Tag: Software

Office 2011 for Mac Sneak Preview

Works Just Like Office, but on a Mac

Overview: Microsoft Office for Mac suite is being updated for 2011. This is an overview / preview of the notable new features.Microsoft office 2011 mac preview

Product: Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac

Price: Not announced yet

Availability: Some time in 2011

Finally, a Good Reason to Install Office on a Mac

If you have ever tried to work with Office files on a Mac, you know it can often be a frustrating experience. Microsoft has made a version of their Office suite (Microsoft Office for Mac ) for Mac users for a while now. That however, does not mean it’s the same as using Office on a PC. It’s just not! Sure, there are other options available; Open Office (free), Apple iWork ($75), or some of the web-based options like Google or Zoho. While they are all “acceptable” and have their merits, they’re just not Microsoft Office on a PC.

I have been very vocal about how much I hated Office 2008 for Mac and have used many terrible workarounds to overcome its lousy user experience. So when I heard that there was a beta preview for Office 2011 for Mac floating around I had to take a look. First off, as of today (May 10, 2010) you can’t officially get a copy from Microsoft’s website. It is supposed to be more widely available some time this summer. As for how I got a copy to test…. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Seriously, if you hunt around on your favorite torrent sites, you will find a perfectly functional demo copy to try out.

So how good is it? Let’s take a look.

Look and Feel

The most prominent thing about this version of Office for the Mac is the addition of the “Ribbon” which was introduced in Office 2007 for Windows. It was not added to Office 2008 for Mac. This is a wonderful addition to the software. Not only do you get the benefits of the Ribbon, you still get the standard Mac menu across the top of the screen. I wish that the Windows version had a better blend of the Ribbon and Menu system.

Ribbon interface on windows 2011 for mac

As you can see, it is very similar to Office 2007. Plus, if you double-click on any of the tabs, they will collapse to give you more screen real estate. Just double-click again to restore the menu.

This is a very nice overhaul.

If you take a look at the Excel interface, you can see that it looks like regular old Excel, not that unusable abomination in Office 2008.

excel interface for office 2011

Welcome to my home computer old friend.

Cool New Features

Other than the interface overhaul, the best update to the suite is that piece of crap Entourage has been thrown into the dungheap where it belongs and replaced with….. Wait for it….. Outlook!!! Thank god. As a Windows user who converted to a Mac a while back, I can’t stand any of the iCal, Address Book, or Mail applications on my Mac.

Microsoft Outlook 2011 for mac

This version of Outlook works just like you would expect. Major improvement!

There are also several nice little additions to all of the apps. They expanded upon the SmartArt, Templates, and Themes available to allow you to make any documents look beautiful.

smartart for mac office 2011

Overview

Pros:

  • The “Ribbon” interface works great
  • Real Excel that really works
  • Microsoft Outlook instead of Entourage
  • Works just like Office for Windows, but with cool Mac stuff in there
Cons:

  • Still a quarter of a step behind the Windows version
  • It won’t be cheap

What I Would Change

The Windows 2010 preview had a really nice screenshot feature on the Insert tab of each application that would have been great here too. I would have liked it if the Ribbon tabs were more “identical” between the Windows and Mac version as I switch back and forth between machines daily. All-in-all, these are some minute nit picks though.

Overall Rating

I would rate the Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac suite about a 9.75 out of 10. This is about as good as it gets. Everything you need from Office with everything you love about your Mac.

Bravo!!!

Is it Upgrade Worthy?

If you need to do any work in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word; you MUST purchase this update as soon as it goes on sale. This is such a significant upgrade over any previous version of Office for Mac, or iWork, or Open Office that it is worth every penny.

See Office 2011 for Mac in Action

This video overview shows the beta of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac and covers some of the major changes.

Don’t Take My Word for It

Here are a few other reviews of this beta preview:

  1. Download Microsoft Office 2011 For Mac Beta 2 14.0.0.100326 Leaked

  2. Microsoft stepping closer to Mac Office 2011 with Messenger Beta

  3. Microsoft announces Office for Mac 2011 | Software | Working Mac

  4. First Screenshots of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Surface – Mac

  5. Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac Gets Undressed – Mac office 2010

  6. Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac screenshots leaked

  7. Microsoft debuts Office for Mac 2011 | MacNN

Take a Look at My Review of the New Office 2010 for Windows

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Share Files Between Any Devices in your Home

Learn How to Tie All of your Gadgets Together

Sharing files tutorial series

You Can Get there from Here

Your home has any number of “connected” devices (Computers, Video Game Consoles, Phones, Portable Media Players, Televisions, DVRs, etc.). Are they all really connected? This three part tutorial series will show you how to connect all of the devices in your house to each other.

