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Version & License Information

  1. Office for Mac Products
    1. Versions
      1. Office for Mac 2016
      2. Office for Mac 2011 Products
      3. Office for Mac 2008 Products
      4. Differences in Versions
    2. Upgrade v.s. Update
      1. Qualificationf for upgrade
    3. System Requirements
      1. Requirements for Office 2016
      2. Requirements for Office 2011
      3. Requirements for Office 2008
    4. Chronological List of Office Products
      1. Lifecycle for Office Mac Products
    5. Outlook Name Confusion
  2. How-To:
    1. Download Latest Updates
    2. Upgrade Home & Student Office 2001 to Home & Business
    3. Find Version Number
      1. Build Numbers
    4. Change Language
      1. Change trial to different language
      2. Microsoft Office support for RTL
    5. Reset CD Key
    6. Find key used
    7. How to locate your product key or obtain a new product key for Office for Mac
    8. Change name for license info
    9. Change User info
  3. CD Keys, Product ID, Registration & Activation
    1. What is the difference between CD Key and Product ID
    2. Registration is not activation
    3. Product Installation and Activation Office 2011
    4. Microsoft KBs help for activation
    5. FAQs for Trial
  4. License
    1. EULA
    2. Non-Profits
    3. Registration

Office for Mac Products

Office for Mac 2016 (Purchasing via our links helps support this site)

  • Office 2016 for Mac is a available now as Office365 subscription.
  • Estimated date for purchase other than Office365 store Sept 22, 2016
  • Office 365 Home Premium (5 Macs or PCs)
  • Office 365 Personal (1 Mac or PC)

Office for Mac 2011: these versions are available (prices may vary) Purchasing via our links helps support this site.

Office for Mac 2008: these versions are available:

Version Information

  • Office 2016 requires
    • activation
    • OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher
    • Exchange 2010 SP2 or higher
  • Office 2011 requires
    • activation
    • Intel computer
    • Exchange 2007 or higher
    • Leopard or higher
  • Office 2008
    • does not require activation
    • installs on Intel and PPC computer
    • supports Exchange 2003
    • installs on Tiger
  • Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the same in H&S, H&B and Academic.
  • There are no upgrade options for Office 2011
  • You can run both Office 2008, Office 2011 and Office 2016 at the same time
  • You can run Entourage with Office 2011 Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • There is no import from Entourage to Outlook 2016.

Office365 subscriptions:

Subscriptions always gives you the latest version at no additional price.

Personal (1 install) Home (5 installs Mac or PC) Student, Business. See this link to compare subscriptions. http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbpage.OfficeCompare

You do not have to purchase a subscription via the Microsoft Store. Amazon for example offers subscriptions often at a lower price. Prices will fluctuate wildly. I've seen it as low as $40 for the Home version but at times will be the same as full price at MS Store.

If you are a cross platform user or have multiple computers the subscription offers the cheapest option.

If you are a single user with one computer, the retail version would most likely be your best option.

Personal (currently $69 MS Store - $59.99 Amazon)
Home (currently $99 MS Store - $73.99 Amazon)

Sept 22, 2015 Users should be able to purchase Office 2016.

Versions for Office for Mac 2011
Applications & Services Home & Student Home & Business Academic Volume Licensing
Word Included Included Included Included
Excel Included Included Included Included
PowerPoint Included Included Included Included
Outlook Not included Included Included Included
Communicator Not included Not included Included Included
Office Web Apps Not included Not included Included Included
Remote Desktop Connection Not included Not included Included Included
Information Rights Management Not included Not included Included Included
Windows Share Point Services Support Not included Not included Included Included
Technical support 90 days 1year

Office 2011

  • 1 pack only installs on one computer
  • 2 pack only installs on two computers

Previously, you could install on your desktop and laptop but were restricted to using only one computer at a time. If you want to install on both you must purchase the 2 pack.

Office 2008

Standard/Business version has 1 CD key
Home & Student has 3 CD keys

Each Product Key represents a separate license to use Office 2008.

