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Microsoft Updates Office for Mac 2016 Preview with Visual and Performance Improvements

Posted by Jim Tanous on April 15, 2015
office for mac 2016 preview

Microsoft late Tuesday released an update to the Office for Mac 2016 Preview. In addition to a number of bug fixes and functionality improvements, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint received some visual tweaks that mirror the changes in progress for the Office 2016 for Windows beta.

From Microsoft’s release notes, this week’s update includes:

Outlook

  • Networking improvements for Exchange accounts
  • New “Propose New Time” feature: Meeting attendees can propose a new time for a meeting, and meeting organizers can view and modify meeting proposals and send updates.
  • Known bug fixes

Word

  • Scrolling performance improvements
  • New Macro recording feature
  • New search feature for online document templates
  • Proofing tools: New “custom dictionary” and “exclude dictionary” support
  • New user information settings in program preferences
  • Improved keyboard shortcuts: Support for the most popular Windows Word keyboard shortcuts
  • Accessibility feature: Improved support for VoiceOver
  • Performance improvements
  • Known bug fixes

Excel

  • New Analysis ToolPak
  • New “Solver” feature
  • Accessibility feature: Improved support for VoiceOver
  • Known bug fixes

PowerPoint

  • Accessibility feature: Improved support for VoiceOver
  • Known bug fixes

An example of the new design (right) can be seen compared to the old design (left) in the screenshot below (click to get a full-sized image). OneNote, which is a standalone application released separately by Microsoft last year, did not receive any updates, and Outlook, although receiving the bug and performance fixes noted above, did not receive any visual changes.

office for mac 2016 update changes

Microsoft has made the long overdue Office 2016 for Mac Preview available for free to all users during its testing phase. The full suite is expected to launch later this year and will be made available to Office 365 subscribers. It is not known at this time if Microsoft will offer a free version with limited functionality, as they do for Office on iOS, or if a perpetually licensed version will be made available.

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