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Excel 2016 for Mac vs Excel 2016 for Windows


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#1 Jonathan

Jonathan

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 02:59 PM

Excel 2016 for Windows and Excel 2016 for (Apple) Mac are very different products

 

You could be forgiven for thinking that the (confusingly named) Excel 2016 for Mac (suitable only for Apple computers) was “just the same” as Excel 2016 for Windows.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  The Excel 2016 for Mac version has a reduced feature set and a radically different user interface to the Excel 2016 for Windows version.  

 

For many years Mac users have asked us to create a  version of our best-selling Excel courses for the Mac version of Excel.  We've finally done this with the release of our Excel 2016 Essential Skills and Expert Skills books specifically for the Apple Mac OS X version of Excel 2016.  You can find out more about the new Apple books by clicking here.

 

The list below is not a complete analysis of every difference between the Windows and Mac versions. It only lists the differences relating to the skills taught in our Excel 2016 for Windows and Excel 2016 for Mac OS X courses.

 

Important:
Microsoft release regular updates that may implement missing features or change the way that Excel 2016 behaves. This information was true as of February 2016, but the product may have changed since this list was compiled.

 

Features available in Excel 2016 for Windows that are not available in Excel 2016 for Mac

 

Default file location setting

The Windows version of Excel 2016 enables you to set a default location for saving your files. This setting is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-8 Pin a workbook and understand file organization.

 

Autosaved Versions of a workbook

The Windows version of Excel 2016 automatically saves ‘draft’ copies of your workbooks as you work, enabling you to retrieve an older version of a workbook even if you didn’t save your changes. This feature is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video tutorial: Essential Skills Lesson 1-10 Use the Versions feature to recover an unsaved Draft file.

 

Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

The Mac version of Excel 2016 includes a Quick Access Toolbar, but it cannot be customized. The Windows version enables you to add any Excel command to the Quick Access Toolbar.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-14 Customize the Quick Access Toolbar and preview the printout.

 

Page Break Preview view

The Windows version of Excel 2016 includes the Normal, Page Layout and Page Break Preview views. The Mac version only includes Normal and Page Layout.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 7-6 Adjust page breaks using Page Break Preview.

 

Quick Analysis

The Windows version of Excel 2016 shows a ‘smart tag’ below selected cells that enables you to quickly create totals, charts, tables and sparklines. The Mac version does not include this feature.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 1-9 Add totals using Quick Analysis.

 

The Mini Toolbar

The Windows version of Excel 2016 shows a small toolbar when text is selected, allowing you to easily change font styles, sizes and colors. The Mac version does not include this feature.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-15 Use the Mini Toolbar, Key Tips and keyboard shortcuts.

 

Flash Fill

Flash Fill is a feature of Excel 2016 for Windows that enables Excel to automatically split text and carry out calculations by intelligently guessing what the user is trying to do. This feature is not included with the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 2-21 Use Flash Fill to solve common problems.

 

Multi-item Clipboard

The Windows version of Office 2016 includes a multi-item clipboard that allows you to copy and paste several different things at the same time. This feature is not included in the Mac version, but there are OS X add-ins available that provide this functionality.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-7 Use the Multiple Item Clipboard.

 

Redo drop-down menu

The Windows version of Excel 2016 offers a drop-down menu for both the Undo and Redo options, enabling multiple actions to be quickly ‘undone’ or ‘redone’. The Mac version only offers the drop-down menu for the Undo option, meaning you must ‘redo’ actions on at a time.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-8 Use Undo and Redo.

 

Pictures in comments

The Windows version of Excel 2016 enables pictures to be placed within cell comments. This is not possible with the Mac version of Excel.

The comments feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-9 Insert cell comments.

 

Default template location setting

The Windows version of Excel 2016 enables you to set a default location for saving templates. This setting is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-14 Understand templates and set the default custom template folder.

 

Add-in store

The Windows version of Excel 2016 offers an ‘add-in store’ that enables you to add new features to Excel, including new chart types and task panes. The add-in store is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-17 Add an App to a workbook.

