwards...nice job Microsoft.
PowerPoint and Excel: No crashing or functionality problems, but I also have not discovered any real advantages over 2008. Perhaps there are some, but I haven't stumbled into them. These are neutral, but I still miss the very functional Formatting Palette.
Outlook: Connecting to Exchange server was easy and it works fine. I have had no issues with my IMAP accounts, and the Calendar works especially well. This is a nice upgrade from Entourage.
Overall: The functionality is at best okay. After two years on the market, though, it's unbelievable that Microsoft can't make Word work reliably, especially on a function as used as Copy. I don't recommend upgrading unless you *really* need Outlook. And since Outlook which doesn't come with the Home Edition, I find no reason to give up functionality AND reliability.
on October 28, 2010
Since getting Outlook 2011 is the reason I purchased Office 2011 for the Mac, I'm writing my review only about that component of the suite. I've spent the day using it, and in general, I'm disappointed. While it does look appealing and runs fast, I think Microsoft has slimmed it down too much from Entourage. For example, there is no "resend" option for messages, a feature that I use a lot so that I don't have to copy & paste e-mail that I want to send out to a few people but not as a blind group. Next, while one can still marginally re-configure the toolbar, it's very limited. For example, I find the delete button is in a very awkward position (for me), but I can't move it. And finally, I miss not seeing any feedback while the program is checking for mail (unless you go to the trouble of checking the progress window). I'll spend more time with Outlook, but at this point, I'm seriously considering going back to Entourage. I've never had this experience before with a Microsoft product for the Mac, and I've been using them since they first started making them.
on October 16, 2012
Had to get on line help to get Outlook to work. Disappointed that Calendar, etc., won't sync with Google. Like interface, and used to working with this product, but MS makes changes w/o other considerations.
I work at a company where most of us are assigned Lenovo laptops running WinXP, but the clever people use their own Macs. I was part of a small pilot that were assigned Macs, although many of the business apps require a Windows VM to work. I tired of the poor performance of the apps, so I bought my own Windows laptop.
I've always wanted to be able to use the Mac full time, primarily for the coolness factor. But there are so many shortcomings, I just couldn't do it. Even with the arrival of Office 2011, the short battery life (this is a 3-year old MBP) and lack of a right-click button try my patience. I thought that with a new version of Outlook, I might be able to make the switch. However, after using Outlook 2010 for a year now on Windows 7, this Mac version seems like two steps back. Here are a few of my observations:
Reading pane in conversation view shows first line of all messages in conversation (mail)
No OneNote (global)
No side-by-side calendar (calendar)
No auto-population of shared calendars and calendar hierarchy (calendar)
No drag and drop of emails to calendar (mail/calendar)
No business card view (contacts)
No folder view (global)
No icon view; weird since this is the default view for many Mac things (notes)
Can't distinguish between new emails and replies for auto-signature (preferences)
Can't open two windows, e.g., Calendar on one screen, Inbox on another (global)
on February 9, 2013
Office is one of those products one buys because one has to. Word has become the industry standard in the publishing industry, so I have to have it. Feature bloat and the fact that the developers seem to move buttons and menu options and change keyboard shortcuts from each version to the next make upgrading a real hassle.
Excel has some great new formatting options that make it easier to use, but converting my old spreadsheets from Office 2004 to 2011 munged much of my conditional formatting. Hassle.
Word is still the best word processor on the planet, but the find command is now seriously messed up. Instead of opening the full-featured Find and Replace dialog box, command-F opens a search field at the top of the window. Getting to the full-feature Replace box requires using option-command-F to open the Find dialog and then clicking the Replace tab. As far as I have been able to discern, there is no way to assign a keyboard shortcut that invokes the replace dialog directly. Hassle
Entourage, which was originally called Outlook, is now called Outlook again. It's still a great mail/calendar/to do app, but it lacks iPad integration. No hassle, I just use other apps instead.
PowerPoint is a bit easier to use than before, once you get past the hassle of all the buttons being in new places.
