Microsoft has announced the availability of the latest release of Office for Apple Mac users, offering updated versions of the applications that bring the suite in line with the latest features found on the PC and the Office iPad apps.
Office 2016 for Mac is available immediately, but currently as a download only for customers that have an Office 365 service subscription. The suite will also be available as a one-time purchase option from September, Microsoft said.
The new suite comprises the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote for Mac users, with Microsoft's now familiar ribbon user interface and support for Mac features such as Retina display Full Screen view and Multi-Touch gestures.
Kirk Koenigsbauer, head of Microsoft's Office Client Applications and Services team, highlighted the new capabilities in the 2016 suite in a Microsoft's Office blog post.
"Office for Mac is cloud-connected, so you can quickly get to the documents you've recently used on other devices and pick up where you left off," he wrote.
"New built-in document sharing tools make it easy to invite teammates to work on a document together. When sharing documents, you won't have to worry about losing content or formatting, as Office for Mac offers unparalleled compatibility with Office on PCs, tablets, phones and online."
Word now has a collaborative editing feature that enables several people to work on the same document simultaneously and use threaded comments to have a conversation right next to relevant text.
Excel now includes PivotTable Slicers to help discover patterns in large volumes of data, and visualise data by recommending a chart that is best suited.
PowerPoint now includes a Presenter View showing notes alongside the slides plus tools to design and fine-tune animations, while Outlook is now more in line with the Windows version, featuring an improved conversation view that automatically organises the inbox around threaded conversations.
However, like other Microsoft applications, Office 2016 for Mac is designed to integrate with Microsoft's cloud services, which is why it is available first to Office 365 subscribers.
It also integrates with OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint as the default location for storing document files and other data.
Microsoft has not disclosed whether users will be able to store documents on Apple's iCloud file storage service. The firm had not responded to requests for clarification from V3 at the time of writing.
Office 2016 for Mac requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later to run. Meanwhile, the latest version of Office for Windows is expected to ship later this year.
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