You can run Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on a Mac (and on your iPad or iPhone). But it’s not a simple case of installing the application you need and starting to type. You need to choose whether to sign up to a subscription or buy the full version outright. You need to decide whether you need just one application or all of them. And, if you are choosing a subscription package, you need to determine what kind of subscription applies.

There are multiple ways in which you can get the Office apps on your Mac. We’ll help you figure out which version of Office for Mac is the right one for you in our complete guide to buying Microsoft Office for Mac.

What is the latest version of Office for Mac?

This is as good a place to start as any. The latest version of Office for Mac is Office 2019. However, there are two versions of Office 2019: one is a version you buy outright, and the other version comes as part of an Office 365 subscription.

If you buy Office 2019 outright you only have to worry about paying for it once, but you will miss out on new features that those subscribers to Office 365 will be getting. More on the specific differences below.

Office 365 subscribers gain new features via twice yearly updates to the suite (in September and March). For example, a release in November 2019 bought the ability for PowerPoint on iOS to convert sketches (known as Ink) into shapes, text or mathematical symbols.

However, both versions will receive security and performance updates, such as the Office 16.31 update on 12 November. That update fixed various performance issues.

You can find details of the latest version here:

What’s the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019?

Office 2019 for Mac was launched in September 2018 as an update to Office 2016 for Mac. However, some of the new features had already been available as part of an Office 365 subscription.

Office 2019 for Mac

With Office 365 Microsoft, like many other developers, adopted a subscription system whereby customers could pay monthly or yearly to always have the most up to date version of the software. There are various packages depending on whether you will be the only person using the software, if you will be sharing the subscription with friends and family, or if you are a small business or a larger enterprise.

Office 365

The subscription system suits some users but others prefer to pay for software outright and know that they will own it for eternity. Hence, Microsoft offers the chance to buy the full Office 2019 suite for a one-off payment and that licence will never run out (although Microsoft is likely to eventually stop support for that version of the software). Here you have the choice of Office Standard 2019 for Mac or Office Home & Business 2019 for Mac.

Alternatively, you can purchase each app in Office for Mac separately, which might suit you if you only wanted Microsoft Word and no other apps, for example. More on how to buy the apps like Word separately below.

Individual Office Apps

There is also a free version of Office (details here) that you can access online via a web browser. The free version won’t give you much in the way of editing functionality though, and you will need to sign up for a Microsoft Account.

Here’s how Office 2019 compares to Office 365:

Office 2019 (Home & Student or Home & Business)

Office 365 (Home & Business or Personal)

Pay once.

Pay monthly or yearly. Stop paying and you lose the license.

Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

Includes the most up to date version of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

No services included.

Skype and One Drive included. Home: 6TB (1TB for each person); Personal: 1TB. OneDrive Personal Vault security.

Runs on one Mac or one PC

Runs on Mac, PC, iOS & Android

Home & Student: One person; Home & Business: Six people.

Home: One person; Personal: Six people.

Includes security updates, but no feature updates.

Microsoft will update the apps with new features.

Install on one Mac.

Install on all your devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac). Depending on your subscription package you may be able to share your subscription with five others.

You get basic versions of the mobile apps that can be used on iPhones and iPads (as long as the iPad is under 10.1in - so iPad mini only).

You get free versions of the mobile apps with extra features that aren’t available in the basic versions.

No online storage.

1TB of cloud storage in OneDrive, to be used by up to 6 users depending on your subscription package.

Installation help.

Ongoing technical help.

   

There are also various Office 365 subscription packages for businesses and enterprises. Each is charged per user/per month and there are lower monthly prices if you sign up for an annual commitment.

Office 365 Essentials is the cheapest option and includes only web and mobile versions of the Office apps. Subscribers also get access to OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint and Teams.

Office 365 Business includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook (plus Access on a PC). Subscribers also get access to OneDrive.

Office 365 Business Premium includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook (plus Access on a PC). Subscribers also get access to OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint and Teams.

PowerPoint for Mac

How much does Office for Mac cost?

