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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.
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on April 20, 2012
I recently completed the MS Office 2011 Home and Business update to Service Pack 2 (SP2) and wanted to provide everyone with an update. My main work computers are all Mac variants, from MacBook Airs (primary) to 27" i7 iMacs (secondary), and all systems are running OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. I have one Lenovo T410 laptop running Win 7 and MS Office 2010.


1. Absolutely SOLID Outlook performance improvement! Outlook was incredibly slow and fairly crash prone in Service Pack 1 (so frustrating that I nearly moved back to OS X Mail). However, I have to say that the performance improvements that MS put into Outlook under SP2 are genuinely impressive. Outlook is extremely fast now, with no lag time in operations (e.g. moving files to folders, simply looking at a different folder) that used to take 5-10 seconds to perform. While I haven't measured it, I'd go out on a limb and say that performance is equal to or better than Outlook 2010 running on my Windows machine).

2. IMAP SSL/TLS is now working properly (yay)! While I didn't see any mention of this in the release notes, my problematic, failed SSL connections with my hosted Exchange services have now disappeared and I'm now fully using SSL/TLS for secure connections.

3. Significantly improved stability of all applications. I was having some minor crashing and/or hanging issues with Outlook and Word prior to the upgrade, but haven't had a single hang or crash since the upgrade, knock on wood. While this is purely a subjective metric, the overall "feel" of all applications in the suite is that they are simply "unencumbered" and better "honed". The applications are quick, efficient, and get out of the way allowing me to focus on my work -- isn't that what a productivity suite is supposed to do?


1. In the SP2 upgrade, Outlook performs a database upgrade which takes a pretty substantial amount of time (I have a gazillion messages, so maybe the time was just due to the volume of my mail). Once the upgrade is done, you'll want to check Missing body text in Sent folder messages as I discovered that messages over five months in age only retained their headers -- the body text of these message are now missing. Any messages which I truly needed copies of, regardless of sender (me or someone else), were archived at time of transmission on the Mac in a personal folder (i.e. PST), so I didn't lose too much as those messages were unaffected...

2. For whatever strange reason, Microsoft is still hobbling Office for Mac by not ensuring feature parity with the Windows version of Office. There are many little things that count (calendar management is different, drag-and-drop message management is different, etc). I could care less what operating system I am using, the Office suite should operate EXACTLY the same way on any machine. If MS wants to "Macify" Office with a motif that is more consistent with OS X, then that's great (and welcome). But, there is no excuse for not have a virtually identical Office implementation on a Mac and Windows machine. Having said that, Office 2011 is SIGNIFICANTLY closer than Office 2008 and probably represents a 95% parity with Windows Office 2010.


1. I think this suite is solid enough to give it a solid 4-star rating. Again, with very little relearning (from Windows to OS X), you should be able to pick up this suite and be productive in short order. Even if you purchase the boxed version of the software, it will automatically update when installed, so you'll get SP2 right out of the chute...

2. The SP2 update is EXCELLENT and really supercharged the applications to the point that they no longer "get in the way", but rather now simply do what they need to do without frustration. The Outlook updates at A+. Stability so far has been A+.

3. MAKE SURE YOU BACKUP YOUR MACHINE PRIOR TO PERFORMING THE SP2 UPGRADE! I have no idea if the old messages in the Sent folder(s) are still there completely, or if there are just headers there, but this may impact some users with a strong need for access to historical messages. Having a backup will allow you to recover sent messages if you really need them.

Hope this review helps in your decision!
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on May 18, 2015
Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business is a disaster and a rip-off for anyone who expects a product for Mac that behaves in any way like Office for Windows, especially the Outlook component. Nowhere does Microsoft warn – BEFORE you buy – that Outlook for Mac does not, will not, cannot sync with Apple Mail, Calendar, or Contacts. Not through iCloud, and not even through iTunes or iSync, despite the fact that “Sync Services” on Outlook’s tool bar says it will. Call Microsoft for help on this and you will be told that they don’t support syncing for Mac, and have no plans to address this issue. Their “fix”? Subscribe to Office 365 – although they decline to say whether that will sync with calendars and contacts. (I am disinclined to pay Microsoft in perpetuity to access my own digital property.) Having problems with email? Just have Microsoft Exchange accounts and you’ll be fine.

