Office for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other productivity tools, is available in various different forms. Here, we help dispel the confusion with our complete guide to Office for Mac 2016, including advice on whether an Office 365 subscription is best for you.

When is Office for Mac 2017 coming out?

Office for Mac 2016 was first launched as part of Office 365 in July 2015, but wasn't available to buy outright (rather than the 365 subscription model) had to wait until September of the same year. Since then, several new features have been introduced to the software package, including new features for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar.

Almost two years has passed since the initial release of Office for Mac 2016, but we're not expecting Office for Mac 2017 any time soon. In fact, it's unlikely to happen at all. There was a five-year gap between this current version of Office for Mac and its predecessor, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. So it's more likely we'll see a 2021 release of the next Office!

There are regular updates to Office for Mac, though, which you'll find out more about below.

How much does Office for Mac cost?

Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac

Pay £119.99 ($149.99)

Includes: Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote

Install on: 1 Mac

OneDrive storage: 15GB

Skype: n/a

See now on the UK Microsoft Store | See now on the US Microsoft Store | See now on Amazon

Office Home & Business 2016 for Mac

Pay £229.99 ($229.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook

Install on: 1 Mac

OneDrive storage: 15GB

Skype: n/a

See now on the UK Microsoft Store | See now on the US Microsoft StoreSee now on Amazon

How much does Office 365 cost?

Office 365 Home

Subscribe for £79.99 a year ($99.99)

Subscribe for £7.99 a month ($9.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote PLUS: Outlook, Publisher, and Access

Install on: 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets and 5 phones

OneDrive storage: 1TB per user

Skype: 60 minutes per month for 5 users

See now on the UK Microsoft Store | See now on the US Microsoft Store | See now on Amazon

Office 365 Personal

Subscribe for £59.99 a year ($69.99)

Subscribe for £5.99 a month ($6.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote PLUS: Outlook, Publisher, and Access

Install on: 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet and 1 phone

OneDrive storage: 1TB

Skype: 60 minutes per month

See now on the UK Microsoft Store | See now on the US Microsoft Store | See now on Amazon

Office 365 University

Subscribe for £59.99 for 4 years ($79.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote PLUS: Outlook, Publisher, and Access

Install on: 2 PCs or Macs or tablets, 2 phones

OneDrive storage: 1TB

Skype: 60 minutes per month

See now on the UK Microsoft Store | See now on the US Microsoft Store | See now on Amazon

Will my Mac run the Office for Mac 2016?

Office 2016 for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and 4GB RAM.

The following Macs should therefore be able to run Office 2016 for Mac.

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

There are also iOS versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, read about the versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook for iPad and Phone here.

Microsoft for Office Touch Bar features

New features added to Microsoft Office for Mac in February 2017 include a number of new functions made possible by the Track Pad and Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro.

Touch Bar features in Word:

In Word, you can use the Touch Bar to insert photos, hyperlinks, or comments in your document.

The Word Focus Mode feature hides all ribbons and controls from the screen so that you could focus on writing in Word, while keeping the most relevant commands at your fingertips thanks to the Touch Bar.

Touch Bar features in PowerPoint:

In PowerPoint, the Touch Bar gets “view-specific controls” to present a slideshow.

The Touch Bar integrates slide thumbnails so you can move through your presentation, and it also includes a timer to keep you on time.

Touch Bar features in Excel:

In Excel, pressing the equal sign launches the most recently used commands on the Touch Bar. From there you can tap to select a range and perform a specific function.

Touch Bar features in Outlook:

Microsoft confirmed that Touch Bar support for Outlook and Skype for Business would be coming soon.

When it does, the following features will be available: When composing an email, for example, the Touch Bar will surface recent files so that you can add an attachment with one tap.

In Outlook’s Today view, you can use the Touch Bar to get a quick glimpse of your calendar events for the day, or quickly launch a Skype for Business call.

MacBook Pro users can access these features by going to Help > Check for updates in any of their Office for Mac apps.

How long does Microsoft usually take to update Office for Mac?

As you can see from the list below, as a rule new versions happen about every three years, and usually the Mac version of Office comes out some time after the PC version. The extra time - often as much as a year - gives Microsoft's Mac development team time to produce a Mac version of the software suite, rather than just port the Windows version.

  •                         1995 – Office 95 for Windows
  •                         1997 – Office 97 for Windows
  •                         1998 - Office 98 for Mac
  •                         2000 – Office 2000 for Windows
  •                         Late 2000 - Office 2001 for Mac
  •                         2001 - Office X - the first Mac OS X edition
  •                         2002 – Office XP for Windows
  •                         2003 – Office 2003 for Windows
  •                         2004 - Office 2004 for Mac
  •                         2007 – Office 2007 for Windows
  •                         2008 - Office 2008 for Mac
  •                         2010 – Office 2010 for Windows
  •                         2010 - Office 2011 for Mac
  •                         2013 – Office 2013 for Windows
  •                         2015 – Office 2016 for Mac
  •                         2015 – Office 2016 for Windows

Office for Mac 2011 launched in October 2010, almost five years before Office for Mac 2016 arrived. The wait was exacerbated because Office 2013 for Windows launched in January 2013 but nothing arrived for the Mac.

By comparison, Office 2010 for Windows launched in June 2010 and Office for Mac 2011 launched just 4 months later in October 2010.

This is the longest period of time to have passed between Office for Mac updates, the previous record being 1,088 days, while the longest length of time passing between a Windows and a Mac version update to date has been 188 days.

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