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Old Feb 26, 2013, 09:08 AM   #1
npro1464
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Question on Office 2011

Hey guys,

I bought my 13" MBA this summer and love it. I've been getting by using iWork for spreadsheets. However recently I got accepted into Business School and they sent me literature about buying a PC and getting Microsoft Office. I have no problem buying Office, but I know from past experience that Office on Mac is just not the same as Office on Windows- using my Powerbook back when I was in College. I don't want it's limitations or quirks to hinder me- like if I send an Excel spreadsheet that looks like it will fit on one page on my computer to a professor and he opens it and it is not one page on his computer.

As I see it, my choices are:

Buy Office 2011 for Mac.

Put Windows on my MBA and to dual boot, and buy Office for the Windows side. (can you still do this?)

Buy a PC laptop off of Craigslist, hopefully one already with the latest version of Office installed on it.


Some Mac guys think Pages and Numbers work just as well. Some computer guys swear by the Windows version of Office. Anyone have experience with Office '11? Is it useable for college? Thanks!!!
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 09:11 AM   #2
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As you say, there are some limitations of Office 2011 compared to Office for windows. If you want to be on the safe side, get a windows VM and install Office.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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I have office 2011 for Mac and use it almost daily. It works well enough and generally is fine for MOST things. If you get a macro or an excel spreadsheet with VBS used, you' SOL. But otherwise it's basically the same. BUT The current version for PC is 2013 and that is not available on the Mac.

Don't create a partition for it, just get VMWare Fusion, or Parallels or the free vm software (forgot the name) and install windows in that and put Office in there. Then it is 100% the same as a PC; and since office isn't really demanding, it will run quite well.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 11:02 AM   #4
jlc1978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npro1464 View Post
Hey guys,

I bought my 13" MBA this summer and love it. I've been getting by using iWork for spreadsheets. However recently I got accepted into Business School and they sent me literature about buying a PC and getting Microsoft Office. I have no problem buying Office, but I know from past experience that Office on Mac is just not the same as Office on Windows- using my Powerbook back when I was in College. I don't want it's limitations or quirks to hinder me
The key need in B-school will be to exchange files with classmates on group projects and turn in work to professors. Unless you do some serious financial engineering you won't have any issues. For best compatibility run Office on Parallels, which also lets you run any Windows specific programs as well. Office Mac should work fine as well. I use it regularly at work with PC coworkers and rarely have an issue unless I do some real weird formatting.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:18 PM   #5
And1ss
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Since you are attending business school, I feel you're likely to be work on some excel intensive projects. I would recommend you install windows and buy office 2010/2013 rather than Parallels. Otherwise, Mac Office 2011 would work out fine for you.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:23 PM   #6
npro1464
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So if I get Parallels, then I just buy the PC version of Office, correct? And install it on there? Has anyone done this before with more experience?

Thanks so much!
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:39 PM   #7
takeshi74
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You'd have to buy Windows as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by npro1464 View Post
Has anyone done this before with more experience?
A lot of people have experience with Parallels (and Fusion, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by npro1464 View Post
Anyone have experience with Office '11? Is it useable for college?
That's a really vague question. Depends on specifically what you're doing in college. Even "Business School" doesn't really tell anyone enough to make such a call for you.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:46 PM   #8
talmy
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You need to buy Parallels and a copy of Windows (preferably Windows 7). It's easy to set up -- Parallels will guide you through the installation. You run parallels in a mode (they call "Coherence") that allows you to run the Windows applications directly from OS X on the OS X desktop. You can save files in the OS X file system as well. While I use Office for Mac, I do run lots of programs that are Windows only simultaneously with Mac applications and need this flexibility.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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I haven't had any significant compatibility issues with Office Mac 2011. I rarely exchange files with others but the few that I have we're fine. My spreadsheets aren't very complex but some have imbedded graphs, pivot tables, and complex functions and table lookups. They all worked fine when I moved over from a PC.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:56 PM   #10
jlc1978
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Originally Posted by npro1464 View Post
So if I get Parallels, then I just buy the PC version of Office, correct? And install it on there? Has anyone done this before with more experience?

Thanks so much!
Yes - it works fine. Mac Excel or the Windows version should be just fine. It's unlikely you will exceed the basic functionality of either in B-School.

As a side note, check to see if your school has a license agreement with MS before you buy either; if o you can get MS products at a discount. Parallels also has educational pricing.

I would also invest in Decimus Software's Sync Pro as well as Forever Save. Sync lets you sync your files real time to an external drive / USB / cloud to keep backups; Forever Save saves incrementally so you can go back to an earlier version if needed.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 06:16 PM   #11
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If your buying it, may I suggest Office 365 subscription to give you access to both the Mac office 2011 and Windows office 2013 editions.
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