Microsoft Office 2021 for Mac Review

The first comprehensive preview of Office 2021 provides an early look at the new version for Mac. Click here to learn more!
Microsoft Office 2021 for Mac Review

The first preview of Microsoft Office 2021 is here, and it’s for Mac! The next generation of Microsoft Office has been revealed to the public for the first time with this preview. Office 2021 will include a lot of changes and improvements for Mac users, which are expected to come to other platforms as well at a later date.


Check out: What's new in Microsoft Office 2021: Everything you need to about Office 2021

It's clear that Microsoft wants to bring all their products together into one unified Office suite for the Mac. If you're interested in checking out the new features and improvements, then keep reading!

Why is the public preview important?

The Office suite has long been an industry mainstay — it tends to major enterprises, with more than 1.2 billion copies sold to date. Today, businesses all over the world use it as their primary means of collaboration and communication between coworkers; any change or update can influence how these organizations operate which may affect your work too!

The 2021 release is no exception to this. Office 2019 was the last iteration that brought its own set of new features, but Office 2021 will come with a whole host of improvements and additions you'll want in your hands immediately.

Microsoft's product has been a big hit with US companies, who use it to standardize their office work and boost productivity. The recent shift towards remote working has made collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams even more popular than before, too — nearly 115 million daily active users are now using the service, many even from Apple products.

What's in the Office 2021 preview for Mac?

The complete Office 2021 is said to include many new features, as well as a visual overhaul for the entire suite. We’re already seeing some of this in the public preview for Mac, especially in the classic apps like Excel for Mac.

What we know for sure is that the suite will become much more accessible. A large focus for the macOS preview is on the new neural text to speech voices in Word.

The new technology allows artificial voices to sound much more natural, which makes them easily understandable. The new Line Focus feature ties into this; when using the Immersive Reader, you can focus on each line individually to make reading easier.

Excel received the most updates in the preview for Mac. Two new functions have been introduced and enabled for testing, namely XLOOKUP() and LET(). These functions will make it easier to sort through your data, especially when working with large spreadsheets.

One speculation is that Office for Mac will be cloud-connected, and Office 365 services like OneDrive storage or Office Online embedding will play an even bigger role for this release.

The new design is the most obvious change coming to Office — it's all about Microsoft Fluent Design System (also known as Project Neon). The flat look with minimalistic elements gives way to cleaner interfaces, which make or break software. The design and tools might also see some changes on release after feedback from testers via this first preview release version.

Microsoft has opened up about plans to make every application run smoother, allowing older devices to seamlessly work with Office 2021 as well. Additionally, you can expect extensive Dark Mode support throughout the new suite, as it appeared in the Office LTSC preview of Word.

Office 2021 public preview summarized

Here are the key points you need to know about the first preview build of the new Office 2021 suite, made and released for the macOS platform:

  • Line Focus. Word now lets you focus on the content of each document line by dragging it closer to your computer screen. This helps avoid distractions and gives users more room for work with less scrolling, thus speeding up productivity.

  • New XLOOKUP function. This feature lets you find things in a table or range by row, which was previously harder to achieve. The new function makes this task much simpler and easier than before.

  • More Dynamic Arrays support. A new set of functions in Excel allows you more flexibility when using Dynamic Arrays for data structures in your spreadsheets.

  • Record narration. The new feature for PowerPoint allows you to record narration straight from the application, and then use it to create an engaging slide show without additional editing required.

While a Windows preview hasn’t been announced yet, you can get your hands on the preview version of Office 2021 for Mac and Office LTSC today to experience these features first-hand.

Final thoughts

Before the end of this year, Mac users and Windows users will finally be able to enjoy the next, full version of Microsoft Office. With some exciting features already revealed and set for release on October 5th alongside Windows 11 (a new operating system), there’s no better time than now if you want early access.

We’re excited not only about what will come next year but also about being able to give more details on how things have been shaping up so far — stay tuned here at SoftwareKeep where we post regular blogs every week regarding the new Office 2021 and other tech news.

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