Office For Mac

Office for Mac 2011 and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about running Office for Mac 2011 on Lion, so we’re offering this post to help inform your decision about when to upgrade to Lion.

We’ve been working with Apple from the early days of Lion, and collectively have been able to address many issues leading up to the Lion release. Many of our Office for Mac engineers have been running Lion for months, and are generally having no problems running Office 2011 on it.

There are two large- and several smaller Office for Mac 2011 issues (on Lion) that we want to highlight. First, Communicator for Mac crashes when you send an instant message or start an audio/visual call. We will fix this issue in an upcoming update to Communicator for Mac. (Note that many users may never use Communicator, because it’s a corporate product, and not included with the mainline Office products.)

Second, on Lion, Outlook can’t import mail from Apple Mail. We’re reviewing this and don’t yet have a plan to fix it. However, if your mail is already in Outlook, then this issue won’t affect you.

The smaller Office issues are fairly minor or cosmetic, things like windows that might not align as they did in Snow Leopard, and we will continue to work together with Apple to fix these in our next regular updates.

Office 2008 will also benefit from a couple of updates. While our first priority is Office 2011, we will fully test and take care of any significant issues on 2008 as well.

If you’re thinking about upgrading to Lion soon, be prepared for the Communicator and Outlook issues, and a few other small issues, but rest assured we will have updates available through our Automatic Updates channel in the near future.

And if you’d like the latest info at any time, please check the Office for Mac Knowledge Base for complete details.

Thank you for your questions and keep ‘em coming!

Pat Fox — Office for Mac

July 22nd, 2011
Bookmark and Share
— @
  1. wendyschuppen says:

    i can’t seem to connect with my exchange account in outlook (version 14.1). I’m running lion. Any comments, help?

  2. Eric says:

    Okay, I just upgraded to Lion from an old Power PC and now my Word does not work. I am in an online masters program and this could kill me quick. How do I fix this????

  3. Captain Obvious says:

    Folks asking about Microsoft Office 2004 compatibility with Lion: STOP.

    Office 2004 is based on the PowerPC chip, a completely different architecture from the new, Intel-based chips inside newer Macs.

    There is no simple “update” to Microsoft Office 2004 or ANY other PowerPC app that will make it run on Lion. IT WILL NOT WORK. EVER.

    What allowed apps such as those to work on newer Macs is something called “Rosetta” that Apple provided in Leopard and Snow Leopard. They removed it from Lion, so now these PowerPC apps CANNOT talk to Lion at all.

    Update or use a different product. Those are your only choices.

  4. Mac User says:

    You guys are absolutely ridiculous. Lion Developer has been out for a long enough period of time that all of the bugs mentioned in this post could be resolved. Every other large corporate product I use worked with Lion out of the box. These include Mathematica, Matlab, OmniGraffle, and Sparrow.

    As a word of advice, you will never get a Mac user to switch to MS Windows because Office doesn’t work as well on a Mac. Instead, you will get Mac users to switch to a different productivity suite. This includes enterprise users such as myself.

    I just uninstalled Office and never plan to use it again.

    Thanks for nothing MS!

  5. Fabio Grimadi says:

    I’m running Lion for 2 month now, and Outlook takes up tp 20 minutes to open. In best case, it takes 3 minutes. Sometimes it doesn’t open and when I try to restart the computer, Lion crashes. I tryed all Mac team suggestions, but it appears to have a conflict with Outlook 2011. Other Office SW works fine. What should I do?

  6. Blair says:

    I agree – it is so very frustrating when Office consistantly gives the Beach-ball of Death.

  7. Almira says:

    Running MS Office 2011 on a MacBook Pro with Lion OS. Since upgrading to Lion, Word now tries to open multiple documents whenever I try to open a single document in a folder. Sometimes it will open the entire contents of that folder, other times, only the most recent documents I had opened. Very unnerving, as I might be working with sensitive information that I don’t need popping up on the screen at will.

