Microsoft Office 2008 Vs 2011 For Mac


By Prince McLean
Friday, April 30, 2010, 08:35 am PT (11:35 am ET)

  1. Download Microsoft Office 2008 Mac
  2. Microsoft Office 2008 For Mac
It's been just over two years since Microsoft released Office 2008 for Mac. Now the company is preparing to launch its 2011 edition in significantly less time than it took to update Office 2004, this time delivering an application interface sporting a sharper and more professional look. Here's an early introductory look at what's coming.

Setting the stage for Office 2011
Microsoft's last release of Office 2008 for Mac spent four years in gestation before the suite was finally birthed as a Universal Binary, nearly a year and a half after Apple began shipping its first Intel Macs. It also dropped support for Visual Basic for Applications, an important feature many companies use to automate their document workflow. Office for Mac also lacks Project, Access, and other apps from the Windows version of the suite.
Even so, Microsoft's release was very successful. The company said the release was 'selling faster than any previous version of Office for Mac in the past 19 years,' a fact that was likely related to its sharply lower pricing and much more liberal 'Home and Student Edition' licensing ($149, compared to the $400 Standard Edition sold to businesses).
When Office 2008 arrived, it strained to bridge the awkward gap between being a suite of unique Mac apps that were custom tailored to the platform and its creative users, and being functionally equivalent to the Windows suite, with close adherence to how it looked and worked.
It appeared Microsoft's Mac Business Unit chose to lean in favor of being Mac-like, but rather than delivering tools that looked and worked similar to Mac OS X apps like Apple's own iWork, Office 2008 invented its own idea of what a Mac-like interface was, with lots of day glow, translucent plastic trim salvaged from the late 90s iMacs and other non-standard ornamentation.
This tended to result in Office 2008 looking like a clownish new low in Microsoft's Office efforts on the Mac, after ten years of development since the 1997 deal between Apple and Microsoft, and more than 20 years after Word first premiered on the Macintosh in 1985. Later this year, Microsoft will be refining its Mac productivity suite in a new direction that looks to be a lot more professional and sophisticated.
Microsoft's Fluent UI vs Apple's Toolbars
While the Mac BU delivered Office 2008, the rest of Microsoft was busy taking Office (and Windows) in its own unique direction, following the 'Fluent' user interface concept developed around the Ribbon. This replaced the toolbar and Windows' menu bar (which is integrated into application windows rather than being separate as it is on the Mac OS) with a dynamic strip of controls that packed together a dense amount of user interface buttons and options.
Meanwhile, Apple has established a standard Toolbar user interface for apps in Mac OS X, which allows users to customize the buttons they use, present them with or without text labels, and depict icons in large or small sizes. The company has also standardized its own apps to make heavy use of Inspector palettes. Within iWork, Apple has also introduced the Format Bar as a way to optionally present a contextually relevant strip of controls under the standard Toolbar.
The Mac BU, facing the difficult task of pleasing both sides of very different isles, delivered Office 2008 with both a semi-standard version of the Mac OS X style Toolbar and a strip of Ribbon-like band it called the 'Element Gallery.' The toolbars used in Office 2008 don't offer to resize icons, you can't just display text labels, and they aren't configured using drag and drop sheets like standard Mac Toolbars. Instead, the Office Toolbar is really a replica of the standard Office toolbar, which allows you to select between and customize the rows and rows of familiar icons.

Office 2011's cleaner new look
In the existing Beta 2 of Office 2011, Microsoft has dialed down the Day-Glo frivolity of the clunky feeling Element Gallery and turned it into an actual Ribbon with a much more solid and refined feel. Despite being busy and packed with controls, the new Ribbon looks a lot more professionally subdued, although it feels like it's lacking enough visual contrast to make its elements clearly pop out as distinct options.
The Ribbon has a series of tabs that enable it to pack a huge amount of controls into the inch of space below the more-compact-than-ever Toolbar (which remains an Office Toolbar rather than a standard Mac OS X one.) It's easy to dismiss the Ribbon using a single Toolbar button, providing a large functional space for your content.
In place of a more Mac-like Inspector, Office 2011 provides a toned down Toolbox panel, which serves as a floating window that presents tabs for Styles; bibliographic Citations; Reference Tools including a dictionary, thesaurus and language translation tools; and a Compatibility Checker for reviewing potential problems that might affect interoperability with Office users running other versions of the suite.

