Office Insider Fast Update for Mac Insiders



Microsoft recently announced the release of its first Office Insider Fast build to Office 2016 for Mac Insiders. (Non-Mac users take note: Microsoft plans to release Inside Fast builds for other platforms in the coming months!)

What’s the difference between Insider Slow and Insider Fast?

  • Office Insider Slow: This is the option originally offered to Mac users. It’s ideal for those who want early access to fully supported Office 2016 for Mac builds, with minimal risk. Every month, Microsoft typically releases one, sometimes two, Insider Slow updates.
  • Office Insider Fast: This is a new option is for those who want to use the earliest builds possible to improve quality and influence features. Office Insider Fast is best suited for those who don’t mind the risks inherent in using unsupported builds. Microsoft aims to release Insider Fast builds to Mac Insiders on a weekly basis.

For more information, check out the official Office Fast Insider Update from Microsoft.

Microsoft Announcements from Build 2016

Microsoft held its annual “Build” developer conference this past week in San Francisco. Build 2016 ran from March 30–April 1, and there were quite a few announcements from the event including:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • New “Ink Workspace” with Windows Ink apps
  • Office 2016 Add-ins for Office 2016 for Mac
  • New universal apps for Windows 10
  • Cortana is getting smarter
  • HoloLens is shipping to developers

Learn more with articles from WinBeta, The Verge, and Life Hacker.

Office Insider Program for Mac Users


In November, Microsoft introduced Office Insider, a preview program for Office 365 consumer subscribers to get early access to the latest Office innovations. The program was initially launched for Windows desktop, Android, and Windows 10 mobile users. But now Mac users can also get early access to Office innovations! Opt-in to the Office Insider build from the Microsoft Auto Update (MAU) tool on your Mac. Learn more about Office Insider and how to get started on your Mac, and follow Officer Insider (@OfficeInsider) on Twitter to learn about new updates coming your way and to get Office Insider support from the Office team.

Security Update for Office 2016 for Mac



Visit Microsoft Support’s website to get the details of the security update for Office 2016 for Mac: January 12, 2016. This update addresses multiple security vulnerabilities, fixes bugs, and adds select new features across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. New features include:

  • Viewing Outlook  in full-screen mode to view multiple messages or invitations side by side
  • Saving Word PDFs to flash drives
  • New Excel and PowerPoint selection panes to keep track of worksheet objects and slideshow objects, and rearrange their placement and order
  • Adding shapes to OneNote notebook pages

The free update is available from Microsoft AutoUpdate within Office 2016 for Mac or the Microsoft Download Center, and requires OS X Yosemite 10.10 or later and a valid Office 365 subscription.

Comparing Office for Mac 2016 with Office 2013 and 2016 for Windows


Office for Mac 2016 users can check out the links below to see how Office for Mac applications compare to Office 2013 and 2016 for Windows.

Excel for Mac 2016 and Excel 2013 and 2016 for Windows

Word for Mac 2016 with Word 2013 and 2016 for Windows

PowerPoint for Mac 2016 with PowerPoint 2013 and 2016 for Windows


OS X Update 10.11.1 Fixes Office 2016 for Mac Crashes


Attention Mac users! Apple has released OS X 10.11.1, the first update for its El Capitan operating system. This update includes a fix for the reported crash problems that have plagued Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac users. Apple’s accompanying update notes stated that this update, “Improves compatibility with Microsoft Office 2016.”

Learn more and visit Apple’s site for additional OS X 10.11.1 update information.

Microsoft Q&A with Corinne Hoisington

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for a conversation with Corinne Hoisington and the Cengage Learning team to learn about the exciting updates from Microsoft as well as the exciting product launches from Cengage. We received many questions during the WebEx and have answered them below. If you have further questions, please contact your Learning Consultant to continue the conversation.

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2016 Questions
Q: How do you access Office 365 offline?
A: Office 365 is locally installed and always available offline. It does not live in the cloud.

Q: Is Access included in the Office 365 Pro Plus?
A: Yes, see Microsoft’s product details here.

Q: Will you be able to send the information out on how to not update to Office 2016 when using Office 365? I have the same issue with my current students, and I don’t want them to update yet.
A: Please see the directions on our blog.

Q: We have been told that we do not need to turn off automatic updates until February. Is this correct?
A: Please see Microsoft’s post.

Click here for more information on the Office 365 Pro Plus branching options.

Q: Is there any advantage to using Office 2016 as opposed to Office 365?
A: This answer depends on the industry that your business sits in and the use cases you have for your software; however, in academia we believe that there isn’t an advantage to using Office 2016. Your students will be purchasing devices with Office 365 on their machines and Microsoft is pushing the enterprise Pro Plus license to institutions, which again would give students Office 365. Therefore, ensuring that you are teaching to what your students are using is important to mirror their real world setting.

Q: Can you give us more detail on what it means that Office 2016 doesn’t update?
A: Office 2016 is the traditional version of Office software which is downloaded at purchase and will be static until a new version is released from Microsoft, estimated in 2-3 years (Office 2018 or 2019).

Q: Has the Virginia Community College System sent information to the IT Depts. about stopping the automatic upgrade for Office 365?
A: Please talk to your individual school about how they want you to stop upgrades. This will be an ongoing maintenance for a school in that you have to select out of this updating. This will not be a one-time flip to switch.

Q: What is the price point of the subscription for Office 365?
A: Here are pricing details for Office 365 for Home plans and Office 365 for Business plans.

Q: What are the document formats/extensions for 2016 (e.g., docx, xlsx, pptx, etc.)?
A: The exact same as Office 2013.

