MS Office

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Planner Dude, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #1
    Quck question:

    As a pc user looking to make the switch, I need compatability with MS office products. Does Apples software provide this? If not, is it better to run a pc office on mac with parrallels or to get the mac version. Secondly, does anyone know where to pick up a copy of the mac version for dirt cheap?
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    There are a variety of software products available on Macs that have varying levels of compatibility with Office, including OpenOffice / NeoOffice, Apple's iWork, AbiSoft's word processor, etc. I personally prefer the Mac version of Office, over any of these and over the Windows version.

    I would recommend using Office:Mac 2004, unless you need Access or Project (since neither are available on Macs -- there are good alternatives for Access, but they are not compatible with existing Access DB's). But if you want to use Parallels, there isn't a particular reason why that isn't a good solution. Just won't get any Maciness while in Office.
     
  3. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #3
    Thanks!

    Do you think any of these softwares are more reliable than the others? Using Office 97 right now, which freezes up and aborts all together at times.:mad:
     
  4. williamsonrg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Office: Mac 2004 is, in my opinion, the best version of Office available. My experience is mostly with Office, Excel, and Powerpoint, less so Entourage. I've found it to be much more stable than PC versions (especially 97, if I'm remembering correctly).
     
  5. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Awsome :)

    Anyone know a place to buy it on the cheap? Maybe an open copy or something?????
     
  6. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    If you're looking for cheap, then just get iWork. Pages can open and save word files, so you wont have any problem sharing between PC's and Macs. And it's only $70.
     
  7. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    looks like it doesn't have a spread-sheet program???????
     
  8. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #8
    If you're a student or teacher you can get the Teachers and Student edition for $120-$150 depending on where you buy. The only disadvantage is you cannot upgrade to a newer version later - that means that if you get it now, you'll get the PPC version which runs in Rosetta, but if and when MS issue the universal binary, you won't be able to upgrade to it.

    You need to be in education, but I know that for one, CompUSA doesn't actually check if you elegible. My wife is an academic in UC Berkeley and is indeed elegible, but they sold it to her without asking for id.

    Actually, the OpenOffice 2 db application claims compatibility with Access.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    iWork doesn't, no. And honestly, it's lovely, but it isn't designed to be a drop-in Office replacement. If your primary goal is to share Office format docs with other Windows users, I don't think you're going to be happy with it. It's an amazing pair of applications -- but like Apple software, they're meant to do things very well using their own method. They produce different kinds of output than Word or PPT -- more graphically refined, more polished, more tightly woven. If you create documents of these types for yourself, to use only on that computer and in print, they're wonderful. But I think you're asking yourself for trouble if you primarily want to collaborate with other Office users....
     
  10. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #10
    Thanks,

    I am in grad school, so I can do that...I was just wondering if I'd find it for like $50 used somewhere?
     
  11. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #11
    Well, $120-$150 is pretty cheap for Office compared to the full price.
     
  12. tjmcardl macrumors newbie

    tjmcardl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Location:
    Urbana, IL
    #12
    Have you checked with your school? Our campus computer store has MS Office (pc and mac) available for ~$60 to students and staff.

    -Tim
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Yeah, these are getting more and more prevalent over time on campuses. They are extensions of the site license to home use. Note three things about this:

    1) You almost never get a retail box. Just a CD or DVD and a license code.

    2) At the very best, your legal resale rights will be to sell your site license to another user on your campus. There is almost no chance that you will be legally entitled to sell this copy of Office in any other way.

    3) You may technically be bound to stop using it when you leave the school -- this varies from institution to institution (and honestly, well... first, grad school never ends anyway! :p and second, eh...)

    But I think it's well worth the deal.
     
  14. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #14
    Thanks to all of you!

    I will check out my school store.

    Here's the backstory on why I am being cheap:

    I can get a 1.2ghz ibook for $500. My wife will buy that for my birthday. I'd like a laptop soon, but wanted to see if its worth just saving for the macbook instead.

