iWork or MS Office?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crazydrumma, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. crazydrumma macrumors regular

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    #1
    I am going to college next year, and I need some advice. As for school, I will be typing papers, surfing the internet, and all that. Do I really need Microsoft Office, or does iWork do the same thing? I just don't see any sense in paying $100 more to add to my bill with the MBP to get MS Office if iWork is just as good. Thanks all.
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #2
  3. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #3
    MS Office all the way, it is made for wording (text), while iWork is more of giving at templates (themes) to make a nice looking newsletter, etc.

    I'm sure your College would sell Office for a reduced price. Go and find out. I know my uni sells it for about the same price of iWork.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    This is a highly inaccurate characterization of iWork. As previously mentioned, look up some of the many threads on iWork vs. Office. All will be revealed.
     
  5. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

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    #5
    iWork is great for presentations.

    However, I think you should pick Office over iWork. Office for Mac is a pretty good suite. Word is of course very nice. Also remember that Mac users put together office for Mac, so it is done pretty nicely. I like it.
     
  6. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

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    #6
    Initially I did not like iWork and didn't use it for about the first 6 months that I owned it. This is because it was like switching to Mac. At first you expect everything to be the Windows way, and then you realize the Windows way is not always better. When I switched to Pages I expected it to look and act like Word. Then I realized that Pages did more of what I wanted, once I got used to it. Autoformat in Word makes me want to cry sometimes because it is soooo studpid. Lets say I'm making a bibliography and I need the second line indented but not the first, Word automatically indents both, even when you have ALL autoformat things turned off. With Pages I'm able to control all the minute details such as the spacing between letters and such. Plus Pages is much nicer about moving around objects. If you actually try to get used to Pages, it's nice. I now no longer use Office since I feel it is often too bloated. My two cents.
     
  7. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

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    #7
    If you want to use a professional bibliographic/reference management software like EndNote-- and some students do-- you'll probably want Word for its tight integration with EndNote. The Cite-While-You-Write autoformatting functionality can be quite impressive.

    Also, while I don't use it myself (I did the free trial, but I don't own it), many Mac users rave about using Bookends (an EndNote alternative) with another word processor, Mellel (which I also don't use), though Bookends also works with Word.

    As far as I know, neither EndNote nor Bookends works with Pages. But, this sort of software is not necessary for everyone, I'm mentioning this just in case.
     
  8. in2themystik2 macrumors member

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    #8
    I'm no expert, but Microsoft office has been used for many things through college and I have used it on both my PC, and now my Mac, for years. Like someone else said, be sure to check with you University, because I got it for my PC when I was a freshman, and I just recently got it for my Mac through the school for 20 dollars, which definitely made it worth it.
     
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #9
    Your new machine will ship with trial versions of MS Office and iWork.

    iWork gives you the advantage of Keynote for presentations which puts PowerPoint to shame.

    Try both and see what you think.
     
  10. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #10
    MS Office for One Reason

    Excel...there is no excel type program in iWorks and being in College myself it is a real problem if you do not have it. iWork06 can do some of the functions of excel in keynote and pages but it is not the same and does not have the same ability. I am a Biology/Pharmacy Major and it comes in handy with lab data. If you are going to be a Business Major then you could not live without Excel. Other than that I like iWorks a little better. The high quality work that iWork does is much better than MS Office. But this is not enough to make me want to buy both of them. Just get MS Office only because of Excel and the fact that iWork is not that much better than PowerPoint and Word.
     
  11. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    #11
    iWork, even though Office is the champ and it the standard you are just making documents right ?

    iWork integrates with all the iApps and is Apple native = just will work great on your Mac ;)

    I have both, was using Word but I switched a couple of days ago to Pages.....simplicity and I'm still in v1.02 there is 2.0 out, and as far as Keynote goes well forget PP. Keynote is the best, exporting to Flash the style and as said before integration


    Go with iWork......waaaay cheaper as well ;)
     
  12. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #12
    My college sells Office 2004 for Mac at the same price you can get iWork for so you should check out the price at your local college. Plus, I really do not mind doing this to MS but would not do it to Apple but I would say that you might try to find "Other Means" of getting Office 2004.
     
  13. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #13
    Just my 2 cents, but I am a college student and I don't use MS Office. I use iWork and it works just fine. If you need Excel, by all means get Office, but not everyone needs it and iWork turns out better looking work. The formatting issues in Word drive me nuts (precision image placement is difficult to impossible) so much so, that at work I will do the text in Word, but I do my final layout of all of my documents in InDesign (I do document control for the company, so I am formatting and releasing a lot documents). I have InDesign at home, but Pages does everything I need for my school papers so I really don't use it much.
     
  14. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #14
    NeoOffice?

    Try NeoOffice...it does all the stuff that Office 2004 does and it is Freeware. Might give that a go.
     
