Excel for Mac:
How to Get Microsoft Excel for Mac

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Microsoft Excel is arguably the number one spreadsheet software industry in the world, boasting powerful data visualization and analysis tools. As such, most people favor Microsoft Excel as opposed to Numbers, the default spreadsheet software for Mac. When compared to Excel, Mac's interface is not as user-friendly. It also works best for small businesses.

It's therefore no surprise that there is a rising demand for Microsoft Excel for Mac. As it stands, you can install the program to your Mac using different techniques. The main difference between these approaches mainly boils down to your personal preferences. Let's take a look.

Why you might want Excel on your Mac

Developed in 2007, Numbers came with its share of shortcomings. Generally, it is less efficient than Microsoft Excel, which was developed back in 1987. With decades of development backing it up, Excel has grown to become the preferred software for many businesses, while the more recently developed Numbers, is focused on small businesses or personal use.

The only advantage of using Numbers is that it does not lose its semantic values with functions being automatically performed. On the other hand, with Microsoft Excel, the functions have to be performed manually because it loses its semantic values. But that is the only disadvantage Excel has over Numbers. Here are some benefits of using Microsoft instead of Numbers.

  • More In-built functions – Numbers has 262 inbuilt functions divided into ten categories. This is far lower than Microsoft Excel's 400 inbuilt functions, which are separated into 11 categories.
  • Supports enormous data – Microsoft Excel is compatible with massive data sets which are used in MNC's and large corporations with its powerful analysis tools.
  • Different languages – Numbers officially supports 31 languages. In contrast, Microsoft Excel supports nearly triple that with 91 languages.
  • Easy-to-use – Excel has a concept of multiple tabs within a single spreadsheet that makes it easy to work on different tables. The function is not available in Numbers which makes work messy, having to open individual tables.
  • Data visualization – Microsoft Excel presents charts based on data plotting, whereas, in Numbers, charts are presented from an artistic point of view.

How to get Microsoft Excel on your Mac

You can install Microsoft Excel on your Mac by downloading Microsoft 365, which has a compatible version of Excel for Mac. You can download the software for either the Microsoft Store or the Apple store but a qualified Microsoft 365 subscription is required.

However, this process only limits you to Microsoft productivity tools, and you have to install third-party software (Microsoft 365) to access them. The good thing is, you can use virtualization software like Parallels Desktop for Mac to achieve the same result without having to use third-party software. Virtualization software enables you to install Windows operating system on your Mac without having to reboot.

Installing Microsoft Excel using Parallels

Parallels has a ton of benefits. For example, it allows you to use programs that were designed for Windows platforms, such as Microsoft Excel. Let's see how to get Microsoft Excel on your Mac using Parallels Desktop virtualization software.

  • Step one: Download and install the virtualization software from Parallels official website. If you don't want to buy one at first, you can start with the free trial download.
  • Step two: If you have a Windows ISO file already downloaded on your Mac, open Parallels Desktop. After creating an account or logging in, an Installation Assistant will pop up. That will guide you through the Windows installation process.
  • Step Three: After Windows installation, you can configure the Windows operating system environment according to what works for you best.
  • Step Four: Before installing Microsoft Excel, ensure that Windows is running perfectly. If you already downloaded the Excel setup, install it as you would on Windows and follow the prompts shared to avoid any issues.
  • Step Five: Once the installation process is complete, you can access Microsoft Excel by double-clicking its icon from the desktop shortcut/the Windows start menu.


Just because you are using a Mac doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself to its default Numbers spreadsheet software. Using the procedures given in this post, you can just as easily get Windows and the advanced Microsoft Excel along with it, without interfering with the normal workings of your computer.

Either way, whichever option you pick, either Microsoft 365 from the official store or virtualization software, you will have a superior spreadsheet software at your disposal.