A bit of background, I am a longtime Office user under Windows – since Office 97, so nearly 20 years. I also remember that Word and Excel were originally for Mac ONLY, and those of us working in MS-DOS and early Windows versions were limited to WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. Not long after the Windows version of Office was released, it quickly became the standard, and the addition of Outlook to manage contacts and email vastly increased the usefulness of the entire suite. Sadly, it seems that Microsoft’s Office team has forgotten and abandoned its Mac roots.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are passably good enough, but still not equal to the Windows version. If you really need Word and Excel, and many of us do, especially if you have existing Word docs and Excel sheets that just don’t quite translate to other programs – believe me, I’ve tried: OpenOffice, Pages and Numbers, and even Google Docs, and they just don’t cut it – buy the Home & Student edition without Outlook and save yourself a few bucks.

In my opinion, Microsoft is committing a near fraud on today’s Mac users and should pay a price for their arrogance. That won’t happen, but I am hopeful that this information will prevent at least a few people plunking down good money for something that isn’t fully functional and that Microsoft doesn’t plan to fix.
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on November 5, 2014
1) I am writing real time, and and am on my second set of phone calls in two months about a recurrent issue with track changes. My call has been dropped five times and I have spent 50 minutes trying to reach a person at tech support. There is nothing wrong with my phone, so these dropped calls are not a problem at my end. I have finally reached tech support.
Summary: Do you want to spend your time with a tech support team that can"t actually even answer the phone?

2) Although I was issued a case number, it was clear that no meaningful notes were kept regarding the resolution of my issue. We are now in the process of reinventing the wheel, solving a problem that took an hour to solve the last time this issue arose.
Summary: do you want to work with a technical support team that does not document your issues?

3) After 40 minutes on the phone with a technician, I was told I had to uninstall and then reinstall Word. Then I was told that the problem I was having was a know issue with the current version of the Mac OS, and that upgrading the OS would resolve the issue. My OS is fairly new, but not the very latest.

4) I still don't have resolution to my problem, nor any way to reconnect with tech support, without going through the dropped phone call issues. I am waiting for a supervisor to find a way to get promt help when the proposed solution fails.

Summary: do you want to uninstall and reinstall Word, and upgrade your OS, to resolve a simple issue like track changes?

In short: spare yourself this support nightmare. Don't buy this product and consider whether you want to work with ANY Mac version of Office.
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on April 8, 2011
I purchased Office for Mac recently to use on my MacBook Pro. After three months, my experiences have been nothing short of disastrous!

I have been using Outlook as my default email software. Twice in six weeks Outlook has suddenly and inexplicably shut down and refused to re-open. As a result, I have literally lost access to months of emails, all my contacts, tasks, calendar etc. I need to refer to for my business and my personal accounting etc. Each time, I have also had to spend almost a day reconstituting a new email filing system trying rescue a few crucial past emails.

When I purchased Office for Mac Home and Business 2011 in theory it came with one year's technical support included. However, in practice, Microsoft has not been available to provide any customer support. So I have had to deal with this software disaster on my own. The first time, they could recommend no effective way of reopening my stubbornly forever closed Outlook program. They merely helped me to open a new one - leaving me with the messy problem of reconstituting my files. The second time, Microsoft actually asked me to pay them in advance before they would give me any customer support! I refused and decided to drop Outlook completely. Instead, I purchased Bento 4 to use with Apple's Mail email software instead.

I strongly advise anyone thinking of buying Office for Mac to think again. This is one of the shoddiest products Microsoft has ever produced. It is also a pity that Microsoft has not learned from Apple about customer support. I am sure that Applecare would have helped me fix this problem had it been with an Apple product.

Buyer Beware!

April 16 2011 Update of my earlier review :
I have just spent half an hour trying to use Excel spreadsheet on Office for Mac 2011. Every ten minutes or so, Excel suddenly closes down without warning and I lose all the data I have inputed. I am going to keep going because, for now, i have no choice. But I plan to seek out another non-Microsoft spreadsheet program that works on a Mac very soon.
All in all, my growing experience with Office for Mac is getting worse and worse. This is the absolutely worst software program I have every used in over 25 years of working with computers!! If I could I would give it zero stars!

Excel just crashed four more times - wiping out my data each time! So, I just ordered iWork on Amazon Prime. Hopefully I can migrate fully away from this awful Microsoft software very soon now!
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on March 20, 2013
I find Office for Mac very helpful for what I need, both for personal and business use. I mostly use Word, Excel and Outlook. I was reluctant to buy this product for a long time because I felt like having a Mac computer with Microsoft software would defeat the purpose of an Apple product. So I used free software to open and work on Word and Excel files, but it was not nearly as useful, and had some issues with characters compatibility (for example, I would use bullet points, and Word would convert them into bullet points that made my work look sloppy, and it was just unacceptable to not know how the recipient would see my documents).

