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Old Jul 9, 2013, 06:59 PM   #1
antjefferson
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iWork or Office 2011?

Hey all - want some advice. I'm picking up my shiny new MBA this week (my first Mac, BTW!). I am trying to decide if I am going to also switch over to iWork rather than MS Office 2011 Mac.

FYI I get Office 2011 for $10 through my job - so if the difference between the two is primarily cost, then MS Office is actually cheaper for me.

What I am most curious about is whether there is any particular reason to go with iWork over MS Office (or vice versa) when using a MBA. Any difference in overall performance? I've heard that MS Word in particular really chomps away at CPU cycles - which I think is weird - is that true? Is Pages any better?

Also I will be using the MBA for work and all of the office documents that I will collaborate on will be with co-workers that use MS Office (2010 or 2013) - so what about compatibility? Would it be a safer bet to stick with MS Office? Or can I jump ship and go all in on the platform?!

Whadya think?
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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I think office is the way to go for compatibility and features. I like iWork and I like to use numbers but it lacks features/functions that Excel has. If you can get office for 10 bucks then go for it.
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
I think office is the way to go for compatibility and features. I like iWork and I like to use numbers but it lacks features/functions that Excel has. If you can get office for 10 bucks then go for it.
That is what I figured. Thanks for the advice.
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 07:33 PM   #4
GGJstudios
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I prefer MS Office for Mac, for maximum compatibility with Windows users. If you don't want MS Office for some reason, there are many alternatives, such as:iWork, NeoOffice, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Google Docs, etc. Searching the forum will reveal dozens of threads discussing these various alternatives and the pros and cons of each.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 01:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antjefferson View Post
Also I will be using the MBA for work and all of the office documents that I will collaborate on will be with co-workers that use MS Office (2010 or 2013) - so what about compatibility? Would it be a safer bet to stick with MS Office? Or can I jump ship and go all in on the platform?!

Whadya think?
Since you're sharing documents with windows users, Office is the way to go. If you need absolute compatibility, you can get both the Windows and Mac versions through the HUP and run the Windows version in a VM or bootcamp. This gets you MS Access which isn't in the Mac version.

If you use the Windows version of Outlook, you will be disappointed in the Mac version.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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I have access to both and IMHO they are best at different things:

iWork seems to have friendlier templates for general home/small office type stuff. Numbers is friendlier to use than Excel.

Office is of course aimed more at enterprise type stuff

For home use, I really like numbers.

I haven't tried it with excel spreadsheets but I suspect the experience will be rather "sub optimal"

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Originally Posted by glenthompson View Post
If you use the Windows version of Outlook, you will be disappointed in the Mac version.
Whilst I haven't used the Mac version of Outlook, its quite fortunate that the 2010 version of Exchange web access is actually pretty usable now, which should make outlook a little less important. It's still more responsive than the Outlook client in a number of situations (searching your stuff, for one).
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 03:00 AM   #7
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I have used Office for Mac on every Apple computer I have ever owned chiefly because the rest of the world (including every employer, or work environment I have ever worked in) uses Word, and I need it.

Quite simply, if you wish to work with others (as in have your work easily accessed - and possibly used by others), Word is indispensable. The rest of the world uses it, and, in order to be compatible with that, you need to have it. If you are working by yourself, answerable to no-one, and in a world where no-one (other than Mac users) need to see what you are doing, then, by all means use iWorks, which is very good indeed. (If you have the space to spare you can always use both.....)
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 06:14 AM   #8
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I use Office just because, it is good.

Now, for presentations I use Keynote because is awesome, and if I am going to create a PDF document I use Pages. That is as long I create those documents to be modified by myself because they are not compatible basically even they look better.

So, if you are into presentations Keynote is the best.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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I got Office 2011 as it's what is used at work. I also bought iWork to play around with the effects in Keynote and transfer docs to my iPad but Office gets the most mileage hands down.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 08:53 AM   #10
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Office 2011 is slow, sluggish, and comes with a bunch of apps you'll never use. Stick with iWorks suite. Polished, cheaper, and it just works.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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Does iWork still have a "trial version"?

If you can get Office for $10, that's a no-brainer. Get it.

But you might also like to try iWork out as well. That's why I suggested looking for a trial version.

I prefer Pages to MS Word, but I don't need Word for compatibility...
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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iWork potentially going free with OS X Mavericks

There has been speculation on blogs that Apple might consider making iWork free on OS X and their iOS version of iWork free too for the ipad and iphone.

Clearly the reason to do this is to make the iPad more than just a content consumption device and to drive extra sales of Apple's hardware.

