Office For Mac

Office for Mac 2011 hits RTM

Houston, we have RTM! It’s a big Friday in MacBU as we are celebrating the “Release to Manufacturing” of Office for Mac 2011. This means we’ve signed off on final testing and the product is officially getting sent on its way to production and to customers. We’ll be cranking the Microsoft ship siren and celebrating in all of our team locations (Redmond, Microsoft Silicon Valley, Beijing, Dublin and Tokyo), raising a glass to Office 2011!

As you can likely guess, I’m pretty glad to be posting this news. We started two and a half years ago with some big goals to deliver major improvements customers have requested as well as new stuff we were dreaming up, and to release faster than we had before. We also made a big commitment to invest heavily in “the basics” – fundamentals of software quality including design polish and finish, consistency and usability, and particularly performance and responsiveness, and to re-engineer our internal development processes around those goals. And we’re releasing the bits on the exact day we planned.

It takes every single person on the team to make this happen, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank everyone on the MacBU product team for their commitment to excellence and going above and beyond to get to done on Office 2011. I’d also like to thank our many partners around the world including MVPs, beta testers and our friends at Apple. Finally, a very sincere special thanks to all of our families and friends for their support during this final push to shipping.

And thank you for your continued support of the product and your feedback to help keep making it better. We think this is our best release yet. (Really. And I say that having started as a developer in 1998 and having used earlier versions of Office for Mac pretty heavily.) We’ve added Outlook for Mac, made big changes in team collaboration including everywhere access, full co-authoring and new connections to Microsoft services such as the Office Web Apps, SharePoint and SkyDrive, designed a new user experience, brought Visual Basic back better than ever, added new tools to easily craft professional docs (look forward to you seeing the new template gallery, Sparklines, in-document photo editing and more), and deep investments to keep bringing the most compatible productivity suite to you and your Mac.

We love building this software, creating tools we hope you can use to make every day a little easier and get your work done fast and well. But our favorite part is shipping and getting it into your hands. The feedback from our usability and beta tests has been great so far, but the real test is when you take the software for a spin and see how well it works for you – we truly hope you do, and we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Thanks again for your support – and Office for Mac 2011 has left the building.

- Geoff Price, Product Unit Manager / MacBU

P.S. For fun here’s a video some folks on the team put together to give a behind-the-scenes look at RTM and some special features that didn’t make the cut (our “deleted scenes” if you will):

September 10th, 2010
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  1. Mac Mojo Team says:

    @schroeder_again You’re very welcome! Please continue to reach out if you have questions.

  2. Mac Mojo Team says:

    @Localboy56 We’re glad you’re as excited as we are and thanks for your support! Learn more here:

  3. Carole says:

    How about Visio for Mac? I think the engineers in the Mac world really needs this.



  4. djr says:

    Hi team,

    Currently playing around with a reviewers copy of Office 2011 for Mac. I was mostly interested in Outlook, as a former Outlook/Win user and Entourage user for many years. So far I’m really loving Outlook and all the enhancements, but I’m not too fond of the new Conversations view, which is a big step back from its implementation in Outlook/Win or Outlook Web Access. More specifically, Conversation view in Outlook/Mac only groups by subject, and not by sender *and* title, which makes this view very hard to work with if you receive a lot of automated form submitted messages where the subject is prefilled :-(

    Has this complaint been brought up during beta testing and is this something which will (hopefully soon) be revisited in a future update?


  5. SpeedyVBA? says:

    Does anyone know what the performance difference is, if any, for VBA on Office 2011 vs. 2010? Empirical information preferred…

  6. Mac Mojo Team says:

    @Carole Thanks for your input! We don’t have anything to share, but we’ll get back to you when we receive more information.

  7. Pubcav says:

    Will we be able to buy Outlook for Mac 2011 as a stand-alone product? If so, how much?

  8. Chris says:

    How come Publisher has never made its way to the Mac?
    So many people use it and I cannot open their files at all.
    Are there any steps to make this available to Mac users?

  9. Mac Mojo Team says:

    @Pubcav No, Outlook will only be available by purchasing Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business. Learn more here and check out this special deal:

  10. Mac Mojo Team says:

    @Chris Thanks for your comment. We’re always looking at what Mac users need/want, however right now we’re focused on Word, Excel, PPT and Outlook for Mac 2011.

  11. John says:


    I agree with Tester that Outlook 2011 for Mac is an enterprise FAIL. The 2 feature that I really require have been missed off meaning that Outlook 2011 is really not comparable to Outlook 2010 (Win) or even 2003.

    1) Use of PST files – come on guys, how hard can it be to think that people might want to have their mail sitting on their machines instead of on the server? And compatibility with Windows so that we can switch between Windows/Mac more easily?

    2) Managing Exchange distribution lists? How are we supposed to do this in an enterprise environment using a Mac?

    Come on guys – this software is not really much better than Entourage when you think about it… Macros, i’ve lived without them for 2 years so probably not as important as something where I regularly have to use VMWare Fusion to run the Windows version of Outlook to do some maintenance…

    Fix it…

  12. Alan says:


    Can you explain your post in greater detail?

    “Use of PST files – come on guys, how hard can it be to think that people might want to have their mail sitting on their machines instead of on the server?”

    I was hoping to switch to the Mac platform, but won’t if the PST file becomes an issue. I thought I would be able to copy or export thePST from my ThinkPad and import or paste it into a Macbook Pro.



  13. Marty says:

    I am a Volume lic holder and have been using Office 2011 for a couple weeks now. I have a couple of observations so far for Outlook as it is what I use most of the time.

    1. In Entourage there used to be a way if you clicked reply but wanted to reply all that you could quickly make that change to reply all. it was a hyperlink style button that appeared in a yellow bar at the top of the email reply. This was a useful tool so that i did not have to close the email and start over or type in all of the email addresses from memory.

    2. I have now had complaints by all 5 of the current test subjects i have in my company about the “boldness” of the Unread messages. They all complained that it was lighter than before or not as bold. I noticed that in Entourage 2008 that both the subject and the senders name were bold when you had the preview pane to the right and now just the subject is in bold.

    3. The ability to sync the calendar to ical was very helpful, especially for the few iPhone users that there are in the world. Removing this might just drive people that are not on an Exchange server to move to Apple Mail.

    • Mac Mojo Team says:

      Hi Marty – Thanks for your detailed feedback. The team is looking into updating the calendar sync functionality, check back here later for more info.

  14. Craig says:


    I am a VL user and have been using Outlook 2011 which i downloaded from the licensing site a few days ago. I like the features and look and feel of Outlook but am having significant issues with stability. It crashes many times an hour! EXEC_BAD_ACCESS errors pop up every 20 minutes or so ( but the crashes are random ) The crashes do only happen when i’m online and actively syncing. When it works it works well so that’s great…but the stability issue is preventing me from rolling this out to the rest of my organization. Please help….

    thank you in advance!

  15. Craig says:


    here is the log that is left by the crash of outlook:

    Microsoft Error Reporting log version: 2.0

    Error Signature:
    Exception: EXC_BAD_ACCESS
    Date/Time: 2010-10-25 11:37:52 -0600
    Application Name: Microsoft Outlook
    Application Bundle ID:
    Application Signature: OPIM
    Application Version:
    Crashed Module Name: OutlookCore
    Crashed Module Version:
    Crashed Module Offset: 0×00004107
    Blame Module Name: OutlookCore
    Blame Module Version:
    Blame Module Offset: 0×00004107
    Application LCID: 1033
    Extra app info: Reg=en Loc=0×0409
    Crashed thread: 3

  16. Andi says:

    Outlook 2011 is full of massive errors. Haven’t you testd this at Microsoft? To me it seems like Microsoft still tries to give Mac users faulty software just to make Mac worse than Windows. We waited 10 years for an Outlook2001 for OS-X. Microsoft: please fire all Outlook for Mac programmes and give this over to the OfficeBU who made Outlook2001 back in 2000! That was really good and working. But the last 10 years were just a big piece of s***. MacBU Entourage/Outlook Team: YOU SUCK!

