Walter GlennFormer Editorial Director

Walter glen is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sisters sites. He has an ext than 30 years of endure in the computer system industry and over 20 years together a technical writer and editor. He"s created hundreds of posts for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He"s writer or co-authored over 30 computer-related publications in much more than a dozen languages because that publishers favor Microsoft Press, O"Reilly, and also Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He"s additionally written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware end the years. Review more...

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Jan 31, 2018, 11:23 am EDT| 7 min read

The Windows variation of Microsoft Office has constantly been the gold conventional for office suites, as much as attributes are concerned. Office exist on other platforms too, choose the Mac—but those versions are missing some products and also features.

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Microsoft recently announced a big update to Office 2016 because that Mac. Examine out that connect for a thorough list the updates, but the big stuff includes bringing some long overdue functions to the macOS version, like collaborative real-time editing, automatic conserving of papers stored in the cloud, and also Google Calendar and also Contacts assistance in Outlook (finally). That said, there space still functions (and entire apps) the you might miss out on if you’re working through the Mac version.

If you’re switching between Windows and also Mac (maybe using one at the office and one at home), or possibly thinking of relocating from windows to Mac, it’s worth comparing the accessible features in the 2 versions. The large question is do you should install windows on your Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels simply so that you can run the Windows variation of Office, or can you obtain by with simply buying the Mac variation (or, better, using among the installations the comes through your Office 365 subscription)?

What commodities Are absent from the Microsoft Office Mac Suite?


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Microsoft sells Office for home windows in various editions. Almost all editions come with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Depending on the edition girlfriend buy, friend might also get apps like Outlook, Publisher, and also Access.

If you’re making use of a Mac, though, there are pair of Office apps (and Office-related apps) that you simply can’t get:

Publisher: Publisher is one entry-level desktop computer publishing app, aimed largely at home users. There’s no Mac version. While girlfriend can conveniently find equivalent apps for macOS, it’s i can not qualify you’ll be able to bring her Publisher files from the Windows variation across an extremely well—at the very least not without having actually to job-related them ago into shape.Access: access is a relational database monitoring system that comes through the skilled editions the Office because that Windows. Friend can’t get access on the Mac, for this reason if friend (or your company) works with access databases, you’re out of luck.

And when we’re ~ above the subject, over there are likewise a couple of higher end “Office-adjacent” apps the aren’t obtainable on macOS:

Visio: Visio is a diagramming and also vector graphics application that lets you visualize complex information in the type of diagrams, graphs, flowcharts, and also other forms. There’s no Mac version, for this reason if you require it because that work, you’ll need accessibility to Windows.Project: project is a task management application that hooks into a company’s Outlook and also Exchange Server setup. It lets project managers develop project schedules, create and also assign tasks and also resources, and manage that all v real-time input indigenous people’s calendars. There’s no Mac version.

If you really need any kind of of the specific apps we’ve provided here, you’re walk to require run Windows and also the Windows version of Office.

What attributes Are missing from the Mac execution of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and also OneNote?

So what about the main point Office apps the are available on the Mac? when there room a variety of very little features lacking (stuff that affects very few people), most of the features you discover in the windows versions are current in the macOS versions. Right here are the key things you’ll miss out on, though.


There room a couple of fairly big features that, if not missing entirely from the Office suite because that Mac, space not fairly up to their home windows counterparts:

SharePoint Integration: SharePoint is one intranet product supplied to re-superstructure files, distribute news, and also streamline cooperation on projects. If you’re making use of a Mac and also connecting to her company’s SharePoint servers, you can find that some elements of SharePoint room not together well-supported together they room in the Windows version of Office.

There are, that course, some other absent suite-wide features, yet they yes, really pertain come installations that are component of a firm network. Because that example, roaming (the ability to use Office on different computers and have your configuration follow you) is not obtainable for macOS. However, if your system is part of a company network, these things have actually likely been thought out in advance.



Key attributes of Word that are missing from the macOS variation include:

Digital Ink: This feature provides freestyle illustration tools that you deserve to use come draw, write, or highlight areas on her document. It’s not obtainable on the Mac version.



Fortunately, the disparity between the Windows and also Mac versions of Excel room minimal. Both versions support all the major features. Below are a couple things to note, though:

Built-In Database Connectivity: Excel for macOS doesn’t support the integrated database connectivity options that the Windows version does.

These room some pretty “power user” features, for this reason it’s most likely you won’t miss out on them much.



The Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint are likewise mostly in parity. That said, there is one attribute worth noting that’s missing on the macOS side of things: video and computer animation triggers. These triggers let you do an animation effect start playing when you click the object being animated, or automatically at the start of an audio or video clip.

Note the the Mac version does feature all the very same animations, and does let you cause animations v a general click or by setting a timer. It simply doesn’t incorporate the progressed triggers that the Windows version does.



Most the the Outlook features lacking from the Mac version need to do with progressed features you see when linked to an Exchange server. These include things like access to windy calendars, distribution lists, retention and also compliance features, receipt tracking, and also various social functions like voting buttons.

There are additionally a couple of other missing features precious noting:

Save as for Emails: In the Windows variation of Outlook, you have accessibility to a save As command for emails that allows you save them together messages, PDFs, or every little thing outside the Outlook article database. Friend can’t execute that in the Mac version.Word as an email Editor: The home windows version allows you use Word together your email editor, giving full access to Word functions like formatting and also autocorrect. The Mac version does not.Side-by-Side Calendars: In Windows, you deserve to view two calendars next by side. In macOS, girlfriend can’t.

That isn’t a lot of of absent features (unless you’re part of an Exchange-based organization), but how important they are depends on you. And, as we pointed out before, the newest update to Office 2016 because that macOS now brings assistance for Google Calendar and also Contacts—a pretty huge missing function for numerous people.



The straightforward functionality of OneNote is current in both the Windows and also Mac versions (and, in the cell phone versions, for the matter), but there space still a few differences:

Extensible: The Windows version is extensible, offering an API that permits for add-ins and also some advanced features. The Mac version does not incorporate this extensibility.Linking and also Embedding: The Windows variation of OneNote is stronger when it comes to embedding and also linking files. For example, in the home windows version, you could embed an Excel file. Clicking on that Excel file in OneNote opens up a full, editable variation of the record in Excel. On the Mac version, you deserve to only open a read-only copy of embedded files.Versioning: The Windows version maintains vault versions of tabs that have actually changed. The Mac variation does not.More Searchable: The windows version lets you find handwritten text, and audio and video clip recordings. This function is not easily accessible in the Mac version.

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If you’re no using any kind of of this features, then you’d it is in fine utilizing the Mac version of OneNote.

As you can see from our lists, the attributes mostly missing on the Mac next of things space small, rarely-used functions or real “power user” features mostly provided in office settings. If girlfriend don’t need those features, and also you don’t need the few apps missing from macOS (and we doubt that uses to end 90% of our readers), you’re more than likely fine going through the Mac version of Office 2016 or Office 365. And it sure beats jumping through hoops to acquire the Windows variation running on your Mac!

Walter GlennWalter valley is a former Editorial Director because that How-To Geek and its sisters sites. He has more than 30 year of experience in the computer system industry and also over 20 years as a technological writer and also editor. He"s written hundreds of posts for How-To Geek and also edited thousands. He"s writer or co-authored over 30 computer-related publications in more than a dozen languages for publishers favor Microsoft Press, O"Reilly, and also Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He"s also written thousands of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware end the years. Read complete Bio »