Each license entitles you to install on 1 "desktop" + 1 "portable" Mac. The restriction is that you are not permitted to use any of the Office programs on more than 1 of the 2 systems at the same time. If both Macs are on the same network you will be physically prevented from launching an Office program on the second Mac if any Office program is running on the other.

In total, the 3 licenses (Product Keys) for Home & Student enables you to install on 6 separate Macs... Theoretically that means 2 Macs for each of 3 users or individuals.

Office 2008: The main differences between Home & Student and standard/business edition Office 2008 are:

  1. does not support Exchange accounts
  2. does not contain Automator actions
  3. cannot be used for business purposes

Some university students need Exchange Support to connect for their school mail. Please contact your school to see what's needed or what package they can offer you. The Home & Student version cannot be upgraded if you find out you need Exchange after opening the box.

The Special Media Edition contains Expression Media, the powerful asset management tool to visually catalog, organize and present all of your digital assets. Can be installed on one computer and one laptop. Cannot use application at same time if networked. For example, if you open Word on the computer you cannot open Word on the laptop at the same time. Note this has been discontinued.

The Standard and Special Media editions are identical except for the addition of Expression Media. The Business edition contains extras that are not included in the standard. See chart below. Can be installed on one computer and one laptop. Cannot use application at same time if networked. For example, if you open Word on the computer you cannot open Word on the laptop at the same time.

The Business Edition - the black packaged box -- is replacing the Standard edition . You do not need to buy the Business Edition to upgrade Entourage 2008 v12 to v13. This is a free upgrade. You do not need to upgrade to the Web Services Edition (version 13) unless you meet the requirements.

People who have not yet upgraded to Office 2008 can get the Business Edition upgrade box, at a lower price than the full Business Edition. There is no upgrade from Office 2008 H&S to Business edition.

The Business Edition of Office 2008 includes Entourage 2008 SP 2. It also includes the installer for Entourage Web Services Edition in the Extras DVD as an optional install for those customers who are on the latest version of Exchange. This is the same requirement that Apple Snow Leopard Exchange support requires.

EWS only supports the very latest version of Exchange Server (Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (KB952580) or later version). If you need to connect to an earlier version of Exchange Server, you will need to use Entourage 2008 SP2.

There is a standalone version of Entourage that is available from some hosted Exchange Email Providers. Currently, you cannot purchase just Entourage as a standalone application. See How to install with the Home & Student Version.

Upgrade v.s. Update

Upgrade...move from one version to a newer version: e.g. Office X, Office 2004, Office 2008 to Office 2011. You cannot upgrade any version of Office for Mac to a newer version through a free downloadable software updater.

Update...You can update for free any version of Office. An update includes improvements for that version.

For example, you purchased Office 2008. Since it's release, Microsoft has released several free updates. Currently there are two combo updaters available for Office 2008 12.1.0 (SP1) and 12.2.3. Version 13x for Entourage Exchange users is available once you update to 12.2.1 or later. Check Mactopia for the latest EWS updater.

Qualifications for Upgrade:

Office 2011 does not offer any upgrade options!

Office 2008: Any previous standard retail version of Office for Mac is eligible for the upgrade version. You will need to have it installed or have the CD to insert to show you are a registered user.

Normally, Student & Teacher version are not upgradable because they are already so low priced. Academic volume licenses vary by institution. Check to see what packages are available before buying. Before you purchase the H&S version, be sure you do not need Exchange. H&S does not include Exchange support in Entourage 2008.

FAQ: Is the free upgrade to 2008 is just that, an upgrade or is it a full installation DVD?

My understanding is the upgrade package is a "full installation" CD, where an upgrade installer will look for a prior version as a qualifying product. You can just insert the old installer CD for proof if you no longer have Office installed.

Many users are choosing to have *both* installed.

