Microsoft Office 2008

Works fine in 10.8

Works fine in 10.7

Microsoft Office 2008

Supports iCloud

Secured by Gatekeeper

Supports retina graphics

Microsoft Office 2008 icon

Available on the Mac App Store
Not available on the Mac App Store

The venerable office suite for Mac gets an "extreme makeover" for the new line of Intel-based Macs—all components are now in Universal Binary after an exceptionally long development process. However, the jump to Intel came at the expense of VBA macro support, which in itself was an unusual move; Microsoft defended its decision by stating that the VBA mechanism was running on archaic code and would have needed to be rewritten from the ground up. It backfired and, when coupled with the shift to Office Open XML as default format, resulted in the suite losing share to alternatives and extending a usually short support period of 5 years to 7 for its predecessor.

Version 12.3.0
Developer Microsoft
Status Works fine

0 ratings

  • The installer may not run correctly on Lion or later because of its dependence on PowerPC binary code. Fortunately, workarounds exist for this issue courtesy your favorite search bot.
  • After a new install on Lion, download and install Microsoft AutoUpdate 2.3.2 and all updates can be installed through the auto update application again:

Archived comments

No comments.26 comments

[ ]sega dude 30 Jun 2012 15:06

Clean install works fine. At least on 10.7.4. I've have done a clean install twice straight from the DVD right on line with no problems at all. The installer is not a PowerPC application, its a normal installer package and therefore works fine.

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[ patrick]patrickAnonymous 09 Nov 2012 02:57

Upgrade from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion and now Microsoft Word 2008 is having issues with bullet points, indentations, and bolding font. Also when I quit, an error message appears and says Microsoft Word failed unexpectedly. Definitely some problems here.

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Lion (10.7) Comments

[ James]JamesAnonymous 20 Jul 2011 10:02

I believe this program should work, however for Excel there are a couple of Power PC bits that may cause the program not to work properly. I'm confident that word, PowerPoint and entourage should work as they are all universally coded.

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[ James E]James EAnonymous 20 Jul 2011 18:01

"Microsoft Office 2008's latest version works fine, but the installer that's on my boxed set requires Rosetta, which is NOT compatible with Lion. So, you're fine when you upgrade, but not for a clean install!"

I guess since you would have to go through Snow Leopard anyway if you were performing a clean install, then you would want to install Office 2008 before you upgraded to Lion.

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[ fdtd]fdtdAnonymous 21 Jul 2011 10:26

cannot open password protected .docx files: word crashes or application stops responding.

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[ Blake M]Blake MAnonymous 21 Jul 2011 18:43

This is more an overall comment re: Lion because it happens in any text field, but I experienced it first in Word:

Cmd + Directional Key switches between desktops, instead of pushing cursor to the end/beginning of a line or up/down a paragraph. Annoying.

To Disable: System Preferences / Keyboard / Keyboard Shortcuts / Uncheck 'Move right a space' and 'Move left a space'

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[ Mike Bell]Mike BellAnonymous 21 Jul 2011 19:37

So, does this mean that if I had the MS Word Office suite installed and was using Snow Leopard, that it will still work if I upgrade to Lion. Apple won't give me a straight answer.

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[ Blake M]Blake MAnonymous 21 Jul 2011 19:59

Re: Mike Bell

Yes it will work. The issue is with newly installing MS Office on Lion only.

I just upgraded from 10.6 to 10.7 this morning, I had a previously installed version of MS Office 2008, and it works fine.

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[ J Henri]J HenriAnonymous 21 Jul 2011 23:26

strange, I was able to reinstall it without a problem using the DVD. The one issue regarding Rosetta I did run into involved the auto updater. When running the auto updater for the first time, it detected there was an update to the actual auto updater (not word, excel, etc). That failed to install so I went searching for a manual update, which turns out to require Rosetta. So I just found and downloaded all the incremental updates to Office 2008 and ignored the auto updater and (so far) everything works normally.

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[ SJ Sutton]SJ SuttonAnonymous 22 Jul 2011 14:37

After upgrading to Lion, there is no longer any search functionality in Entourage 2008. Nor does any entourage items result in Lion's Spotlight search.
Verified and rebuilt database, but did nothing. Made sure Entrourage 2008 prefs are set correctly to extend items to Spotlight - still nothing.
If searching is important within Entourage, don't upgrade to 10.7.

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[ Rudy veiga]Rudy veigaAnonymous 22 Jul 2011 15:27

So office 2008 will run fine if it is already downloaded except for entourage and excel right? Just the installer and auto update have issues?

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[ tatiyah]tatiyahAnonymous 22 Jul 2011 16:00

So, if I have microsoft office already installed on my snow leopard, will it work when I upgrade to Os Lion?

