The best Mac desk, chair, decor, and peripherals for your home office

ultimatemachomeoffice

Like Apple Watches, home offices are “personal” — the look and furniture that work well for one person might not seem “right” to another. But the unified metal and glass aesthetic of Apple products works really well with modern office furniture, and there are also some iconic decor items Apple lovers can incorporate into a home office.

I spend a lot of time working from my home office, and have considered it a work in progress ever since I started building it around an aluminum PowerBook many years ago. Below, you’ll find a collection of items that will help you build a beautiful, practical home office that really spotlights your Apple gear, based on a mix of affordable and small investment-worthy choices…

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The Best Mac Accessories and Upgrades

Over the past six months, I’ve published quite a few tutorials to help Mac users improve the performance of older computers, as well as some great guides to the best Mac accessories across a variety of categories. Today, I’m tying them all together in this handy, one-stop roundup of the best Mac accessories and upgrades.

This guide walks you through everything: in one place, you can learn about the best Mac hard drives, RAM upgrades, docks, keyboards, trackpads, stands, bags, and travel accessories out there. And you can also get free apps to improve your Mac’s storage and responsiveness, find plain English explanations of your Mac’s technical specs, and learn about the little security screws Apple uses to tamper-proof its machines. There’s a lot inside, so you may want to bookmark this piece for future reference!…

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Microsoft brings its OneNote scanner to the iPhone with Office Lens

Microsoft is bringing its OneNote scanner app called Office Lens to the iPhone after first launching on Windows Phone a year ago. Office Lens is similar to other on-the-go scanner apps letting you use your iPhone camera to capture information from receipts, documents, and other information around you. Office Lens is different, however, because it’s connected directly with OneNote, Microsoft’s cloud-syncing notebook service.

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Back to the Mac: Microsoft releases redesigned Office for Mac 2016 Preview w/ Retina support, collaboration, more

PowerPoint 2016

Before today, the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for OS X came with Office for Mac 2011, a suite of productivity apps which you can tell from the name included dated software without many modern features Mac users expect. Office for Mac 2011 was actually first released in October 2010. A lot has changed since then.

Microsoft moved Office from a paid upgrade approach to a cloud subscription model, saw its CEO Steve Ballmer retire and buy a basketball team, appointed Satya Nadella as head of the company, and even released Office for iPad and iPhone.

For the Mac, though, the most capable versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel have only been available as Web apps—not native—until now. As promised, Microsoft is today releasing the public beta of Office for Mac 2016 including all new versions of the company’s go-to productivity apps. Read more

Microsoft OneNote for Mac adds OCR for scanning & copying text from images, full search coming soon

OneNote

OneNote, Microsoft’s cross-platform application for taking and organizing notes, received a useful update on the Mac adding support for OCR, or optical character recognition. OneNote version 15.7.1, which is rolling out on the Mac App Store now, adds the ability to scan images from OneDrive notebooks for text.

Once OneNote’s OCR system has ran, you can actually copy the text and save it to your notes just like if it were a editable text file from the start. Searching images for text is currently possible for new images added to OneDrive notebooks, but a future version will make text search possible on existing images as well.

The update also includes the ability to toggle viewing authors and closing the window without quitting the app. Microsoft also added support for iCloud Drive on its iOS versions of Office yesterday. Full release notes below:

Parallels Desktop 10 updated with support for Windows 10 and Microsoft Office previews

Windows 10 Tech Preview in Parallels Desktop 10 on Mac OS X Yosemite

Parallels announced this evening that its virtual machine software Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac has been updated with “experimental” support for the technical preview of Windows 10 from Microsoft. Users who want to take the latest version of Windows for a test run without overwriting their existing Boot Camp installation or creating a new partition can now do so safely and free within the confines of a VM.

The update also adds the ability to run the new preview version of Office for Windows 10, which includes updated versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Microsoft announced earlier this year that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for one year for any users running Windows 7 or later.

Parallels Desktop 10 is available from the Parallels website for $79.99. Special pricing is available for students and users running previous versions of Parallels and a free trial is available here. Press release follows: Read more

Microsoft adding Dropbox integration including syncing and sharing to Office for iOS

Office Dropbox iPad

Microsoft and Dropbox announced a new partnership between the two companies today and a commitment to bring integration between Dropbox and Office apps on iOS and Android. Currently Office users rely on local storage for saving files or Microsoft’s own OneDrive service for saving and syncing files, but the newly announced partnership will allow Office users to use the popular Dropbox service as an additional storage and syncing option and introduce new features between the productivity apps and syncing service. Read more

Microsoft redesigns Outlook for Mac, says new Office coming in 2015

Outlook for Mac 2014

Microsoft has today announced an updated version of its Outlook for Mac software with an updated design and performance improvements. The new version of email, calendar, and contacts app from Microsoft is available through the company’s Office 365 subscription service,  and Microsoft says it offers a more consistent experience with the iPhone and iPad versions.

In addition to releasing the new version of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft has shared that it will ship a new version of Office for Mac in 2015. An overhauled version of Office, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, will be available for Mac users as a public beta in the first half of 2015 while Microsoft is targeting the second half of 2015 for the commercial release. Read more

Microsoft releases Office for iPad update with PDF exporting, presenter view, third party fonts, more

Image: smallbiztrends.com

Image: smallbiztrends.com

Earlier this week Microsoft introduced an updated version of its OneNote app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and today new versions of its Office for iPad suite have been released. Version 1.1 of Office for iPad introduces a list of new features in the first major update to the tablet productivity apps. Included in the update is the ability to send files from Word and Excel as a PDF file, a new Presenter View for PowerPoint, and a list of several more features. Check below for the breakdown of new features for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word for iPad. Read more