 

Effects Sets

The Windows version of Excel 2016 enables you to customize your workbook’s visual style using a Color Set, Font Set and Effects Set, but the Mac version only allows the Color Set and Font Set to be changed.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 4-8 Understand themes.

 

Custom Color and Font sets

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to fully customize themes by creating custom Color Sets and Font Sets. The Mac version does not allow new Color Sets and Font Sets to be created, so themes can only be created from the preset options.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 4-12 Create your own custom theme.

 

Live Preview

The Windows version of Excel 2016 contains the Live Preview feature. This is used in many different places throughout the Excel application to show a preview of the effect an option will have when you hover the mouse cursor over it. For example, hovering the mouse cursor over a Theme will preview how the Theme would look if it was applied. The Mac version does not contain this feature.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 5-9 Move, re-size, add, position and delete chart elements.

 

Fill Effects in cells

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to apply a gradient fill to cells. This is not possible in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 4-10 Add color and gradient effects to cells.

 

View Side by Side

The Windows version of Excel 2016 contains a View Side by Side option that allows you to easily compare two workbooks, even when many workbooks are open. This feature is not available in the Mac version, although workbooks can still be compared by using the Arrange feature.

View Side by Side is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-2 View two windows side by side and perform synchronous scrolling.

Arrange is demonstrated in: Essential Skills Lesson 6-1 View the same workbook in different windows.

 

Synchronous Scrolling

The View Side by Side feature from Excel 2016 for Windows contains a Synchronous Scrolling option that allows you to scroll through two workbooks at the same time. This feature is not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-2 View two windows side by side and perform synchronous scrolling.

 

Forecast Sheets

The Windows version of Excel 2016 contains a new Forecast Sheets feature that is able to automatically detect seasonal changes and forecast future values based upon a confidence factor. This feature is not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

This feature is covered in our Excel 2016 Essential Skills book.

 

Find & Replace Formats

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, the Find & Replace dialog offers the ability to find cells based on their format (for example, the background color) and to replace the format of cells that are found. This option is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-8 Use find and replace.

 

Pictures in Headers and Footers

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to add pictures within Headers and Footers. The Mac version does not allow this.

The header and footer features are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 7-8 Add custom headers and footers.

 

Dark Grey Office theme

The Windows version of Office 2016 includes the Colorful, White and Dark Grey themes. The Mac version includes the Colorful and Classic themes.

Office Themes are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-3 Change the Theme in Office.

 

Full-sized print preview

The Windows version of Office 2016 allows you to see a large print preview of the workbook, including the ability to zoom in and out. The Mac version displays a small print preview that cannot be zoomed.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 7-1 Print Preview and change paper orientation.

 

Ribbon Display Options

The Windows version of Office 2016 contains a Ribbon Display Options menu that allows the Ribbon to be completely hidden, freeing up more screen space than is possible by simply minimizing the Ribbon. This feature is not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-17 Hide and Show the Formula Bar and Ribbon.

 

Chart Data Labels from a Range

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to select a range of cells to be used as data labels within a chart. This is not possible in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 5-19 Add data labels from a range.

 

Chart filters

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, it is possible to apply a chart filter to quickly select the data that should be displayed in a chart. Chart filters do not exist in the Mac version, but you can still change the data that is displayed within a chart by using the Select Data Source dialog.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 5-10 Apply a chart filter.

 

Error printing

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to choose how errors should be displayed when printing a workbook. This setting does not exist in the Mac version, so errors will always be printed exactly as they are shown.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 7-13 Suppress error messages in printouts.

 

Key tips

In Excel 2016 for Windows, holding down the <Alt> key displays ‘key tips’ for every item on the Ribbon, enabling every command to be accessed using keyboard shortcuts. Key tips are not available in the Mac version.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-15 Use the Mini Toolbar, Key Tips and keyboard shortcuts.

 

XPS document format

Excel 2016 for Windows is able to save workbooks in the XPS document format. XPS is a Microsoft alternative to the PDF format. The Mac version cannot save to XPS format.

