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 and Office 365, including a breakdown of exactly what you get with each Office option and how much it'll cost you.

When is Office 2019 for Mac coming out?

In an unusual move, Microsoft has announced an update for both the Windows and Mac OS versions of Office. On 24 September, the company made Office 2019 available for volume license customers, and revealed that the new software would be available for the rest of its customers in the "coming weeks."

The new features coming in Office 2019 largely consist of those that have been issued as updates to the Office 365 subscription version of the product since the last big Office release in 2016.

These new features include focus mode in Word, new learning and translation tools, accessibility improvements, new transitions in PowerPoint and lots more. You can find out more about the new features on Microsoft's blog.

In the past, Microsoft has focused on issuing new updates to the PC version of Office and hasn't been concerned with issuing a coinciding update to the Mac version, but 2019's release changes that.

How much does Office for Mac cost?

We expect Office for Mac 2019 to be the same price as the current Office for Mac 2016, so we'd recommend waiting a week or so for the new version to come out.

If you can't wait, you can get Office for Mac 2016 now. It is available in two forms with a one-off payment: Home & Student or Home & Business. Buy either, and you've got Office for life, but you won't get updated to the next major Office release unless you pay another one-off payment for it.

This option is for those that don't like the idea of a monthly payment and have a bigger lump sum available to spend on Office now. It's also for those who aren't worried about upgrading to the newest version of Office for Mac when it comes out, or are willing to spend another chunk of cash in order to get it.

The alternative is Office 365, which uses a subscription service - more on that below.

Here are the two full Office for Mac versions, how much they cost and what they include.

Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac

Price: £119.99 ($149.99)

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

Office Home & Business 2016 for Mac

Price: £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 Store

How much does Office 365 cost?

You can buy Office for Mac as a one time purchase (as above) or as part of Microsoft's Office 365 subscription service. The subscription route will cost you less upfront, and is available on a month-by-month basis or a yearly basis. When Microsoft launches new versions of Office, you'll get them as part of your subscription. You are also able to install Office 365 on more devices, and you'll get some additional features as part of the package.

At WWDC 2018 Apple announced that Office 365 will be coming to the Mac App Store later in the year - which would mean you can install and update it along with all the rest of your apps - but didn't give a more precise timeframe. It's likely this will come after macOS Mojave releases in the autumn though, so it might not be worth holding out until then. Read on if you're ready to sign up now.

Office 365 Home

Subscribe for £79.99 a year ($99.99)

Subscribe for £7.99 a month ($9.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher (PC only), and Access (PC only)

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

OneDrive storage: 1TB per user for up to 5 users

Skype: 60 minutes calls to mobiles and landlines per month for 5 users

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

Office 365 Personal

Subscribe for £59.99 a year ($69.99)

Subscribe for £5.99 a month ($6.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher (PC only), and Access (PC only)

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

OneDrive storage: 1TB

Skype: 60 minutes calls to mobiles and landlines per month

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

Office 365 University

Subscribe for £59.99 for 4 years ($79.99)

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher (PC only), and Access (PC only)

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

OneDrive storage: 1TB

Skype: 60 minutes calls to mobiles and landlines per month

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

Office 365 Business

Subscribe for £7.90 per user per month for 1 year

Includes: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher (PC only) and OneDrive for business. (Upgrade to Business Premium for more Office 365 services including Skype, Exchange and SharePoint).

Install on: 5 PCs or Macs, 5 phones, 5 tablets per user.

OneDrive storage: 1TB

Will my Mac run 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 Aluminium, 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.

Microsoft Office Touch Bar features

New features added to Microsoft Office for Mac in February 2017 included 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:

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.