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Microsoft quietly raises price of Office for Mac by 17 percent

Microsoft has quietly increased the prices of its Office for Mac 2011 by as much as 17 percent, putting it on price par with Office 2013 for Windows.

The software giant has also quit selling multi-license packages, which allowed customers to purchase multiple copies of the application suite at a discounted rate.

The single-license Office for Mac Home & Student now costs $140, an increase of about 17 percent from the previous price of $120. Meanwhile, Microsoft raised the price of Office for Mac Home & Business, which includes Outlook, to $220, a 10 percent increase over the previous $200 … Read more

SkyDrive users can now share Office documents with anyone

People who need to access your shared MS Office documents via a SkyDrive link should now find the process a bit easier.

Using Microsoft's Office Web Apps or Office 2013, you can create a URL of any document that you store online. You can then e-mail that URL to anyone who needs to view or edit your file. Previously, that process required your collaborators to sign in with a Microsoft account before they could tweak your document. Now that restriction is gone.

Users who receive the URL to your document can click on it to view the file in … Read more

Free LibreOffice office suite beefs up with version 4.0

Fans of LibreOffice will discover a new and improved version with several features typically found only in Microsoft Office.

For those unfamiliar with the product, LibreOffice is an open-source desktop suite, one of several free alternatives to Microsoft Office. The suite includes applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and drawings.

Released today by the Document Foundation, LibreOffice 4.0 builds on its foundations with a host of new features and fixes.

As just a few examples, users of the Writer word processor can now add comments to entire blocks of text, more easily create different headers and footers for … Read more

Microsoft offers online help to Office 2013 users

Office 2013 users who need a helping hand can find one through Microsoft's Quick Start Guides.

Now available online, the nine guides offer advice on using each of the applications in Office 2013, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote, Project, Visio, and Publisher.

Each guide comes packaged as a PDF that you can download or view online through Adobe Reader.

The guides provide screenshots and descriptions of the new features and layouts in Office 2013. They also clue you in as to what's changed in the new applications compared with previous versions. As with any PDF, you … Read more

How to hide the Ribbon in Office 2013

Starting with Office 2007, Microsoft replaced the standard menu and toolbars with the Ribbon. It was designed to help Office users find commands more easily. Office 2013 still uses the Ribbon, but if you'd rather have more work space or prefer less clutter, you can hide it. In fact, you can choose between three different views: full Ribbon view, tab-only view, and autohide view.

To switch among the different Ribbon views, click on the Ribbon display option button, located between the Help and Minimize buttons.

Autohide Ribbon hides the ribbon at the top, then reappears when you click the … Read more

New PlayStation may debut this month

Friday's CNET Update deciphers the shapes:

Stories from today's tech news roundup:

- Sony expected to unveil a new PlayStation this month -- before E3

- Verizon has new prepaid plans for 3G smartphones

- Nokia is researching a new material called graphene

- HBO Go may be coming to Apple TV

- Amazon beefs up its Prime Instant Video streaming with Downton Abby and is also creating original kids shows

- Netflix premiered the series, "House of Cards," and all 13 episodes are available now

- CNET's Download team highlights free alternatives to the new Office 2013 and Office 365Read more

How to install the 64-bit version of Office 365

Office 365 is installed as a 32-bit program on your Windows PC by default. Microsoft recommends the 32-bit version, even on 64-bit systems, to avoid compatibility issues with third-party add-ons. However, there may be instances when you'd want the 64-bit version, like if you're using a very large database or worksheet.

Here's how to install the 64-bit version of Office:

Step 1: Go to Office.com and log in using your Microsoft account.

Step 2: Click on the "My Account" shortcut.

Step 3: Click on the "Language and install options" link under the … Read more

Bing rolls out five apps for Office 365 and Office 2013

Microsoft launched five new free Bing apps for Office 365 and Office 2013 today. These apps are geared toward integrating work templates with search functions. The apps include Bing Finance for Excel, Bing Maps for Excel, Bing Image Search for Word, Bing News Search for Word, and Bing Dictionary for Excel and Word.

The software giant released its 2013 version of Office and its subscription-centric version of Office -- Office 365 Home Premium -- just this week. The latter of these two products is downloadable and can be locally installed on versions of Office 2013. Users are charged annual or monthly feesRead more

Free Office 2013 alternatives

Microsoft Office 2013 has officially hit the streets, and it offers a significantly upgraded interface, more tools, and perhaps most importantly, a cloud-friendly system that lets you work from anywhere. While CNET's Jason Parker did give the updated Office suite high marks, he was also quick to say that its new $100-per-year subscription scheme will likely be hard for many people to swallow. Sure, there are (confusingly) single-pay standalone versions available as well, but those don't offer quite as much as the Office 365 subscription version.

In any case, if you are part of the camp that is … Read more

How to use Office on any PC with Office on Demand

Many of the new features of Microsoft Office 2013 are cloud-based. One of the more intriguing of those features is Office on Demand. Office on Demand allows subscribers of Office 365 to stream Office to any Internet-connected Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC.

If you're traveling without your own PC with Office on it, but can get to a guest machine, Office on Demand is a convenient way to access Office. You can even use it to edit your files stored on SkyDrive. And once you log out of the PC, the programs and documents are no longer accessible … Read more