  8. Margie says:

    I’ve just installed the latest update for Ofc’11 for Mac. It’s been working fine. Exc, Word & Ppt are okay, but Outlook gives me this -
    Outlook cannot be opened because of a problem. Check with the developer to make sure Microsoft Outlook works with this version of Mac OS X. You may need to reinstall the application. Be sure to install any available updates for the application and Mac OS X.

    LionOS is up to date. So – what’s the issue????

  9. maarten says:

    it is not only frustrating but also a disgrace. I have to borrow a friend’s laptop just to do some work in the weekend.

    the update of this week didn’t help at all, or made things worse.

    I’m so not buying office, nor a macbook anymore. Something asian on Google, the next time

  10. JuJitsuGuy says:

    I too have been waiting for an age to get Word and Excel to load, with the programs taking up to 15 minutes to load. The wait appears to be longest when I load a load a document – i.e. I do not load either program up and then open the document , but click the document to load direct.
    I have taken to going into Activity Monitor the app shows the usual red Not Responding, so I take a sample, and hey presto, Word & Excel load.
    Don’t know why it works, but seems to work for me it’s a pain – but better than waiting for the MS crap to load “naturally”.
    Hope this helps.

  11. Kirti Punamiya says:

    I have a 2011 Mac Book pro and the office for mac 2011.
    after having installed the OS lion my powerpoint does not play the .avi or .wmv files at all.
    are there any glitches i need to correct.

  12. Robert Miller says:

    I just upgraded to Lion and now Excel and Word open an additional document from the recent list along with the one I intended to open.

  13. Tiny says:

    Hey Im taking online classes and they rely on windows media player but every time I download the WMV player it doesn’t run the videos nor audio. I have Lion OS. What do I do>? to make Windows Media player to work on a mac?

  14. Bob Smith says:

    Office 2011 has worked flawlessly on my April 2011 MBP since the day I installed it. Firstly under Snow Leopard and subsequently under Lion.

    I’ve had significant issues with other software under Lion, even Apple’s own stuff, but nothing that wasn’t solved by a rather painful, long and tedious reinstall of the OS.

    It’s too easy to bash Microsoft sometimes because of their arrogance, but I’m happy with the way Office works on my Mac. Outlook is so much easier / more powerful than a series of separate apps, and iWork doesn’t come close to the power of the Word, Excel and Powerpoint – Even though they are slightly more intuitive to use.

  15. Mal Hughes says:

    Has anyone heard when the problem importing direct from Apple Mail (my OS is Lion) will be fixed…..either by Apple or Microsoft…..or does anyone have an easy work around…..thanks

  16. Rafael Linden says:


  17. Scott says:

    Enabling iCloud wiped the Outlook calendar and prevents syncing to iCal and Address Book. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE problem… and yet another example of Microsoft not keeping up with Apple. I am SHOCKED that, according to MS Tech Support, there is not active development to fix this problem. While I much prefer Outlook to iCal and Address Book, the inability to use these products with iCloud renders them useless!

    Please fix this problem now!!!

  18. Keith says:

    I think this is a prime reason I use iWorks along with Office, but would be great to get the Lion features to work with Office. Seems like Microsoft are dragging their feet with this one, hoping it just goes away.

  19. maarten says:

    still not solved
    MBP 2009
    1. office 2011 randomly shows blank documents, or partly blanks in Powerpoint, Word and Excel. Usually from documents send to me from a pc with office 2010 or earlier.
    2. also randomly: when replying to e-mail on he exchange account it fails to send because of ‘too little memory’

    please fix this, or don’t. I don’t care anymore. MS blaming Apple and the other way round, It’s like the early ’90s all over again. Only worse, now I get spammed by zealots when I post a serious problem

  20. Chris says:


  21. William Ershler says:

    I have upgraded to Lion and since then Office2008 has been consistently malfunctioning. For one thing, it will not close (need to force quit) before I can turn off the computer. Also, I get frequent error messages while I am typing and the process gets hung up with the spiral ball spinning after typing just a few words…. this is very frustrating.

