How does Microsoft Office on the Mac compare to Microsoft Office on Windows? I was thinking about moving to a Mac but need to make sure I can still edit Word and Excel documents. Will I have trouble moving my documents?
In general, if you have used Microsoft documents in Windows you can easily move to Microsoft Office on the Mac and instantly feel relatively comfortable. (We’re assuming you’re using Office 2010 or later on Windows, and Office 2011 on the Mac.) As with everything the devil is in the details. Word and Excel on the Mac are quite similar to their Windows counterparts. PowerPoint is less so. Outlook, on the other hand, is quite different. We found an article that compares the two very carefully. Check out this link for the details: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/microsoft-office-mac-different/.
In addition, Microsoft almost always updates the Windows version before the Mac version. The current Windows version is Office 2013, and the Mac version dates back to Office 2011. We’re expecting an updated Windows for Mac in late 2014 or early 2015, but there’s no way to know when that will actually happen.
Finally, here’s an simple, and (if we may say so ourselves) important suggestion: Rather than relying on the client-based, Windows or Mac-specific versions, why not try out the online version of Office, which works on pretty much any platform, and works consistently across all its supported platforms? Open a browser and browse to https://office.live.com, and check out Office Online. It’s free, and unless you use fancy features of Word or Excel, it should work fine for you. You’ll need a Microsoft account to use it, but you probably already have one (a Hotmail or Outlook.com email address will do). Check it out!