The XPS format is explained in more details in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-7 Understand common file formats.

 

Protected view

Excel 2016 for Windows automatically opens files that were downloaded from the internet in protected view. Protected view disables editing and other features to protect you from viruses. The Mac version does not include protected view.

This feature is explained (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-5 Download the sample files and open or navigate a workbook.

 

Evaluate Formula

The Windows version of Excel 2016 includes an Evaluate Formula dialog that allows you to see how formulas are calculated step by step. This feature does not exist in Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 3-1 Understand Excel order of precedence rules and Excel Formula Evaluate.

 

External data source drivers

The Windows version of Excel 2016 is able to connect to any ODBC data source. The Mac version can only connect to SQL Server data sources by default, but 3rd party drivers are available that enable other data sources to be used.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-4 Use an external Pivot Table data source.

 

Watch Window

The Watch Window is a feature of Excel 2016 for Windows that enables you to monitor the values of cells anywhere in the workbook. This can be useful in complex workbooks with many interconnected worksheets.

The Watch Window is not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-15 Use the watch window to monitor cell values.

 

Ribbon Customization

Excel 2016 for Windows allows the ribbon to be fully customized. This enables you to change the commands shown on the default ribbon tabs and to create entirely new ribbon tabs.

The ribbon cannot be customized in Excel 2016 for Mac.

Ribbon customization is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 9-19 Add custom groups to standard Ribbon tabs.

 

Commands not in the Ribbon

Excel 2016 for Windows contains many ‘hidden’ features that are not shown on the ribbon. These include the Speak Cells features that enable Excel to audibly read the values from cells, as well as many other special features.
Excel 2016 for Mac does not have any additional features that are not shown on the ribbon or Menu Bar.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-16 Use Speak Cells to eliminate data entry errors.

 

Allow Users to Edit Ranges

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, it’s possible to add multiple passwords to a workbook that each have access to different cells. This can be useful if a workbook has several users that should be given different access rights.
Excel 2016 for Mac only allows a single password to be created for each workbook.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-12 Allow different levels of access to a worksheet with multiple passwords.

 

Digital Signatures

Excel 2016 for Windows has the ability to apply a digital signature to a workbook. These are used to prove the identity of the author and certify that a document can be trusted.
It is not possible to apply a digital signature to a workbook using Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-13 Create a digital certificate.

 

ActiveX Controls

ActiveX controls are alternative versions of the form controls. They are rarely used, and are intended to be used with the VBA programming language.
ActiveX controls are not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

ActiveX controls are explained in more depth (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 9-1 Add group box and option button controls to a worksheet form.

 

Trusted files and folders

The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to define a list of trusted files and folders. Files that are trusted or saved to a trusted folder can be opened without any warnings, even if they contain macros.
It isn’t possible to define trusted files and folders in Excel 2016 for Mac, so a warning will be shown every time any macro-enabled workbooks are opened.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 9-14 Understand Trusted Documents.

 

Macro security settings

Excel 2016 for Windows allows you to choose between several settings for macro security. Macros can be completely disabled, enabled after showing a warning message, only enabled for digitally signed workbooks, or always enabled.
Excel 2016 for Mac only allows the warning message to be either switched on or switched off.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 9-13 Implement macro security.

 

Relative references in macros

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, it’s possible to record macros using either absolute or relative references. Absolute references mean that the macro will always affect the same cells every time it runs. Relative references mean that it will affect cells relative to the position of the active cell when the macro runs. Relative macros are very useful when you need a macro to affect different cells each time the user runs it, instead of always affecting the same cells.
It isn’t possible to record a macro with relative references Excel 2016 for Mac, so all macros use absolute references.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 9-15 Record a macro with relative references.

 

Slicer table filtering

Excel 2016 for Windows enables you to filter a table with a slicer. This is not possible in the Mac version of Excel 2016, where slicers can only be used to filter pivot tables.

This feature is explained (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 1-11 Convert a range into a table and add a total row.

