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Best Microsoft Office Version for Mac

Best Microsoft Office Version for Mac

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There are different versions of Office that are available for Mac users. All these versions come with different features that suit each user differently. The two major versions available are Office for Mac and Office 365.

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Office for Mac

The latest version that is available, as of now, is the 2016 version. Microsoft is planning to release a 2019 version but the only available package is for businesses or large user groups. Office for Mac requires payment upfront and once cleared you get to use it for the rest of your life.

However, you do not get any updates unless you pay another sum. This version only comes with the main Office applications. These include; Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. If you purchase the business suite you get Outlook. It comes with a license valid for only one Mac device and 15GB OneDrive storage.

There are two available packages of Office for Mac:

  1. Office Home & Student: This package comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. It is available for $109.99.
  2. Office Home & Business: Here you get one additional office application; that is Outlook. It is available for $169.99.

Office 365

Office 365 gives you access to more office apps. The main difference is that here you have to subscribe to a monthly or yearly fee. Once you subscribe to this version you get all subsequent upgrades for free. It is more flexible since different packages allow you to install the suite in a number of Mac devices. It comes with free 1TB OneDrive storage for each individual user in all packages.

There are four available packages of Office 365:

  1. Office 365 Personal: This package comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. Publisher and Access only work on PCs. You get to install it once on each Mac device (PC, Tablet, Phone). You also get 60 minutes of free skype calls each month. This is available for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
  2. Office 365 Home: For $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year you get all the above features for up to 5 users. Each user can install it once on each of their Mac devices and enjoy the individual benefits.
  3. Office 365 University: With this subscription you pay $74.99 for four years. You get all the Office apps of the above packages and you can install it on 2 PCs or tablets and on only one mobile device. It was designed for students.
  4. Office 365 Business: This package allows you to pay $10 for each user monthly but for an annual package you pay $8.25 per user monthly. Each user can install the app on 5 PCs, 5 tablets and 5 mobile devices. It doesn’t come with free skype calls. The only added feature is the OneDrive for business which can be upgraded to access better features such as Skype, Exchange and SharePoint.

What to consider before buying Office for your Mac

Different users need different packages. Here are some of the factors to consider before buying Microsoft Office for Mac.

Subscription or One-time Payment

According to your needs, you may prefer to purchase the Office Suite once and avoid any subsequent payments. This means you are contented with the available features and you don’t need any upgrades.

This also saves you the pain of having that monthly deduction to your income and allows you to use Office features for the rest of your life with no compulsory additional costs. If you only use Office for small simple projects then this is the best choice for you.

However, if you would like to have the most recent Office features and you are comfortable with small monthly payments, a subscription module would be best. This module is also best for businesses and organizations.


As we saw above, different packages come with different features. Before you decide which Microsoft Office package is best for your Mac you should have clearly identified the intended use and the features that will be required. After this you can now see which package offers the features you require and proceed to acquire it.

Number of Users

Some packages allow installation on up to 5 devices. Compared to single user packages, they offer lower prices per user. Determine the possible number of users and look for a package that offers a cheaper option for those users.


Once you have determined your user requirements, there is also a choice to be made in terms of cost. A package is not necessarily good for you just because you can afford it. If you do some more digging there is usually an option that offers the features you need at lower prices.

It is also important to make sure that the package you intend to buy is within your price range. If you cannot afford it or it strains your budget, then just look for a cheaper option.

Version of your Mac OS and Office requirements

The last thing to consider is the version of your Mac OS. Office versions come with different user requirements. OS compatibility is a major issue. If you are on an older Mac OS version then consider buying an older Office version.

For example, Office 2016 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 and later. For earlier versions there is Office 2011 and some other older versions.

There are other criteria such as RAM, Storage space, processor and other hardware specifications that need to be catered for to make sure the Microsoft Office Suite works on your Mac. All these must be considered before you commit to particular version in order to avoid technicalities.

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Jim Tanous

Oct 22, 2018

676 Articles Published