Microsoft Office 365. The essentials to get it all done. Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. Get started quickly with new, modern versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote-combining the familiarity of Office and the unique Mac features you love. If you're the Microsoft 365 admin of an Office for business plan, users in your organization can only install Office using the steps in this topic as long as your plan includes the desktop version of Office, and you've assigned the user a license and given them permission to install Office (Manage software download settings in Microsoft 365). If your Mac is slow to boot up, the problem may be that there are too many applications to open at startup. It's likely you never set them to launch at startup - they launch by default.
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Is there anything more frustrating than typing lag or slow-loading documents when you’re on a deadline? While Microsoft Office is one of the most widely used application suites for all kinds of projects in the modern office, it doesn't always show excellent performance.
When Microsoft Office slows down, showing you spinning wheels and requiring long wait times, it breaks your flow and concentration, ultimately affecting your productivity.
Thankfully, there are a few proven ways to speed up Microsoft Office on your Mac, and most of them are as simple as tidying up. If Marie Kondo has taught us anything, it’s that clutter can cause unnecessary stress in life. And this applies to hard drives as well!
Why is Microsoft Office slow?
While there are a few different symptoms indicating that Microsoft Office isn’t doing its best, such as a painfully slow opening of a program or Microsoft Word slow typing, the question stands: why is Microsoft Word so slow?
There are a variety of reasons Microsoft Office may run slowly, freeze, or cause the much dreaded typing lag. Often, the issue stems from a build-up of corrupted or temporary files that are meant to be automatically deleted but, for whatever reason, have failed to do so. The application suite could also be out of date or attempt to load corrupted files. Very likely it’s just a large number of small problems that have snowballed and are now causing noticeable issues. Here’s how you can fix it.
Refresh go-to templates
The template file normal.dot is created by Microsoft Word and stored automatically on your computer. It saves all the default settings of the application. So each time you change your settings, the preference is added to normal.dot. This way, the next time Microsoft Word opens a new document, your preferred settings load automatically. If your normal.dot file becomes corrupted or too complex to load, it can make Microsoft Word slow.
Deleting the existing normal.dot file will force Microsoft Word to create a new one. Starting fresh will be easy for most users, as the majority of us don’t stray too far from the default settings. For those that change their default settings in complex ways, make sure you back up your normal.dot files to a flash drive to avoid losing important settings permanently.
To find and delete normal.dot manually:
- Quit MS Word and open Finder.
- Type normal.dot into the search field.
- Wait for all results to load. It’s not uncommon to have more than one normal.dot file. They may also appear as normal.dotm.
- Select all normal.dot and normal.dotm files and delete them.
- Empty your Trash.
Finally, reload the application and see if the process has managed to speed up Microsoft Word.
Delete temporary files
All Microsoft Office programs will create temporary files to prevent you from losing your work. However, if the automatic removal of these files fails, they can build up and make Microsoft Office slow.
You can easily seek out and remove these files:
- Determine which temporary files you want to delete. Microsoft’s website lists different types of temporary files that Microsoft Office produces automatically. Likely the files you are looking for will be searchable using the trine sign ~*.doc, ~*.dot or ~*.tmp.
- Use Finder to search for files with ~*.doc or another marker.
- Select files to delete.
- Drag them to the Trash and empty it.
Once you are done, reload the application to see if that did speed up Microsoft Word.
Keep Microsoft Office updated
Having an outdated version of Microsoft Office will eventually cause it to run slowly. Luckily, updating the suite is very easy:
- Open Microsoft Word.
- In the top tool-bar, select Help and click “Check for Updates.”
- Install the update if detected.
Additionally, you can turn on Microsoft auto-updates using the same dialogue box, so that whenever Microsoft Office detects a new version it will offer you an opportunity to install it.
Another way to update Microsoft Office is to directly download the latest one from the Microsoft website. But before you do, check that it’s fully compatible with your version of macOS.
Reset the application to default settings
Over time, all Mac apps accumulate lots of unneeded preferences that constantly rewrite each other. A good way to rule out that there’s anything wrong with the app is to do a factory reset — bring the app back to the state when it was brand new.
You can do a factory reset in two ways:
- Go to Finder and search for ~/Library
- Look for Microsoft Office files in the results
- Delete all of them but the app itself
Alternatively, you can do the same thing quicker and more thoroughly with the CleanMyMac X uninstaller utility:
- Download CleanMyMac X with a free trial.
