The feature roundup on Microsoft's Office Blog includes a brief video of developers talking about the new release, along with four primary features:
- A new Template Gallery "allows you to quickly and easily pick a template from the built-in designs to the thousands of templates online -allowing you to create a great-looking document right from the start."
- The new Outlook for Mac" includes a Conversation View to easily sort emails" and uses a new database format designed to support Spotlight search and Time Machine backups.
- A Vista-like Ribbon UI "designed as an evolution of the Office 2008 Elements Gallery," still retains the familiar Mac menu bar and Office toolbars, providing a hybrid UI that melds Windows and Mac features. The ribbon and toolbar can both be minimized "for more screen space or for the more advanced users who rely on keyboard shortcuts."
In April, AppleInsider profiled the then secret UI features of Office 2011 in Road to Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac: A New Hope, and outlined its new Exchange server and VBA features in May. Other reports in the Office 2011 series profiled its new icons and the fact that the new suite will still be 32-bit due to dependencies on Carbon.