 

Timelines

A timeline is a special type of slicer that is specifically used to filter data by date and time.
Timelines aren’t available in Excel 2016 for Mac, but you can replicate their functionality using slicers.

Timelines are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-9 Add a timeline control to a Pivot Table.

The alternative technique using slicers is shown in the video tutorial: Expert Skills Lesson 5-10 Use slicers to create a custom timeline.

 

OLAP pivot tables and relationships

Standard Excel pivot tables can only summarize data from a single table, while OLAP pivot tables can draw their data from multiple tables. To make this possible, relationships must be created between the data tables, creating what is known as a data model.
OLAP features are only available in Excel 2016 for Windows, so none of these features can be used in the Mac version of Excel.

OLAP features are covered extensively (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in: Session 6: The Data Model, OLAP, MDX and BI.

Excel 2016's new OLAP, 3D Maps and Get & Transform features are covered in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

Automatic date grouping in pivot tables

When a field containing date information is added to a pivot table in Excel 2016 for Windows, it is automatically split into appropriate groups (usually Year, Quarter, Month and Day).
This does not happen in the Mac version of Excel 2016, but the same result can be achieved by using the Group feature.

Automatic date grouping is demonstrated in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

Grouping pivot tables by date is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-20 Group by date.

 

Automatic insertion of GETPIVOTDATA functions setting

When you create a formula that references cells within a pivot table, Excel automatically inserts a GETPIVOTDATA function. This feature can be disabled in the Windows version of Excel 2016, but is always enabled in the Mac version.

You can see how to disable the automatic insertion of GETPIVOTDATA functions (in Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 6-4 Use the GETPIVOTDATA function.

 

PivotCharts

Excel 2016 for Windows enables you to create PivotCharts. These are charts that have the same features as pivot tables, including the ability to filter data within the chart.
PivotCharts cannot be created in Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-23 Create a pivot chart from a pivot table.

 

3D Maps

Excel 2016 for Windows has the ability to display data on a 3D map of the world. This is useful for presenting data that is tied to geographical locations.
3D Maps cannot be created in Excel 2016 for Mac.

3D Maps are covered extensively in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

Get & Transform

Get & Transform (previously known as PowerQuery) is now included in Excel 2016 for Windows.
Get & Transform allows you to connect to external data sources and perform many different transformations upon them, including unpivoting summarized data, appending several data sources together and setting data types.
Get & Transform is not available in Excel 2016 for Mac.

Get & Transform is covered extensively in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

<Alt>+<;> keyboard shortcut

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, you can use the <Alt>+<;> keyboard shortcut to quickly select visible cells.
This keyboard shortcut is not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 2-3 Automatically subtotal a range.

 

Range name scope

Excel 2016 for Windows allows range names to have either worksheet or workbook scope. Range names with worksheet scope can only be referenced within a single worksheet, while workbook scope allows them to be referenced anywhere in the workbook.
In Excel 2016 for Mac, all range names have workbook scope, so you cannot define a range name that only resides in a single worksheet.

Range name scope is explained (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-2 Manually create single cell range names and named constants.

 

Paste names in dialogs

The Paste Names feature enables quick insertion of range names.
Excel 2016 for Mac does not allow this feature to be used within dialogs. It can only be used to insert range names into cells and formulas.
In Excel 2016 for Windows, this feature can also be used to insert range names into dialogs and task panes.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-7 Create table-based dynamic range names.

 

‘Data entered in a table is invalid’ error checking rule

Excel 2016 for Mac contains 8 error checking rules.
Excel 2016 for Windows offers one additional error checking rule, called: Data entered in a table is invalid. This rule is only relevant when connecting to data that is stored on a SharePoint server.

Error checking rules are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-11 Understand background error checking and error checking rules.

