How to Use Word on Mac

September 22, 2023 641 views

We'll walk through downloading Word on your Mac, unlocking all its powerful features, and introducing two solid alternativeord, using WPS Writer and Pages, Word features, and differences between Mac and Windows versions.

s: WPS Writer and Pages. Follow our tips to make Word work seamlessly on Mac. You'll master the software and produce perfectly polished documents in no time.

Why Do You Need Word on a Mac?

A Word document is a digital file created through the Microsoft Word software. It is used to type, edit, format, and print text documents like letters, reports, articles, flyers, and more.

Microsoft Word is the most widely used word-processing program. It offers tools to create professional-looking documents for work, school, and personal use. With Word, you can format text, add graphics, tables, charts, customize layouts, review changes, and more.

Key Reasons to Use Word on a Mac

  • Word documents retain formatting across different operating systems and devices. This makes sharing and collaborating seamless.

  • Word for Mac has robust tools for drafting, editing, proofreading, automating tasks, and polishing documents.

  • Many offices and institutions rely on Word for creating and sharing documents. Using Word enables seamless collaboration.

  • The interface is intuitive, with handy templates and themes for quick formatting.

Alternatives like WPS Writer and Pages exist. But Word remains the standard for effortless cross-platform compatibility and professional document creation. With Word on your Mac, you can craft high-quality documents tailored to your needs.

How To Download WPS Writer On Mac?

WPS Writer is a free word-processing software for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. It is part of the WPS Office suite created by Kingsoft.

WPS Writer allows you to create professional documents like Word docs, reports, letters, resumes, etc. It is lightweight yet packed with helpful writing tools.

Here is how to download and install WPS Writer on a Mac:

Step 1: Go to the official WPS Office website and click the "Free Download" button. A file will start to download immediately.

Use word document on mac

Use word document on mac

Step 2: Once done, click on the WPS Writer .dmg file from the Downloads folder. Follow the on-screen instructions to install WPS Writer on your Mac.

Download word on mac

Download word on mac

And that's it! WPS Writer is now ready for use on your Mac. Its clean interface, smooth performance, and handy features make creating professional documents easy and fast.

My Experience Using WPS Writer

I have used WPS Writer for many years now. Here are some of its best features that I love:

  • The layout is clean and easy to navigate.

  • It has many free documents, letters, CVs, and more templates.

  • Styling text, paragraphs, and pages is straightforward.

  • Good compatibility - It can open and save .doc and .docx files flawlessly.

  • WPS Writer uses fewer system resources than heavyweight competitors.

  • I have never experienced lag, crashes, or bugs with WPS Writer.

How To Download Microsoft Word On Mac?

Microsoft Word is the most popular word-processing software developed by Microsoft. It allows users to type, edit, format, save, and print documents like letters, reports, articles, resumes, etc.

Follow these simple steps to get Word on your Mac:

Step 1: Go to the Microsoft Word product page and click "Buy Now."

how to use word on mac

how to use word on mac

Step 2: Choose a version of Word based on your usage - Home or Business.

Choose a version of Word based on your usage - Home or Business

Choose a version of Word based on your usage - Home or Business

Step 3: Pick a payment plan - monthly or annual subscription. Click "Buy Now."

Pick a payment plan - monthly or annual subscription

Pick a payment plan - monthly or annual subscription

Step 4: Sign in with your Microsoft account or create one.

Step 5: The installer file will download on your Mac. Double-click to install.

Step 6: Restart your Mac after the installation completes.

Microsoft Word is now ready to help you create professional documents effortlessly on a Mac. Your documents will stand out with its robust features and seamless Mac integration.

My Experience with Microsoft Word

I have used Word for over five years for academic papers, professional documents, creative writing, and more. Here are some standout features:

  • Word makes it easy to revise documents with track changes, comments, automatic proofing, etc.

  • Applying styles, themes, and page layouts is seamless in Word.

  • The ability to share, co-author, and simultaneously edit with others is beneficial.

  • Word maintains formatting across different OS and supports PDF, .odt, and .doc.

  • Adding charts, tables, SmartArt, and images is straightforward.

How to Use the Built-in Mac Pages?

Pages is a free word processor developed by Apple for macOS as part of its iWork suite. It allows you to create documents like letters, resumes, reports, and brochures quickly and easily.

How to Create and Edit Documents in Pages?

Here are the key steps to start writing your first document in Pages on a Mac:

  • Open Pages and select a template like a resume, letter, invoice, etc.

  • Customize the template by dragging in images and changing fonts and colors.

  • Start typing your text in the body placeholder area. Edit as required.

  • Make formatting tweaks like bulleting lists, highlighting text, and aligning paragraphs.

  • When done, export the document as .doc, .docx, .pdf or directly print.

Practical Tips for Using Pages on Mac

Based on my experience, these tips will boost your productivity in Pages:

  • Use keyboard shortcuts for frequent tasks like duplicating formatting text.

  • Customize the toolbar with your most-used tools and macros.

  • Enable auto-save and versions so you never lose progress on a document.

  • Use sections to divide long documents and format each part differently.

  • Import content from other apps like Word to repurpose old documents.

My Experience with Pages

I use Pages regularly on my Mac for primary documents. Here are some key features that I love:

  • There are tons of nice-looking templates for various papers and projects.

  • The clean interface makes it easy for novices to get started.

  • Flexible options to tweak templates by editing fonts, colors, and layouts.

  • Can share co-edit Pages docs with others in real time.

  • Easy to sync and switch between Pages on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

What Are The Differences Between Word On Mac And Word On Windows?

At their core, Word for Mac and Word for Windows offer the same excellent word processing capabilities. You can write, format, edit, and share documents seamlessly between the two.

Where they differ is their ecosystem integration. Word for Windows leverages Microsoft's proprietary technologies like ActiveX, Visual Basic, and deep SharePoint integration.

In contrast, Word for Mac focuses on Apple's platforms and services like iCloud, Photos, and Apple Pencil.

Key Differences:

  • Available only in Windows version since it's a Windows-only tech.

  • Windows has more robust freehand illustration tools.

  • The Windows version allows embedding fonts, but the Mac does not.

  • Windows has this feature to remove hidden data.

These limitations in the Mac version result from prioritizing native Apple user experience.

Choosing Between the Two

Most users will be well-served by Word for Mac. Only selecting advanced use cases like relying heavily on ActiveX or SharePoint would require the Windows version.

For the majority looking for easy Apple integration and a familiar Mac interface, Word for Mac is the best choice. It brings Word's trusted features to macOS without compromising usability.

So, the two versions differentiate not in core word processing but in ecosystem delivery. Word for Mac fulfills the needs of document creators on Apple devices, except for a few power users.

Practical Skills for Using Word on Mac

Microsoft Word is the world's most popular word-processing program, providing users with powerful tools for creating professional documents. While Word offers an intuitive interface, mastering its advanced features and functions takes time and practice.

Strong Word skills allow you to work more efficiently and maximize the software's capabilities.

Read on to boost your proficiency and productivity with Word on the Mac platform.

Formatting Text

Microsoft Word on Mac provides numerous tools for formatting text efficiently. Keyboard shortcuts like Command+B (bold), Command+I (italics), and Command+U (underline) expedite text styling. Font adjustments for type, size, color, and style can be easily made through the Font section in the Home tab.

Additionally, applying styling sets such as Heading 1 and 2 aids in creating a visually structured hierarchy for titles and headings.

Paragraph Formatting

In the Paragraph section of the Home tab, Mac users can fine-tune line spacing and alignment, giving precise control over text positioning and spacing.

Utilizing indentation options like bulleted lists, numbered lists, and multilevel lists enhances the organization of information within the document.

Furthermore, inserting page breaks and section breaks facilitates control over where pages and sections start and end.

Inserting Elements

The Insert tab in Word for Mac enables seamlessly adding tables, images, shapes, charts, and multimedia elements. This functionality is invaluable for creating visually appealing and informative documents.

Reviewing Documents

Effective collaboration and document review are simplified on Mac with features like track changes, comments, and readability statistics.

Track changes allow for collaborative editing, comments facilitate discussions within the document, and readability statistics offer insights for improving text clarity.

Formatting Pages

Mac users can select page layouts, adjust margins, choose page orientation, and specify columns through the Layout tab. This control over page layout ensures that text and elements are perfectly arranged.

Including stylistic elements like page borders and watermarks enhances the document's visual appeal.

Additionally, automatic page numbering and page breaks provide essential pagination control.

Templates and Styles

Mac users can take advantage of professionally designed templates for efficient document creation. Custom styles can be created and modified to maintain consistent headings, text, tables, and more formatting.

Printing and Sharing

Word on Mac allows for direct printing and PDF creation, making it easy to produce physical copies or digital versions for distribution. Users can email documents directly from the application or share them through cloud services, facilitating seamless digital collaboration.

Password protection and restrictions can be applied to sensitive files to ensure document security.

References and Indexing

Generating bibliographies and citations in styles like APA and MLA is straightforward on Word for Mac. The creation of an index aids readers in locating information by page number within lengthy documents.

Additionally, inserting footnotes and endnotes supplements the main text with additional commentary and sources.


Mac users can enhance document accessibility by adding alt text descriptions to images, benefiting visually impaired readers using screen readers. The Accessibility Checker helps identify and rectify potential issues, ensuring compliance with web content accessibility guidelines.

Furthermore, applying headings, color contrast and other formatting elements contributes to accessible design.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts is crucial for Mac users to boost efficiency in navigating and editing documents. Customizing the quick access toolbar with preferred commands provides easy access to frequently used functions.

Lastly, macros automate multi-step processes, saving time on routine document tasks.

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Can I Use Microsoft Word Offline On My Mac?

Yes, you can use Microsoft Word offline on a Mac. Word has offline capabilities allow you to view, edit, and create documents without an internet connection. Your changes will sync once your device is online again.

Is Microsoft Word For Mac Free?

No, Microsoft Word for Mac is not free. It requires a paid subscription to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) to access the full Word app and its features. There are limited free web-based versions of Word, but the full desktop app is only available through a subscription.


Word, WPS Writer, and Pages are all solid options for word processing on a Mac. While Word remains the most robust and widely used, WPS Writer offers a free alternative with good compatibility. Pages provide a native, seamless Apple experience. So, you need to consider your specific needs and compatibility requirements when choosing between these capable word processors for Mac.

Based on its capabilities and compatibility, I recommend WPS Writer as the best free alternative to MS Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. WPS Writer can handle all standard document creation and editing tasks. Its smooth performance, comprehensive format support, and availability across platforms make it an ideal free office suite for Mac users seeking a replacement for Microsoft Office tools.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.