Microsoft has released a Service Pack update for Office 2008 for Mac, and it delivers substantial changes. Service Pack 2 not only includes stability fixes, but additional features for PowerPoint and speed increases for Word and Excel.

Among the featured general Office 2008 improvements (from Microsoft):

  • Stability is improved.
    This update fixes an issue that causes Office 2008 applications to exit unexpectedly when you open or use the applications.
  • New controls for changing the alignment of text on chart elements.
    This update includes new controls for setting the vertical position, orientation, and custom angle of text in chart elements. It also includes controls for data label positions.

Among the improvements in Word:

  • Notebook Layout View recovers audio notes after Word closes unexpectedly.
    This update fixes an issue that causes users to lose their audio notes when Word closes unexpectedly. When you restart Word, the AutoRecover file does not include the audio notes. This issue is fixed now.
  • Compatibility with Word 2007 is improved.
    This update fixes an issue that causes a Word 2007 document that has table borders not to be displayed correctly when the document is viewed in Word 2008 for Mac.

Among the improvements in Excel:

  • Reliability is improved when you open a protected workbook.
    This update fixes an issue that causes a protected workbook not to open.
  • Performance and Stability are improved.
    This update fixes an issue that causes slow performance and fixes an issue that causes Excel to close unexpectedly when you enter arguments in a specific order or when you right-click a Chart Sheet, and then you click Select Data.

Among the improvements in PowerPoint:

  • Double-clicking a slide to add a text box.
    This update lets you double-click a slide to add a text box.
  • Path animation enables an object to trace a custom path.
    This update now lets you add and edit path animations on a PowerPoint slide. Path animation (also known as motion path) for an object traces a custom path for the object to follow across a slide. Unlike the entrance or exit effect, you can use a path animation to move the object on the slide from one position to another in any direction you want. You can apply path animation to any object, such as shapes, text, tables, or pictures.

The update applies to all versions of the Office 2008 suite as well as the individual applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel); it is just under 300MB(!).

Download here or use the Microsoft AutoUpdate within your application to install this update. (To use Microsoft AutoUpdate, click Check for Updates once you’ve launched any component of Office 2008 and follow the instructions.)

Be prepared: This update may take a little while to download. In my case, it took a couple hours, but seemed like foooorever…

For a complete list of the new features and improvements, visit Microsoft’s Support page for Office 2008.


BONUS: We’re offering an instant $20 rebate on Microsoft Office 2008 Home and Student Edition. Final cost: $129.99.
Buy it now!

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