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April 10, 2018 - Update brings compatibility with the Files app to Microsoft Office for iOS

Yesterday, Microsoft updated its Office suite of apps for iOS, bringing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all up to version 2.12. Though Microsoft didn't release detailed update notes, a report by Ryan Christoffel at MacStories revealed that Twitter user Teddy Svoronos discovered an option that allows users to open their documents from their native Files app directly into the Office app of their choice.

According to Christoffel, this feature replaces the previous "Copy to" feature, streamlining the process of opening a document in any of Microsoft's Office apps.

Previously any documents stored in Files would need to be accessed by going to either Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, tapping the 'More' button in the 'Open' menu, then locating the file from there. Now, iOS users can go straight to the Files app, locate the appropriate document, and open it directly with only a tap or two.

Christoffel also went on to do some experimenting of his own, and determined that the "Open in" experience works a bit better for .docx files than with other types of files:

After seeing Teddy's tweet, I did a little playing around in the Files app and discovered that, while Excel and PowerPoint documents accessed in Files will load Quick Look previews and require tapping 'Open in' from the share sheet, the experience is even better with .docx files. Those Word-associated documents open directly in the Word app with just a single tap from the Files interface – no need to open the share sheet first.

Regardless, this is a major overall improvement for Office apps, and makes it much easier for those who use them to access and make changes to their documents quickly. Now you can go buck-wild on some spreadsheets whenever the mood strikes you, no matter where you are.

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If you don't already have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your iPhone but would like to dabble in them a bit to see if they work for you personally, you can grab 'em on the App Store by clicking the links below.

September 7, 2017 - Microsoft Garage releases new My Workspace menu bar for Mac

Today Microsoft released its first Microsoft Garage project built for Mac: a productivity menu bar app called My Workspace. The announcement came in the form of a video on Microsoft's YouTube channel:

The project began as a challenge: Microsoft asked its Vancouver interns to come up with a way to "add value to a person's day" by having them use the Office 365 suite. They began by asking Mac users what they needed to stay organized during a busy day working with Office 365. Then development began. Many responded that they'd like an at-a-glance view of their day as well as easy access to their shared files, so the team began developing My Workspace around those ideas. According to the company, during testing they continued to communicate constantly with their target demographic in order to optimize the quality of the My Workspace experience. Those who worked on this project assured consumers that there is no comparable interface on MacOS for Office 365 apps. My Workspace menu My Workspace is specifically designed to increase the user's day-to-day productivity, giving them easy access to all of their Office 365 apps as well as shared and recently-opened Office 365 files. In addition, users can also quickly launch OneDrive from the menu to see even more of their content, and share it fast for streamlined collaboration. As for keeping track of a schedule, My Workspace works with iCloud Calendar to show users their upcoming appointments and events, and they can even join prescheduled Skype meetings with a single click. The app also allows for convenient and quick Office 365 account management, so users can make changes to their account if they so desire. You can download My Workspace for Mac here: [My Workspace a Microsoft Garage project](https://myworkspace.ms) {.cta .large}

What is Office?

Microsoft Office is a suite of applications developed by Microsoft. It includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote, and Microsoft Outlook.

What are the basic Microsoft Office applications?


Microsoft Word is a word processor you can use to compose documents. In Word, you can write papers, take notes, build résumés, create calendars, craft brochures, and more. It has a built-in spelling and grammar correction feature, and allows users to add tables, insert images, and share documents. You can even export your creations as .doc, .pdf, .rtf, .htm, and .odt files. Basically, if there's something you need to type something for pretty much any reason, Word is your best bet.

More information on Word


Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application. It does automatic calculations, boasts graphing and data analysis tools, and is now the industry standard for spreadsheets. Like in Word, you can also collaborate on Excel sheets.

