Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition

  • Streamlined user interface runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs
  • Open XML file formats, the Office Art graphics engine, and other features that result in compatibility and file fidelity
  • Professional design is within your power with hundreds of new customizable templates and suite-wide themes, SmartArt graphics, and the new Publishing Layout View in Word 2008
  • My Day keeps you connected to all of the day’s action. Command your calendar, tackle your tasks, and simplify your day
  • Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage

Product Description
Provides the basics of Office 2008 for Mac for home users and students. Whether your projects are around the house or in the classroom, the reinvented Office 2008 for Mac experience makes it easier than ever to create professional-looking work. Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
Homework and Home Work will be easier than ever with Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition. Get better results faster and create high-quality … More >>

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition


  1. This version of Office 2008 is an improvement over Office 2004 in that it runs natively now on an Intel Mac. It is a major improvement in speed. And the stability has improved in that it has not crashed on me in the week it has been in use. Office 2004 used to crash almost daily before. If you do not have an Intel Mac do not bother with this upgrade. You are better off with Office 2004.

    The look on Office 2008 is aesthetically pleasing and is more consistent with the elegant look of OSX.

    That is about the best I have to say for this new upgrade. Word is so buggy I feel like I am working with a Beta version. I work a great deal with Spaces in Leopard and I have found that Word documents will jump to other windows. I have also found that when working in the notebook layout it can become unstable and partially disappear on me. The work arounds I have been using to stop this is I minimize the documents or I open another program in the Spaces window and then return to the document.

    Word is still an excellent word processing program. The Notebook layout is essential for the note taking that I have to do, which other word processing programs don’t have. Since I have to share documents with others it is handy to have a standard program with which to work.

    The default format in Word is now Microsoft’s .docx (xtml), which can be changed in the preferences to the more universal .doc.

    When I have gone to the Microsoft website they have admitted that many of these problems are bugs and that they are being addressed. Another work around that MS recommended in Word was to create a new template from which to operate as it seems that the present template can be easily corrupted.

    Since Office 2008 no longer works with macros and Visual Basic I have had to abandon the Excel self-calculating Invoice template I used to use all the way back to my PC days. I am now using a template that is in Pages – that works beautifully. The reason I am sticking with Excel over Numbers is that Excel is still a more powerful program. It keeps track of things that Numbers won’t keep track of.

    I am happier that Entourage is now more stable and responds better than the 2004 version. The My Day widget is a nice idea, but there is almost no room for customization and really makes no difference to how I organize my day.

    I am left wondering if Microsoft is planning to go out of business. It seems that their products are getting worse. It is as if they have become bereft of any sense of creativity or innovation.;0) I had read that Office 2008 was designed by Mac enthusiasts. I think that was Microsoft propaganda. The impression I get is that Microsoft does not care about Mac business.

    Is this a worthwhile upgrade? Not yet. If you can wait for the bugs to be worked out it will be a more satisfying upgrade. If you are dependent upon Visual Basic, or are operating on a PPC, save your money.

    Rating: 2 / 5

  2. I was running office 2004 and waiting for this. This review is limited but I was looking for specific things.

    The good:

    -universal binary (faster on intel macs)

    -PowerPoint now shows the slides on the left instead of just the text outline.

    -you can install it alongside office 2004 and run both versions on the same computer

    The bad:

    -dragging images from other apps doesn’t work anymore

    -when you paste an image in word or PowerPoint, it gets converted to a different format so that if you put it back to the original app it’s a simple picture instead of an editable one. (for example if you make an illustration in OmniGraffle, paste it in word 2008, you come back a week later and decide you want to tweak it, you can no longer copy the image back to OmniGraffle and edit it. You either must have saved the original or start over. Office 2004 didn’t do this and so sadly I’m more productive with office 2004).

    -installation is not drag and drop anymore and it installs things like silverlight without asking you. I feel my Mac got dirty now with who knows what installed where.

    What didn’t change

    -you still can’t generate motion paths in PowerPoint (to move objects around on a slide) like you can in the PC version since a few versions ago. But you can play this back fine if you generated the PowerPoint on a PC.


    -intentionally crippled.

    -a step backward for me as I want to use it for lectures in my class but now I’m afraid to because I have hundreds of diagrams and illustrations that now will be locked in PowerPoint.

    -I’m going to completely use Keynote/Pages (iWork) from now on. Unfortunately some 3rd party apps require Office so I’m stuck with it. And it doesn’t have all the features yet of Office.

    -Unfortunately OpenOffice/NeoOffice exhibit the same image formating problem and they have their own issues.



    I have since reformatted my computer and sold Office to a Colleague who needed it. Good Riddance. So long Microsoft.

    EDIT #2:

    To add a hopeful note, I discovered Nisus Pro word processor. It does (technical writing) things Pages doesn’t (e.g. index) and seems better than MS Word.

