Microsoft patches, updates Mac Office

Fixes multiple flaws in Excel, Word and Entourage

Microsoft this week updated its Mac business suites, Office 2008 and Office 2004, to patch several security bugs and add other enhancements.

Office 2008 12.1.2 quashed five flaws in Excel, the bundle's spreadsheet, to match similar fixes applied to Windows versions of the application that Microsoft also issued Tuesday. Four of the five, meanwhile, were patched in Office 2004's Excel.

Microsoft also boosted the start-up speed of Word, added several reliability fixes to Excel and dealt with bugs users had reported when synchronizing Entourage, the suite's e-mail client, to Apple's iCal and Address. Previously, for instance, items in Entourage or iCal were being duplicated during a sync.

The 160MB update also fixed a flaw that had turned table text to boldface in Word; blocked users from opening Excel chart files, which are in the .xlc format, because of a possible security risk; and addressed a problem with recurring events in Entourage. Microsoft detailed all the changes in a support document posted Tuesday.

At the same time, Microsoft also updated Office 2004 for Mac with a much smaller 15MB patch that took care of the Excel security vulnerabilities and fixed a bug that caused Word to crash when documents with numbered lists were opened.

Both updates can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's Mac site, or accessed using the Help/Check for Updates command in any of the suites' applications.

The last time Microsoft updated the Mac versions of Office was in late June, when it rolled out 12.1.1 for Office 2008 and 11.1.1 for Office 2004. The latter included long-awaited Open XML file converters users needed to open and save the XML-based files generated by Office 2008 for Mac and Office 2007 on Windows.

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