They announced on May 12, , at a Tech Ed event, a trial version of the bit edition. An internal post-beta build was leaked on July 12, This was newer than the official preview build and included a "Limestone" internal test application note: the EULA indicates Beta 2.
On July 14, , Microsoft started to send out invitations on Microsoft Connect to test an official preview build of Office In an effort to help customers and partners with deployment of Office , Microsoft launched an Office application compatibility program with tools and guidance available for download. It was leaked to torrent sites. Office was to be originally released to business customers on May 12, ,  however it was made available to Business customers with Software Assurance on April 27, , and to other Volume Licensing Customers on May 1.
The RTM version number is On June 15, , Office reached general availability. Microsoft released a total of two service packs for Office that were primarily intended to address software bugs. On November 17, , Microsoft invited a select number of testers at the Microsoft Connect web portal to test the beta release of SP1.
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SP1 is a cumulative update that includes all previous updates, as well as fixes exclusive to its release;   a list of exclusive fixes was released by Microsoft. On April 8, , a beta build of Office SP2 was released. In both its client apps and its Internet implementation, the design of Office incorporates features from SharePoint and borrows from Web 2.
A new Backstage view interface replaces the Office menu introduced in Office and is designed to facilitate access to document management and sharing tasks by consolidating them within a single location. The navigation pane includes a series of vertically arranged common commands to open or save files and tabs that, when opened, expose document management tasks and contextual information within the main pane. Tasks that are accessed via tabs in the main pane are categorized into separate groups that display contextual information related to app configurations, files, and tasks; each tab displays contextual information relevant to that tab.
On the Info tab in Word, for example, document metadata details are displayed within the Prepare for Sharing group to inform users of potentially personal information before the file is shared with other users,  whereas the Help tab displays Office version information and product licensing status. The Backstage view, like the ribbon, is extensible; developers can add their own commands, tabs, tasks, and related information. The new File tab replaces the Office button introduced in Office and offers similar functionality. The previous Office button—a round button adorned with the Microsoft Office logo—had a different appearance from the ribbon tabs in the Office interface and was positioned away from them, with a target that extended toward the upper left corner of the screen in accordance with Fitts's law.
Opening the File tab displays the new Backstage view. Office introduces a pasting options gallery on the ribbon, in the context menu , and in the object-oriented user interface that replaces the Paste Special dialog box and Paste Recovery feature seen in previous versions of Office. The gallery introduces Live Preview effects to the paste process when users position the mouse cursor over an option in the gallery so that the result of the process can be previewed before it is applied to the document; a tooltip with an associated description and keyboard shortcut for that option will also appear.
If users position the mouse cursor over a gallery option in the context menu, the rest of the context menu becomes transparent so that it does not obstruct preview results within the document. Gallery options change based on the content in the clipboard and the app into which the content is pasted. The ribbon interface, introduced in Office , is fully customizable and included in all apps in Office Users can also export or import any customization changes made to the ribbon to facilitate backups, deployment, or sharing, or reset all ribbon customizations.
After the launch of Office , Microsoft provided free downloads for customized ribbons with a new "Favorites" tab that consolidated various commands based on customer feedback in regards to the most frequently used commands in Office; the customized ribbons were available as separate downloads for Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word. From the Backstage view users can also save documents directly to remote locations within Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word to facilitate remote access and co-authoring sessions.
A Microsoft account is required to use Office functionality related to OneDrive. In PowerPoint and Word, users must upload changes to the server by manually saving the shared document.
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During a co-authoring session, the Excel Web App, PowerPoint, and Word denote how many co-authors are editing a document at a given time through an icon on the status bar. Clicking this icon in PowerPoint and Word displays contact information including the presence of co-authors; similar information can be accessed through the Info tab of the Backstage view. When co-authors click the name of another co-author, they can send an e-mail message with an email client or start instant messaging conversations with each other if a supported app such as Skype for Business is installed on each machine.
If a conflict between multiple changes occurs in PowerPoint or Word, sharers can approve or reject changes before uploading them to the server. In both the OneNote Web App and OneNote, users can view the names of co-authors alongside their respective edits to the content in a shared notebook, or create separate versions of pages for individual use. Edits made since a notebook was last opened are automatically highlighted and the initials of the co-author who made an edit are automatically displayed. In the client version of OneNote, co-authors can also search for all edits to a notebook made by a specific co-author.
Office introduces a new Click-to-Run installation process based on Microsoft App-V Version 4 streaming and virtualization technology as an alternative to the traditional Windows Installer -based installation process for the Home and Student and Home and Business editions, and as a mandatory installation process for the Starter edition.
Click-to-Run products install in a virtualized environment—a Q: partition —that downloads product features in the background after the apps themselves already been installed so that users can immediately begin using the apps. The download process is optimized for broadband connections. During the Office retail lifecycle Microsoft, in collaboration with original equipment manufacturers OEMs and retail partners, introduced a Product Key Card licensing program that allowed users to purchase a single license—at a reduced cost when compared with traditional retail media—to activate Home and Student, Home and Business, and Professional editions preinstalled on personal computers.
Volume license versions of Office require product activation.
watch In Office product activation was only required for OEM or retail versions of the product. Office File Validation, previously included only in Publisher for PUB files , has been incorporated into Excel, PowerPoint, and Word in Office to validate the integrity of proprietary binary file formats e. When users open a document, the structure of its file format is scanned to ensure that it conforms with specifications defined by XML schema ; if a file fails the validation process it will, by default, be opened in Protected View, a new read-only, isolated sandbox environment to protect users from potentially malicious content.
