For almost 5 years now office users have been waiting for a Microsoft Office update. In 2014 they even raised the price of Office for Mac by as much as 22%. Even with the launch of Windows 8 there was no new Office for Mac. But things could soon be changing…

On the 5th of March Microsoft released previews of the new Office for Mac app. The preview includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. The preview is available to download here, it takes about 20 minutes to download and will take up around 6GB of space on your Mac. Once it has downloaded copy the OfficePreview.pkg from your download’s folder onto your desktop. Installation takes around a minute.

Like with all updates to anything today, the cloud is a prominent feature. In the new update, all of the apps integrate with Microsoft OneDrive. Although, if this still isn’t enough, the option to migrate Office 365 is still very much present.

The new Word application focuses heavily on multi-user collaboration, much like google-docs. The sharing interface button at the top right allows users to invite co-workers to edit documents, send links and see who the document has been shared with.

Finally in Excel, Windows keyboard features are now consistent between the PC version and Mac version. This is especially useful for someone who regularly switches between using Mac and PC versions of the software. Microsoft have also added in Slicers in Pivot Tables, a feature popular in the windows version that allows users to analyse large portions of data to find patterns.

PowerPoint now has the same Presenter View that the Windows version has, which allows presenters to see the current and upcoming slide, notes and a timer whilst the viewer’s only see the current slide.

Outlook for Mac now uses push mail support for an always up to ate inbox. The conversation view has been improved and automatically organises your inbox around threaded conversations making conversations easier to find.

OneNote lets you capture, organise and share your ideas on “digital notebooks” which can be accessed on any device.

Office for Mac 2016 is a welcome and refreshing overhaul for long-suffering Mac users who have been using out of date software. The full version is thought to be released some time around April.