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on December 30, 2013
Says on label if you do not have a DVD drive (like the Macbook Air) you can go on-line and download the apps using the activation code included in this package. I could not. The activation code did not work as noted by many other reviews below. Called Microsoft customer support. Terrible customer service experience. First all lines lead to Windows support, even the numbers given on Microsoft's Office for Mac site, and the supposed direct line given to me by one of their service reps. When I did get to the right department, enjoyed an hour of customer service dialogue during which they had me repeat my activation code seven times, their rep repeatedly screwing up entering it on their end (I do not have an accent; Indian help desk could not understand clear English even when using acronyms like A-apple; D-David, V-Victor to read out product code.) Four times the rep screwed up on the second letter E-Edward! On the eighth try, and third service rep, they finally got it right responding that the activation code was valid IF I USED A SPECIAL INSTALLER NOT AVAILABLE ON THEIR PUBLIC WEB SITE that only they could direct me too. 20 minute download later, the install then went o.k. Bottom line: High risk that if you order this product and need to install on-line, the activation code will not work as promised and you'll spend an hour in MS customer service hell to get what you paid for.

As for the program itself, would not have even ordered it if kids did not need it for school. Their school is still largely Windows based. Have used MS Office for years at work. No real problem with it. Excel remains an excellent tool without peer. Word is o.k., Powerpoint laughably dated and generally awful compared to other presentation programs. Then Microosft introduced the ridiculous ribbon found in this version, which moves around many of the commands and hogs almost 20% of screen real estate. I now find the whole package a pain to use. Again were it not be kids...
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on May 10, 2012
This is a superb product from Microsoft and priced affordably. Unlike the previous version of Office for Mac (2008), Office Mac 2011 once again supports Visual Basic for Applications macros, which is essential if you want to do any serious work involving automation in Excel. Also important is the fact that Office Mac 2011 files are totally Windows friendly. File types are exactly the same.

One caution with installation of the Home & Student version, however. The easy install puts the email program, Outlook, on your hard drive as well, which is not part of the Home & Student Microsoft Office product. If you try to open Outlook, it tries to sell you an upgrade. To avoid this, do a Custom install, unchecking Outlook in the Custom Install dialog box.

Other than this, this is the second version of Office to use the weird tab menu arrangement introduced with Office 2007/2008, and I'm still getting used to it. Darned inconvenient having to use some of these panels at times, when some of my favorite keystrokes, now eliminated, used to do the same things a lot quicker.
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on February 22, 2013
First off I should mention that I am not a power user of Office products, so there is no way I can discuss some of the more advanced features. I can say that I have tried all three applications and have had no stability issues. I have many very old documents that have been opened without issue by the new product. And I have no issues with the user interface. Since I installed the product a month ago there have already been two updates, which I find to be encouraging as it shows that Microsoft is actively maintaining this version despite its age. I don't plan on using the web document sharing capabilities although I can see where this would be very useful for those needing to collaborate on document development. My only concern is the licensing strategy, I have read that if you install the product on a single Mac, but have two users on that Mac, it uses up two of the licenses. Having two Macs at home, and my wife and I sharing them both, would mean we need four licenses if we want to use Office. I would much prefer that it be licensed for three machines, not three users. I have also read that it is difficult to activate the product again if you replace your Mac - apparently you need to go through Microsoft to deal with that issue and it isn't an easy process. Having said all that, I haven't experienced any licensing issues yet myself but have read of numerous issues on various online forums.
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on December 28, 2010
Let me begin by saying that I am in general not a big fan of Microsoft products. I like applications that are only as complex as they need to be, and that focus upon real typical patterns of usage rather than endless lists of "features" that I will never use, because I like to get things done. IMHO most Microsoft products do not meet those criteria and display poor design judgement; they appear dated in a world that is rapidly surpassing them in elegance and openness.

I would thus be unlikely choose Microsoft Office as a primary productivity suite based purely upon the functionality and design of the product. Everything works, but not any better than products like iWork. No, the primary reason to have Microsoft Office for Mac is simply to have coherence with others who are still using Microsoft Office for Windows in as painless a manner as is possible.

In this respect and others, Office 2011 for Mac is a huge step forward relative to Office 2008 for Mac. That older product was horrible in so many ways - careless design, lackluster performance, lack of integration with OSX services, and most importantly very poor compatibility with documents created and/or edited on Windows versions of Office, which negates the main reason for the product to exist. For a company with the enormous resources of Microsoft, Office 2008 was simply insulting. They own the document formats we call "Office", they could create applications that faithfully represent them on darn near anything if they chose to do so. In Office 2011 they finally appear to fulfill upon that promise.