Office for Mac 2011 includes Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and Messenger (that I have never opened). If you like templates, Excel includes probably over 20 templates to choose from, and Word must have hundreds. The design, look and feel are not like what you see on a PC. It is Apple-like, of course, but you can use it the same way.

All in all, I am happy I ended up making this purchase because I don't have to worry about compatibility and how other software would change characters, format, etc. It has worked just fine until now. It meets my needs, and the download was pretty easy, too.

Hope this helps!
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on January 5, 2011
First of all, I'd like to state that I worked in the defense industry for 25 years building aircraft carriers and submarines before joining my wife's woman-owned small business, where we do government contracting and professional certification training (PMP, CSEP, etc.). As a result, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are critical tools of the trade, and their Mac counterparts, while good for Mac users, don't really cut it in this environment. Overall, Office 2011 is much better than Office 2008, but no where close to being as good as Office 2007 or 2010, unfortunately.

Like many others who have been hit by the Apple "Halo" effect, e.g. - bought an iPhone when they came out in 2007, loved it, bought an Apple Airport Extreme Base station, found it to be one of the best routers ever, bought an iPad, love that too, I switched to a Mac. I was told - no big deal, Office 2008 is available, and you won't miss a beat. That was completely untrue! I had recently learned Office 2007 and loved the ribbon, and found that Microsoft did not use it in Office 2008! Big mistake. So I waited with great anticipation for Microsoft 2011 to come out and bring the ribbon back. The problem? They again had to try to reinvent the wheel! Rather than simply make the interface the same as Office 2010, someone at Microsoft had to try to over-think it, and make it different. This frustrates me to no end! People that want Office on the Mac do so because they more than likely have a Mac at home and are forced to use a PC at work, so they want COMMONALITY, not Microsoft's attempt to make their product different (or for "Mac" users). I have used both 2007 and 2010 versions of the ribbon, and have no trouble navigating them easily. I actually love the ribbon concept! However, in 2011 for the Mac, Microsoft removed some features, possibly in favor of adding taskbars to it, a feature similar to Office 2008. Bad idea. I also hate the fact that Microsoft went from the 2007 ribbon having a nice blue color to a boring, dull gray color in 2011 (again, more Mac like?).

Here are a few other concerns I have come across over the last few months using Office 2011:

Outlook (by far the Office 2011 product with the most problems):
What I like: I really missed Outlook when I moved to the Mac! Apple Mail is basically a "forgotten" program, as Apple hasn't made any improvements to it in a long time. I hated the fact that I had to find a plug in (e.g. WideMail) to allow me to preview emails in Portrait mode rather than landscape at the bottom of my screen, which is truly ridiculous because everyone's screens are wider than tall. I also missed the standard Outlook interface, which I am happy to have back (for the most part). Now for the problems....

1. BIG PROBLEM: Outlook won't sync my calendar with my iPhone! You must be using Exchange server, if not, you're out of luck. That's a huge problem for many truly small businesses that are not on Exchange Server. It also won't sync with Gmail or MobileMe. That's a HUGE step back for many business users.

2. When I submit Government proposals, I use delivery receipts and read receipts to ensure my electronic submittal was delivered by the deadline, and to provide a historical record of that. Office 2011 for the Mac DOES NOT OFFER THIS CAPABILITY!

3. I continuously get error messages with my Gmail sync that some messages "could not be FETCHed (failure)". Why? And then I find out on my iPhone that I have received some emails that are not showing up in Outlook.

4. The wording in the body of some meeting notices is garbled, and it isn't in others. Microsoft does not have an answer to this problem yet. My guess? I have noticed that meeting invites that come from others who are on Exchange Server come through correctly, while those who aren't, don't. I have shared this with Microsoft, but have yet to hear back.

5. I was syncing my address book so that my iPhone would stay in sync, and one day my contacts started replicating. I went from 800 to over 4,000 (had a similar problem with Entourage). I called Apple and they told me they are not supporting Office 2011 yet and recommend I cancel the sync function.

6. Now that I have Outlook 2011 on my iMac, I wanted to consider Microsoft's CRM solution that is supposedly integrated with Outlook, so I registered for the beta program. After clicking on the link for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, it said:

"We're sorry! Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 SP1 or later. Please sign up using a supported browser such as the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer."

Such as???? There is no supported version of IE for the Mac.

7. I have received the message "Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience". At least they apologize, but this has happened numerous times.

8. My auto-signature for HTML emails looks fine, but somehow ends up have double line spacing in it for text emails and ends up looking ridiculous. The line spacing changes automatically for some unknown reason. I had to create a second auto-signature, which I titled "RTF" to use in non HTML emails.