1. This gives you the option to go back if you experience problems.
2. If you use VBA you will definitely want to keep both. VBA is not included in Office 2008.
3. Until you get Entourage fully updated, you might need to go back to your previous version and manually export your data.
4. You can run both versions of all applications at the same time except for Entourage (this exception was removed in the SP1 (12.1.0) updater).

Your CD Keys, Product ID and Registration

There is some confusion over the Product Key and Product ID.

The Product Key also called CD Key is on a yellow or bright orange sticker on the CD package.

The Product ID is given during the Setup Assistant process. The Product ID will look like this: 11111-130-0001111-12345). It is used to register. Write this Product ID down or take a screen snap.

Always keep your CD key and install CD handy. If you ever lose it, it is very difficult to get a replacement. I like 1Password and WebConfidential to store passwords. Links can be found on the Third Party page. You can also search Version Tracker for other password applications.

"Registration" has nothing to do with the operation of the software - unlike the Activation required for MS Windows software and now for Office for Mac 2011. It's little more than a marketing tool. It will put you on a Microsoft email list. You can sign up for the newsletter without registering. http://www.microsoft.com/mac/newsletter.mspx.

Addendum: The Product ID is also listed in the Word | About Word dialog, etc (adjust for any Office app)

Activation was introduced in Office 2011. See Microsoft Office Activation FAQs

Resetting your Mac Office Registration key

Office 2011:

  1. Close all Microsoft Office applications
  2. Open YOUR User's/Library/Preferences
  3. Delete "com.microsoft.office.plist"
  4. Open folder "Microsoft" in YOUR User's/Library/Preferences
    1. Open folder "Office 2011"
    2. Delete "Office Registration Cache" and "OLE Registration Database"
  5. Restart Mac
  6. After restart open any Microsoft application and enter correct info

You will be allowed to use the old key on a new computer. Each license has a limited number of activations. If you exceed the limit, you can call Microsoft to get help. Moving to a new computer or replacing a drive is allowed but not constant reactivations.

Office 2008: If for any reason you need to reset your Office 2008 CD key or If you accidentally entered the same key twice, you can change in Office 2008 using these steps:

Previously in Entourage 2004 and X you could use "Remove Office" to reset your CD Key. More info

Delete these two files on one of the machines:

  • ~:Library:Preferences:Microsoft:Office 2008:Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist
    where ~ is your home folder, and
  • HD:Applications:Microsoft Office 2008:Office:OfficePID.plist

When you start an Office app, you'll be asked for a CD Key.

If the above fails, please try the following:

Please delete

  1. \Applications\Microsoft Office 2008 folder
  2. Your User Folder\Library \Preferences\Microsoft\Office 2008
  3. Reinstall Office

Is there an easy way to do trial and error and change the key if it was already used?

If you look in the Application menu for the About item and display that, it will display the Product ID to you.

If you find two machines on which all but the last five digits match, the same key was used on those two machines.

It won't tell you "which" key was used, just that the "same" key was used.

Only trial and error will let you sort out which key belongs to which computer. You can change the licenses without removing and reinstalling however.

Easiest method: Launch the Remove Office tool and hold down Option at the first dialog, and the "remove office" option will change to "remove licensing information".

/Application/Microsoft Office 2008/Additional Tools/Remove Office

If you have the 3 systems connected, start one of the Office apps on the oldest of the bunch (IIRC the product keys are in a list so you probably used the top one on that system.). Then launch the same app on one of the other two. If there is a conflict modify the second one's product key. If not the 3rd one must be the odd man out - although you may still have to get 2 & 3 to bump heads in order to be certain.

These tips provided by Bob Jones and Daiya Mitchell, Mac MVPs

Change Name for license info

The com.microsoft.office.plist file holds this information. It is not encoded, it is listed with the company name and the user name fields. You can open up the file with property list editor or a text editor like TextWrangler or TextEdit (it's in Applications) and make the changes. It will take effect next time you open the app. Do make sure that the apps are all closed before you do this.


Change these two keys:


TextWrangler from Bare Bones Software via the App Store for from BareBones.
It's a free (and wonderful!) text editor.