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[ MartyH]MartyHAnonymous 22 Jul 2011 20:43

I haven't had any problems with Word, Excel, or Powerpoint yet. I don't use Entourage.

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[ J Henri]J HenriAnonymous 23 Jul 2011 00:10

I had no problems with the DVD's installer, just the auto updater so I applied the updates manually.

Ah, sorry forgot to mention I couldn't comment on Entourage since I do not have it installed.

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[ Tod Pleasant]Tod PleasantAnonymous 23 Jul 2011 05:38

I had no problem installing and auto updating Office 2008 on a new Lion equipped Air. The three principle Apps seem to work fine. I skipped both Entourage and MS Messenger.

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[ Matt]MattAnonymous 23 Jul 2011 17:13

I think you're fine if you have 12.1 or later, or possibly it's 12.2. So depending on the version you have on your installation media, you may or may not have a problem with installation.

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[ Gregg W]Gregg WAnonymous 25 Jul 2011 18:11

You don't need Snow Leopard installed to install Lion. And as long as you have a clone of your system, you can drag and drop the Office 2008 folder from your SN Application folder to your Lion Application folder.

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[ ]Irdane 27 Jul 2011 10:03

After a new install on Lion, download and install Microsoft AutoUpdate 2.3.2 and all updates can be installed through the auto update application again:

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[ EthanV]EthanVEthanV 02 Aug 2011 22:27

I have been using Word 2008, Excel 2008 and PowerPoint 2008 for five days on Lion with many files I created on Snow Leopard and have had no problems. I have also created new files with no problem.

I don't use Microsoft Entourage.

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[ ]hhtjo 07 Aug 2011 10:07

so if i wanna do a clean install of lion i cant install office 2008?

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[ doug]dougAnonymous 17 Aug 2011 21:58

I can't get past the Microsoft Office Setup Assistant when trying to install Office 2008 on Lion (upgraded from 10.6). All office applications open directly to it after the install and it immediately crashes.

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[ Gina]GinaAnonymous 27 Aug 2011 05:11

I am having the same issue with Office 2008. I actually copied the hard drive using migration assistant from my old laptop to new and now I can't get past the Microsoft Setup Assistant either.

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[ Tk]TkAnonymous 31 Aug 2011 09:15

Do password protected .doc files work?

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[ user]userAnonymous 26 Sep 2011 20:56

The disk for 12.0 worked fine on my MacBook (Mid2007), which I clean installed Lion on.

For Snow Leopard, the installer required Rosetta, but for Lion, it worked the same without asking to install rosetta.

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[ Michael Wenyon]Michael WenyonAnonymous 09 Oct 2011 21:31

I migrated to a Snow Leopard MacPro to a Lion 10.1 Mac Mini (2011). Could not get past Microsoft Office Setup assistant, as described above.

First, reinstalled Mac Office 2008 to v12.0.0 from disk image of the original CD, which eventually launched without seeing Setup Assistant. But failed to apply first essential update to 12.1.0, because installer said my hard drive did not contain the necessary software. This is a known problem to Microsoft, and the solution I found was detailed on this page:

Basically, required an *almost* complete uninstall of Office 2008. Here is the bit that actually worked:

To remove and reinstall Office 2008 for Mac:
1. Quit all running applications.
2. On the Go menu, click Applications.
3. Drag Microsoft Office 2008 to the Trash.
4. On the Go menu, click Home.
5. Open Library.
Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

6. Open Preferences.
7. Open Microsoft, and then Office 2008.
8. Drag Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist to the Trash.
9. On the Apple menu, click Restart.
10. Reinstall Office 2008 for Mac.

To remove and reinstall Office for Mac 2011:

1. Quit all running applications.
2. On the Go menu, click Applications.
3. Drag Microsoft Office 2011 to the Trash.
4. On the Go menu, click Home.
5. Open Library.
Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

6. Open Preferences, and then drag the Microsoft folder to the Trash.
7. On the Apple menu, click Restart.
8. Reinstall Office for Mac 2011.

After doing that, I reinstalled Mac Office 2008 v 12.0.0, then successfully could apply the v12.1.0 update that Microsoft Updater demanded (although I used a downloaded disk image of the updater). Next, Updater demanded update to 12.3.1 (dated 9/13/2011), which I manually downloaded and applied. As I write, this seems to have worked: I can launch Word without any messages to either update or from the Assistant.

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[ Michael Wenyon]Michael WenyonAnonymous 09 Oct 2011 21:33

Sorry, that should be FROM a Snow Leopard Mac Pro, TO a Lion 10.7.1 Mac Mini

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