I will show you some simple (and some not so simple) steps to get all of your devices singing in perfect harmony including:


Sharing Files on your Computers

You will learn how to share your files between Windows, Mac, and Linux computers on your home network. Once you have the files on all of your machines shared, you need to connect to them from another machine. You will also learn how to “map” these shared drives so that they are always available, just like your computer’s local Hard Drive or CD/DVD Drive. Share Files Between All of your Computers

Connecting your Computer to your Living Room

You will learn how to stream all of the music, photos, and videos on your computers to your living room using your video game console. There are instructions for Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. You will see how to connect WIndows, Mac, and Linux machines to all three gaming systems. Stream Computer Media to the TV using Video Game Consoles

Connecting your Smartphone to your Computer

You will learn how to stream music, photos, and videos from your computer to your smartphone. You will also learn how to use your smartphone to control your computers and schedule recordings on your DVR. Sharing Between your Smartphone and Computer

5min.com Video of the Day

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85 Free Apps that will Save you Thousands of Dollars

Save Tons of Cash with the Best Free Software

OVERVIEW: You can replace the most expensive applications on a typical computer with excellent, free software and internet services and never miss a beat.

85-best-free-applications.jpg

Why Pay More?

Equipping your computer with the software that you need to get everything done can be insanely expensive. However, you don’t need to put off your retirement to have a very effective computer that is loaded with everything you need. You don’t need to by the most expensive apps to take care of occasional things. I compiled a list of ways to replace the most expensive software that typically sits on most people’s home or work computers.

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Stuff I Like

Things That Don’t Suck

Stuff I Like

Making Life a Little Nicer

Sometimes I find myself complaining about things that frustrate me. Well, it’s actually pretty easy to find things that suck, but I decided to take some time to talk about a few things that have been making me particularly happy lately.

 

Instaper – This is a simple tool to save web pages for reading later. If you see a page, article, story, or whatever that you don’t have time to read now, you can tuck it away to be read later. You can go back and read your saved stuff later on either your computer, iPhone, Kindle, or even good old fashioned paper. Plus, you can send pages to Instapaper from your browser, RSS reader, Twitter apps, and a bunch of other places.

 

Netflix Streaming for PS3 – You can instantly stream movies from Netflix to your TV via your PlayStation 3. The best part about it is that the movie starts instantly. That’s right, no stupid credits. I spent two straight days home sick from work recently. I don’t’ think I would have made it without the dozen movies that I watched.

 

PixelPipe – When I create videos for my tutorials/podcast, I need to upload them to multiple places on the web. PixelPipe allows me to load my videos, images, and updates to accounts on dozens of sites. (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Vimeo, and many, many more.) If you have a lot of videos, images, or updates to make, this service will save you more time than you can imagine.

 

My New Moleskine Notebook – I got this notebook from the team at Automattic for volunteering at the WordCampNYC conference. It’s just the right size for me to carry it everywhere. It has a nice little pocket in the back to hold business cards, scraps of paper, and other stuff. I use it to plan projects, articles, and other tasks.

Get your own awesome Moleskine Notebook.

 

Windows 7 – I decided that I needed to upgrade to WIndows 7 so that my tutorials were more up-to-date. I started off by installing a new Parallels Virtual Machine on my Mac. First of all, this is easily the best OS that Microsoft has put out. It’s prettier than Vista and as light as XP. My wife needs a new laptop and I can’t wait to set up a full-fledged machine running Windows 7. Nice job Microsoft!

 

Applications that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux – Being that I’m constantly switching between Operating Systems and it is really helpful to have a few applications that are supported on each. This really eases the transitions. Some of my favorite are: Firefox, Filezilla, Picasa, VLC, and any Adobe AIR apps.

 

Google Voice – I love the new Voicemail text transcription feature. Isn’t that enough?

 

Movies in 2D – Because 3D is just retarded! I’m looking at you Avatar. (and Coraline, and the upcoming Alice in Wonderland travesty.)

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