Q&A: Does Excel:Mac 2011 still have the Calculator?

Chris asked:

Did they take the GUI formula builder called “Calculator” out of Excel? It was in Excel 98, X, 2004, 2008 and I don’t see it in 2011? In 2008 you would go to “customize toolbars & menus” click on the commands tab and then drag the calculator to your toolbar or menu of choice. The description Excel gave it was “Helps you create basic arithmetic calculations in Excel by offering a layout that is based on a ‘real’ hand-held calculator.”

I wasn’t sure of the history of that calculator, so I asked my colleague Schwieb.  I got lucky: as it turns out, he’s the guy who wrote it originally.  Schwieb said it was added to Excel:Mac in 2001 with the intent of gradually introducing people to formulas.

Now, ten years later, things have changed.  For basic calculator functions, there’s the OS X built-in calculator.  In Excel 2011, there is instead the Formula Builder (which you can see by going to the Formulas tab in Excel and then selecting the Formula Builder icon).  The Formula Builder is much more powerful than the old calculator, and is a great way to learn more about all of the formulas that are in Excel.  I’m pretty good in Excel, but I have to admit that I use the Formula Builder when I can’t recall a formula’s name or its arguments.

The Excel 2011 help has a lot of great information about formulas.  Play around with the Formula Builder and see how it can help you learn more about how to use formulas, too!

Q&A: does Outlook:Mac support server-side rules?

Steve asks:

Can Outlook 2011 manage server side rules on an Exchange server?

We didn’t get that into the initial release.  We’re well aware that it’s something our users would like, so hopefully I’ll be able to share more news about it in the future.

In the interim, Mac users who are in an Exchange 2010 environment are able to create and edit server-side rules via Outlook Web Access (OWA).  OWA 2010 has full support for Safari and Firefox.  This is how I manage my extensive set of server-side rules today.

PC Magazine reviews Office:Mac 2011

As I’m sure you can imagine, my team here in MacBU has been following the early reviews of Office:Mac 2011 quite closely.  Whenever a new one gets posted, there’s a flurry of mail, not to mention Facebook and Twitter posts.

So far, my favourite line is from the PC Magazine review.  Here’s the quote that totally makes my day:

I like Apple Mail, iCal, and the OS X Address Book, but Outlook is more powerful and flexible than those three separate apps, and it’s one of the most powerful and best-designed apps ever written for OS X.

Having worked so hard on the user experience for Outlook, seeing someone call it “one of the most … best-designed apps ever written for OS X” has me turning cartwheels in the halls.

More reviews are forthcoming.  Mossberg hasn’t weighed in yet, and the full Macworld review hasn’t arrived either.  My fingers (and toes!) are crossed that they’re as positive as the ones I’ve seen so far.

Q&A: Will Outlook:Mac import my Entourage data?

Via a Twitter direct message, I was asked:

can i import my entourage data into outlook?

Yes!  For those of you who are currently using Entourage, you’ll be able to import your existing Entourage data into Outlook:Mac 2011.  We also support importing from Apple Mail, as well as importing PST files from Outlook for Windows.

You can follow me on twitter here, and you can also follow my team on twitter @officeformac.

Q&A: does PowerPoint:Mac 2011 support “reduce file size”?

Steve asked:

Did PPT get the “reduce file size” ability of the Windows version?

Yes!  In PowerPoint:Mac 2011, go to File -> Reduce File Size.  When you do that, you get the following dialog:

Reduce File Size dialog
PowerPoint 2011: "Reduce File Size" dialog

For more information about reducing your file size, including the options you have for the picture quality, you can check out the help topic for it.

We’ve had a lot of requests for this feature, and here it is!

Office:Mac 2011 hits store shelves on October 26

This morning, my team announced that Office for Mac will be available on October 26.  We’ve got another video for you, showing off some more of our new features (including a Word 2011 feature that I love and use all the time: full-screen view).  Go check it out: Office for Mac 2011 Behind the Scenes.  The fine folks at Amazon.com have it ready for pre-order now: Home and Student Edition (1 license or 3 licenses, doesn’t include Outlook) and Home and Business Edition (1 license or 2 licenses, does include Outlook)

The reviews are starting to come in.  Macworld has reviews for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; I’m waiting for the Outlook review! Although today is the annual Microsoft Company Meeting, and Raymond Chen (whose Old New Thing blog is required reading) theorised that we would see Microsoft execs give a parody of the Old Spice Guy commercials, I’m going to be glued to my mail, browser, and twitter to watch reviews come in.

Now that the embargo has lifted, I can finally start answering questions.  Who wants to start?  Depending on length, I’ll either answer directly in the comments or write a new post.

a Macintosh girl in a Microsoft world

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