As I have mentioned in other blog posts, recently I have been asked by several people detailed questions about the differences between Office for Mac and Office for Windows. I am not sure what has caused this surge in interest in Office differences, but I was happy to do a little research to make sure I had a complete answer.
So, given this surge of interest, in a series of blog posts I will examine the differences between the Mac and the Windows versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. My post last week was about PowerPoint, and today’s post is about Excel.
Are there differences between Excel for Mac and Excel for Windows? Sure there are. Is Excel for Mac the spreadsheet application that is the closest in both functionality and document compatibility with Excel for Windows? Absolutely! In fact, due to a significant effort by the MacExcel team, Excel 2011 is closer to Excel for Windows than any previous version of MacExcel. Are these assertions contradictory? Not at all. Let me explain by getting into the details of each statement.
Due to the size of its user base, its market share, and its ubiquity, Excel for Windows is the gold standard in spreadsheets. Every other spreadsheet or spreadsheet-like application is measured against this standard – both in terms of document compatibility (bidirectional) and overall features and functionality. Without a doubt, of all other spreadsheet applications, Excel for Mac 2011 is the closest to this standard. And yet, there are features in Excel for Windows that are not in Excel for Mac, and there are features in Excel for Mac that are not in Excel for Windows. The following table lists most of these differences.
In a later blog post, I will cover the last remaining app in the Office suite: Outlook.
About the Author
Kurt is a Senior Product Manager at Parallels focusing on Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Access. Prior to this, he was in the Office for Mac team at Microsoft. He is also the author of the “Kurt’s Power Tips” series of blog posts on the Office for Mac blog (Tip 1, Tip 2, Tip 3, Tip 4, and Tip 5).