The Property List Editor is available in Developer Tools. It's a big download. $4.99 is you are not a developer. Previous version were free.


Reply name on email wrong

Make sure your "this is me" contact is set in the Entourage/Outlook Address Book. Select your contact then under Contact in the Menu bar, select This Contact is Me.

OS X uses the name & Email set when installing OS X to create the user contact. Search for the name that is experiencing the problem using Spotlight on the Mac. You will find a contact and if you look at the email addresses listed on the contact you should see the ones that are causing the problem. Delete the invalid email addresses that are associated with that contact.

Basically what appears to be happening is Outlook 2011 searches your local contacts first and then Exchange. So if you have a local contact with the wrong email addresses this is how it shows up with the wrong name. The odd part is it seems to all be related to delegates. (posted by JSnell Apr 2011 on Outlook forums. Mactopia forums no longer available online.)

Change User Info

Messages are said to be coming from "Office 2004 Test User" or you need to change name of user.

  1. Open Word
  2. Select Word>> Preferences>> User information
  3. Edit your User Information and select OK
  4. Log out of Word then reopen to see if the proper changes have been implemented

Minimum Operating System requirements
  • Office for Mac 2016
    • System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 or later
    • Exchange users: Exchange Server 2010 SP2 or later
  • Office for Mac 2011:
    • System Requirements: A Mac computer with an Intel processor
    • Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or later (Leopard or higher)
    • 1 GB of RAM or more
    • 2.5GB hard disk space
    • 1280 x 800 or higher resolution monitor
    • DVD drive or connection to a local area network (if installing over a network)
    • Safari 5 or later recommended
  • Office for Mac 2008: Mac OS X version 10.4.9 or later. Runs on PPC and Intel

EULA: Find License Terms for Software Licensed from Microsoft

A software license agreement is a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software which grants the user a software license. Most often, a software license agreement indicates the terms under which an end-user may utilize the licensed software, in which case the agreement is called an end-user license agreement or EULA.

License for non-profits:

Unfortunately non-profits are not licensed for the Home and Student 2008 version. However, non-profits can use other resources detailed here (including free options).

My copy of Microsoft Office is in [language X], but I want it to be in [language Y].

Many applications on the Mac are available in several languages. A good example is Apple's iWork suite: you can buy any language version of the iWork box set, and the iWork applications will match the default language of your operating system (provided it is one of the languages supported by iWork). In other words, if you are on holiday in France and you buy the French retail box of iWork, you will nonetheless be able to install the application on your Mac in English (or any other of the supported languages, such as German or Italian). On a related note, Mac OS X works the same way; it is not important which boxed version you buy, as you can always choose a different language when installing the product.

As a result, many people expect Microsoft Office to function in a similar way, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Microsoft Office are language-specific, which means that the language of the product which you buy is also the language which you will get when you install the product. If you buy a French retail box of Microsoft Office, the entire user interface will be in French, and you will not be able to change it to any other language. You will not be able to install a language pack, as you can with Windows versions of some Microsoft Office editions, and changing the default language in System Preferences will not help, either.

So what can you do when you find out that you have bought Microsoft Office in a language other than the one you actually wanted to use?

1) If you did not open the box and left the packaging intact, you might be able to return it to the store and exchange it for a copy of Microsoft Office in your preferred language.

2) There have been reports that the product keys themselves are language-independent, meaning that they will work regardless of the language of the product. You should therefore be able to borrow a friend's copy of the Microsoft Office installer disc (in a different language, obviously) and install the product, but you absolutely need to use your own product key during the installation process (for legal purposes, among others). So, if you bought a French copy, borrow a friend's English installer disc and use your own product key when installing the product.

Exceptions: It should be noted that two Microsoft applications, Microsoft Messenger for Mac and Expression Media, behave like most Mac applications, in the sense that they contain the localization files for a number of languages, and that they will automatically switch to the default language, as defined in System Preferences. Perhaps all the applications included in the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac will behave in the same way; it certainly would make the lives of many international users, who more often than not live in multilingual households, a lot easier.