Controls that were formerly in the Formatting Palette of Office 2004 were partly moved to the Elements Gallery of Office 2008, but are now completely removed from the Toolbox and will now be part of the Ribbon in Office 2011.
Given that it would be impossible for the Mac BU to completely please either its Mac-centric users or its users with needs for cross platform familiarity between the Mac and Windows versions, the new Office 2011 looks like a well designed compromise that works to look clean, crisp and professional on the Mac while also retaining much of the direction of the latest Windows version.
There's still some odd facets carried forward from Office 2008, such as the candy colored translucent controls around objects or the transparent grey HUD look of some palettes, but the new edition appears to solidify the interface and behave more predictably and maturely. The existing version of Office feels like a beta version of a conceptual effort to create a high energy, glossy interface that really just looks a decade old. This new edition feels more clean and modern, like what one might expect from a serious corporation selling the world's leading productivity suite.
Upcoming segments in this series will examine what's new in each of the individual apps within the new Office 2011 suite.

For those readers interested in the history of Office on the Mac, please see the first segment of AppleInsider'sRoad to Mac Office 2008 series.

Microsoft provided the most extensive look yet into the next version of the Mac version of its popular Office suite on Thursday at Macworld 2010.The new product, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. After a series of delays, Microsoft plans to release Office for Mac 2008 to brick-and-mortar and online stores on January 15, making this the first update in nearly four years. Feb 01, 2016  I get an Office 365 licence for free from my university and so upgraded to 2016 when it was released. 2011 Excel and Powerpoint were fine, but I found Word to be horribly outdated, laggy when handling larger documents and difficult to navigate using the Mac trackpad. 2016 Word is far superior to navigate and use, and looks much more clean.

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac is a version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite for Mac OS X.It supersedes Office 2004 for Mac (which did not have Intel native code) and is the Mac OS X equivalent of Office 2007.Office 2008 was developed by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit and released on January 15, 2008. Office 2008 was followed by Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 released on October. Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 may be the best pick for business users, with major updates to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage. After a series of delays, Microsoft plans to release Office.

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Initial releaseJanuary 15, 2008; 12 years ago
Stable release
Operating systemMac OS X 10.4.9 or later
TypeOffice suite
System requirements[2]
CPUPowerPC G4 or G5
(500 MHz or faster)
or any Intel processor
Operating systemMac OS X10.4.9 or later
Free hard disk space1.5 GB
Optical driveDVD-ROM (for local installation)
NotesUnofficially runs on PowerPC G3 Macs (like the iMac G3 in Bondi Blue) and with less RAM

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac is a version of the Microsoft Officeproductivity suite for Mac OS X. It supersedes Office 2004 for Mac (which did not have Intel native code) and is the Mac OS X equivalent of Office 2007. Office 2008 was developed by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit and released on January 15, 2008. Office 2008 was followed by Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 released on October 26, 2010, requiring a Mac with an Intel processor and Mac OS version 10.5 or better. Office 2008 is also the last version to feature Entourage, which was replaced by Outlook in Office 2011. Microsoft stopped supporting Office 2008 on April 9, 2013.


Office 2008 was originally slated for release in the second half of 2007; however, it was delayed until January 2008, purportedly to allow time to fix lingering bugs.[3] Office 2008 is the only version of Office for Mac supplied as a Universal Binary.

Unlike Office 2007 for Windows, Office 2008 was not offered as a public beta before its scheduled release date.[4]

Microsoft office 2008 for mac


Office 2008 for Mac includes the same core programs currently included with Office 2004 for Mac: Entourage, Excel, PowerPoint and Word.