I like the new Office, but I don't love it.
on March 29, 2011
Don't waste your money! If there was a zero star rating for Outlook, that's what I would have given it. I paid extra to have the MS Office for Mac Home and Business version because it included Outlook. However I am so disgusted with Outlook that- after rebuilding my identity twice and spending hours trying to figure out how to debug this product, I finally removed the application from my dock and will use Apple Mail as my default e-mail reader from now on. Here's my experience within one month of installation:
Within a week or so of use, Outlook flashed me an error notice saying that it had to redo my database or something similar--I dont' recall the exact message. But there was a click-to-repair button which I clicked on and after a few minutes it seemed ready to go. But later in the day I got the same error message again, forcing me to click the repair button again. This time the fix took way longer. Finally, after doing this a third time, Outlook simply refused to launch. The opening screen would flash for a fraction of a second but then nada.
So I Googled the problem and found lots of posts by people who had the same issue. I found information on how to rebuild my identity database from scratch. The major problem with this solution is that I had to rebuild my extensive database of contacts from scratch and my history of previous e-mails would not be in the new identity. This is way more than an inconvenience if you are running a business from your home computer. Good thing I had a duplicate database of my most important contacts in my Apple Address Book, so I used the Outlook sync function to access those. But when I tried to add the more detailed profile information for each contact (having this capability is why I purchased the business version of MS Office in the first place) I was locked out. The message in the notes field said something about not being connected to the right kind of server. But all the info I entered when setting up my e-mail accounts was correct, so I had no clue what this application wanted from me and there was no info box that told me how to fix the problem. I Googled this problem too, and found posts by others who had the same issue, but no one seemed to know a fix. So, basically I couldn't use Outlook to build the detailed business database I purchased the software for in the first place. But at least I could send and receive e-mails--for a few more weeks.
But, a few days ago Outlook failed me again. This time the little multi-colored fan started spinning whenever I was typing an e-mail message. I'd get stopped mid-sentence and then have to wait for the little rainbow wheel to stop spinning before I could finish my sentence. This happened almost every fifth word and it has been going on intermittently for days. So after last night, I've finally had ENOUGH. As far as I am concerned, MS Outlook for Mac is completely useless. So, unless you are a computer programmer, or have an IT person on staff who knows how to fix these multiple issues (by the way, the tech guys at my local Mac Outfitter store couldn't fix it either), find another solution for your e-mail and spare yourself the headaches and your business significant downtime.
on December 4, 2010
After researching and reading all the reviews, I decided to go with this poorly reviewed product because of the pst import feature into Outlook 2011.
Amazon states under product features: "Outlook for Mac 2011: Outlook 2011 lets you see your calendar from within your e-mail, read related e-mails in a single thread, import PST files ..."
MS is even more emphatic in how easy it is to import pst files (including email, contacts and calendar).
I purchased the product solely for the supposed ease of transferring Outlook pst. I installed MS Office 2011 and all went fine until I tried to import the pst file - this crashed Outlook and I cannot get Outlook back. MS has suggested all the usual stuff (delete database, re-install MS Office, etc.) and nothing works.
I am enraged that MS can sell a product with a clear lie.
It is incredible that after using my Mac for a week without any problem I started having problems about 5 minutes after I installed MS Office (no problems with Excel or Word, but the sole purpose of this purchase was Outlook and it's import pst function).
Update 1/21/2011 - Microsoft returned my money and, at the same time as they were processing the refund, they fixed the problem. I therefore have bought the product again; mostly because it now allows me to easily move 9 years of emails into my Mac (warning: emails in the "sent" folder ended up losing the "to" part, but that was only a few so if you file them in another folder then it didn't seem to happen).
on January 15, 2011
DO NOT UPGRADE until Microsoft fixes the resizing issue. When you open old documents, the new version resizes the window (not the worksheet, which is an easy fix) and you cannot see or use the bottom of the window. That's where your page tabs are and the "resize" the window corner, bottom right corner. You can't go to another page or do ANYTHING about the size. You're stuck with a HUGE LONG window that you can't resize. Sure, you can scroll down, but only so far and only on the page of the worksheet that was saved. So far, Microsoft isn't doing anything to fix this problem because they say it isn't affecting enough people. Well, it's affecting everyone...so get off your bottoms and fix it, please. It sucks! Until then, SAVE YOUR MONEY!