9. Another common error message: "SyncServicesAgent has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

10. Amazing! In the MIDDLE OF WRITING THIS REVIEW, AN ERROR MESSAGE POPPED UP in Outlook. I use multiple screens, and I keep email open on the one to the left. While typing this, the following error message came up: "Microsoft Office Reminders has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience". And, what's worse, every time it completes sending the error report and restarts, the error occurs all over again (it's stuck in an error loop).


1. Biggest disappointment for me is again the ribbon. I added two pictures to the images and video section of this webpage so you can see what I'm referring to.


1. Remember the advertisement from Microsoft, that you should be able to hold your Office for PC document up to the light alongside your Office 2011 for the Mac document and see no difference? Well, that failed on a file we sent to OfficeMax for reproduction! We had a PPTX file that contained a number of images and text boxes, and while it looked fine in Office 2011, it went outside the borders in Office 2010. Worthy goal, unachieved.

While I will continue to use Office 2011, I have to reiterate how frustrated I am that MS didn't simply make Office 2011's ribbon interface the same as Office 2010. I deducted two stars for this. I also deducted a star for the lack of calendar integration, that's a huge issue!

I'd really like that message to get to the right person at MS, as I enjoy both Microsoft AND Apple products - whatever the best tool is for the job at hand.

In closing, with all of the problems I'm having in Outlook, I almost feel like an Outlook beta tester. In fact, I'dl like to be on the beta test team to help MS resolve these issues once and for all! Good luck.
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on October 18, 2014
If you just use Word, Excel, and Power Point, you will probably find the programs easy to work with if you're familiar with the older versions. Changes to placement of common work functions seem arbitrary and you must relearn where those commands are located which can slow down your work until you've become accustomed to them. I've had the worst experience using Outlook which comes up with errors and crashes constantly. I've had to create new identities a number of times just to be able to access Outlook after crashes and I'm still having problems. I am very surprised by my experience with Outlook as I have been using Outlook at work with Microsoft operating system for years but this version I don't recommend using.
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on July 1, 2015
I would have given it five stars if only the Word and Excel 2004 look-and-feel had been retained. That said this is a MUCH better product than anything Microsoft has put out since Vista. Many of the really goofy changes have been filtered out or toned down so that the product has preserved usability lost to some of its siblings. Apple seems to be looking out for its users and not letting vendors experiment on us at will. It also opens and saves those goofy docX files in more compatible formats that interface with translation tools used by professional linguists. I have to use both platforms in order to get anything done anymore, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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on June 10, 2011
UPDATE: If you have been a user of the PC version of Microsoft Office Products, then I highly recommend that you try the trial version of this product before you make a horrible mistake! Once you convert your PST file from the PC version to the Mac version, there is no way to convert the file (OLM) back to the PC version (PST) file! Hopefully, Microsoft will come with a tool that does this; which they likely will because of the all the customers that will be very, very unhappy with the Mac version, which is very, very lacking! No automatic archive, email HTML editing will take you back to the 90's, no "undo" button if you are composing in a window away from the main program, and does no longer sync with MobileMe--nor is it likely to do so anytime in the near future. So now my iPhone is not up-to-date. I am very, very unhappy with Office 2011 for Mac!!

I admit it, I am a power user of Microsoft Office products, having used them since the first version. And I realize that the Mac versions have always been behind at least a couple of generations from the PC versions. However, the Outlook 2011 for Mac has only about 2/3s of the features of the PC version. I use a MacBook Pro running Parallels desktop with both Windows 7 Ultimate and Snow Leopard, so I can go either way. After I saw the new version of 2011 Office for Mac FINALLY included Outlook, I bought it and now, after struggling with it for almost a month, I wish I had never wasted my money on it! It appears that Microsoft just gave Outlook 2011 the bare, rudimentary features--just enough that they could give it the name; however they should have named it Outlook 2003 for Mac, as that is almost what it is comparable to in the PC version.

If you have the option, you are much better off to use almost any Windows version of Office and avoid the Mac version. If it is not an option, Outlook 2011 for Mac is a better option than the one included with on your Mac; however that is kind of like voting and picking the lesser evil for a political candidate! If you are a sophisticated user, get Parallels and Windows on your Mac and go for Office 2010 and save yourself a lot of frustration! The expression "ignorance is bliss" applies here, if you have never used the PC versions of Office, you won't miss the additional features missing from Office 2011 for Mac.

Let me elaborate a little: no undo button on the Mac version, the composing features (especially in HTML mode) are extremely lacking and spam? Prepare to be flooded with spam as there are no viable spam filters available! If you want to be productive in an high productive office environment, use one of the PC versions of Microsoft Office, even Office 2007 is much, much better than Office 2011 for Mac!
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