Macs Only Update: Cleaning up Mail and Microsoft Office news

1. Many of you use Mail — Apple’s default e-mail program to manage compose, manage, and store all of your messages.

Every time you sent out a new message the address(es) you send to is stored in the Previous Recipients list. This is not the same as your Contacts (aka Address Book). If you have never cleared out Previous Recipients you may have a lot of one-time or incorrect address in there that you don’t want to store.

This article will help you clean out your Previous Recipients list. If you primarily use web mail, like AOL, or Gmail, from your browser then this sequence of steps in not for you. You will need to follow a separate procedure.

2. Finally I wanted to talk about word processing and Office-style applications. Some of you use Apple’s Pages / iWork and others use Neo Office. Over the years, I’ve found Microsoft Office for the Mac to be my go to choice for word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software. I’m not making a pitch for you to change here. However, I have a special message targeted toward Microsoft Office for Mac users.

If you are using version 2008, you need to upgrade. I realize that some of you have not owned your software for a full five years, but as of this week Microsoft will no longer be supporting you with updates and this means SECURITY UPDATES. Therefore, a malicious Word, PowerPoint or Excel file could harm your Mac. Microsoft will not be publishing fixes for version 2008 to compensate for these threats. You are fair game as of today.

The current version of Office for Mac is 2011. If you need a single copy for Mac, the cost is approximately $110. If you have multiple Macs in your home or have a mixed household of PC’s and Macs — Microsoft no longer offers a family pack or 3-user pack. However, they have a plan which I feel is even "better". It is called Office 365 Home. This package is $100 per year and you are allowed to install office on up to 5 Windows and or Mac computers. The computers don’t need to be in your home all the time, but they should be owned by family members. This subscription service ensures that you will never have to worry about upgrades. Your copy of Microsoft Office will always be up to date. FYI, I am an Office 365 Home subscriber.

If you already have Office 2011 for Mac — you are fine. It seems like you will be supported by Apple until at least 2016. If you have any questions about either installing a single copy of Office 2011 for Mac or the 5-install family pack (Office 365 Home) which will include Office 2011 for Mac and future updates — please feel free to ask.