Microsoft Office 2011

  • Posted on: 26 June 2012
  • By: ifoulds

Overview

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac has some subtle visual differences to the previous version (Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac) and certainly from LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org. Some functional changes have also been made to components within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Some key points for users new to Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac or coming from Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac are outlined below to help get you started and allow you to explore some further changes yourself.

The main change Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac introduced is the Ribbon. This is designed to replace much of the menubar and toolbox options and group them together in a somewhat logical and user-friendly layout:

If at any point you no longer see the Ribbon and thus all the editing and formatting tools, you can either click the drop-down arrow to the far right-hand side of the Ribbon area, or go to 'View | Ribbon':

 

Word

Users switching from Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac will be familiar with the following layout (this screenshot is from Word):

and a toolbox that would typically open up to the right-hand side of your document:

In Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac, along with Excel and PowerPoint, the Ribbon replaces the toolbox - it has been merged within the main document window, though essentially providing all of the same functions. This is how Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac now looks with the Ribbon interface combining the toolbox functions:

One feature that you may find useful to minimize distractions whilst writing is the 'Full Screen' view of Word. Going to the 'View' menu and selecting 'Full Screen' will switch to a full screen editing mode to allow you to focus on your writing. The basic formatting bar across the top will automatically disappear after a few seconds - simply move your mouse back over the top of the screen in order for it to reappear. To exit full screen editing mode, simply press the 'Esc' key:

 

PowerPoint

Useful additions within Microsoft PowerPoint 2011 for Mac include a couple of new buttons on the main display window that allow you to quickly and easily add new slides and adjust themes, as well as making it more intuitive to run your slideshow or enter presenter view. On the top left-hand side of the Ribbon area, you will see a 'Slide' control pane that allows you to quickly add a new slide, change the theme for a given slide or selection of slides, or adjust the layout and sections. To the far right-hand side of the Ribbon area you will see another new control for 'Slide Show' that allows you to play your slide show, rehearse timings or record your slide show, or enter presenter view:

'Presenter View' improves upon 'Presenter Tools' found in Microsoft PowerPoint for 2008 for Mac, providing a somewhat more polished interface and with a color scheme more suitable for use during a presentation. When connected to a projector in a classroom, providing you are not simply mirroring your display, you would be able to use 'Presenter View' to keep track of additional notes to discuss during your presentation or keep track of the upcoming order of slides:

 

Excel

Similar to how Microsoft PowerPoint 2011 for Mac provided some useful additions to the main editing window, Excel also adds quick and easy access to some useful tools. To the right-hand side of the Ribbon area you will see two new sections for 'Format' and 'Cells'. 'Format' allows you to quickly and easily apply conditional formatting rules to your spreadsheet, and 'Cells' allows you to quickly and easily insert, delete, and format cells. Although not new functions, as with PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel 2011 for Mac makes it much quicker and easier to use these features: