Thursday, November 18, 2010

Word 2011 for Mac

Significant update to Microsoft's flagship Mac word-processing app

"Word 2011 now makes it possible to insert a Mac into almost any business environment"

It's always been difficult to see any kind of relationship between Word for Mac and Word for Windows, beyond the name and file format. They were essentially two different products designed for what, in Microsoft's mind, were two different sets of users Word for Mac 2011 changes all that. It's a significant and substantive update that unifies a user's experience across platforms It also contains many valuable new features and improvements - more than 30 in all. More importantly, Word 2011 now makes it possible to insert a Mac into almost any business environment and offer Mac users the same set of features found in Word for Windows

Ribbon and all the trimmings
Word 2011 has the Ribbon, an intelligent, customizable toolbar that displays a set of formatting tools suited to your current task typing up a letter? The Ribbon displays a set of text-formatting tools. Adding a table or a chart? You'll find a complete set of tools for editing and formatting the same. Inserting an image into a document? The Ribbon contains everything you need to resize, colour correct, wrap text around, or otherwise format that image. If you'd rather not use the Ribbon, you can hide it Initially the Ribbon may seem daunting, but we found we weren't wasting time looking for the tools needed to get the work done. And because you can hide the Ribbon, you can get it out of the way when you need to

If you're accustomed to using Word to create brochures, menus, minutes, calendars, proposals, and posters, Word 2011 offers a large collection of professionally designed templates, as well as many more created by and shared with other Office users. While we still don't find Word's Publishing Layout tools to be as easy or intuitive to use as those in Apple's Pages '09, when it comes to wholesale customisation of these templates, Word has some distinct advantages over Pages At the top of that list is Microsoft's Themes Themes take advantage of the Styles used in a document, allowing you to make instantaneous changes to fonts, paragraphs, colours, and other layout elements simply by selecting a new theme. Word 2011 ships with over 50 layout themes, but you can also create custom themes to turn a generic Word template into something that's unique to you and your business

Another excellent feature is full-on Spotlight integration and a new Spotlight-inspired tool for finding and replacing text in a document You'll now see a search field at the top of every document that, when you type a word in the field, highlights every instance of that word in your document

Word 2011 has a built-in equation editor that makes it easy to add and edit mathematical equations. The equation editor gives Word a leg up on Pages, which requires that you buy MathType for the same functionality

Word 2011 has a few other welcome improvements and additions. Office 2011 marks the reintroduction of Visual Basic for Applications, so Word is no longer limited to Automator and AppleScript for automation There's better organisation of the tools for managing footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies, and a new customisable, fullscreen mode. This offers a unique read-only mode that makes it easier to read and navigate a document. The read-only mode also lets you view all the changes made by the different authors that have worked on a document if you have the track changes feature turned on However, Word 2011 still does not track changes made to images that you add to your documents Unfortunately, we came across some bugs when command-dragging text boxes and resizing image boxes, and have alerted Microsoft.

Macworld's buying advice
After years of lamenting what Word for Mac lacks, we find ourselves in the odd position of announcing that Word 2011 is great. It's a solid, powerful and well-designed word-processing application. The most important thing is that it's designed to move your Mac into your office with no regrets, no compromises, and no excuses for why the Mac can't play well with the Windows version of the same application.

Enterprise-level tools
Word 2011 has significantly improved collaboration tools. It includes support for Microsoft SharePoint, SkyDrive, simultaneous document editing, and improved control over the rights users have to review and edit documents. This security feature requires Microsoft's Information Rights Management (IRM) tools. It also means that you'll need a volume licence edition of Office 2011 and a Microsoft Rights Management server, but the upside is that you'll have much finer control over what other users can do with the documents you create.

Additionally, if you save your documents to Microsoft's SkyDrive, or if your business is using SharePoint Foundation for 2010 Enterprise, you have access to the Word web app, which lets you access and edit your documents via the web. We could view documents on an iPad, but we could not use the Word web app to edit them, at least not at this point in time.

Source of Information :  Macworld UK December 2010
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