  17. James Harper says:

    I recently upgraded my home & student version of Office 2008 to Office 2011. During this process I asked whether it would be possible to upgrade to the Home & Business version that included Outlook. The reply I received was, “An upgrade to Office for Mac Home and Business will be available for users of Office for Mac Home and Student 2011. Outlook is included in the Office for Mac Home and Business 2011 product suite” How do I initiate this uograde?

  18. Jay Brewer says:

    We’re seeing the non-bold inbox as well. It seems like sometimes the unread messages are bold in Outlook 2011 and sometimes they look normal.

    Would love this fixed. Makes reading the inbox impossible. All sub folders of the inbox seem to be in BOLD.

  19. Roger King says:

    I’m a corporate MAC user – but I had continued to run Office in a Win7 Vm as Office/Entourage was so poor on the Mac. So I was pleased when Office for Mac 2011 came out and promised near compatibility with Office/Win.

    I create offline PSTs of email archives which I then open with the Open (not import) Datafile (PST) feature in Outlook/Win.

    There is no certainty that my next corporate PC will be a MAC (it took some effort to get this one) so I want to create these archives in the PST format so that I can move to/from Office/Win at will when I need to.

    Why-o-why did you not keep a common PST file format approach with Office/Win so that I can simply attach (not Import) existing PST files to my Outlook workspace regardless of whether I am using Office/MAC or Office/Win?

    To compound the problem there appears to be no export to PST option in Office/Mac so any new offline email archives I create don’t appear to be re-exportable to Office/Win.

    … or have I missed something fundamental?

  20. John Dodson says:

    Used office since 2004 and 2011 with Outlook is by far the best release. We just need MS Project for Mac now

  21. Office for Mac Team says:

    @John Dodson Oh stop, you’re making us blush! To give the software developers recommendations for things you’d like to see in the future, go to our product feedback page:

  22. Scott Dicker says:

    I am now a MAC user. I’ve installed and am using MS Outlook 2011 for MAC. Received the following email quote from a Windows User. Essentially, I am conducting a sniff test as to the validity of this gentlemen’s claim.

    Can you verify his claim or know someone who could? Here it goes…..

    “Outlook for Mac is comparable to version 1 of Outlook for PCs. The Outlook 2010 for PCs is about version 30. So, you can see that the Mac version is very basic and doesn’t come close to the capabilities of the PC version. ”

    Thank you in advance.

    Best Regards,


  23. Gregory Van Tighem says:

    Being able to use the personal distribution list function in Entourage is an absolute critical function in the work I do at our PR firm. My understanding from this blog and from other information is that functionality is gone from Office for Mac 2011. Do you have a workaround for this? I simply have to find a solution here. It’s essential.

  24. Office for Mac Team says:

    @Gregory Van Tighem You can create a Group in your Address Book in Outlook and add the names and email addresses to that group. In the Contacts view, click File>New>Contact Group. If you have contact records for the people you need to add to the group, you can drag and drop them into the Contact Group window, otherwise you’ll need to enter them manually. Hope this helps!

  25. Racingslick says:

    Mail merge doesnt work on office for mac 2011. I tried using it in word. Though it says ‘send to outbox’, the mails are not present anywhere in my outlook. Some users have reported it is in the drafts folder but I dont see it there as well. Outlook is my default mail client. Can someone help?

  26. Office for Mac Team says:

    @Racingslick Please start a thread on our forum about this issue and one of our MVPs can help!

  27. William Muncrief says:

    I feel like a guy that paid to be a permanent BETA tester with Outlook for Mac. It has great promise, but unfortunately at this time is a application riddled with incompatibility some of which they seem to have no plan to fix.

    If I had known Outlook was an unfinished mess I would have never purchased Office 2011 Mac.

    Outlook does the following consistently.
    1. Riddled with unknown errors sending, and receiving mail.
    2. Duplicates contacts.
    3. Doesn’t always send messages.
    4. Will not sync with a Google Calendar, and doesn’t really sync with iCal since the supposed upgrade.
    5. Crashes more than any program I have had.
    6. Terrible support from some other country where it is hard to understand the technician.

    This application should be polished, fully functional, and not a permanent mess.

  28. Howard says:

    I see in outlook for the PC that the navigation pane can and does list sharepoints. I do not see this on the Mac running Outlook 2011. Is this feature not supported on the Mac?