  15. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #15
    If I had to choose again (too late now seeing as I have both) I would only get iWork. It is a much cheaper option and at the end of the day, it will do pretty much anything the Office counterpart does. If you really need a spreadsheet app, then as others have mentioned, there are the freeware alternatives. Save yourself some $$$ and get iWork.

    PS: Every school presentation I with Keynote got me top grades. This was most probably due to the content, but I think the presentation does play a big part in it.
     
  16. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Can iWork documents, ie essays, can they be opened by MS Word? That is one issue to consider because I know being a recent college grad, there have been multiple occasions where I was emailing professors my MS Office Word documents and I know it would have been a huge hassle if they could not open the document if the format was different. Just consider this fact, even though the iWOrk interface looks very nice (as all things Mac seem to be). Oh by the way, definitly check you student store's computer department because you can get a huge discount on MS Office. I got mine for $70, which I could not believe since I was prepared to pay $120.

    (Damn I feel like I'm pushing MS Office on you, but this is just my experience)
     
  17. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #17
    Pages allows for exporting to Word format. If the document is fairly simple (as in not too many pics, unusually formattings etc) then the conversion is usually excellent. Most Uni assignments/essays comprise of mostly text, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
     
  18. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

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    Nov 3, 2005
    #18
    MS Office

    Just to avoid any possible, strange problems or stumbling blocks you may run into along the way with homework and such. I tend to think that Office for Mac is nicer in comparison to its PC counterpart. Again, research is salvation - but if you're lazy and want a safer bet just get Office. :D

    Good luck with school.
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Anyone who hopes to evaluate Pages fairly (especially in comparison to Word) has to try designing some templates and style sheets. Once you've got a few custom templates set up (try creating some placeholder text too), you will very quickly come to appreciate the power of this function in Pages. Also, Pages features the cleanest handling of paragraph and text styles of any word processor I've used since the late great WriteNow -- and far, far easier to use than Word.
     
  20. Todd H macrumors regular

    Todd H

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    #20
    I tried the trial versions of both that came on my iMac Duo and went with Office. Coming from the Windows world it just felt better to me. I got the educational verison for a little over $100 I think.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    Use PDF. I've always thought it was a rude and bad habit to send Word files to someone when all the recipient needs is the ability to read and/or print the document. I produce reports for a living and all my clients get PDF files of our work product. Not only does nobody complain, this way the report looks the way we intended it to look and is not dependent on variables we can't control on the other end. The bottom line is: if you care about the quality of your work product, use PDF. If somebody needs your text for inclusion in another document, then export it as a Word doc (if they insist), or better yet, as an RTF file, which strips out most of the formatting.
     
  22. blackstone macrumors regular

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    Washington, DC
    #22
    Don't forget that if you have to collaborate with someone on a joint paper, you'll probably be sending drafts back and forth in Word format. Unless you absolutely hate Word, I would strongly recommend getting it (with the academic discount from your school, of course!) purely for compatibility reasons.

    Also, the Mac version of Word is noticeably better than the Windows version. Although the menu structures in Word Mac are similar to those in Word for Windows, they are not identical -- and the ways in which the Mac version differs are a definite usability improvement over the Windows version.
     
  23. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #23
    Word is completely compatible with Pages. I have never had a single problem myself and really never known anyone who has. If it is a finished project you can send it as a PDF and then it is final and going to look the same on everyone's computer no matter what. Excel is really the only one that trips me up. That is the only reason to get MS Office. Othere than that I say Screw MS.
     
  24. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Only problem with PDF is windows does not have a native built in to it. Mind you everyone useing windows has a PDF reader. The problem with reader is that it is very reasourse intisive. A older computer will struggle opening PDF files. Word files open up faster and easier and dont cause any buggy problems. The problems with PDFs on windows is the adobe reader has issues on older computers.
    And yes I would like windows to have a build in PDF reader and I only hope that Vista has it build in. But rememeber when XP first came out PDF where just starting to be come common place and PDF files are great for a lot of stuff. Just for documents I stick with sending it word. It easier on about 90% computers that open them.
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    Sorry, I don't buy this argument. Adobe Reader is free for every platform and I have yet to hear anyone complain that they could not read, open and print one of our PDFs. OTOH, Office is not free for any platform; in fact, it is very expensive, especially for the Mac. I believe it is incorrect (and quite rude, IMO) to assume that everybody owns and uses Office. I find myself becoming quite annoyed by this assumption.

    PDF has been around for far longer than XP. Microsoft is not going to support PDF in Vista by any means like Apple has in OSX. In fact, they are going in completely the opposite direction -- to create a competing portable document format that they own and control. So we're about to get jerked around by Microsoft yet again. PDF -- use it, or lose it.
     

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