- Go to Uninstaller tab.
- Select Microsoft Office and choose Reset.
- Click on the Reset button.
Delete and reinstall Microsoft Office
The old IT adage “have you tried turning it off and back on?” applies here, but in this case, it’s about deleting the application and reinstalling it. To completely delete Microsoft Office, you will need to remove files from two different places on your computer: delete the app first and then find your Library folder in Finder to see the associated files that need to be removed.
- Head to the Applications folder and move Microsoft Office to the Trash
- Find your Library folder in Finder by navigating to your computer in Locations and then clicking on your hard-drive (e.g. Macintosh HD)
- Open System then Library, and find the folder Containers
- From Containers, move the following associated files to the Trash:
- Open Group Containers folder as well and remove the following files:
- Finally, remove Microsoft Office from the Dock and restart your Mac.
Once removed, head back to the Microsoft website, sign in to your account, and install the latest version.
Optimize documents for storage
Keeping Microsoft Office functioning properly means saving documents in their most optimized state. Resizing large images or graphics and not overloading your files with macros will help you maintain speedy performance in the long run.
Speed up Microsoft Office automatically in minutes
While all the above maintenance will help you speed up Microsoft Office, it can be time-consuming and finicky. Troubleshooting your app version, deleting and refreshing templates, and searching for temporary files is all manual work and could eat up a few hours.
To make things easy, you can use optimization software like CleanMyMac X, which will automatically detect and remove temporary as well as unused files to get your Microsoft Office running smoothly. Here’s how to do it:
- Download CleanMyMac X.
- Drag it into your Applications folder.
- Open it and run a general Smart Scan to start.
- Then run Optimization and Maintenance scans (which you can choose from the left-side panel) to target specific areas, such as freeing up RAM and reviewing your login items
- Repeat the process every month or so.
While following the above method of optimizing your Mac with CleanMyMac X is enough to remove any unnecessary clutter, the app’s sidebar menu offers even more options for increasing the speed of your Mac as well as a handy uninstaller for quick and thorough uninstallations of apps you don’t need anymore.
Ultimately, there are a number of ways to get Microsoft Office to run smoothly again. And although it’s entirely possible to do most of the cleanup manually, using an app like CleanMyMac X is a much faster and easier way to get rid of junk and ensure that your Mac is performing at top speed.
Make your Mac invincible
Since its initial release nearly 30 years ago, Microsoft Office has become one of the world’s most popular productivity suites. With programs like Word and Excel for Mac, it’s no wonder that the MS Office suite is a must-download on any computer.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2019 includes the most modern versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and OneNote. These apps are all available for download at the Mac App Store. Alternatively, with Office 365 for Mac, you can work online or offline and collaborate with others in real time, which is especially useful for any kind of team work.
Get a perfect alternative for MS tools on Mac
Try Setapp, an all-in-one toolkit that covers apps substituting Microsoft’s Visio, Project, and Publisher. All in a single spot on your Mac.
If you’ve been asking yourself questions like “what is Office 365 for Mac” and “how much is Microsoft Office?” — the guide below will help dispel your confusion. Besides, do you know how you can download Microsoft Office?
How To Download And Install MS Office For Mac
As mentioned above, Microsoft Office suite and all of its apps — Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive — are now available at the Mac App Store. This makes it easier than ever to get the most current versions of MS Office for Mac (note that you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to use these apps). There is also a Microsoft Office trial available that allows you to use Office 365 free for one month.
To buy Microsoft Office outright, visit office.com. At the Office home page, select Install Office. Then follow the instructions for the installer file that has been downloaded to your computer.
System requirements to download Microsoft Office
Before downloading Office for Mac, make sure you have the fitting system requirements that allow for the best experience with Microsoft apps. For example, Microsoft Office suite always supports the latest three versions of macOS. Currently, it’s 10.14, 10.13, and 10.12.
As new versions of macOS are released, Microsoft shifts its support to the newest ones. While your Office apps might still work on older unsupported versions of macOS, you won’t be able to get security or feature updates.
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To run Microsoft Office at the moment, you’ll need macOS 10.12 (Sierra), 4 GB RAM and 10 GB of available disk space.
The difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 for Mac
You can still buy Microsoft Office without getting into a subscription. The downside is not getting continuous feature updates, which will in turn be bundled altogether in the following year’s release.