To improve Office File Validation, Office collects various information about files that have failed validation and also creates copies of these files for optional submission to Microsoft through Windows Error Reporting. Administrators can disable data submission. When users attempt to open a document that fails validation, they must first agree to a warning prompt before it can be opened.
Protected View, an isolated sandbox environment for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, replaces the Isolated Conversion Environment update available for previous versions of Microsoft Office. When a document is opened from a potentially unsafe location such as the Internet or as an e-mail attachment, or if a document does not comply with File Block policy or if it fails Office File Validation, it is opened in Protected View, which prohibits potentially unsafe documents from modifying components, files, and other resources on a system; users can also manually open documents in Protected View.
As a precautionary measure, active content within a potentially unsafe document remains disabled when a user reopens it after exiting Protected View until a user clicks the "Enable Content" button on the message bar, which designates the document as a trusted document so that users are not prompted when it is opened in the future. The main process of each app is assigned the current user's access token and hosts the Office user interface elements such as the ribbon, whereas the Protected View process consists of the document viewing area, parses and renders the document content, and operates with reduced privileges; the main process serves as a mediator for requests initiated by the separate process.
Office allows users to designate individual documents as trusted, which allows all active content to operate each time a specific document is opened; trusted documents do not open in Protected View. Documents residing in either local or remote directories can be trusted, but users are warned if an attempt is made to trust a document from a remote resource. Trusted document preferences, referred to as trust records , are stored within the Windows Registry on a per-user basis; trust records contain the full path to trusted documents and other information to protect users from social engineering attacks.
Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word include a variety of artistic effects such as glass, paint stroke, pastel, and pencil sketch effects that users can apply to inserted images. A new background removal feature based on Microsoft Research technology is included in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word to remove the backgrounds of images inserted into documents. It is exposed as a Remove Background command that appears on the Picture Tools contextual tab on the ribbon when an image is selected.
When activated this command displays a separate Background Removal contextual tab and places a selection rectangle and magenta color over portions of the selected image. The selection rectangle determines, based on an algorithm, which area of the selected image will be retained once the background removal process is complete, whereas the magenta color indicates the areas that will be removed.
Users can manually adjust the position and size of the selection rectangle and also mark individual areas of an image to keep or remove;  it is also possible to delete a mark after an inadvertent selection or if it produces an undesired result. After the background has been removed, users can apply various visual effects to the result image or wrap text in a document around it ; users can also crop the image since removing the background does not reduce its original size.
The crop selection rectangle now grays out the portions of an image to be removed during a crop process and displays the result area in color, instead of completely removing all portions of an image outside of the selection rectangle from view as in previous versions of Office; images can now be repositioned underneath the selection rectangle while it is active. The Picture Shape command in previous versions of Office has been replaced with a new Crop to Shape command that allows users to resize and move the selected shape during the crop process.
By default, Office , like previous versions, automatically resizes images that are inserted into shapes, which can negatively affect their aspect ratio. To address this, images in shapes can now be cropped or resized after being inserted, and individual Fit and Fill options have been incorporated. The former option resizes the selected image so that the entire area of the crop selection rectangle or shape is filled, whereas the latter option resizes the image so that it is displayed within the selection rectangle or within a shape in its entirety; both options maintain the original aspect ratio of the selected image.
Images inserted into SmartArt diagrams can also be cropped, resized, or repositioned.
Excel, PowerPoint, and Word support text effects such as bevels, gradient fills, glows, reflections, and shadows. Publisher and Word support OpenType features such as kerning , ligatures , stylistic sets , and text figures with fonts such as Calibri , Cambria , Corbel , and Gabriola.
Office apps including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word support hardware accelerated graphics when installed on a machine with a DirectX 9. Excel supports hardware accelerated chart drawing, and PowerPoint supports hardware accelerated animations, transitions, and video playback and effects; slideshow elements are now rendered as sprites, which are then composited with additional effects such as fades and wipes implemented using Pixel Shader 2.
Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word allow users to immediately insert a screenshot of open app windows or a selection of content on the screen into documents without saving the image as a file. The functionality is exposed through a new Screenshot command on the Insert tab of the ribbon that, when clicked, presents individual options to capture either app windows or selections of content. The former option presents open windows as thumbnails in a gallery on the ribbon that insert a screenshot of the selected window into the active app, while the latter option minimizes the currently active app, dims the screen, and presents a selection rectangle for users to create a screenshot by holding the main mouse button, dragging the selection rectangle to a desired area of the screen, and then releasing the button to automatically insert the selection as an image into the document.
Only windows that have not been minimized to the taskbar can be captured. After a screenshot has been inserted, various adjustments can be made.
SmartArt, a set of diagrams introduced in Office for Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, has been updated with new effects, options, and interface improvements. The SmartArt text pane now allows users to insert, modify, and reorder images and their associated text within a diagram, and new Move Up and Move Down commands on the ribbon facilitate the reordering of content.
Images are automatically cropped when inserted into shapes within SmartArt diagrams to preserve their aspect ratio; users can also manually reposition images.
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During the crop process, the layout of shapes in SmartArt diagrams is locked to prevent users from inadvertently modifying its position while making adjustments to an image.