Thanks to Michel Bintener, Mac MVP for summarizing this FAQ.

Download trial in language X, but want to switch to language Y

The trial seems to assume you want the language for the country where you download.

Does Microsoft Office Mac support RTL?

Mac Word does not & never has supported RTL text. There are a number of other word processing programs available for Mac which do, such as Mellel, Open Office & others.

[Sept 19, 2015] Office for Mac 2016 still does not support RTL languages. No Arabic support

Chronological List of Office Mac Products (newest listed first)

    1. Office 2016 release summer 2015 for Office365 subscribers. Available Sept 22, 2015 for purchase
    2. Office 2011 released October 26, 2010
      support to end 2017-10-10
    3. Office 2008 released Jan 18, 2008
    4. Office 2004 released in May 2004
      Support ends 1/10/2012
    5. Office X released in 2001 for the new Mac OS X platform.
      Support for Entourage X ended January 9, 2007
    6. Office 2001 released in 2000, was the last Office suite for pre-Mac OS X, or Classic, operating system.
      Office 2001 introduced Entourage, an e-mail client.
      Support for Entourage 2001 ended December 31, 2005.
    7. Office 98 released Jan. 6, 1998 Outlook Express (Classic email application)
      Support for Office 98 has ended.

    Microsoft Support Lifecycle

Download the Latest Updates:

    To find the latest version for your installed software: Check Office for Mac Downloads for the latest version or run "Check for Updates" under Help in the Entourage/Outlook menu bar.

Options to check for Version Number:

    Starting with Office 2008, you can find version number under About Entourage, in the Menu bar (adjust for any Office app). The Microsoft Component Plugin can always be used to verify your update in addition to the About window.

    Prior to Office 2008 version info was more confusing. After an update, the different Office applications can have different version/build numbers. As you can see in the screen shot below, update 11.3.5 does not update Entourage. The Microsoft Component Plugin is always updated. this is the true test that you are upgraded.

    Download script Find Office Version Info to show image below.

    Example of script:

You can make sure that the latest update has been applied by checking the version number using File -> Get Info on the following file:

Applications/Microsoft Office/Office/Microsoft ComponentPlugin

Find Version Number

Use Column View, List View or Get Info:

Open Microsoft Office X or newer...

  1. Selecting the icon for each application under Column view shows the version number.
  2. Version numbers are shown in List view if you have Version column checked under View Options for the Finder.
  3. Get Info (command-I or control-click and select Get Info) to display all info including version. The different Office apps can have different version and build numbers. Entourage includes the precise build number and version number in "About Entourage".

Office 2001 use List View or Get Into

Open Office 2001 folder

  1. Version numbers are shown in List view if you have Version column checked under View Options for the Finder.
  2. Use Get Info (command-I or control-click and select Get Info) to display all info including version. The different Office apps can have different version and build numbers. Entourage includes the precise build number and version number in "About Entourage".

What are build numbers?

Build numbers are used during the development stage of an application. The different Office applications can have different build numbers. A build number is located in parenthesis after the version number.

For example:

Entourage 2004 11.1.0 (040913)

Does "Outlook" have you seeing double???

Confused over which Outlook you have? Is it Mac or Windows? Only Microsoft could confuse us with sound alike names. :-)

Microsoft Outlook Express 5 Macintosh Edition is a free e-mail program for Mac OS 8.1 to 9.x It is NOT an Office product for Windows.

Microsoft® Outlook 2001 for Mac is for Mac users on OS 8.6-9.2 or OS X (10.2.x and earlier), who need to collaborate with Windows users in an Exchange server environment. Free.

Outlook Express is also a free basic e-mail program that is included with Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it's Windows not Mac.

Then there is Microsoft Outlook® that is not free and is not a Mac product.

Starting in Office 2011, Entourage was replaced with Outlook for Mac 2011. It is not an exact clone of Office for Windows.