 

Pivot table Defer Layout Update option

Excel 2016 for Windows offers a Defer Layout Update option when editing pivot tables. This allows you to fully configure a pivot table without anything appearing on the worksheet, and without any calculations being performed. This is useful when working with very large data sets that could take a long time to calculate.
The Defer Layout Update option is not available in Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is demonstrated in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

Fn+F4 shortcut key in Formula Builder

The Fn+F4 keyboard shortcut is used to quickly define absolute cell references. Unfortunately, this keyboard shortcut cannot be used within the Formula Builder task pane in Excel 2016 for Mac.
The F4 keyboard shortcut works without problems in the equivalent dialog in Excel 2016 for Windows (the Insert Function dialog).

Defining absolute references using the F4 key is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-12 Understand absolute and relative cell references.

 

‘Always create backup’ save option

When saving a workbook, Excel 2016 for Windows offers the Always create backup option. If this option is enabled, a separate backup version of the workbook is created whenever the workbook is saved.
This option is not available in the Mac version of Excel 2016.

This feature is explained (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-9 Prevent unauthorized users from opening or modifying workbooks.

 

Embedded object resizing

Excel workbooks embedded into other document types cannot be resized in the Mac version of Office 2016. This can be worked around by embedding the workbook from a linked file.
Excel 2016 for Mac only allows you to merge two workbooks at a time when sharing a workbook using the merge method. You can merge as many workbooks as necessary, but you must merge them one at a time.
Excel 2016 for Windows allows you to merge multiple workbooks simultaneously.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 8-7 Embed an Excel worksheet object into a Word document.

 

Multi-Select button in slicers

Excel 2016 for Mac allows you to select multiple items in a slicer by holding down the Cmd key.
Excel 2016 for Windows adds an additional Multi-Select button to slicers, which allows you to select multiple items without holding down any keys.

This feature is demonstrated in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

Select all search results in pivot table filters

Excel 2016 for Mac offers the ability to perform a search within a pivot table filter. However, it does not offer an option to select all search results, so they must be selected individually.
Note that this feature is available in standard filters; it is only missing from pivot table filters.
Excel 2016 for Windows offers this option in all filters, including pivot tables.

This feature is demonstrated in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

Pivot table filter by selection
Excel 2016 for Mac enables you to filter an ordinary range of data by selecting a range of cells and then filtering to show only records that match the selected values. However, this option is not available when working with pivot tables.
Excel 2016 for Windows allows this option to be used within pivot tables.

Filtering by selection is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 1-3 Apply a simple filter to a range.

 

Features that behave differently in Excel 2016 for Windows

 

Cmd shortcut keys

Many features of Excel 2016 for Mac can be accessed by holding down the <Cmd> key and pressing another key (for example <Cmd>+<b> makes the selected cell bold-faced).
Windows computers do not have a Cmd key, so the Ctrl key is used instead.

Keyboard shortcuts are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-15 Use the Mini Toolbar, Key Tips and keyboard shortcuts.

 

Fn shortcut keys

If you are using OS X with its default settings, you need to hold down the <Fn> key to use the F keys at the top of the keyboard within Excel (for example <Fn>+<F4> to make a cell reference absolute).
Windows computers do not usually have a Fn key, so you do not usually need to hold it down to use the F key functions. Some Windows laptops with compact keyboards are an exception to this rule and may still require you to hold down a Fn key.

 

Ribbon and Menu Bar

Excel 2016 for Windows does not use the Menu Bar that is used for many commands in Excel 2016 for Mac. Instead, all commands are accessed via the Ribbon.
This means that Excel 2016 for Windows has additional Ribbon options to enable access to commands that are in the Menu Bar in Excel 2016 for Mac.

The Excel Ribbon is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video tutorial: Essential Skills Lesson 1-12 Use the Ribbon.

 

File tab and ‘Backstage View’

In Excel 2016 for Windows, the Ribbon contains an additional tab called File. This tab takes you to Backstage View which contains options for saving, printing and sharing, as well as more advanced Excel options.
These options are accessed via the Menu Bar in Excel 2016 for Mac.

Backstage view is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video tutorial: Expert Skills Lesson 1-1 Check that your Excel version is up to date.