More information on Excel


If you've been in school within the last 20 or so years, you've undoubtedly been made aware of PowerPoint (and have probably spent way too much time applying fun but unnecessary text and transition effects to your slides). PowerPoint is a program that allows you to create your own presentations, complete with images, text, graphs, embedded video, animations, speaker notes, and whatever else you feel is necessary to include to really get your point across. PowerPoint features the same collaboration capabilities as the rest of the applications in the Office 365 suite, allowing multiple individuals to work on a single presentation at a time.

More information on PowerPoint


OneNote is basically Microsoft's resident idea collector and organizer. With OneNote, you can type, create tables, and insert pictures, links, and graphs, much like in a word processor. However, the big difference is that all this text and media is totally untethered — you can put stuff anywhere you want on a page just by clicking on a spot (similar to other available collaborative note apps like Evernote). There are constraints regarding page size, structure, or arrangement. You can also add audio and video, and even draw directly onto a page. Best of all, OneNote will automatically save any changes you make as you work, so you don't have to go out of your way to do so.

More information on OneNote


Microsoft OneDrive is an Office-specific storage and file sharing service that makes it easier to collaborate with colleagues, friends, and anyone else you may want as a teammate. With OneDrive, you can store files in the cloud and access them from other devices as well as share files and folders either publicly or with specifically selected individuals. You can get 5GB of storage in OneDrive, but if you require more than that you'll have to pay for a subscription.

More information on OneDrive


Outlook is Microsoft's email and scheduling program. It offers pretty much everything you'd expect an email service to offer, but because it's a part of the Office suite you get a more unified experience while using it than you would using just using a web client for email correspondence. Outlook gives you a seamless view of your files, your calendar, and your contacts while you email, so you can more easily stay connected with others.

More information on Outlook

What other applications does Microsoft offer?

Depending on how you access Office and whether you are an individual or running a business, you may have access to different programs. Here are the other applications Microsoft has to offer outside of the staples:

What's the difference between Office 365, Microsoft Office 2016, and Online Office?

Office 2016

Office 2016, the newest version of Microsoft Office, is sold as a one-time purchase. You pay once, up front, and then have the license to use that version of Office's software for as long as you like. Unfortunately, this means when a new version of Office is released, you'll have to once again purchase it at full price. Currently, Office 2016 for PC is currently priced at $104.99 on Amazon and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Microsoft Office for Mac includes the same programs, and is priced at $129.50.

Office 365

Office 365 is more of a subscription service. If you purchase an Office 365 subscription (no matter which bundle you choose), you will pay monthly or yearly, and all of your software will be constantly updated to the newest version. There are Home, Personal, and Business iterations of Office 365, and each offer a different collection of Office applications based on what you feel are your individual needs.

Home and Personal subscriptions (priced at $9.99 per month and $6.99 per month respectively) come with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, OneDrive, and Skype, and, if you're a PC user, Access and Publisher as well.

Business subscriptions, on the other hand, come in tiers, and which programs you get depends on which tier you choose. Office 365 Business Essentials (the cheapest option) costs $5 per user per month and offers access to Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams. Office 365 Business (the middle tier) is priced at $8.25 per user per month, and gives you Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, Access, and OneDrive. Office 365 Business Premium (the topmost tier) costs $12.50 per user per month and combines the two lower tiers to give you access to all the applications Microsoft Office has to offer, both business and personal.

Online Office

Online Office is a free version of Office that you can access using your web browser. It includes PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and OneNote. It's perfect for when you need to make a spreadsheet or create a doc on the fly but don't feel like committing enough to pay and aren't bothered about whether or not the programs can interact with one another. If you'd like to try Online Office, you can do so here.

What devices can I use to access Office?

Pretty much every Office program has a both a desktop version you can access from a computer as well as a mobile counterpart that you can access from almost any smartphone or tablet. If you'd like to download any of the Office programs for your mobile device for free (with in-app purchases), you can check out all Microsoft developed apps in the App Store here.


Still have some questions about Microsoft Office that you desperately need answered? Let us know what you need in the comments below and we'll do our best to help you out!

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