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View Full Version : MS Office for Mac 2011 vs iWork




saintforlife
Nov 19, 2011, 03:37 AM
Which one do you use? Which is better and more user friendly? When you compare Pages, Numbers and Keynote to Word, Excel and PowerPoint do all three of them stack up well against the respective MS applications? Is the learning curve for iWork steep if you have never used it? Who has made a switch to iWork and been completely happy with it?



miles01110
Nov 19, 2011, 03:40 AM
iWork is probably more "user friendly" if all you need are basic documents and spreadsheets. Office is much better if you need as much of a guarantee of compatibility as one can expect with others using Office.

The learning curve for Office and iWork is not particularly steep for basic documents.

Ice-Cube
Nov 19, 2011, 03:51 AM
I use Pages and Keynote from iWork a lot for my work, however occasionally I would need to export them to ppt/doc for my colleagues to edit and that usually causes problem during the conversion. Other than that, really happy with iWork. Hope they launch a new version soon.

elpmas
Nov 19, 2011, 03:56 AM
I use Office, it cuts out the compatibility issue.

Risasi
Nov 19, 2011, 05:38 AM
I use a combination of Google Docs (multi-user collaboration is used in the office frequently) + LibreOffice, my only point being I don't think you should limit yourself to these two choice.

If you held a gun to my head I would choose MS Office...

molala
Nov 19, 2011, 07:38 AM
iWork for me. But it does get frustrating that I have to have to export to doc or xls or ppt for my Windows-using colleagues. Sometimes, I even have to open a powerpoint file again in Office and save as pptx otherwise they don't see some graphics.

glen e
Nov 19, 2011, 07:42 AM
I use keynote - on an ipad and an MBA, it's more robust and faster to create general business presentations.

For spreadsheets and docs though I use word and excel.

Big D 51
Nov 19, 2011, 07:49 AM
I use office.

Xikum
Nov 19, 2011, 08:07 AM
Office for me. Mainly because I need to submit documents for my university essays, and so compatibility is key.

pollaxe
Nov 19, 2011, 08:09 AM
Office for me, I had iWork on there but I was getting too many Excel spreadsheets from work that wouldn't open so I had to go with the alternative.

Abazigal
Nov 19, 2011, 08:18 AM
Office, as it is used very extensively in my workplace and I cannot risk the inconvenience of possible incompatibility issues.

That said, I am not very happy with office for mac, as it seems to have some memory management issues (eg: word has a tendency to hang when editing 50+ page documents, not sure what I pressed though, but closing it means all unsaved work is lost). Given an opportunity, I would probably jump ship to iworks right away.

Jordan9
Nov 19, 2011, 11:41 AM
I have both but use Microsoft Office for Mac the most. Not having to convert to .doc or .ppt is key, and knowing my teachers can open it and have a better chance of it opening fine is good.

tills24
Nov 19, 2011, 01:33 PM
Same as most, I use Office because of compatibility with Windows users. Between work and school, I need to be able to end .doc's. Although I really do like Google Docs. We use it a lot at work within my group, because we can share them with one another easily.

erasr
Nov 19, 2011, 02:28 PM
Pages and Keynote are TOTALLY doing my head in with their exporting to Word and PPT.

They don't convert well when I'm sending to my manager/colleagues.

Everything about the 'Duplicate' and not having a 'Save as' features is doing my head in arrrrrrghhh!! Rant.

Kendo
Nov 19, 2011, 02:31 PM
MS Office. It is also a very valuable skill if you work in a corporate environment to be an expert in MS Excel and PowerPoint. You get noticed a lot quicker than your peers.

johnhurley
Nov 19, 2011, 02:40 PM
It is also a very valuable skill if you work in a corporate environment to be an expert in MS Excel and PowerPoint.

That is right on target ... not sure about the getting noticed part though ( varies a lot probably ) that you followed it up with.

Kendo
Nov 19, 2011, 02:47 PM
That is right on target ... not sure about the getting noticed part though ( varies a lot probably ) that you followed it up with.

When you're the only individual on your team that knows how to do VLOOKUP and pivot tables, you'd be surprised how often your manager comes up to you. I pretty much now only handle special projects assigned to me by my manager and don't do the day to day peon stuff.

Being an expert in Excel is key in finance. So much so that as much as I love Apple products, I wouldn't waste my time trying to learn Numbers. I'd use that time to get better at Excel.

soulreaver99
Nov 19, 2011, 03:19 PM
I use Office for compatibility reasons like everyone else. I work with a lot of ROI excel spreadsheets and can't risk any formula glitches when jumping from one software program to another.