 

AutoSum double-click

To add an AutoSum in the Mac version of Excel 2016, you must first click the AutoSum button and then press the <Enter> key. The Windows version allows this to be done more quickly by double-clicking the AutoSum button.
AutoSum is covered in: Lesson 2 3: Use AutoSum to quickly calculate totals.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 2-3 Use AutoSum to quickly calculate totals.

 

Minimize Ribbon double-click

In the Mac version of Excel 2016, clicking the selected Ribbon tab minimizes the Ribbon. In the Windows version, the Ribbon is minimized by double-clicking any Ribbon tab.
If the Ribbon is minimized in the Mac version of Excel 2016, it can be restored by clicking any tab. The Windows version requires you to double-click a tab in order to permanently restore the Ribbon.

Minimizing the ribbon is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 1-12 Use the Ribbon.

 

Task pane docking

The Mac version of Excel 2016 allows task panes to either be ‘floating’ or docked to the right side of the screen. The Windows version allows task panes to be docked to either the left or right side of the screen (as well as being floating).

Task pane docking is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 3-7 Use the Multiple Item Clipboard.

Row height and column width in worksheet groups

Both the Windows and Mac versions of Excel 2016 enable worksheets to be grouped so that changes can be applied to every sheet simultaneously. The Mac version does not apply changes to row heights and column widths to grouped worksheets, while the Windows version does.

Worksheet grouping is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-7 Understand worksheet groups.

 

Page break indicator lines

Excel 2016 for Windows shows automatic page breaks as dotted lines and manual page breaks as dotted lines. The Mac version shows both types of page break as dotted lines, with a very subtle difference between the dotted line style that is used.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 7-5 Insert, delete and preview page breaks.

 

Copying worksheets by dragging and dropping

In Excel 2016 for Mac, you can create a copy of a worksheet by holding down the <Alt> key and dragging it to the location where you wish to create a copy. Excel 2016 for Windows behaves the same way, except you must hold down the <Ctrl> key.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-3 Duplicate worksheets within a workbook.

 

Copying worksheets between workbooks by dragging and dropping

When copying worksheets between workbooks, you might expect the same rules to apply as when dragging and dropping worksheets within a workbook. This is true in Excel 2016 for Windows, but Excel 2016 for Mac always creates a copy of a worksheet when it is dragged to another workbook.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-4 Move and copy worksheets from one workbook to another.

 

Help system

In Excel 2016 for Mac, the help search system is accessed via the Help menu on the Menu Bar. Excel 2016 for Windows replaces this with a Tell me what you want to do option on the Ribbon.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in our Excel 2016 Expert Skills book.

 

Find & Replace ‘look in’

The Find & Replace dialog contains a ‘look in’ menu that allows you to search in values or formulas. The ‘look in’ feature is available in Excel 2016 for Mac, but only in the Find dialog; it is not present in the Replace dialog. Despite this, the Replace dialog will behave according to the selected ‘look in’ option if you set it in the Find dialog before switching to Replace.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Essential Skills Lesson 6-8 Use find and replace.

 

Formula Builder task pane

In the Windows version of Excel 2016, the Formula Builder task pane is replaced by the Insert Function dialog.
The Insert Function dialog has the same purpose and features of the Formula Builder, but appears as a floating dialog instead of a task pane.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 3-3 Create an Excel PMT function using the Insert Function Dialog.

 

Insert Name feature

In the Mac version of Excel, you can quickly insert a range name by clicking:  > Insert > Name > Paste.
In the Windows version of Excel, this feature is accessed using the Ribbon command: Formulas > Defined Names > Use in Formula.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-2 Manually create single cell range names and named constants .

 

Name Manager

Excel 2016 for Windows offers a separate Name Manager dialog that enables you to view and edit all of the range names that have been defined within a workbook.
In the Mac version of Excel 2016, these features have been included in the Define Name dialog.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-4 Automatically create range names in two dimensions.

 

Error checking dialog modality

The Mac version of Excel 2016 does not allow you to interact with the workbook as long as the error checking dialog is open (in other words, it is a modal dialog).
Excel 2016 for Windows allows you to make changes to the workbook while the Error Checking dialog is on-screen. This will pause error checking, requiring you to click a Resume button when returning to the dialog.

