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Comprehensive Buying Guide to Microsoft Office for Mac

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Written by

Vain Rowe
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: This article tells about the basics of Microsoft Office for Mac, and how to buy the most suitable office product for you to study or work. Additionally, you can get some alternatives for Microsoft office products on Mac. 

Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft Office develops several kinds of office applications, for example, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Accessor, and so on. You can also run these Windows applications on your Mac just as you run Android apps by using Android Emulator for Mac. However, the issue of buying a subscription or full outright of Microsoft Office really puzzles you a lot. 

Don't worry, you can know how to select an optimal Microsoft Office for Mac version without effort by following this tutorial.

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What is Microsoft Office for Mac?

Windows operating system has dominated the OS market with nearly 72% share worldwide. So does the Microsoft Office designed for Windows OS. In order to expand its business, Windows also marches into Mac market by publishing Microsoft Office for Mac.

Microsoft Office for Mac designed kinds of office applications available for Mac, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other professional applications. You can apply these Microsoft products on your Mac seamlessly, just as the native software does. 

Actions to complete the Microsoft Office for Mac download or installation are quite easy, but the real knotty question is whether you should purchase a subscription or a full outright. Take it easy. This article will help you to select the most suitable office application version according to your requirements.

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How to select the version of Microsoft Office for Mac?

Microsoft Office for Mac contains two main versions – Microsoft 365 and Office 2021. You can know the basics of Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 in detail.

Basic information about Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 for is previously branded as Office 365 until the 2020 hit, which includes Family use and Personal use. With Microsoft 365, you can subscribe monthly or yearly. Hence, the latest updates and new features are all in your hands. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 enables you to run it on a computer (either Windows OS or macOS), a pad, and a phone with one subscription. Finally, an additional 1TB OneDrive cloud storage space is available for you for free.

Basic information about Office 2021

Office 2021 is a one-time purchasing service for one Windows or Mac. You can choose from Office Home & Student 2021 and Office Home & Business 2021. It is for students, families, and businesses who need classic Office apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows 11 and Windows 10. 

Once you purchase one from Microsoft's official site, you need not charge anymore. However, please note that you will receive no new updates or new features until you pay for a new version. 

Differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 2021

You have run an eye over the table below to select a suitable one for you to apply on Mac:

Microsoft 365 (Family or Personal)Office Home & Student 2021 and Office Home & Business 2021
Pay monthly or yearlyOne-time purchase
Contains the latest version of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. (Works with Microsoft Teams). Office Home & Business 2021 also includes Outlook.
Free cloud storage space: Family: 6TB (1TB per person). Personal: 1TB No cloud storage space
Runs on Mac, PC, iOS, and Android.Runs on 1 Mac or 1 Windows
Family: 6 persons. Personal: 1 person1 person
Updates the app with new featuresSecurity updates but no new updates
Perpetual online helpSupport for the first 60 days at no extra cost
Family: $99.99 per year; $9.99 per month. Personal: $69.99 per year; $6.99 per month.Office Home & Student 2021: $149.99. Office Home & Business 2021: $249.99.

This table lists all information and features of Microsoft 365 and Office 2021, and you can decide which version fits you most according to your requirements.

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Alternatives to applying Microsoft Office for Mac free

If you don't want to spend any money on the office applications developed by Microsoft, there are certainly some easy-to-use alternatives that enable you to run Microsoft Office for Mac for free. 

Pages can work as the Word app. It is a super powerful word processing and page layout application for iOS and macOS. You can write simple articles, create a new file on Mac, like template documents, and generate a complete visual masterpiece with it. Moreover, it also allows you to invite people to work on your Pages documents in real-time.

Numbers is a spreadsheet application developed by Apple Inc. as part of the iWork productivity suite. You can create a spreadsheet, enter text and numbers in forms, add a chart or list, add a worksheet, and so on. With Numbers on Mac, you need no Excel app anymore.

Keynote allows you to create presentations with simple operations. Meanwhile, you can collaborate on a shared presentation with your classmates or colleague on Keynote, which is really convenient and powerful.


With detailed introductions to Microsoft Office for Mac, there is no puzzlement or confusion on how to select the suitable office application for Mac anymore. Plus, if you're less fascinated with the Microsoft product, you can run Mac built-in Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes instead, which are really powerful and easy to use.

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