Mac users have been waiting for a version of Office that brings the suite in line with its Windows counterpart for almost five years, and finally Microsoft has launched Office for Mac 2016. Here, we bring you all of the latest Office for Mac news, outline some of its new features and tell you where you can get it right now.

See also: How to find your lost Windows or Microsoft Office product key

Office for Mac 2016 release date: Office for Mac 2016 has been officially released

Around four months after releasing the Office for Mac 2016 preview, Microsoft has finally released the final version for consumers on 9 July 2015. However there’s a slight catch, as you have to be an Office 365 subscriber to access it, but there’s more info on that below.

So, what’s new in Microsoft Office for Mac 2016? You can check out the individual previews of each app below:

In general though, the updated Office suite provides a number of new features, with a huge focus on co-authoring and, more importantly, a unified experience across multiple platforms. In case you hadn’t noticed, up until the 2016 update Office for Mac has looked quite out-dated and clunky compared to its gorgeous Windows counterpart. In theory, that means a Windows Office user should be able to switch to Office for Mac and have no issues navigating its UI.

Microsoft has also said that its made many tweaks to the final version of Office for Mac 2016 based on thousands of pieces of feedback provided during its public trial programme.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team said that "since the start of the preview in March, we released 7 updates and improved the performance and stability of the applications, and added features like improved Mail Merge in Word, Propose New Time in Outlook, and support for External Data Connections in Excel."

He continued and spoke about how Office for Mac 2016 is cloud-connected, and the features that cloud connectivity provides: "Office for Mac is cloud-connected, so you can quickly get to the documents you've recently used on other devices and pick up where you left off. New, built-in document sharing tools make it easy to invite teammates to work on a document together. When sharing documents, you won't have to worry about losing content or formatting, as Office for Mac offers unparalleled compatibility with Office on PCs, tablets, phones and online."

With all this being said, if you want to try-before-you-buy (or should we say subscribe?) then you’ve still got around a month (expires on 9 August) to download and use the preview versions of Office for Mac 2016.

We’ve got full instructions on how to install the preview here

Office for Mac 2016: Where can I download Office for Mac 2016?

Office for Mac is exclusively available for subscribers to Microsoft’s Office 365 service in every supported country, apart from Turkey. This means that if you want to get Office for Mac 2016, you’ll have to subscribe and pay either £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year to gain access to Office 365 (for Office 365 personal, anyway).

However with this being said, Microsoft representatives have said that a standalone version of Office for Mac 2016 should be available as a digital download or boxed product later by September – around two months after it becomes available for Office 265 subscribers.

Office for Mac 2016: Will my Mac run Office for Mac 2016?

According to Microsoft, all you need to run Office for Mac 2016 is OS X Yosemite, which will automatically rule out any older Macs that don’t support the recent OS.

The following Macs should be able to run Yosemite:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

See also: How to restore a laptop and keep Microsoft Office