Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac - Excel 2011 review

VBA scripting finally returns to Mac spreadsheets with Excel 2011, but is that all there is to the latest version of Microsoft's venerable number cruncher? Adam Banks takes a closer look.

Along with Word and PowerPoint, Excel also gets a new cut-down version, the Excel Web App, which you can access from any web browser, whether or not Excel is installed on the computer you're using. This is handy for updating sheets on the move, especially since, by saving a workbook to your Windows Live SkyDrive (Microsoft's free equivalent of Apple's MobileMe iDisk) or a SharePoint server, you can edit simultaneously with other users, which Microsoft calls "co-authoring".

The Web App can display charts and other graphical formatting, but doesn't let you create them from scratch, and omits the Formula Builder, among other features. Sadly, it doesn't work on iOS devices, although you can view documents. Collaboration is also facilitated by a long overdue revamp of the Protection options, which lets you dictate exactly what users can and can't do with locked cells.

Despite a lack of revolutionary innovations, this upgrade revitalises Excel as a Mac app. Once you get past the disorienting user interface changes, it's less compromised and more usable. The omission of a few features already seen in Excel 2010 for Windows, however, is an all too familiar annoyance.

Verdict

The return of Visual Basic, the Ribbon interface and new collaboration features will make many users look again at Excel on the Mac. Some idiosyncrasies and omissions remain to be addressed, but it’ll do for now.

Processor: Intel only Memory: 1GB (minimum) Hard disk: Mac OS Extended drive with 1.8GB free space Display: 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution screen OS: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later

Featured Resources

B2B under quarantine

Key B2C e-commerce features B2B need to adopt to survive

Download now

The top three IT pains of the new reality and how to solve them

Driving more resiliency with unified operations and service management

Download now

The five essentials from your endpoint security partner

Empower your MSP business to operate efficiently

Download now

How fashion retailers are redesigning their digital future

Fashion retail guide

Download now

Recommended

Apple reportedly planning all-5G iPhone lineup for 2022
Hardware

Apple reportedly planning all-5G iPhone lineup for 2022

21 Jul 2021
Apple reportedly delays return to the office amid rising COVID cases
Careers & training

Apple reportedly delays return to the office amid rising COVID cases

20 Jul 2021
Apple's M2 chip to debut in early 2022, leaker claims
Hardware

Apple's M2 chip to debut in early 2022, leaker claims

6 Jul 2021
Apple plans return to office despite employee complaints
flexible working

Apple plans return to office despite employee complaints

30 Jun 2021

Most Popular

The benefits of workload optimisation
Sponsored

The benefits of workload optimisation

16 Jul 2021
RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience

14 Jul 2021