Microsoft Office 2013 Questions
Q: Can you run Office 2013 and 2016 on same computer; How do you run 2013 and 2016 simultaneously?
A: Microsoft recommends faculty who wish to test Office 2016 without replacing their existing Office 2013 installation should consider using a virtual machine equipped with Office 2016 for testing purposes.

Q: If students update to 2016 without really knowing the consequences, can they go back to the 2013 version?
A: No.

Q: If my student buys office 365 today, can they install Office 2013 today instead of Office 2016 so that it will match their Office 2013 textbook?
A: No, Microsoft does not allow you to go backwards with Office 365. Cengage is working on a solution to purchase Office 2013 trials (180 day licenses) that can be bundled with orders for Spring 2016.

Q: In 2013, themes “randomly” appear and disappear – is this fixed in 2016.
A: Microsoft states that the themes will remain constant.

Q: Will Office 2013 still be available in the Fall of 2016 for free at colleges even though Office 2016 is the current version?
A: Microsoft’s Office 365 Pro Plus enterprise license is available for an institution to purchase. This Pro Plus solution is for Office 365 therefore is for Office 2016 and beyond (with the continuous updates); therefore Office 2013 is not available through Office 365.

Application Questions
Q: Do you need a business account in order to use Skype for Business?
A: Skype for Business is a featured app of Office 365. It can be purchased as a stand alone subscription.

Q: Will the Skype for business be available in 2016 Professional or only for 365 users?
A: Skype for Business is a featured app of Office 365. It can be purchased as a stand alone subscription.

Q: How many students can participate in a Skype for Business “video call” at one time?
A: 25 on the video portion; 10,000 on the phone call line.

Q: Can you use the Skype feature to share the desktop and audio without the video?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Office 365 include features such as Developer and Mail Merge?
A: Yes Office 365 is a full featured locally installed program identical to Office 2016.

Q: Is the new tell me feature a replacement of the help or F1
A: “Tell me” is not a replacement for Help (or F1). It is in addition.

Q: Can we turn off Tell Me? Sounds like students taking a test could just use Tell Me to basically do the test for them.
A: No.

Q: Is the entire PowerBI suite available with Office 365, or is there a “pay for it” layer above it that is only available by subscription?
A: PowerBi is an app included within Office 365 the subscription for no additional cost.

MAC for Office Questions
Q: Does the Mac version have Pivot Table slicer capability?
A: Yes, it will.

Q: Will Office Mix work on Office 2016 for Mac? (for authoring Mix presentations)
A: Yes, it will.

Q: Does Excel 2016 map the Mac’s F4 key to change cell reference types like the PC does?
A: No. I recommend reading this article.

Office 2011 for Mac vs. Office 2016 for Mac

Office 2016 for Mac was unveiled on July 9, 2015. When Office 2016 for Mac rolled out earlier this summer, those who had used Office on a PC or tablet felt right at home with the familiar look and feel, leading to a much better experience than using Office 2011 for Mac. Here are some of the changes in the newest Office 2016 for Mac:

  • New Interface Design
  • Reorganized Ribbon
  • Task Panes
  • Support for multi-touch gestures and full-screen view
  • Cloud connection and OneDrive Integration

Learn more, including what’s new in each application, and view the official announcement from Microsoft.

Office 365 updates in development

Office 365 Notification Pane

The new notification pane will provide end users with a single place to catch up on all system events (i.e. system alerts like password expiration, new emails, calendar reminders and eventually group likes) and will be available across apps in the Office 365 web experience. In order to access this new feature, a user simply clicks on the top right notification icon to open the notification pane.

Excel Online improvements

Support editing and refreshing of workbooks containing Power Views and inserting PivotTables.

OneDrive for Business Sync for Mac

Mac OS X will get a standalone desktop sync client application that enables desktop syncing between a user’s OneDrive for Business folder in Office 365 and his or her computer.

Office Online support in Yammer

With Office Online support in Yammer, documents uploaded to Yammer can be viewed and edited with Office Online, directly in Yammer. This allows documents to be beautifully rendered with Office Online directly in the context of all relevant Yammer conversations.

Multiple timeline bars in Project Pro for Office 365

In Project Pro for Office 365 you will be able to create multiple timeline bars within the Timeline view. You will also be able to set a custom date range for each timeline bar in order to just highlight a certain time period of the project in the Timeline view.

Unlimited storage for OneDrive for Business

Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost. We will begin updating the First Release customers in 2015, aligned with our promise to provide ample notification for significant service changes. In the meantime, get started using your 1 TB of storage today by backing up all those work files kicking around on your PC – with the knowledge that even more storage is on its way!

Learn more »

Office Mix, OneNote, and Outlook News

Office Mix Preview Launched

In May 2014, Microsoft introduced a customer preview of the new product Office Mix. ( This tool “offers a simple way to turn your PowerPoint slides into interactive online lessons and presentations.” According to the Microsoft Web site, “Office Mix gives PowerPoint new functionality. We add a new tab with several features, including the ability to record yourself giving your presentation. In record mode, you can capture audio and video of yourself narrating your slides, including what you write or draw on the screen. In essence, you’re able to capture the entire experience of giving your lecture, complete with visual and audio aids, with the added bonus of interactive content like quizzes or activities.”

Learn more » 

OneNote for Mac update

Added top customer requested features, such as the ability to print your notes, improved copy and paste for formatted content, drag and drop pictures, display names for hyperlinks, format painter, and performance improvements.

New mail rules has added new mail rules for complex behaviors and filtering. There is also an undo button, a new in-line reply functionality, and an improve chat and messaging interface.

Learn more »