Office:Mac 2008 SP2 available today

Today, we have released Office:Mac 2008 SP2. What's in it for you?

PowerPoint: In a lot of ways, this is the star of SP2 for me. (Of course, it helps that I'm on the PowerPoint team. 🙂 In SP2, we have added two highly-requested features: the ability to create custom path animations and the ability to define your own custom default theme. It also brings a feature that I advocated for: double-click anywhere on the slide, and you get a text box to type in.  

Word: Look for improved launch times here. There's also performance improvements throughout, with a special eye towards improving scrolling speeds. You're most likely to notice this when you're working in a big document in Word. In Outline View, scrolling is up to 10 times faster.

Excel: Excel has a bunch of performance improvements, with lots of them in the area of calculation performance. If you're a heavy-duty Excel user who does lots of in-depth stuff in your spreadsheets, this update is for you.

Entourage: Entourage now supports proxy auto-config (.pac) fies. We've also updated our account set-up code for MobileMe and to handle Hotmail's change to POP support.

Document Connection for Mac: That's the other star of this release for me, also possibly because I worked on it. 🙂 As we announced back at Macworld Expo, this is a standalone app that better enables Mac users to work with documents stored in SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces.

Open XML File Format Converter: This has some improvements to its support of the XML file formats (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx, etc). For more information on the release, you can read the Knowledge Base article.

In addition to this release, the Office Live Workspace team has done some improvements to their Mac support. They've expanded their Mac browser support to include Safari and Firefox (all the way back to 2.0, which means that users still on Jaguar can use it!).

The update is live now. You can either download it from Mactopia here, or you can fire up Microsoft AutoUpdate by opening up any Office app, going to the Help menu, and selecting "Check for Updates".

Additional details are available in the official Mac Mojo blog post Announcing Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2, as well as in the Knowledge Base article. There's lots to be found in SP2, and the KB article is the best place to get it.

Got questions? Use the comments thread on this post, or you can follow me on twitter here.

Edited at noon PDT to add in the Entourage changes (and I'm embarrassed that I forgot that!) and a link to the KB article.

Comments (21)

  1. Mike Ruocco says:

    What happened to EWS?? Is it ever going to see the light of day? We are desperately waiting for it!

  2. Patrick says:

    Is this another update that can't be installed if using the Entourage EWS beta?  I did some poking and didn't see an answer...


  3. EWS is coming soon.

    Don't install SP2 if you're still using the beta.

  4. Jl says:

    Is Messenger:Mac officialy an abandonware?

  5. Charlie says:

    Yes, but where is Messenger with audio and video???

  6. We're still on track to deliver a beta of Messenger this year. 🙂

  7. CKFC says:

    I encountered a weird problem - all of my pptx can not be open after sp2 update. I was direct to KB972141 for solution.

  8. Mark Wheeler says:

    Hi Nadyne - I have to say that PowerPoint 08 SP2 is far from a shining star from my initial experience. Its stopped opening any of my pptx files. I notice a few other people have the same issue. The file started life in PPT 2008. I also installed the new XML converters just in case but no joy.

    The good news is it still opens in Keynote, so I'm not completely scuppered.

  9. Mark, CKFC - Please email me (use the "email" link above "this blog" in the right menu).  If possible, I'd like to get one of the files that you're having problems opening.  When you email me, please include as much detail as you can about the file in question -- what version of PowerPoint was used to create it, any versions of PowerPoint that might have been used to edit it (for example, if you sent it to someone else and they made changes), etc.

  10. Mario Capocaccia says:

    !!!! DO . NOT . INSTALL . SP2 !!!!!

    It cannot open over 70% of docx xslx pptx files, that sp1 opened and edited with no problems.

    It gives you an error that refers to a web page, where MS candidly states that due to inability to parse some variations of the formats, it stops opening them at all.

    This is the most idiot thing I ever heard.

    If MS does not fix this in a week, they are going to lose a customer forever.

  11. Mario - There is a very small percentage of users who are having some issues opening files with Office 2008.  We're aware of this and working on it right now.

    Some users have reported that they can successfully open affected files using Office 2007 for Windows, and saving them there, then re-opening them in Office:Mac 2008.  Other useres have reported that, if they haven't updated the Open XML file format converter to 1.1 (which was also released on the same day as SP2), they can open their files with that, save them as PPT, and then they don't have any problems.

    I know that these don't fix the underlying issue, but my goal is to suggest something that you can do now to get access to your files before we can issue a patch.  

  12. Italian version says:

    Why has the italian version of SP2 been withdrawn and is not downloadable anymore?

    Only the italian version of it.....


    Thanks Nadyne.

  13. We discovered an issue with the Italian version of SP2 that affects PowerPoint users.  This issue prevents some users from opening some PowerPoint files that were created with an earlier version of Office 2008.  We don't want our Italian users to install this and find themselves unable to open their files, so we've removed it from Microsoft AutoUpdate and the website until the issue is resolved.  We're actively working on it right now.  We'll deliver that fix in an update to Office as soon as possible.  We're verifying the fix as I type, and once we've verified it, we'll package it up and get it out to our users.

  14. raoul says:

    same problem as mario.

    files I've worked on last week *won't open* anymore.

    unfortunately I've not set up the time machine thing yet (new macbook).

    I'm totally busted by the update - it made office useless to me.

    installation of SP2 wasted plenty of my time already.

    is there a way to get these files (.pptx espec.) opened now?

  15. Richard says:

    The english version of powerpoint won't open pptx created in Office 2008  and should be withdrawn until Microsoft come up with a fix. Don't you test these products before you release them?

  16. Richard - This issue doesn't impact every user of PowerPoint in English. We do have a small handful of non-Italian users who are seeing a similar problem with some (but not all) files, and we're working on getting a fix out right now.  We're especially seeing this issue with files that have been edited with third party software, since some of those third party applications aren't writing out the XML properly.  

    For information on short-term workarounds for this issue, check out the following URL:

  17. Richard says:


    Thanks for your response. I have downgraded to SP1 and can open my files again! I should point out that I have only edited/saved the pptx files using powerpoint.  I am not the only one at my workplace to have this problem and the labs computer support people have advised no one to install SP2 until Microsoft has resolved this issue.

  18. Richard - If you have some affected files where you can tell me lots of details about how they were created and what versions of PowerPoint that you used to create them, could you email me?  There's an "email" link on the top of my blog page that you can use to contact me.

    Information that would be very helpful to us would be the following:

    * which version of PowerPoint was used to create the file

    * which version of PowerPoint was used to edit the file at any point (either Windows or Mac)

    * whether you used any third-party software to edit the file at any point (again, either Windows or Mac, and knowing versions there would also be very helpful)

  19. tired of this says:

    Microsoft confirms Office SP2 can't read Win-created files

    What's the deal?

  20. tired - Did you post something similar to MacRumors?  If so, I posted a longer comment there in response to you.  Regardless, it's not true that Office:Mac 2008 can't open all files from Office 2007.

  21. BlackSmileFR says:

    "Thanks god,Finally an update for MS 2008 !

    Damm, cannot open my files anymore?!"


    that's why  I have defenitly quit MS office at first try of it when 2008 arrived on store.

Skip to main content