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CNET First Look
Office 2011 for MacThe latest overhaul for the Mac version of Microsoft's Office suite has plenty to be excited about. But is it better than Apple's iWork or other online offerings? Find out in our review.
Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac is here today and it's loaded with new features across the suite we think Mac users will appreciate. Hi, I'm Jason Parker from CNET and this is a first look at Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. The Mac version of this venerable Office software suite includes Work, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. As with any large suite of software, to list all the features of the suite here would be a little bit impractical, so we're going to focus on some of the highlights from Office 2011 for Mac. One of the longest awaited editions by far is the inclusion of Outlook 2011, the e-mail, scheduling, and calendar app that formerly caused so many headaches for Mac users in Windows-dominated businesses. Now you'll be able to connect up with Microsoft Exchange server, use global addresses, view calendars, and set up meetings just like your Windows co-workers. Among several new features, Outlook 2011 offers compatibility with Windows data files for easy import, calendar preview for quickly previewing calendars from inside a meeting invite, My Day View so you can stay on top of your busy schedule and much more. Office 2011 for Mac offers several interface tweaks but the main component that should make your work flow easier is the updated ribbon. Microsoft says the ribbon in Office 2011 was built from the ground up for Mac users and it looks like they got it right. Tabs in the ribbon are organized to display tasks that are relevant to what you're currently working on. Clicking on an image in a Word document, for example, gives you contextual tabs for image editing, color correction, and formatting options. Though the Ribbon has been mostly well received by users, like any new feature, some users just can't get used to it. Fortunately, Office 2011 for Mac lets you optionally use familiar tools like the Menu bar and standard toolbar so you don't have to relearn anything. Another great perk in Office 2011 is you almost never need to start a project from scratch. Whether you're in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, Office offers enormous template galleries to get you started quickly. Even if the included templates don't have what you're looking for, you can search through thousands of user made templates online by category or by using keywords. The new media browser saves time as well by giving you a central location for all your multimedia content, regardless of which Office program you're using. You also can quickly navigate your own content in iMovie, iPhoto, and even add music to your presentations from iTunes. In PowerPoint, new features include the ability to broadcast your slide show using Windows Live, whether you wanna test your presentation on a co-worker or broadcast to a conference room from a remote location. Another interesting interface tweak is the ability to dynamically reorder objects on a single slide. When you want to bring a certain graphic element forward on the slide, simply go to the Arrange drop down menu and click "Reorder Objects" to get a 3D accordion version of your slide for easy reordering. Excel got its share of tweaks and enhancements, too. The addition of spark lines in Excel 2011 lets you create a cell in your spreadsheet designed to make your data more visually accessible. Overall, Office 2011 for Mac is a huge stepup from previous versions. With the addition of Outlook, new multimedia features, co-authoring and intuitive interface enhancements, Office will make your presentation sing. There's plenty more that we haven't shown here so be sure to read our full review. I'm Jason Parker from CNET and this has been a first look at Office 2011 for Mac. Thanks for watching.