Although there are a lot of popular choices for word processing and spreadsheets these days — ranging from Apple’s own Pages and Numbers to the ubiquitous Google Docs and Sheets web apps — if you’re collaborating with anybody in the traditional business world, Microsoft’s Office is still the 800-pound gorilla in the room that you simply can’t ignore. Fortunately, however, Microsoft continues to offer solid support for Mac users, and in fact has just announced the Office 2019 for Mac Preview, bundling the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote for those who aren’t perpetual Microsoft subscribers.
While Microsoft naturally prefers to push people to Office 365 subscriptions, the standalone Office 2019 for Mac is still a solution for those users who’d rather just pay a one-time fee rather than jumping into a monthly subscription. New features in Office 2019 include the “roaming pencil case” — although we’re not exactly sure how that will apply to Mac users — along with a customizable ribbon that works across all Office apps. Word 2019 gains a new “focus mode” for distraction-free writing, PowerPoint gets morph transitions, in-click sequences, and 4K video export capabilities, and Excel gains new charts and functions. Outlook for Mac also includes the focused inbox feature that’s been available in the iOS version for a while now. Microsoft adds that Office 365 users already gain these features in the existing Office 2016 app updates, but they don’t form part of the standalone Office 2016 suite. Office 2019 for Mac is expected to ship later this year alongside Office 2019 for Windows.