Microsoft have announced Office 2019, the latest version of their popular productivity apps, for Mac and Windows. There are a number of new features in this release, for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, which should make it easier to create great content, and get work done. These features have already been a part of Office 365, which is Microsoft’s subscription based version of Office.
Office 2019 vs Office 365
The main difference between Office 365 and Office 2019 is that the former is a subscription based product while the later is a major update released every few years, and can be used without a subscription. The license for Office 2019 is a one-time purchase. However, the drawback is that, unlike Office 365, Office 2019 will not receive regular feature updates. It also does not allow access to premium features in Office mobile apps, which are available only through a 365 subscription.
While the subscription based access means there is a lower cost of entry, it also makes more revenue for Microsoft, which helps them focus on development of newer features for the product. Users also get access to the latest collaborative features, fully functional mobile apps, OneDrive storage space and other add-ons, which make the subscription a great value.
What’s new in Office 2019
Here are all the new features available in this release for Mac users:
- Focus mode
- Translation support
- Customizable ribbon menus
- Improved inking
- Excel now supports functions like CONCAT, SWITCH and TEXTJOIN
- New funnel charts, 2d maps and timelines
- New Morph transition
- Support for SVG and 3D models
- 4K video export
- Improved roaming pencil case
- Support for @mentions, which let you tag recipients in an email
- Focused inbox
- Office 365 Groups. This requires an Exchange account. You should rather be using Office 365 if you want to use this feature.
- Travel and delivery summary cards, which automatically detected ticket and hotel information
- Send Later feature to schedule emails
- Read and delivery receipts
- Email templates
Despite these new features, Office for Mac is still way behind its Windows counterpart in terms of features. This issue strongly makes its presence felt when you have to use features in Excel, like compare. Somehow, Microsoft does not commit to releasing these features for macOS users. Apple’s own productivity apps are not heavy on features either so it can be tough if you rely on such functionality. Better to keep Windows installed on Bootcamp or on a virtual machine in such instances.
If you’re looking to get Office for personal or family use, I suggest going for a 365 subscription which is cheaper per month and also comes with benefits like OneDrive storage space and free Skype minutes.