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Excel For Mac 2011
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|Excel for Mac 2011 is an important release of Excel for the Macintosh OS X as it brings back support for VBA macros in line with the Excel versions for Windows in order to provide a cross platform solution for sharing data analysis and development.|
We tested the functionality of Excel for Mac 2011 including VBA and compared it with its Windows counterpart Excel 2010. We found that practically all functionality within the two versions is comparable. The exceptions relate to where external Objects are required in Windows that are not available running on Mac OS X. This is particularly the case within the scope of VBA coding options but does not affect the basic functionality of working with Excel within its own environment.
The ribbon and tabs in Excel for Mac 2011 present the same menu options, however the layout is slightly different due to the underlying operating system. The differences in menu item placement and functionality are minimal and the logic is intuitive enough so that very little time is taken to learn where menu options are.
Screen shot of Excel for Mac 2011 Ribbon
The presentation and reporting features from Excel 2010 also available in Excel for Mac 2011 are impressive and we tested Chart and SmartArt features created in Excel for Mac 2011 that opened and displayed correctly in Excel 2010 for Windows and vice-versa. The only issue that we found was that in some cases the font type changed between the two versions based on the underlying systems' default fonts.
Screen shot of charting in Excel for Mac 2011
Screen shot of SmartArt Flowchart options in Excel for Mac 2011
The VBA functionality in Excel for Mac 2011 is an important feature as it supports all of the Excel application objects and methods of Excel 2010 for Windows. This makes this version for Mac a reliable and powerful cross platform solution for sophisticated data manipulation, analysis, sharing and collaboration for business. Note should be made, however, that external objects referenced within VBA projects are limited within Excel for Mac 2011 in cases where the Windows based objects are not available on Mac OS X. One annoyance we found with the VBA Editor on the Mac was the floating Windows (as with Excel for Mac 2004) which are somewhat impractical when working within the VBA coding environment.
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