MSI installer used by most commercial software, including earlier versions of Office.
1. Google Suite
If, like most Windows users, you've put much of your working life into Office, should you buy or rent—buy Office or subscribe to Office ? Corporate and government offices that frown on sharing data on Microsoft's servers will choose to buy. However, subscription-based Office is the obvious choice for offices that use Microsoft's ecosystem for collaboration and sharing and anyone who prefers to keep documents in the cloud. Office has an optional automatic continuous-save feature for documents stored in the cloud that isn't available in Office even when you save to Microsoft OneDrive.
And, of course, Microsoft lets you edit and collaborate on your cloud-based documents from a desktop machine, mobile device, or web browser. If, like me, you customize your Office apps by creating macros to perform complex, repetitive tasks, you may encounter gotchas like the one that tripped up my Office version of Word a few months ago.
I prefer to use the keyboard-friendly spell-check dialog from older versions of Word instead of the more awkward proofing panel in recent versions.
As described on many web postings about this subject, Microsoft made it possible to use the old dialog by default by writing a macro and attaching it to the same key that normally opens the new proofing pane. For a few months last year, however, a badly designed Office update broke that macro and made it impossible for many users to access the old-style dialog.
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No one outside Microsoft ever figured out why some users weren't affected. A few months later, Microsoft finally seems to have fixed the problem in Office But users with Office never encountered the problem at all, because Office like Office doesn't get the kind of regular update that can break existing features.
That problem made me switch to "perpetual" Office , and now Office , for the Windows machines I use for mission-critical work. On the Mac, I still use Office because Office for the Mac lacks features built into the subscription-based product, though I don't see any good reason for the different feature sets in Mac and Windows Office For all its minor faults, Office still towers over all alternatives.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is the first choice for anyone who prefers free software and effortless sharing, and for casual users who don't want to keep their documents in files on a desktop computer. LibreOffice is feature-rich, open-source, and free, and opens legacy documents in more formats than anything else, but after decades of development, it's still clumsy-looking and far too prone to crashing to inspire confidence.
Apple's iWork apps which are not sold as a combined suite look dazzling and have unique features like Numbers' tables that can be moved around on an empty canvas, unlike a traditional worksheet that uses only a single grid. But iWork has desktop apps only on Macs, and forces you to export documents if you want to share them outside Apple's ecosystem. Corel WordPerfect , available only for Windows, offers unparalleled precise control over document formatting and is more convenient than Office for specialized purposes like cleaning up documents created by OCR software, but WordPerfect will always be a niche product.
You may complain about this or that corner of Microsoft Office, but it's still the most comfortable, familiar, powerful, and reliable set of productivity apps on this or any other planet.
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If you're happy with Office , you don't need Office If you're happy with Office , you only need Office if you want its new features. One way or another, you probably want Office on your desktop, and though the version isn't an absolutely essential upgrade, that's only because the last version has held up so well. Either way, Office is the best office suite you can buy, and it remains an Editors' Choice. Bottom Line: Microsoft Office remains the most powerful and flexible office suite money can buy, and the locally installed software version trumps even Microsoft's own Office when it comes to stability and its one-time purchase model.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Edward Mendelson has been a contributing editor at PC Magazine since , and writes extensively on Windows and Mac software, especially about office, internet, and utility applications.
macOS - Compatibility - Apple
Pros Perpetual Office license. Cons Not cheap unless you get it through a corporate or educational site license.
Best Microsoft Office Alternatives for macOS
Bottom Line Microsoft Office remains the most powerful and flexible office suite money can buy, and the locally installed software version trumps even Microsoft's own Office when it comes to stability and its one-time purchase model. Similar Products. LibreOffice 5. Google G Suite. Microsoft Office for Mac. It is only available in Volume License editions. November 19, October 1, March 4, July 8, News Center. June 15, Retrieved July 26, Retrieved April 26, June 21, Archived from the original on June 21, Retrieved June 9, February 5, Retrieved June 14, Microsoft Press.
August February 1, Archived from the original on February 26, Retrieved April 28, Internet Archive: Microsoft. Archived from the original on November 17, Microsoft Japan in Japanese. Internet Archive: Microsoft Japan. Archived from the original on February 18, Archived from the original on October 1, Retrieved December 13, Retrieved November 10, October 22, Office Support. Archived from the original on June 19, Retrieved February 11, Archived from the original on June 25, Archived from the original on June 12, Archived from the original on February 5, Archived from the original on June 16, CBS Interactive.
Office Professional Plus is available through Volume Licensing only. Archived from the original on June 29, May 15, To determine whether an Office installation is a volume licensed version, check the Office installation disk to see whether it contains a folder named Admin. If the Admin folder exists, the disk is a volume license edition.
Retrieved November 21, Microsoft Office website. Retrieved January 29, Retrieved January 9, Thanks to its support for industry standards, macOS works with virtually all email providers and websites. Almost any device that connects to a computer via USB, audio cable, or Bluetooth will work with a Mac. Have a Windows application you need to use once in a while?