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My Mac Experience - Microsoft Office for Mac

Many of my work projects in the past have been created using Microsoft Office (2007 Professional Edition), predominantly the Word, Excel, and Outlook programs.  So, when I heard the Microsoft also made an office suite for Mac users, I was stoked!  I purchased a copy of Microsoft Office 2011 to be installed on my new iMac machine.

My first glance was rather comforting to me as the interfaces/ribbons for these programs, albeit rearranged, were similar to those I worked with and most functions were carried over as well. My old PC files transitioned and opened with ease!  However, as I fell back into my regular work routine I found some of my “old timesavers” were missing from Outlook.  “Quick Parts,” for instance, did not make it into Office 2011 for Mac.  This was my favourite “short-cut” tool in Outlook 2007 for PC, and it has been sadly missed as I now must keep a separate library of drafts of my standard email replies and basic information packages that I send on behalf of my clients. A minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

From there, my Outlook Calendar gave me new trouble by not saving new tasks or appointments*. When this resulted in a missed meeting with a client, I immediately looked to email and calendar alternatives which led to even more challenges. The file exports from Outlook 2011 (.olm) are not compatible with most other Mac email/calendar programs and require conversion to other formats, i.e. mbox, .pst, etc. Unfortunately, this conversion is not merely another step in the process of exporting data, it is one that requires the purchase of separate conversion software and adds many more steps, as files must be converted in batches before being transferred to your alternative program.  What a mess!

Though not impressed with Outlook 2011, my experience with Word and Excel 2011 has been great. It took no time to become familiar with the new interface/ribbon, and essentially all of the original PC features functions are available – though you may have to look for them at first.

*Note: This issue has since been repaired by a software update.

 

Melanie Schlotter
Paper Works Administrative Support Services – Specializing in E-Based Communications

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

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  • Claire Langfield, Executive Assistant

    Chippewas of Rama First Nation

    The majority of my computer training focused on Publisher. I have received positive comments and feedback from several of my colleagues on the changes between my first attempt and current expertise creating the monthly internal newsletter for my department. They enjoy the updated format and the way in which the information is presented. 

    Deborah assisted me through a learning curve, as I had not previously had any exposure to this program prior to joining Rama. She also provided me with a refresher course on PowerPoint and Excel.  Deborah is a patient teacher and tailored the training to suit my job requirements.