    If I could find a cheap copy of office, it might be worth it getting the ibook, but if I have to buy office for $150, it'd bring the price of an aging laptop up to $750, compared to $1,100 for a macbook which could run a pc version of the software which I own (or spring $50 for parrallels).
     
  15. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #15
    Well, for Parallels you need a separate Windows license, so the cost is at least $85 (OEM XP Home) + $50 = $135. Unless you have a lot of Windows software that you want to upgrade a bit at a time, it's not necessarily the least expensive option.

    I sprung for the Parallels license not for Windows, but so I could run a couple of different Linux distros that I use at work.
     
  16. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I thought Parrallels uses virtualization, rather than a copy of windows, where with bootcamp you'd need the copy of windows which I do have anyway???
     
  17. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #17
    It's allows you to create virtual machines, and you have to install the OS on it.

    Is your copy of Windows a full retail copy that's not running on another PC? That's the only legal (some amateur lawyers here would take issue with the word "legal") way of installing it. I have a copy of Windows too, but it's an OEM disk from Dell, and I'm not entitled to install it. That's not to say there aren't ways around it, but discussion of that is a good way of getting a thread wastelanded.
     
  18. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #18
    don't forget you were unhappy with the office version you have- it won't run any better on the Mac cause it will still be under windows- and you also will have to reboot every time you want to use word and then if you want to use itunes/Safari/etc. you will be rebooting all the time. Don't forget if you are getting student loans for grad school you can usually get extra money to pay for things such as living expenses and school materials and such that you need for school. I did that and was a very cheap way to finance my iMac a few years back- student loan interest rates were very low!

    You could always look for a used copy of Office X for Mac OSX to get you through for now.

    also, you will need a copy of XP and remember Boot Camp is a beta- will cost in the future I guess??
     
  19. bericd macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    #19
    Darwine?

    There is http://darwine.opendarwin.org/ which might run Office 97.

    I've never tried, but it's worth a look.
     
  20. DaveP924 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2006
    #20
    This is great info. I'm looking to buy a MacBook tommorrow. My question is this. My wife is a Dr. and makes many presentations throughout the year. If she creates a PowerPoint presentation on the Mac using MacOffice, will she have any problem downloading it to her USB drive and then using a PC for the presentation (the hospital only has pc's).

    Bear with me. I'm new to Macs. Will we need to save it to a diffrent format? I have no idea how it works with the pc's (as if you couldn't tell).

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  21. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    If you decide to go for Office 2004, be aware it does mostly everything the pc version of office does but misses a couple of applications such as 'Publisher' and 'Access'

    Alternatives to those two applications are MacKiev's PrintShop 2 does everything publisher does in similar easy, barely and skill required manner. It also integrates beautifully with all the iLife applications. It's also Universal now.

    Access, well the big DB programme is FileMakerPro on the mac. It's a superb programme too.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #22
    I would say Powerpoint is the only place where one should be capable. You do not need to save in a special format -- Windows and Mac PPT files are interchangeable. But, sometimes when you move a file between computers with Powerpoint, even if they have the same OS and version of PPT (i.e. both Windows XP / Office 2003), the images in the presentation still get screwed up. :( However, Office 2004 has a "compatibility" report to help with this... it looks for things that might not reconstruct properly on another computer....
     
  23. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #23
    So, I assume many people here would say to go for the ibook?????
     
  24. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2006
    #24
    Which is better get the ibook now & in 1- years get mac book or just scrimp & save for the book now???
     
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #25
    If you can afford it, I'd get the MacBook. It's going to last a lot longer. But if you get the iBook now, settle down on the software you want on it, and keep it configured that way, there's no reason it shouldn't last you for some time.

    If cost is a serious issue and you weren't in a serious hurry, too, for what it's worth, I'd point out that in ~3 months there will be refurbished MacBooks, likely in the ~$800 range....
     

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