Microsoft Announces New Office for Mac Features

Microsoft has announced a new series of updates for the Mac version of its Office productivity suite, first available as part of the Insider program in the Fast ring and likely to arrive for all users at a later time.

Build 16.6 (version 171001) comes with several improvements for users with an Office 365 subscription in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, including real-time co-authoring and AutoSave for OneDrive and SharePoint files.

Microsoft explains
that auto-saving works just like expected to automatically save documents as you make changes, while co-authoring allows users to see what others are doing as edits are being made.

Additionally, this update comes with a new Share menu aimed at files stored on OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint, but also with PowerPoint QuickStarter, which makes it possible to create presentations using Bing Knowledge graph and content that’s available online.

And last but not least, Office 365 subscribers get modern chart types, including Waterfall, Funnel, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap, and Sunburst.

Improvements for non-Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft has also prepared changes for users without an Office 365 subscription, with Visual Basic for Applications (also known as VBA) updates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

“Some additional methods, properties, objects, and enums available to Windows Office users will now work on Mac as well. There are still differences between the Mac and Windows Object Model, so you will still see ‘not supported on this platform’ for some elements. More details on the Object Model changes will be available soon,” Microsoft explains.

Keep in mind that all these features are currently in beta-testing as part of the Insider program and there’s no guarantee that all would make it to production builds of the Office productivity suite. Depending on how testing goes and the amount of time that Microsoft needs to address the bugs that users discover in the latest update, it shouldn’t take too long before the company makes the update and the new features available for all users.

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