Which MS Excel for the Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jparker402, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. jparker402 macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    Bellevue, NE
    I am currently using MS Excel 2013 on my Windows machine to run a cash flow spreadsheet, but have a new MacBook Air. I really want to learn how to use Numbers, and will be taking a workshop on it at the Apple store next week. However, if push comes to shove, I may be tempted to get Excel for the Mac. Somewhere within the last few months I read that the Excel for the Mac version to get was not the newest one, but an older version. Apparently, if I recall correctly, the newest one has some glitches. Could someone please let me know which version is the recommended one? Thanks!

    Oh, I tried searching here on the forum, but couldn't find the info I was looking for. Undoubtedly, as soon as I submit this, a list of recommended posts will appear which has my answer!
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Mac/Excel user since 1989. The last version of Excel on the Mac platform that I relied on was version 4 - 5 was OK, but that's where the schism started. Which version of Excel for the Mac? - none of them!

    Excel on Windows is the far better tool, and I've owned an used every version since I got out of college over 20 years ago. The best version of Excel is the version you're accustomed to, on Windows OS. The Mac version of Excel is a sad, sad joke - it's missing features/proper extensibility/proper VB support/complete Macro support/proper scripting support/no or incomplete support for ODF & XPF formats/no Accessibility Checker, and more. I've written in these forums that Excel for the Mac is gimped, and it is gimped. All that, and no Add-In author of the Add-Ins I use on Windows support the Mac platform - therefore, no cross-platform support there either.

    Excel 2004/2008/2011/2016 for the Mac were part of my arsenal and then cast aside a few weeks later for Excel 2003/2007/2013/2016.

    I use Excel as a production and productivity tool, and I do explore the Mac version at every update. IMHO, MS should cut their losses with their Mac team and focus solely on Word and OneNote. Nobody I know uses PowerPoint anymore and nobody I know bothers with Excel for the Mac; the MS Mac team should be ashamed of their gimped version of Excel and MS should be ashamed for charging money for it. I've got about 50 employees - they're directed, by me, to use the Windows version of Excel only (I check file headers). Either we use Macs with Win 10 VMs with Office 2016 installed or PCs. I recommend not using Excel for the Mac - 2011's support is ending soon, and it has more issues with compatibility than 2016.

    Numbers? It's pretty to look at, cumbersome to use when coming from Excel for Windows. Numbers is IMHO what a Mac user uses when it's what comes with the Mac - I liked it in 2006, but the newer version is a dumbed-down of the 2006 version. I can't offer a recommendation - it's just not a useful tool IMHO... My 2¢.
  3. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    Just to have you consider another option:

    Virtualization just for excell. They've become pretty good these days. You get what works for you, plus your OSX environment.
  4. jparker402 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    Bellevue, NE
    As I mentioned initially, I have a new MacBook Air 13 with El Capitan (and whatever version of Numbers that has) and a MS Excel 2013 spreadsheet. At the Apple Store workshop for Numbers I was elated to find out that Numbers "reads" my Excel spreadsheet, and runs it perfectly fine as a Numbers spreadsheet! I do not have to reformat my spreadsheet from scratch using Numbers, Numbers "freezes" the rows and columns, I can enter comments!! I am completely good to go and extremely happy!

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3 October 12, 2016