  22. Stuart Bascomb says:

    Having implemented Lion when I print a word document with edits and comments the printed document will not show the tracked changes and comments.

  23. Luis Moran says:

    Please help me understand how can I sync iPhone with Outlook 2011 for Mac and or how to do it with iCal and then iPhone LOVE to keep using Outlook but NEEd a way to do it.. Kindly reply Luis PS have to solve this or wife will kill me HELP !!!!

  24. Dominique says:

    Hello! First I am from Germany, so I hope that I am not offending people.

    Second I want to say is that Office isn’t that fast on my MBP Mid 09.
    For some unknown reason, Word, Excel etc. is slow when opening, editing and scrolling old and new (docx etc.) files.

    So, when do you want to fix this?

    I mean Office 2003 on Windows XP is really really fast, too fast. But the Mac version is sometimes very slow.

    It would be great when you fix this bug.


  25. Russ K says:

    Recently I upgraded to Lion, and Office for MAC 2011 within a week, my drive crashed and had to be reformatted, I had the same issue two weeks later, I took the laptop back to the Mac store where they did a reformat and rebuild. It happened again two weeks later. They then replaced the hard drive and cable (ssd) and now it has happened again. At first, I thought it was hardware related, now I think it has something to do with LION and or Office for mac, Primarily it always happens in Word. Anyone else seen anything like this?

  26. Andrew M says:

    I have been using Lion and Office for Mac 2008, nothing but Word. Lately, Word has been getting slower and slower, and has started to crash regularly. Then I realized that for some reason, I hadn’t gotten any of the auto updates. Just downloaded and installed all of them – which has not helped. The next crash happened within minutes. I was about to upgrade to Office for Mac 2011, but esp. after reading Russ K’s story, I am wary.

  27. Jeff Kroll says:

    I am running Office For Mac 2011 (v 14.2.1) with System OSX 10.7.3.

    I did a complete system reinstall and a fresh install of Office. Outlook worked fine for 24 hours. When I started Outlook, it tried to rebuild my identity, which failed. This happened on both my MacBook Pro and MacAir. Like others on this post, the system refresh and Office reinstall was a result of Office opening phantom files upon start up. This problem started on both computers about 2 to 3 weeks ago.

    Any fixes out there?

  28. Turadg Aleahmad says:

    Office for Mac Team,

    Thanks for adding supper for Lion’s Full Screen mode in the latest update. I only noticed it when I went for the earlier full screen view and saw that it’s called Focus now.

    Very glad to have Full Screen support and that you’re still adding features to Word 2011.

    Good work!

  29. Damian Kinsella says:

    Hi I’m running office for mac 2011 on a mid-2008 iMac 20″ intel core 2 duo 2.4ghz. The Microsoft Autoupdate no longer works and claims it no longer supports powerpc applications. But I don’t have a Power PC machine. Any ideas?? Any help would be great??

  30. Dave Brummet says:

    Recently downloaded software update to Office for Mac 2011 version 14.2.1 and now I can’t access any Excel files that I could before. I had to trash that version and reload original software from the CD. I am using OSX 10.6.8. Any ideas as to why this happened? Should I avoid downloading any new software updates? Anyone that has a comment would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Dimitra says:

    I upgraded to Office 2011 from 2004 when I purchased a refurbished MacBook Pro (2011) running Lion. I had the new computer for about 3 weeks, and Word has been crashing intermittently right from the beginning. I’ve spoken to Microsoft techs several times (I’m on hold for for one AGAIN) and my experience, overall, has not been positive. Not only has the problem remained unresolved, but there are things Microsoft has asked me to do in an attempt to fix the problem that have caused other problems — minor, but very annoying.