Troneas
Nov 19, 2011, 04:12 PM
office for compatibility and because that's what I've always used in Windows.

jmgregory1
Nov 19, 2011, 04:48 PM
Funny how so many people seem to talk about compatibility issues between iWork and Office. I agree that years ago there were issues, but frankly I've seen more issues with Office just not working. One example was a complex ppt presentation that my colleague couldn't get to run on Office. He sent me the file and I ran it perfectly with Keynote.

I've not had any colleagues mention issues with any exported iWork files I've sent them.

I also second the suggestion for using other options - as I'm constantly using Google Docs to collaborate with other office colleagues.

Hey Jude
Nov 19, 2011, 05:54 PM
I use Office 2004, so I shouldn't have voted in this poll. However, for what it is worth I use Office, and have zero experience with iWork.

Carry on.....;)

szolr
Nov 19, 2011, 05:58 PM
With Auto Save, Versions, full screen and stuff iWork is now a lot slicker. What I'd really like is for Office and iWork to use the same document formats-so all dock, xlsx and pptx. Then I'd probably switch back to iWork. But while there's compatibility issues, I'll stick with Office. I can save it in the default format and it'll open in Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows at university.

PlaceofDis
Nov 19, 2011, 06:09 PM
i typically use Office due to compatibility issues but i use iWork on my iPad when i'm on the go when needed.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 19, 2011, 06:27 PM
MS Office. One's designed for home use, one for work use. If I wanted a home use document editor, I'd use TextEdit.

Hexiii
Nov 20, 2011, 02:18 AM
Maybe I like iWork better on MacBook Air, because it can be maximized. The Office window is too small.

tanhm
Nov 20, 2011, 02:19 AM
iWork only without any issues:D

s1ns
Nov 20, 2011, 08:57 AM
for me personally. i personally i prefer MS office for content creation and content viewing i prefer the iWork because of the full screen feature on lion :)

Internaut
Nov 20, 2011, 09:11 AM
I write technical specifications at work so prefer MS Office. I'm sure iWork is nice (and very user friendly, as you'd expect) but if you're writing documents using customised styles, it has to be MS Office. I did try to cut costs by running Open Office at home. It's a superb package for free but but made a mess of the formatting of documents I'd written at work. I've also tried Google Docs and found it wanting.

That said, if you don't require things like automated heading numbering and styles (and a lot of common writing tasks don't), I'm sure any of the lower end packages, including iWork are absolutely fine.

convergent
Nov 20, 2011, 09:52 AM
Maybe I like iWork better on MacBook Air, because it can be maximized. The Office window is too small.

That should be coming soon with MS Office, based on their announcement right after Lion came out. They said it would be updated in a few months.

I have both iWork and MS Office 2011, and I have not really give iWork a serious look because I don't live in a vacuum and have to exchange documents collaboratively with coworkers who all use Office. When you are pushing things back and forth with markup and such... its not worth the hassle to use something different. Whenever I retire and don't have to deal with coworkers, I expect I'd be quite happy with iWork.

steventay
Oct 11, 2012, 12:16 AM
what about NeoOffice

http://www.neooffice.org

Agent-P
Oct 11, 2012, 01:01 AM
I use both. Office is for when I'm working with other people or I have to submit an electronic copy of an essay, and iWork for my own stuff or essays that need physical copies (damn these professors for still wanting printed out essays).

golf1410
Oct 11, 2012, 01:26 AM
I have both.

mr.bee
Oct 23, 2012, 05:00 PM
I try to use iwork as much as i can, pages and keynote do great, but no pivots in numbers is a vey big letdown.

Traverse
Apr 6, 2014, 09:33 PM
When you're the only individual on your team that knows how to do VLOOKUP and pivot tables, you'd be surprised how often your manager comes up to you. I pretty much now only handle special projects assigned to me by my manager and don't do the day to day peon stuff.

Being an expert in Excel is key in finance. So much so that as much as I love Apple products, I wouldn't waste my time trying to learn Numbers. I'd use that time to get better at Excel.

By the way, your comment cemented my decision for me a while back after weeks of research. I'm an accounting major so I already knew it, but due to my love of other Apple products I was considering trying to master both, but you are right. Why waste time when you can become am excel wizard.

Pivot tables, lookup, function comprehension...it is an incredibly useful skillset.

Macforcollege
Apr 7, 2014, 07:48 AM
I use iWork for my ipad and office on my Mac. They seem to work seamlessly together.

Scepticalscribe
Apr 7, 2014, 11:12 AM
I use Office for Mac; most of my work world uses Windows and they need to be able to access what I produce without any difficulty, hence Word is an absolute must for me.

jimboutilier
Apr 7, 2014, 02:21 PM
Which one do you use? Which is better and more user friendly? When you compare Pages, Numbers and Keynote to Word, Excel and PowerPoint do all three of them stack up well against the respective MS applications? Is the learning curve for iWork steep if you have never used it? Who has made a switch to iWork and been completely happy with it?

I have both on my machines but I use MS Office.

I've tried to like iWork numerous times and keep getting each new release in hopes I can rid myself of the last piece of MS software I use. While I'm not generally a fan of MS software, I find Office much more feature rich, capable, and easier to use. Not to mention the MS interoperability benefits.

Many years ago, Microsoft offered something called Works. It was cheap and did not interoperate well with Office, came bundled with many machines, and was ok for basic Word processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations etc but was fairly limited. Thats how I'd class iWork. Ok for small casual use but just doesn't cut it for larger more complex projects, particularly in business.

I keep hoping though!

themumu
Apr 7, 2014, 02:39 PM
The only reason to use iWork is if you are the only person who is going to look at documents you create. The stuff I make in Pages either never leaves my computer, or gets sent directly to the printer, so no one else every sees the editable files. If you're not like that, just get Office.

petvas
Apr 7, 2014, 02:46 PM
I use Office for work and iWork for private/home related stuff.
Office is much better in terms of functionality, but iWork is friendlier and integrates great with iCloud. Why not use both?

Naimfan
Apr 7, 2014, 02:49 PM
I have both on my machines but I use MS Office.

I've tried to like iWork numerous times and keep getting each new release in hopes I can rid myself of the last piece of MS software I use. While I'm not generally a fan of MS software, I find Office much more feature rich, capable, and easier to use. Not to mention the MS interoperability benefits.

Many years ago, Microsoft offered something called Works. It was cheap and did not interoperate well with Office, came bundled with many machines, and was ok for basic Word processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations etc but was fairly limited. Thats how I'd class iWork. Ok for small casual use but just doesn't cut it for larger more complex projects, particularly in business.

I keep hoping though!

I agree, though I think iWork is more capable/advanced than was MS Works.

For all its flaws, Office is still too widely used for iWork to be a viable general alternative, unless your work never leaves your computer.

flowrider
Apr 8, 2014, 12:15 AM
I've used the MS Office suite since it's release in '96.

Lou

jdechko
Apr 8, 2014, 02:22 AM
I use office more than iWork, but still not a whole lot. My resume was created in Word, and while the text remains in Pages, it's not perfect. All of the household finances (budget, allocated spending plan and cash flow plan) are all done in excel.

If I have a presentation, you can be sure that's going to be done in Keynote.

However, most of the time for writing, I'm just going to use Text Edit.

Micky Do
Apr 10, 2014, 04:28 AM
Office may be more feature laden, but iWork has all I need, and I find it easier to use. I have both installed for when I did use Office, but these days it is seldom anything but iWork

No problem opening Work documents with Pages. Interestingly, if I get Word documents with any Thai script it does not display with the version of Word i have on my computer. Open them in pages, and it is all there.

Exporting Pages documents in Word (or another) format, is easily done.

Compatibility between Numbers and Excel is not so good in my experience. For my own work I favour Numbers, which I find easier to use. If something comes to me as an Excel file that's how I do battle with it.

filmbuff
Apr 10, 2014, 11:51 AM
I only use iWork for work, school and personal. I will admit that Office would probably be easier because iWork still has some compatibility issues, especially when macros are involved, that make it hard to share documents. However, I'm stubborn and wanted to rebel against everything Microsoft after my last experience so I put up with the incompatibilities. :D

thejadedmonkey
Apr 10, 2014, 11:54 AM
iWorks is a glorified Notepad program. Office is a business platform. If you can "get by" with TextEdit in a pinch, iWorks is probably good enough. Otherwise Office is the de-facto standard for a reason.

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2014, 02:13 PM
iWorks is a glorified Notepad program. Office is a business platform. If you can "get by" with TextEdit in a pinch, iWorks is probably good enough. Otherwise Office is the de-facto standard for a reason.

This is total baloney.

nefan65
Apr 10, 2014, 02:34 PM
This is total baloney.

Ya, I was thinking the same thing. I've been using iWork in an enterprise setting for the last 4 years. The only thing I use Excel for is one spreadsheet that has a password on it, and Numbers doesn't like it. Beyond that, all documents are created in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. The latter is far superior [IMO] to PP. I've made some great presentations using Keynote.

It's not for everyone, but to say it's a glorified text editor is a tad askew.

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2014, 03:37 PM
Ya, I was thinking the same thing. I've been using iWork in an enterprise setting for the last 4 years. The only thing I use Excel for is one spreadsheet that has a password on it, and Numbers doesn't like it. Beyond that, all documents are created in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. The latter is far superior [IMO] to PP. I've made some great presentations using Keynote.

It's not for everyone, but to say it's a glorified text editor is a tad askew.

Granted the original question was posed in this thread before the downgraded iWork '13 was released (or escaped, more like) -- but I agree with you, comments that amount to "if you don't use Office you're not in a real business" are pure chauvinism. They have nothing to do with reality.

thejadedmonkey
Apr 10, 2014, 04:05 PM
This is total baloney.

I'm not saying "If you don't use Office you're not in a real business" but what part of "MS Office is the de-facto standard for a reason" is total baloney?

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2014, 04:12 PM
I'm not saying "If you don't use Office you're not in a real business" but what part of "MS Office is the de-facto standard for a reason" is total baloney?

Calling Office "the standard" is itself a meaningless statement, unless it is meant to imply that if you're in a business, Office is the only thing you could or should use.

Which is total baloney.

jdechko
Apr 10, 2014, 06:29 PM
I'm not saying "If you don't use Office you're not in a real business" but what part of "MS Office is the de-facto standard for a reason" is total baloney?

MS Office is the de-facto standard, but not for the reasons you mentioned. The install base across the enterprise is enormous. Not to mention that it's readily available on almost every major platform, unlike.

If "serious" cross-platform compatibility is required, then you either go with the standard or you get left behind. What's the old IT saying? No one ever got fired for deploying IBM? The same goes with Microsoft. No IT guy is going to get questioned for deploying a Microsoft stack.

If you are a home user, college student, or you run a small business, you can likely get away with iWork, not because of features, but because cross compatibility might not be a huge issue for you. In a traditional enterprise, it's going to be harder for both users and IT to manage. When you email a file to your boss and he can't open it, he's not going to care why.

Personally, they're all just tools in a toolbox for me. I'll pick the best one for the task. It's why I have iWork & Office, Pixelmator & Photoshop, and 2 CAD programs at my disposal. Same reason I have a couple of different saws, a few drills and a dozen screwdrivers in my hardware chest.

IJ Reilly
Apr 14, 2014, 04:24 PM
MS Office is the de-facto standard, but not for the reasons you mentioned. The install base across the enterprise is enormous. Not to mention that it's readily available on almost every major platform, unlike.

If "serious" cross-platform compatibility is required, then you either go with the standard or you get left behind. What's the old IT saying? No one ever got fired for deploying IBM? The same goes with Microsoft. No IT guy is going to get questioned for deploying a Microsoft stack.

If you are a home user, college student, or you run a small business, you can likely get away with iWork, not because of features, but because cross compatibility might not be a huge issue for you. In a traditional enterprise, it's going to be harder for both users and IT to manage. When you email a file to your boss and he can't open it, he's not going to care why.

Personally, they're all just tools in a toolbox for me. I'll pick the best one for the task. It's why I have iWork & Office, Pixelmator & Photoshop, and 2 CAD programs at my disposal. Same reason I have a couple of different saws, a few drills and a dozen screwdrivers in my hardware chest.

I "get away" with using iWork for my business because of its features, not in spite of them. I share lots of documents without problems. Compatibility is far less of an issue than is widely advertised. The choices made by timid IT managers is not a good reason to call something essential. If we really believed that, none of us would be using Macs, would we?

In any case, once you argue that a commercial product is a "standard" what you are really saying is that it's a kind of public utility, like gas or electricity. So maybe it should be regulated as such?

jdechko
Apr 14, 2014, 06:55 PM
IJ Reilly,

I didn't mean to insinuate that iWork was inferior to Office. It is great that we actually have options, and it's great that we are able to choose the software best suited to our needs. For some people, it's iWork and for some it's Office.

I think it depends on your priorities (and what set of features are included in your files). And iWork isn't exactly a shining example as of late. Specifically, I'm referring to the sh--storm caused by the most recent rewrite of iWork. It's a much bigger deal when a feature you rely on is removed or isn't there in the first place. Apple has promised users future updates, but that doesn't help people use the software now.

Aside from educated users making educated decisions, you have individuals insisting that Office is "essential". People like my mother, who insisted that she needed Microsoft Office on her iPad to work. To people like her, alternatives to office simply don't exist.

All in all, I consider Office to be the standard, not because it's the best or because it has the most features, or it's the easiest to use. I consider it the standard because it's just the most common (forced to use it at work, might as well use it at home). Plus, most alternative suites provide some sort of file compatibility with Office.

IJ Reilly
Apr 14, 2014, 10:29 PM
IJ Reilly,

I didn't mean to insinuate that iWork was inferior to Office. It is great that we actually have options, and it's great that we are able to choose the software best suited to our needs. For some people, it's iWork and for some it's Office.

I think it depends on your priorities (and what set of features are included in your files). And iWork isn't exactly a shining example as of late. Specifically, I'm referring to the sh--storm caused by the most recent rewrite of iWork. It's a much bigger deal when a feature you rely on is removed or isn't there in the first place. Apple has promised users future updates, but that doesn't help people use the software now.

Aside from educated users making educated decisions, you have individuals insisting that Office is "essential". People like my mother, who insisted that she needed Microsoft Office on her iPad to work. To people like her, alternatives to office simply don't exist.

All in all, I consider Office to be the standard, not because it's the best or because it has the most features, or it's the easiest to use. I consider it the standard because it's just the most common (forced to use it at work, might as well use it at home). Plus, most alternative suites provide some sort of file compatibility with Office.

I am always careful not to speak in terms of "standards" when it comes to software, if only because calling a commercial product a standard is to endorse a monopoly. People like your mother, I suppose, never hear about any other options they might consider. Nobody brings them the message they really don't have to be locked in to products they don't like or don't need just because other people use them. What they hears is, if you don't use Office, you might as well be on Mars.

As for the current version of iWork, you are right, sadly. Apple totally screwed it up, as far as I am concerned. As an early adopter of iWork, I feel betrayed, and have little hope that the features I find so compelling in the previous version will ever return. So I am hanging on to iWork '09 and hoping against hope. I sure don't want to be on that forced march to Office. I won't go voluntarily.

Sun-Warrior
Apr 15, 2014, 02:06 PM
I use MS Office for the Mac, and have for over 20 years.

While I use Excel and PowerPoint a lot, my work is mainly writing, and Word is the center of my work life. And it has one major big-time advantage that people don't mention too often. And that is, I can configure the keyboard shortcuts easily to do what I want. Since I'm spending so much time typing, I often prefer keyboard shortcuts than mousing, and this way those shortcuts follow my way of thinking.

Actually, I think while rare, one sign of good software (aka, apps) is that it adapts to your way of working, rather than forcing you to adapt to it.

In that light, I love Word.

Also, it's Auto-Correct function is a big time-saver in ways not normally used. Here's an example: Say I wrote about MacRumors all the time. Well, instead of typing out that full name, I could set up an Auto-Correct that changes "mrr" to "MacRumors."

In fact, I have tons of such Auto-Correct shortcuts for names of companies I write about regularly or even basic words like "internet" which I shortcut by simply typing "int" -- this is nice stuff for those of us who keyboard a lot.

So, I think MS Office is a lot better than many people give it credit.

Dave, who also uses VBA a lot for more complex shortcuts and then assigns them to the keyboard shortcuts of his choice, such as a VBA macro that removes embedded URLs from text he's copied from the web which he launches with Control-R

maflynn
Apr 16, 2014, 05:33 AM
Office all the way, iWork has less features, it makes working collaboratively harder and if someone like professors and teachers want a word document, exporting pages to Word can frequently change the layout which the student may not want.

As for Excel, and Numbers, there's an even greater divide, Excel is easier to manipulate large spreadsheets, entering formulas are easier and Excel has a higher number of available spreadsheets, not to mention pivot tables.

One thing the current version of iWork had as an advantage was the ability to edit a document/spreadsheet from the web, iPad and Mac. With Office for the iPad and OneDrive the user has this ability. Basically you get more power, better tools and using the industry standard application.