If iWork goes free the most likely time is when Mavericks and iOS7 are released. They would be free to download from the app store and itunes.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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If I was in your shoes I would get office, however I would also get keynote from the Mac app store. But that's because I do a lot of presentations, and I find keynote superior to powerpoint.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cledet View Post
Stick with iWorks suite. Polished, cheaper, and it just works.
Except with you need compatibility with the 99% of the business world that uses Word.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 12:38 PM   #15
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I got Office 2011 through the $10 "home use" program at my employer and I put it on my wife's Mac mini. After installing, she could no longer use OpenOffice. It seems MS Office messed with fonts that were needed for OpenOffice. I reinstalled OpenOffice and both were working. Then there was activation. I went through activation and she only ever used Office when she received some document from our daughter's school that could only be opened in MS Office.

When her computer crashed, I "forgot" to put Office back on. She hasn't asked and I haven't bothered. We use LibreOffice and iWork but if the need to use MS ever did arise, I wouldn't look forward to "reactivating" Office for her since her machine crashed. Who knows, maybe it would be painless but activating it the first time wasn't completely painless so I can't imagine how a second go around could possibly improve.

If you absolutely need 100% compatability then go for Office. If not, why not use LibreOffice until you run across a real need for MS Office. I must admit LibreOffice is not as good, but free beats 10 bucks followed by dealing with software DRM.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 12:39 PM   #16
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I use Pages and Numbers daily with no loss of productivity, because of a MUST have feature that is only available on Word. I use Keynote at least once or twice a month for presentations and just cannot be happier with how easy it is.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 12:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadwalrus View Post
Except with you need compatibility with the 99% of the business world that uses Word.
iWork apps export to MS Office formats.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:04 AM   #18
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I far prefer writing in Word. I use Pages for drawings or sketch-ups. I find the layout view very intuitive. Sort of like a light version of PageMaker—although it's now getting hard to remember what PageMaker was like, so may not be the best comparison.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:09 PM   #19
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Printer Button question for Word 2011

I have Word for Mac 2011 and love it. The only issue I have and can't seem to understand how to fix, is why pressing the quick print button will not print in duplex mode. It is automatically set up to do so when i go to the File menu and select print.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Susan
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:16 PM   #20
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I have both iWork and Office on my macbook. And I rarely use iWork. They are great and all, but lack features. I use word's equation builder all the time, which pages lacks. Also in the long run, office is better for cross-platform compatibility, this way you are assured that it will look identical on a PC.

The way my files are formatted slightly change between iWork and Office.

Also, iWork for iCloud might be free. So getting MS Office would definitely be better than paying for something that you may be able to use in the future for free.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 11:09 AM   #21
deadwalrus
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Originally Posted by cledet View Post
iWork apps export to MS Office formats.
Yes, and sometimes it comes out screwed up - only you don't know it. Which is 100% unacceptable in the professional world. Which is why 100% of professionals use Word.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 12:38 PM   #22
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Which is why 100% of professionals use Word.
Sorry to burst your bubble but your statement is clearly over the top. Microsoft does not enjoy 100% market share with MS Word. There are plenty of other products that professionals use.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 01:25 PM   #23
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Well....

I use extensively Word and all the Office suit, in Mac and Windows enviroments. iWork not so much, so my opinion can be biased. In my case, Mac and Windows work transparently as glass. No concercing or tinkering about formatting or compatiblity. And yes, I can confirm Word eat up all you can throw in. But in my case, more RAM than computer power. In your case, you have the extra incentive of the price. Maybe I will suggest a RAM upgrade or maxing out, just in case....

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Old Jul 22, 2013, 02:00 PM   #24
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I have the same MS Office for $10 option at my work place. It's a great deal.

It made me laugh a bit when all of the older people paid the extra $10 to get the CD.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 07:44 AM   #25
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I can't imagine buying a single copy MS Office right now for over $100 when an Office 365 subscription is $99 a year and allows 5 installs along with iOS app use. A student subscription costs $79, lasts 4 years but only allows one install.

I have one of those $10 copies of Office 2011 lying around. I bought it through my employer's "home use" program and installed it for my wife and activated it. When her Mac mini crashed I never bothered to put it back and she hasn't asked since. In hindsight, it seems like a waste of ten bucks. It wasted resources on her machine and caused problems (erased fonts) which caused me to have to reinstall LibreOffice.

The only reason I bought it was to be able to open files sent by teachers who were so immersed in the MS ecosystem the files they sent couldn't be properly opened in iWork, LibreOffice, or GoogleDocs. I haven't run across such a situation in over 2 years now and that Office DVD sits unused on the bottom of a stack of disks. iWork and LibreOffice are more than adequate for our family "office" needs. The only tweak is I change all the default file formats in LibreOffice to save in MS format so that when we share files with others, they can open them on their Windows boxes without having to download and install anything. The ability to save in MS formats by default is the reason I use LibreOffice a lot more than I use iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote).
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