Thus, instead of usual 3-character extension, Office now uses 4-character extension to identify and differentiate the Office files, such as Word. The new XML format for the Office documents is not backward compatible, which means the new files or documents created with Office will not be able to open with previous version of Office editor or viewer directly. However, for Macintosh users who use Office for Mac, there is no such luck yet, as the compatibility pack or file format converter for Mac OS X version of Office is not yet ready.
After a series of delays , Microsoft plans to release Office for Mac to brick-and-mortar and online stores on January 15, making this the first update in nearly four years. Office for Mac includes Word, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations and Entourage for e-mail and time management. There's no Microsoft Access database application for the Mac, although Filemaker's upcoming release of Bento offers Mac users a new choice. Unlike Microsoft Office , the interface changes don't look radically foreign next to the edition. That's good news for anyone who doesn't want to relearn the locations of common functions. The applications for Windows arrange functions within tabs, while the Mac software largely clusters functions within the same drop-down menus including File, Edit, and View. By and large, most of the changes focus on attempting to help users craft more attractive documents. For instance, Office for Mac features the same templates and Smart Art graphics as the Windows counterparts. These are premade templates with 3D and translucent designs.