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Microsoft 365
Two female developers collaborating while working remotely. One developer has personalized her laptop with stickers.

4 ways Microsoft 365 is improving the experience for Mac users

In this atypical year, many of us have discovered a new sense of appreciation for our computers as critical tools to get work done. Now more than ever, we are all looking for new ways to be productive on our laptops and desktops. At Microsoft, we are committed to delivering great Microsoft 365 experiences that help our customers work easier and faster on their favorite devices. With this in mind, we want to share some of the latest Microsoft 365 innovations that can make you even more productive on a Mac.

Universal app support for Macs with M1 is here

We are excited to announce that starting today we are releasing new versions of many of our Microsoft 365 for Mac apps that run natively on Macs with M1. This means that now our core flagship Office apps—Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote—will run faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs, making you even more productive on the latest MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The new Office apps are Universal, so they will continue to run great on Macs with Intel processors. The apps are not only speedy, but they also look fantastic as they have been redesigned to match the new look of macOS Big Sur. Here is a peek at Outlook on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro.

If you have automatic updates turned on, you will start to receive these updates today. Otherwise, you can go to the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab, or with Microsoft AutoUpdate, you can go to your Office app’s Help menu and choose Check for Updates. Plus, find more commonly asked questions on our support page.

With more than 115M daily active users, Teams has become a critical part of the way many people are navigating the current situation. Teams allows you to meet, chat, call, and collaborate all in a single app. And, when people work in Teams, they all get the full breadth and depth of Microsoft 365. Microsoft Teams is currently available in Rosetta emulation mode on Macs with M1 and the browser. We are working on universal app support for M1 Macs and will share more news as our work progresses. Download the Teams app for your Mac here now.

Screen shot of a MacBook Pro running Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft 365 experiences made for Mac

Over the past months, we have redesigned the experiences in our flagship apps for Mac with a focus on simplicity to improve ease of use. The new Outlook for Mac looks great with a redesign that matches the new look of macOS Big Sur, and an updated Office Start experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for Mac that incorporates the Fluent UI design system. This means that Microsoft 365 apps enable you to be more focused with immersive experiences that are easier to use right from the first screen. Experiences that feel both unmistakably Microsoft 365 and include elements that are native to the look of macOS so they are also unmistakably made for Mac. The new Office Start experience will be available next month.

Microsoft PowerPoint presentation themes.

We continue to learn how customers want to use our products through continued feedback. So, thank you to each and every one of you who have shared your experiences with us. Today we are pleased to announce support for iCloud accounts in the new Outlook for Mac. This will enable you to organize work and personal emails, contacts, and calendars together in one app so it is easier for you to stay connected to what matters. We will start to roll this out using the new Outlook for Mac in the coming weeks.

Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook calendars syncing on a Mac computer

Work your way

Another area of focus is to make our Microsoft 365 apps work the way you do. Through many new innovations on our Mac apps, our goal is to help you get work done in more simple and intuitive ways.

Tell Me is a search box that quickly gets you to the Office tools you need or actions you want to take by just typing what you are looking for in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote for Mac. Microsoft Search in the new Outlook for Mac allows you to type out your query or question using language you use every day to find emails, events, and files—no fancy syntax needed. These capabilities help simplify how you use Microsoft 365 apps to achieve more and are now available to all Mac users.

A commonly used productivity hack is to use your phone to capture images of important information you want to work on. With Data from Picture, you can take a photo of a table directly on your iPhone and turn it into data you can edit in Excel for Mac. This handy new feature uses Continuity Camera on your Mac and is also available now.

Voice input is a growing part of our digital lives and can be a great way to simplify your workflow. A new dictation toolbar with voice commands for creating content with your voice is coming to Word and Outlook for Mac. In addition, to help you check spelling, correct grammar, and get writing style suggestions, we will enable Microsoft Editor in Word for Mac. We plan to make these updates available to customers with access to Microsoft 365 for Insiders in early 2021.

New ways to work together

The shift to remote work highlights the need for teams to collaborate with agility, while ensuring sensitive data stays secure and meets compliance requirements. Our Microsoft 365 app teams have been busy getting modern collaboration and compliance capabilities ready so you can work from home more effectively on your Mac.

Sharing your calendars in Outlook with your co-workers helps you manage your time more efficiently. By giving access to participants’ calendars through simplified permissions, planning meetings and events is quick and easy. Based on the Microsoft sync technology and connected architecture, Outlook can provide reliable and faster synchronization of calendar events across Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and Web, keeping you on track of your time your way. The new Outlook for Mac will support shared calendars for customers subscribed to the Office Insider Mac Beta Channel in the first months of next year.

When creating new content as a team, the ability to collaborate around documents and presentations becomes especially valuable when your team is not in the same location. The new modern commenting experience in Word for Mac enables a contextual view of comments that allows you to focus on your content without missing active comments by contributors and reviewers. Modern commenting also includes improved @mentions in PowerPoint and Word for Mac that make it easier to reply to comments. The new @mentions experience is available now in PowerPoint for enterprise customers. Modern commenting for Word is in the Office Insider Beta Channel now and coming to Current Channel Preview in February 2021.

Have you ever collaborated with someone in a worksheet and suddenly your view changes and you are unable to finish your work? This can often happen when an active collaborator adds filters or sorts the data in a table of a shared worksheet. Excel sheet view is a new way to create customized views to sort and filter your data without disrupting what others see. This capability is an example of customer-driven product improvement and is now available on Excel for Mac.

Last, but certainly not least, Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels allow you to classify and protect your organization’s data with minimal effort through manual and automatic content labeling. Manual labeling is available on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook for Mac. Automatic labeling is coming to these same apps for Microsoft 365 E5 customers in early 2021.

We are excited about the Microsoft 365 innovations we are delivering for our Mac user community and would love to hear your feedback about your experience using our latest features. If you want to try out new Office features first and make a difference in the products you use every day, please join the Office Insiders and check out the Mac channels.

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