When Microsoft released Office 2016 for Mac, I jumped on it immediately.  I wish I didn't have a dependency of any kind of Office, but I still use Excel primarily because it's what I used all the way through business school. The other apps, PowerPoint and Word, are just there to use when people send me documents via email.

While it was nice that Office 2016 finally supported my MacBook Pro's Retina display, the downside was that Microsoft probably released the Office suite 3 months too early. Or more probably they weren't paying attention to Apple's development cycle, because right after release both Office 2016 and Office 2011 experienced more spinning beachballs, freezes and crashes than I had seen in over a decade.  It was pretty bad, and a slew of near-weekly updates started coming out to address the issues.

The last round of updates just came out, and they seem to make Office 2016 much more stable, and even a bit faster launching.  I highly recommend downloading and installing the updates right now.  

How do you update Microsoft Office 2016 or 2011 on a Mac?

  1. Run any of the Office applications
  2. Then select the Help menu at the top of the screen
  3. Select Check for Updates from the pull-down menu
  4. Once Office finds the updates, quit all your Office apps, run the updates and then reboot.

Things should run much better after the updates.  That said, keep saving changes, and I recommend updating your autosave preferences to 1) make sure they're on and 2) adjust for the number of minutes you're OK potentially losing work in the event of an Office panic-attack (aka crash).  Go to your application menu (e.g. Excel, Work, etc.) and select Preferences, then select Save:

Then make sure your Autosave is turned on, and the number of minutes is adjusted to your preference: