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View Full Version : iWork 09 vs Office 2011 on MBA




Sith Vol
Nov 24, 2011, 08:37 PM
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Just got my MBA thanks to the awesome deal that BestBuy had yesterday. I have a question. I'm a long time Windows user and have always used Office with every PC I've owned. I am really wanting to continue using Office and purchase 2011 for my Air, but I've read some bad reviews on Amazon about it so I'm kinda skeptical about getting it. I have a friend who has iWork 09 and it seems to be pretty good. I like how I can save Keynote and Pages documents in .doc and .ppt.

So do you Office 2011 users have a lot of problems with the programs? I'm not worried about Excel, but I use Word and PowerPoint a lot for school.

Also, if my friend were to give me his iWork disc could I install it on my MBA or would I need to purchase a new copy?

Thanks guys.



alust2013
Nov 24, 2011, 08:42 PM
I have office 2011, and I have yet to have an issue with it. I have had compatibility issues between word and pages even with the .doc files from pages though

newdeal
Nov 24, 2011, 08:42 PM
I find office 2011 quite good. Even though iWork will save in office file type there are some compatability issues between iWork and office and I would just use Office if you need the files to work equally well on mac and pc

Neolithium
Nov 24, 2011, 08:43 PM
I personally find iWork better than Office for Mac. Some people undoubtedly have experienced compatibility issues, but that hasn't been an issue for me, so you may need to consider if you have extensive documents or some crazy setups for excel or power points which may present the possible issue to you.

I did use the Office trial, and found it to be more reliable than the last release, but since I caught a deal on iWork I moved over and haven't regretted it in the least. I'm not sure if the disc will work for you, either way you'd need the licensing. I'd actually suggest just grabbing it for yourself through the App Store.

TheRealDamager
Nov 24, 2011, 08:51 PM
My take - if you are working independantly, iWork is very well done and inexpensive. If you need to do a lot of exchanging documents with others using Office on either the Mac or Windows, then Office 2011 makes a lot of sense.

Sith Vol
Nov 24, 2011, 09:07 PM
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I'll probably either download on App Store then. I didn't know it was available there. Thanks!

Neolithium
Nov 24, 2011, 09:12 PM
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I'll probably either download on App Store then. I didn't know it was available there. Thanks!

No problem. I actually do like the way Apple split it up to be able to buy each of the apps independently instead of grabbing the whole suite. Figured I'd share in case you didn't know! :D

aristobrat
Nov 24, 2011, 09:22 PM
My take - if you are working independantly, iWork is very well done and inexpensive. If you need to do a lot of exchanging documents with others using Office on either the Mac or Windows, then Office 2011 makes a lot of sense.
Based on my experience, that's exactly my advice as well. :)

Sith Vol
Nov 24, 2011, 09:35 PM
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As long as I can export my documents and presentations in .doc and .ppt then I'm fine. My school is basically all MS when it comes to electronically submitting papers and I really need the format. I'll just purchase Pages and Keynote.

Internaut
Nov 25, 2011, 02:13 AM
A lot depends on what you do. If your documents tend to be simple in structure (i.e. letters, essays or even the novel you're writing) then iWork, Google Docs and Open Office will all work perfectly well. Anything more more complex, where you need to exchange documents with other Office users, then it has to be MS Office IMHO.

The only annoyances I have with Office on a MacBook are lack of compatibility with Lion's features and the poor full screen mode. If I'm using Word intensively, this is the only time I set the dock to auto hide.

TheJing
Nov 25, 2011, 05:19 AM
I use Office on both my Air and Pro and I've never had a single problem. Everything is as good as in Windows.

newdeal
Nov 25, 2011, 07:57 AM
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As long as I can export my documents and presentations in .doc and .ppt then I'm fine. My school is basically all MS when it comes to electronically submitting papers and I really need the format. I'll just purchase Pages and Keynote.

This is a bad idea. If you need an Office format then use Office. Pages is not totally compatable with office formatting and you will cause a ton of headaches by trying to use it instead of going with office

Coarseman
Nov 25, 2011, 07:33 PM
So do you Office 2011 users have a lot of problems with the programs? I'm not worried about Excel, but I use Word and PowerPoint a lot for school.

Office 2011 all the way!

No problems whatsoever...

xraydoc
Nov 27, 2011, 05:45 PM
For me:

Word 2011 > Pages '09
Keynote '09 >> PowerPoint 2011

ecib
Nov 27, 2011, 06:42 PM
Might be worth checking out Open Office since it's free:

http://www.openoffice.org/

I was in the same boat as you. I downloaded it to check it out, thinking I would eventually run into compatibility issues. 8 months later I never did.

PittAir
Nov 27, 2011, 07:00 PM
Office 11. There is no need for a Windows machine ever again for 99% of what I do.

Openoffice is nice, and free, if you want to go that route as well.

SDColorado
Nov 27, 2011, 07:07 PM
I actually have both on my computers. iWork because I wan't to and Office because I need to.

As others have said, it all depends on what you need to accomplish. I purchased iWork for the last few versions as I really preferred it to Office, but a couple of weeks ago I broke down and purchased Office '11 as I have to deal with many .docx and .pptx Office documents sent to me by others. Trying to open them in Pages and Keynote was resulting in too many compatibility issues. If it wasn't for that, I would have happily continued on with iWork alone.

johnhurley
Nov 27, 2011, 07:14 PM
So do you Office 2011 users have a lot of problems with the programs? I'm not worried about Excel, but I use Word and PowerPoint a lot for school.

So far Office 2011 on my new 2011 mba 13 is working fine. Excel I really use very infrequently but word and powerpoint seem clean and fast on mac os x.

Scepticalscribe
Nov 27, 2011, 07:21 PM
I use Office on my MBA and have never had a problem. My work world is almost completely Office based, and I communicate with Office users, and need to prepare and receive material from them. Therefore, I don't want to have to even think about compatibility issues, hence I first got Office for my MBP over nearly four years ago and have never had any problem.

As many other posters have already pointed out, if your work environment requires that you use (or prepare documents compatible with) the world of Word, then get Office. iWork is excellent, but it is not what most of the work world uses, or is used to.

Cheers

Seasought
Nov 27, 2011, 08:02 PM
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...
I'm not worried about Excel, but I use Word and PowerPoint a lot for school.

Since you're going to be using it for school, I would suggest going with Office. I encountered a similar choice and, based on previous experience using other word processing programs during school, I ran into some minor formatting issues that weren't a huge deal, but it still affected the work I was creating when viewed by profs using Word in Windows.

Maybe things are better now, but I just play it safe and don't risk it by sticking with Word for homework-related items. Otherwise I'd venture out a bit more. :)

jsgreen
Nov 27, 2011, 10:07 PM
office 2011 is pretty good, I use both iWork and Office 2011 and I have to say MSFT did a good job with Office 2011.

MacMall has Office 2011 on sale for $79 right now - that's a good deal IMO.

cluthz
Nov 27, 2011, 10:17 PM
Office for mac is good, unless you need equations and statistics and other scripts depending on VBA.
Office 2004 of mac is the last version to support VBA so i have to have both 2004 and 2011 on my mac.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 27, 2011, 10:25 PM
I can't add a lot more than what others have already contributed, but Office for Mac 2011 is a very good product. Bloated in places, to be sure, but it is rock-steady and very robust.

I've also got current versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. I have numerous issues transferring all but basic PPTX and DOCX files over to Keynote and Pages and back again. Mainly formatting and font-related issues, but animations and design elements (esp tables with a lot of formatting) go nuts between the two.

If you work in a stand-alone mode, the Apple apps are more than sufficient, but they are more like the old "Microsoft Works" app than a real substitute for full blown Office for Mac.

Ultimately, it really depends on your workgroup and your specific needs.

Sith Vol
Nov 27, 2011, 11:21 PM
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All those Amazon reviews scared me to death. I guess those are "fake" reviews to get people to not buy Office 2011. Caused me to miss out on a $69.99 deal with Amazon.

parapup
Nov 27, 2011, 11:27 PM
Office 2011 is a great product - I use it heavily on Snow Leopard for day to day work - never failed me. (I don't use Outlook though - just Word/Excel/PPT.)

kdum8
Dec 8, 2011, 11:23 PM
Office 2004 of mac is the last version to support VBA so i have to have both 2004 and 2011 on my mac.

Are you sure about this? I read somewhere that VBA had been added back in Office '11..

Xikum
Dec 9, 2011, 06:01 AM
My take - if you are working independantly, iWork is very well done and inexpensive. If you need to do a lot of exchanging documents with others using Office on either the Mac or Windows, then Office 2011 makes a lot of sense.

This is the advice you should listen to.

Use Office if you are going to be sending work for marking/etc. Its better to have no compatibility issues than some (e.g. formatting, fonts, etc can cause problems).

Zendokan
Dec 9, 2011, 08:54 AM
OpenOffice.org

I've always used the Windows version of it's great and free.
the only problem is that it can only open docX, xlsX, pptX formats, but once you change something in them it will save them as normal doc, xlx en ppt's.
So you lose some of the "extentionX" formatting.

The worst thing is again that "extensionX" isn't a standard and not supported.
Today at companies the official standard is still "normal extension". Employees should save any type of document under the normal extension and not "extensionX", unfortunally the "extensionX" version stands standard as the save to format.

If word and powerpoint are your main formats, OOO writer and OOO Impress will do the trick and is free. If it's docx and pptx, then you can only go to MS Office 11...or you bootcamp Windows and use Office 2007 and 2010 if you already have them.

I use iWork (and OpenOffice.Org) on my iMac because I have also got iWork on my iPad and iPhone.

Zendokan
Dec 21, 2011, 05:43 AM
Small update of my previous post:

I replaced OpenOffice.Org with LibreOffice 3.4.4 (rock solid stable version), it's a fork of OOO, which also supports the formatX standard (MS Open XML) of Microsoft.

Works like a charm: texteditor, spreadsheet, presentation, WYSIWYG editor, and database for the full price of $/0.00

jmgregory1
Dec 21, 2011, 07:51 AM
I've seen more issues with Office for Mac being compatible with itself - Mac or PC. My co-worker uses Office and seems to have more issues with formatting than I do using iWork.