    EDIT #3 (Oct 2009)

    I’m doing fine without MS Office for a long time now. For very math heavy documents I use Lyx (free, little complicated to start but worth it). For casual word processing, I use Pages or Nisus or openoffice (typically one of these will open a doc or docx file correctly). I use Keynote for presentations with LaTeXiT (free) for math equations. And Numbers or openoffice has been adequate for spreadsheets. Since the new OS (snow leopard) has built in exchange support (which this version of office doesn’t), there is nothing lacking.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. I just bought a MacBook Pro 15″. I love it. I am an Attorney and so I was concerned about making sure everything I produce on this machine is compatible with microsoft documents and programs. I bought the Macbook Pro because I didn’t want to deal with Vista and because I am over microsoft in general –hot fixes, service packs, all sorts of SLOP work…and then this most recent and astounding inability to produce a stable product. Anyway, it was a big deal for me to buy a Macbook Pro rather than a Toshiba with Vista preloaded..I digress.

    THE PROBLEM: I loaded microsoft Office for Mac, 2008 Home and Student Edition with hopes of using it. I shortly found that COMMON fonts do not transfer in Word, Excel does not work as smoothly and then I received a “Welcome to Entourage” email from microsoft that literally overwrote a weeks worth of emails. Poof! all gone! (gratefully I only had a weeks worth before my welcome email) I called microsoft to ask if there was a way to unwrite the overwritten and was promptly told that I need to establish a “case number” before they could process my inquiry. A Case number? good grief—A CASE NUMBER. Is it that bad? Yes, I could see how many companies may want to sue microsoft for all kinds of things right now. Anyway, I promptly uninstalled Office for Mac 2008 and I will return it. Maybe microsoft will decide to fix this BETA, surely we can expect microsoft to service pack/ hot fix this product to death and then MAYBE in six months at least something as minor as the default settings will coincide with the real world.

    THE SOLUTION: I partitioned the hard drive on my macbook, installed WINDOWS XP and loaded my copy of 2003 Office Suite. Everything is perfect now. I get to have the very best laptop in the world and all this great functioning apple software (If you haven’t made the switch—you will love Apple –it’s so clean). I can create documents (because I must) THAT DON’T CRASH on the other side of my mac HD (the dark side). It’s like having two computers in one; the preferred being the Apple. Why can’t Apple make microsoft Office? (yes I really do know why).

    THE FUTURE: Will I ever install a microsoft product onto the mac side of my HD again? –Not until mircosoft decides to come clean and deliver a product that isn’t messed up. Who do these people think they are? How long do they think we’ll just take it? Well, this time I didn’t take it, instead—- I took it back.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. Office 2008 is little more than window-dressing over the now-antiquated Office 2004. There are a few improvements to a few minor details, such as in Powerpoint 08’s custom animation workflow, where one can now select more than one graphic element to move order of appearance in the animation order panel, that is now optionally persistent (i.e. no longer in a modal dialog box that you have to click out of in order to see your changes.) Much like iMovie 2008, the software advertises a streamlined, simplified workflow for beginners to the software, with a few new predefined templates for such things as posters, collateral campaigns, etc. Yet also like the new iMovie, the “updated” software ignores the needs and wishes of its original constituency, more advanced users who have dutifully ponied up money update after update.

    For example, Office-for-Mac users have been waiting patiently for years and years for Office to enable its users to customize command key actions, to speed up workflows — such as the ability to tell office to link the key combination COMMAND + OPTION + I, say, to the action “import a new image.” Yet this ability, so fundamental to expert users, is missing from this update — and Microsoft has done nothing even to enable such repetitive actions with its own keystroke functions. The user is forced to import images using laborious menus or icon clicks.

    Even more galling, however, is the apparently anachronistic relationship between “Office 2008 for the Mac” and its analogue on the Windows side, Office 2007. Whereas Office 2007 offers a dramatically redesigned, much more contextual user interface (for better or for worse), Office 2008 for Mac features no such redesign — only a greatly fattened, Leopard-style grabber bar that features a few tools in its toolbar strip, a gross misuse of this new Leopard feature that, as far as I can tell, is impossible to remove.

    Further, new features included in Office 2007 for Windows are missing from Office 2008 for Mac. The former’s new ability to animate page elements along a path — moving them from one place on the screen to another — is missing from the latter. Although this new feature is primitive and buggy in Office 2007 (most attempts to zoom in and edit an animation path resulted in an abrupt move of the windows focus back to the center of the screen, for example — which is fine if you are editing a path that happens to BE in the center of the screen, but vexing and tedious if you’re editing an element on an edge of the slide, as you keep needing to rescroll over to it after everything you do).

    These and more features from Office 2007 I simply assumed would be in any product labeled “Office 2008”. Boy was I wrong.

    But wait — there’s more. Microsoft’s own registration system not only failed to complete, but was actually able to corrupt my Leopard MacBook’s keychain to boot — this last “surprise” leading to an apparently unnecessary deletion of my entire keychain — a HUGE pain). A look at Apple’s discussions revealed that apparently many users are experiencing such frankly inexcusable issues.

    To summarize, two familiar latin words come to mind for this clearly unambitious and half-baked piece of software:


    Rating: 1 / 5

  5. Overall this office suite is excellent. A word of cautiuon for those who use Excel for Scientific and technical work: Visual Basic(entire suite) and the Analysis Toolpack have been removed from Excel 2008. This applies to all office versions. Be careful that Microsoft is not in fact selling you a “downgrade”.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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