Office 2011 for Mac faithfully reproduces the experience of Office 2007 for Windows, with the "Ribbon" toolbar (really a re-imagined use of a tabbed UI) in addition to the familiar Mac menubar. Features such as alpha channels on images are finally brought to par, and VBA returns to Excel for those who need it. The suite feels fast and responsive. Most importantly, Office 2011 does a proper job of creating and editing documents that is wholly consistent with the Windows version. Gone are the headaches with table formatting, vector graphics, wacky bullet points and lost transparencies in images. It works, which means I can dispense with that copy of Windows7 in VMware that is chewing up so much space on my hard drive.

Bottom line: If you are working and collaborating using complex documents created in Office for Windows, Office 2011 for Mac at last allows you to do this easily and seamlessly. The caveat is that this should never have been a problem in the first place.
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on December 20, 2017
2011 was the best version. I had to put the newer version (2016?) on my newer computer and I don't like it as much. It is full of changes that increase sophistication but decrease usefulness. I will only stop using my 2011 when my computer dies...
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on May 14, 2015
I've taught computer classes for many years. This is a good version of Office, and it may be one of the last versions that may be purchased outright before they require an online subscription to the "service" of Office (what a money-extorting thing that will be!).

Office for Mac is always going to be less impressive than Office for PC (for obvious competition reasons). With that said, this does pretty much all I would expect it to do. Discovering what it won't do is a little annoying, but I'm probably more apt to know what the differences are than the average person.

As long as this is being used for standard day-to-day files, it will likely be the right purchase for you. If you have very specific needs (like truly scientific formulas in Excel, for example), you may be mildly frustrated.
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on January 4, 2011
I bought Office 2011 for Mac for my girlfriend for Xmas. Much to our surprise, her MacBook Pro would try to read the disk for a few minutes then eject the disk saying it was blank.

After hours of experimenting and lots of searching on the web, I found the following:


"I had the same issue. MacBook refused to recognize disc and ejected it. Spoke with MS helpdesk and it appears that the "secret" to getting it to read the disc (at least in my case) was to reboot the MacBook and insert the disc during the reboot. He could provide no explanation as to why that worked while inserting it while the system was running failed but at least I was able to install it without further complications."

My girlfriend tried this out and was successfully able to get Office 2011 for Mac installed. Nice job to both MS and Apple for creating a bug this obscure and incredibly frustrating to figure out. :P
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on January 27, 2014
I use Word most of all to redline documents and send them back to others (so they can see changes). This redline function is markedly different in the MAC Word version than the PC Word version. (I use a Mac at home, PC or Mac at work). The PC version for redlining is much better than the Mac version. In the MAC version, all changes are moved into comment notes in the margin with a red dotted line to where the edit should appear. Kinda like a "Hunt for the Treasure" map.

Let me tell you, it gets SUPER annoying after about 15 minutes. I bought a PC for the house just so I wouldn't have to hunt for how the edit should appear. Have I communicated how annoying this is? It is time consuming to figure out what is being deleted and what is being added. In the PC version it all appears in the text portion of the page. Stricken language is a deletion edit and red text is language to be added. Easy peasy. Wish the MAC version had this. Next time Microsoft, next time...

All other functionality seemed the same (thought the menus are slightly different so you'll have to get used to that). Would I buy it again? Yup. Can't live without it, despite the shortcomings...
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on January 8, 2014
Upgraded to OS 10 Mavericks and lost my 2004 Office as it wasn't supported. Yeah, "magically" my free upgrade cost me $150.00 in working software... Sigh. Thanks. Anyway, the box showed up, the disk went in, life went on with all our "legacy" docs accounted for... Happy to have that over with and the 3 users license may or may not come in handy some day - we're barely using desktops anymore around here. We've had this a while and it seems smart enough to reformat things here and there without causing any problems. The new menus replaced my old menus and I haven't bothered to set them up again. Better to just do less "bells and whistles" than to waste the time. No complaints beyond the annoyances already stated. When this dies however, we will not buy another suite nor "rent" software. Again, better to simplify things than to get tangled up in any more long explanations, presentations, and "proofs." People just won't sit still for all that like they used to... Not even me.
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on April 19, 2011
I was very excited for the 2011 update since Office for Mac 2008 was terrible and had to retrograde to Office 2004 for stability. Life was great with the new office at first but then Excel started having issues which brought my entire MBP to a crawl and consumed 90% of my processor. I deleted preferences, fixed permissions and even deleted Office 2011 and did a clean install all to no avail. I wound up using Google Docs a lot instead of Excel but I need to work with Pivot Tables so something needed to be done.

The Fix, reinstall OSX (10.6) and then freshly install Office 2011. Nothing else worked until I reinstalled the OS and now Excel works as it should. The problem is that I could not use a time machine backup to restore my computer, so in order for Excel to work I had to wipe out everything on my Mac and start from new. This is so frustrating and I was livid that I had to waste an entire afternoon doing this. I wish for Microsoft would do a better job testing the quality of their software. You may not have this problem if you never had previous versions of Office, but if you do... beware and prepare to spend a saturday afternoon messing around with your computer to get excel working.

On the plus side, I really like Google Docs spreadsheet a lot now and have been using it a lot more.
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