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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 20 July 2015

CrashPlan 4.3 -- Code42 Software has released CrashPlan 4.3 with added support for installing the Internet backup software on a per-user basis, which is ideal for backing up data for multiple users who log in to the same computer (such as in multi-user desktop environments). Each installation behaves as a separate device with its own settings, license, and backup archive, and it is recommended for advanced users only (see this support document for more details). CrashPlan 4.3 now uses dynamic port selection when connecting to the Code42 cloud and computer destinations, fixes a bug that prevented restoration of a file that contained an apostrophe in the filename, and corrects an issue that prevented the critical backup alert email (sent after 7 days by default) from being sent in some instances. There is a known issue that requires those running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard to update to version 4.2 from a previous version before updating to the latest version 4.3. (Free with a 30-day trial of CrashPlan’s online backup service, 55.9 MB, release notes, 10.6+)

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DEVONthink/DEVONnote 2.8.6 -- DEVONtechnologies has updated all three editions of DEVONthink (Personal, Pro, and Pro Office) and DEVONnote to version 2.8.6 with support for the public beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan (see “Apple Opens Public Betas of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9,” 13 July 2015). All four apps also enable you to drag Calendar events into RTF documents to create a back link to the appointment, use the name of the top group as a placeholder in templates, improve naming of duplicated documents with a filename extension in their name, and update the French and German localizations.

The three editions of DEVONthink now support images referenced in Markdown documents (with keywords imported from Bookends references converted to RTF properties), preserve the appearance of PDF text annotations created by other applications (including borders and background color), and improve HTML-to-text conversion. The Pro Office and Professional editions no longer support the creation of databases in iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive folders or inside other databases. (All updates are free. DEVONthink Pro Office, $149.95 new, release notes; DEVONthink Professional, $79.95 new, release notes; DEVONthink Personal, $49.95 new, release notes; DEVONnote, $24.95 new, release notes; 25 percent discount for TidBITS members on all editions of DEVONthink and DEVONnote. 10.7.5+)

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Office 2016 for Mac -- Microsoft has officially launched Office 2016 for Mac after offering a free public preview for the last several months (see Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s overview, “Microsoft Releases Public Preview of Office 2016 for Mac,” 6 March 2015). However, the latest version of Office is currently available only for Office 365 subscribers, with a one-time purchase option promised for September 2015. The lineup of Office 2016 is a familiar one, with stalwarts Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook now joined by the OneNote digital notebook (though it is still available as a standalone free app from the Mac App Store). As Julio noted in his review of the public preview:

With this update, Office for Mac has an appearance that is more consistent with other versions, including its iOS brethren. The control-laden Ribbon, for instance, looks similar from device to device. Other features shared by the Office apps include a full-screen view and what Microsoft calls “little Mac affordances like scroll bounce.”

Word gets a new Design tab for applying new “designer-quality” layouts, colors and fonts, and the app enables multiple users to edit documents simultaneously while using threaded comments next to corresponding text. Excel’s keyboard shortcuts are now consistent across Mac and Windows versions, and a new PivotTable Slicers feature helps you filter large volumes of data and discover patterns. PowerPoint receives an improved Presenter View, which provides views of the current slide, next slide, speaker notes, and a timer, as well as a new animation pane. Outlook improves its conversation view to automatically organize the inbox around threaded conversations.

If you’re ready to give Office 2016 for Mac a try, you can still do so for free with a 1-month trial (and if you already have Office 2011 for Mac, you can run Office 2011 and Office 2016 side-by-side). When the trial ends, the subscription rates cost $6.99 per month ($69.99 annually) for the single-license Personal edition, or $9.99 per month ($99.99 annually) for the Home edition, which allows up to five installations on either Mac or Windows systems. (Requires Office 365 subscription, $6.99/$9.99 monthly subscription, release notes, 10.10+)

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