Mac-only features included are a publishing layout view, which offers functionality similar to Microsoft Publisher for Windows, a 'Ledger Sheet mode' in Excel to ease financial tasks, and a 'My Day' application offering a quick way to view the day's events.[5]

Download Microsoft Office 2008 Mac

Office 2008 supports the new Office Open XML format, and defaults to saving all files in this format. On February 21, 2008 Geoff Price revealed that the format conversion update for Office 2004 would be delayed until June 2008 in order to provide the first update to Office 2008.[6]

Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications is not supported in this version.[7] As a result, such Excel add-ins dependent on VBA, such as Solver, have not been bundled in the current release.[8] In June 2008, Microsoft announced that it is exploring the idea of bringing some of the functionality of Solver back to Excel.[9] In late August 2008, Microsoft announced that a new Solver for Excel 2008 was available as a free download from Frontline Systems, original developers of the Excel Solver.[10][11] However, Excel 2008 also lacks other functionality, such as Pivot Chart functionality, which has long been a feature in the Windows version. In May 2008, Microsoft announced that VBA will be making a return in the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac.[12]AppleScript and the Open Scripting Architecture will still be supported.


Error message in Microsoft Excel showing features that are not supported

Office 2008 for Mac lacks feature parity with the Windows version. The lack of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support in Excel makes it impossible to use macros programmed in VBA. Microsoft's response is that adding VBA support in Xcode would have resulted in an additional two years added to the development cycle of Office 2008.[13] Other unsupported features include: OMML equations generated in Word 2007 for Windows,[14] Office 'Ribbon', Mini Toolbar, Live Preview, and an extensive list of features are unsupported such as equivalent SharePoint integration with the Windows version. Some features are missing on Excel 2008 for Mac, including: data filters (Data Bars, Top 10, Color-based, Icon-based), structured references, Excel tables, Table styles, a sort feature allowing more than three columns at once and more than one filter on a sort.

Benchmarks suggest that the original release of Office 2008 runs slower on Macs with PowerPC processors, and does not provide a significant speed bump for Macs with Intel processors.[15]

A using a program to remove application support files in unwanted languages), and which do not affect Office's operations, but which cause the updaters' installers to believe that the application is not valid for update. A small modification to the installer has been found an effective work-around (see reference).[18]

Another widespread problem reported after SP1 is that Office files will no longer open in Office applications when opened (double-clicked) from the Mac OS X Finder or launched from other applications such as an email attachment. The trigger for this problem is that Microsoft in SP1 unilaterally and without warning deprecated certain older Mac OS 'Type' codes such as 'WDBN' that some files may have, either because they are simply very old, or because some applications assign the older Type code when saving them to the disk. Users have seen the problem affect even relatively new Type codes, however, such as 'W6BN'. Microsoft is apparently looking into the problem, but it is unclear if they will reinstate the older Type codes, citing security concerns.[19]

Another problem with cross-platform compatibility is that images inserted into any Office application by using either cut and paste or drag and drop result in a file that does not display the inserted graphic when viewed on a Windows machine. Instead, the Windows user is told 'QuickTime and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture'. A user presented one solution as far back as December 2004.[20]

A further example of the lack of feature parity is the track changes function. Whereas users of Word 2003 or 2007 for Windows are able to choose freely between showing their changes in-line or as balloons in the right-hand margin,[21][22] choosing the former option in Word 2004 or Word 2008 for Mac OS also turns off all comment balloons; comments in this case are visible only in the Reviewing Pane or as popup boxes (i.e. upon mouseover).[23] This issue has not been resolved to date and is present in the latest version of Word for the Mac, namely Word 2011.[24]


The toolbox found in Office 2008 also has problems when the OS X feature Spaces is used: switching from one Space to another will cause elements of the Toolbox to get trapped on one Space until the Toolbox is closed and reopened. The only remedy for this problem is to currently disable Spaces, or at least refrain from using it whilst working in Office 2008.[25] Microsoft has acknowledged this problem and states that it is an architectural problem with the implementation of Spaces. Apple has been informed of the problem, according to Microsoft.[26] The problem appears to be caused by the fact that the Toolbox is Carbon-based.[citation needed] Using Microsoft Office with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard solves some of the problems.[26]

In addition, there is no support for right to left and bidirectional languages (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, etc.) in Office 2008,[27][28] making it impossible to read or edit a right to left document in Word 2008 or PowerPoint 2008. Languages such as Thai are similarly not supported, although installing fonts can sometimes allow documents written in these languages to be displayed.

Moreover, Office 2008 proofing tools support only a limited number of languages (Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Swiss German).[29] Proofing tools for other languages failed to find their way to the installation pack, and are not offered by Microsoft commercially in the form of separately sold language packs. At the same time, Office applications are not integrated with the proofing tools native to Mac OS X 10.6 Leopard.

Microsoft Visio is not available for OS X. This means that any embedded Visio diagrams in other Office documents (e.g. Word) cannot be edited in Office on the Mac. Embedded Visio diagrams appear as a low-quality bitmap both in the WYSIWYG editor and upon printing the document on the Mac.


Microsoft Office 2008 For Mac

Comparison of different editions of Office 2008 for Mac
Applications and servicesHome & StudentStandardBusiness EditionSpecial Media Edition
Exchange Server supportNoYesYesYes
Automator ActionsNoYesYesYes
Office Live and SharePoint supportNoNoYesNo
Expression MediaNoNoNoYes

See also[edit]


  1. ^'Microsoft Support Lifecycle - Office 2008'. Microsoft. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  2. ^'Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Specs'. CNET. January 15, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  3. ^'It's Coming: Mac BU Announces Intent to Deliver Office 2008 for Mac'. Microsoft. January 9, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  4. ^'Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac delayed until January 2008'. TUAW. August 2, 2007.
  5. ^'Microsoft starts testing Office 2008 for Mac'. Cnet. April 2, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
  6. ^'MS Office Mac Discussion Board'. January 15, 2008.
  7. ^'Saying goodbye to Visual Basic'. August 8, 2006.
  8. ^'MS Office Mac Discussion Board'. January 15, 2008.
  9. ^'Excel 2008 and Solver'. June 26, 2008.
  10. ^'Solver For Excel 2008 Is Available'. August 29, 2008.
  11. ^'Solver is Back for Microsoft Excel 2008 on Macintosh'. August 29, 2008.
  12. ^'Microsoft Office Update, and Visual Basic for Applications to Return - Mac Rumors'. May 13, 2008.
  13. ^'MS Mactopia Blog'. March 13, 2008.
  14. ^Known issues in Word 2008 – Equations saved from Word 2007 for Windows do not appear in Word 2008 for Mac
  15. ^'MS Mactopia Blog'. March 13, 2008.
  16. ^'CambridgeSoft Website'.
  17. ^New installer for 12.0.1 (The Entourage Help Blog)
  18. ^MacFixit article: More Fixes for Problems InstallingArchived January 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^http://www.microsoft.com/mac/help.mspx?target=0b9aa757-50ab-443b-8b0e-3a50ece1d5451033&clr=99-4-0
  20. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^'IT training – IT training – IT Services – Administrative and academic support divisions – Services and divisions – Staff and students – Home'. Ittraining.lse.ac.uk. May 7, 2010. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  23. ^[1][dead link]
  24. ^http://officeformac.com/ms/ProductForums/Word/11634/0
  25. ^Bugs & Fixes: Office 2008 and Leopard’s Spaces don’t mix, Macworld, December 8, 2008
  26. ^ abOffice 2008 for Mac and Mac OS X Spaces, Microsoft
  27. ^Help and How-To for Microsoft for Mac Office Products Mactopia
  28. ^Higgaion » It’s official: no RTL support in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
  29. ^Proofing tools that are available for each language

External links[edit]

  • MacBU interview: Office 2008 Exchange Server support[permanent dead link]
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