Office 365, on the other hand, is based purely on a subscription model and powered by Microsoft’s cloud service. It frequently receives updates and provides full access to the whole suite of services.
How much is Microsoft Office?
As MS Office for Mac is available in two versions — a one-time payment and subscription — there are two prices. If you want to buy a license for Office Home and Student 2019 for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, it will cost you $149.99. If you’d like to use Microsoft Office Outlook, you’ll need to purchase the Office Home and Business 2019 for Mac at $249.99.
For the subscription model, Microsoft Office 365 for Mac, you pay a month-by-month or yearly fee. And as new versions are introduced, you automatically get them as part of your subscription. Office 365 for Home costs $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month.
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What about MS Office vs. iWork
Apple’s free iWork has a great price advantage over the MS Office suite, but is it better than all the Microsoft’s popular productivity apps?
iWork includes Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, but is generally best suited for smaller businesses or home use. Additionally, if you already use Microsoft Office extensively at home or work, being able to switch between Macs and PCs gives Microsoft Office Suite a big plus.
Microsoft Office is known for having a slight edge for ease-of-use and is packed with more features. The latest version of the suite also looks brand new compared to iWork’s currently outdated version. As Microsoft Office continues to learn the macOS, it continues to grow.
MS Office Touch Bar features
Trackpad and Touch Bar, unique to MacBooks, have made great new features available on Office for Mac.
In Microsoft Word for Mac, you can use the Touch Bar to insert hyperlinks, comments, or photos right in the text editor. It’s especially great when you’re working in Word Focus Mode without access to the controls on the screen.
In Excel for Mac, using the equal sign on your keyboard will launch most recently used commands on the Touch Bar. Then you can select a range of commands or perform specific actions.
In Microsoft Office Outlook, Touch Bar makes recent files appear when you’re composing an email. From here, you can attach relevant files with a single tap. In Outlook’s Today view, you can use the Touch Bar to get a quick look at your daily calendar events or launch a Skype call.
During slideshow presentations in Powerpoint, you can use the Touch Bar to view specific controls. The function integrates slide thumbnails and includes a timer to make moving through your presentation on time a snap.
Great Substitutes For MS Project, Visio, And Publisher
If you’ve used MS Office tools on Windows before, you may have noticed that some of them aren’t available on Mac, specifically Microsoft Project, Visio, and Publisher.
The good news is you can easily substitute lacking MS Office apps with Setapp.
Take care of your publishing needs
With Microsoft Publisher for Mac currently unavailable, you need an app that is easy to use but, at the same time, delivers professional results when you’re looking to put together greeting cards or self-publish a magazine. Enter Swift Publisher.
Swift Publisher has a robust set of design tools that allow you to apply gradients, draw freehand shapes, and control different aspects of your design layout at once. The app also features an extensive graphic library with over 2,000 pieces of clip art and 100 image masks.
Make publishing easy with Swift Publisher’s support for exports to a variety of digital formats, including social media. You’ll find that quickly Microsoft Publisher for Mac will become a thing of the past.
The best alternative to Microsoft Visio
With the need to create flowcharts, diagrams, and organizational tables for your projects, you may miss Microsoft Visio. Fear not. You can easily brainstorm and create long-term plans with iThoughtsX instead. Even better, you’ll never lose important information with its built-in cloud integration.
iThoughtsX lets you visualize an idea, track to-dos along with deadlines, and check on the team's progress. You don’t have to interrupt your workflow at all, as this app supports multiple file formats that can store your ideas in .rtf, .txt, Microsoft Word (.docx), .csv, MindGenius (.mgmx), MindNode (.mindnode), .opml, and more.
Plan projects with Merlin Project Express
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Merlin Project Express will help you plan both home and professional projects. It’s a great solution for managing budgets and resources available for any endeavour.
Just like Microsoft Project for Mac, Merlin Project Express lets you create tasks, manage dependencies, and track progress with ease. You can also come up with project templates to streamline your workflow, set daily goals, and visualize the timeline. Consolidate all information in one place with project info at hand by attaching emails, images, costs, and notes.
Best of all, three substitute apps: Swift Publisher, iThoughtsX, and Merlin Project Express are available on Setapp, a platform of more than 150 Mac apps and utilities that you can use at home and work to improve all aspects of interacting with your Mac. Get yourself a perfect complement to your Microsoft Office suite purchase and try Setapp free for seven days. Working smart doesn’t have to feel like a trade-off.
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Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on