The price of Office for Mac depends on the method you use to purchase it. We’ll list the individual prices for the various subscriptions to Office 365, both monthly and yearly, alongside the prices you will pay up front for the software. We’ll also calculate how many months of Office 365 would be equal to the initial layout if you had bought the software outright.

Office 265 prices

Office 365 Personal

£59.99/year ($69.99/year)

£5.99/month ($6.99/month)

Buy UK

Buy US

One person

Office 365 Home

£79.99/year ($99.99/year)

£7.99/month ($9.99/month)

Buy UK

Buy US

Up to six people

Office 365 Essentials

-

£3.80/month for a year, or £4.50/month with no commitment

($5/month for a year, or $6/month with no commitment)

Buy UK
Buy US

Per user

Office 365 Business

-

£7.90/month for a year, or £9.50/month with no commitment ($8.25/month for a year, or $10/month with no commitment)

Buy UK
Buy US

Per user

Office 365 Business Premium

-

£9.40/month for a year, or £11.30/month with no commitment ($12.50/month for a year, or $15/month with no commitment)

Buy UK

Buy US

Per user

Office 265 prices

Home and Student

£119.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One person, one user, one Mac

Home and Business

£249.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

Up to six people

Word

£109.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Excel

£109.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Powerpoint

£109.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Outlook

£109.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

If you are a PC user there is also Office Professional 2019 for £419, but there is no Mac version of this suite. More information here.

We also have this article about how to get Microsoft Word for free.

Word for Mac

Should I buy Office 365 or Office 2019?

If you were to subscribe to Office 365 Personal for two years you’d spend £119.98. That’s essentially the same outlay as buying the software outright, but you’d no longer be able to use it if you stopped paying.

Of course, there are plenty of disadvantages in this scenario too. Office 365 subscribers will benefit from new feature updates throughout those two years, meaning that you will miss out on some great new tools. You may benefit from technical support that you get with a 365 subscription. Perhaps you need to have access to the iOS and Android versions of the software. We have this article about getting Office apps for free on iPad.

One significant factor that could sway your decision is if Microsoft is likely to update Office 2019 at any time soon. Office 365 subscribers get new features as part of their subscription package, but as an Office 2019 user you would be left with the decision of whether or not to update your software to the new version should Microsoft release one.

When will Microsoft release a new Office for Mac?

Office 2019 for Mac launched in September 2018, so it’s not been out for very long. Will Microsoft be releasing Office 2020 for Mac or even Office 2021 for Mac?

This is likely to become an important question in the wake of Catalina, which rendered Office 2011 unusable on the Mac and also because in 2020 Microsoft will drop support for Office 2016, the predecessor to Office 2019, leaving users with the question of whether to update to Office 2019 or subscribe to Office 365.

Microsoft has made no announcements to indicate that there will be a new version of Office for Mac. It seems likely that the company will continue to update Office 365 until people who have bought Office 2019 wish to update to a superior version of the software. Microsoft’s goal is to get people to subscribe so it’s unlikely to update the non-subscription version.

Outlook for Mac

Will my Mac run Office for Mac 2019?

You will no doubt realise this by this stage, but it’s surprising how many people don’t know: You can use Microsoft Office on a Mac.

Here are the system requirements for running Office 2019 on a Mac:

MacOS Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra. (Microsoft will always endeavour to support the current and two previous versions of macOS).

If you have Office 2016 on your Mac you won’t be able to use it in tandem with Office 2019.

Office for Mac Pricing

We'll just recap on the pricing for each version below:

Office Home & Student 2019 for Mac

Price: £119.99/US$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 2019 for Mac

Price: £249.99/US$249.99

Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook

Install on: 1 Mac

OneDrive storage: 15GB

Skype: n/a

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

Office 365 Home

Subscribe for £79.99/US$99.99 a year

Subscribe for £7.99/US$9.99 a month

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/US$69.99 a year

Subscribe for £5.99/US$6.99 a month

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/US$79.99 for 4 years

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/US$8.25 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