The error checking dialog is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-12 Manually check a worksheet for errors.

 

Scenario summary report formatting

Scenario summary reports created in Excel 2016 for Windows have different formatting to summary reports created in Excel 2016 for Mac. The differences are only cosmetic, so the same values will be displayed in both versions.

Scenario summary reports are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-4 Create a scenario summary report.

 

Custom views and tables

Excel 2016 for Windows does not allow custom views to be created if a table is present anywhere in the workbook.
The Mac version allows custom views and tables to coexist.

Custom views are demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-8 Create custom views.

 

Protect Windows

The Protect Windows option does not work in Excel 2016 for Windows, but will work without problems in Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is explained (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 7-10 Control the changes users can make to workbooks.

 

Editing embedded Excel objects

In Office 2016 for Windows, it’s possible to edit an embedded Excel object within a Word document without leaving Word.
In Office 2016 for Mac, editing an embedded Excel object always launches a separate Excel window.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 8-7 Embed an Excel worksheet object into a Word document.

 

PivotTable Builder dialog

Excel 2016 for Mac uses the PivotTable Builder dialog to configure pivot tables.
Excel 2016 for Windows replaces this with a PivotTable Fields task pane.
The dialog and task pane have the same purpose and features.

The PivotTable Fields task pane is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-3 Understand pivot table rows and columns.

 

Locked workbook notifications

When a workbook is locked for editing by another user, you are prompted to open the workbook in read-only mode.
The Windows version of Excel 2016 allows you to choose whether you want to be notified when the other user closes the workbook. Excel 2016 for Mac defaults to this option, so you will always be notified when a locked workbook becomes available for editing.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 8-11 Share a workbook using the lock method.

 

Manual pivot table sorting

Manual pivot table sorting is possible in both the Mac and Windows versions of Excel 2016.
In Excel 2016 for Windows, this feature must be specifically enabled. Manual sorting is always enabled in Excel 2016 for Mac.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-6 Apply a simple filter and sort to a pivot table.

 

Range name bug

Excel 2016 for Windows contains a bug where the Apply Names feature (shown in: Lesson 4 3: Use range names to make formulas more readable) does not always work correctly.
This bug is not present in Excel 2016 for Mac, so range names should always be applied to formulas without problems.

You can see how to work around this bug (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 4-3 Use range names to make formulas more readable.

 

Filtering pivot tables by multiple values

Excel 2016 for Windows defaults to only allow a single value to be selected in a pivot table filter. To select more than one value, the Select Mutiple Items option must be enabled.
Excel 2016 for Mac always allows multiple items to be selected in pivot table filters.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-7 Use report filter fields.

 

Pivot table Group and Outline options

Excel 2016 for Mac allows the pivot table outline to be expanded and collapsed by using the commands: Group and Outline > Show Detail and Group and Outline > Hide Detail.
Excel 2016 for Windows uses contains an Expand/Collapse menu in place of the Group and Outline menu and uses the commands Expand and Collapse in place of Show Detail and Hide Detail.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-2 Create a grouped pivot table.

 

Recommended PivotTables

When creating a pivot table, Excel 2016 for Mac offers the Recommended PivotTables option. This option automatically creates a pivot table based upon your data that should be useful for general purposes, but it will create the same generic pivot table each time.
Excel 2016 for Windows offers a choice of several different recommended pivot tables when this option is used, instead of always using the same template.

This feature is demonstrated (using Excel 2013 for Windows) in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 5-1 Create a pivot table.


Jonathan is part of the professional team who answer Excel-related questions posted on the ExcelCentral.com forums.
Jonathan also tests our courses prior to publication and has worked on all of our ten world bestselling Excel books for Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016 for Windows and Excel 2016 for Apple Mac. Jonathan has also worked on over 850 video lessons for or video courses covering Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013.
As well as extensive Excel knowledge, Jonathan has worked in the IT world for over thirteen years as a programmer, database designer and analyst for some of the world's largest companies.





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