Anyone can now get a taste of Microsoft’s next-generation Office software for the Mac. The tech giant today unveiled a preview edition of Office 2016 for Mac that can be downloaded for free.
You’ll need to have Mac OS X Yosemite installed on your computer, and the software can be downloaded from Microsoft’s site here. An Office 365 subscription isn’t needed.
The software contains updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Along with a modernized look, the ribbon UI has been redesigned, and the task pane allows users to handle graphics quickly and easily.
With cloud access, users can share and access their documents saved on OneDrive. That makes it easy to start on a document with your Mac and then finish it with the iOS version of the Office suite – Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
Each of the programs received some nice tweaks and improvements. Probably my favorite is the pictured revamped conversation view in Outlook 2016.
While using the beta version, if you come across any bugs that should be reported to Microsoft, select the smiley face in the upper right corner of the application. You can then seed feedback directly to the Office team.
Office 2016 for the Mac will officially arrive in the second half of this year. Users with an Office 365 subscription will receive access to the newest version of the software when it is released.
Each build of the beta version will last for 60 days after it is posted. The final preview build will function for approximately one month after the software’s official launch.
I’ve been using the Office 2016 software for a few hours, and have been impressed. My two most-used titles, Outlook and Word, really look great.