Office solutions for MAC and other platforms

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ionas, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. ionas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Old Europe
    #1
    Hi, I am a student that will switch to a Mac for part-time-job and studying.
    I need an office solutions for MAC and other platforms; the following criteria are important to me:

    Open, edit and write MS Word and MS Exel files (Office 95/97/2000/XP/...)

    Write scientific texts (automatic table of contents, footnotes, line height, printer friendly formats(what you see is what you print, see LaTex and so on)

    Save files as PDF documents

    Save files as HTML

    Mostly stable and bugfree (end

    Cheap Price or for free

    Nice to have(n2h): Save files as HTmL 3.2, HTmL 4.0/CSS 1, XHTmL 1.1 / CSS 2

    n2h: Tight/Native GUI integration into the parent OS GUI

    n2h: Available on any platform ("any" means Linux x86/Linux PPC, BSD x86/BSD PPC, Mac OS X, Windows)

    n2h: Open Source

    n2h: GPL/LGPL Liscense

    n2h: Multilingual (English, Frensh, Spanish, German, Chinese)

    n2h: Spelling correction (maybe as well multilingual)

    n2h: Open StarOffice / OpenOffice documents


    Anyone knows such an application?
    Anyone can compare some existing applications and tell me which one mostly offers what I need?
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Well, if you get a consumer-line Mac (iXXX or eXXX), you'll get AppleWorks included, which meets a lot of your needs and, by being included, is essentially free.


    And Open Office will meet most of your other needs.

    I don't off-hand know of any good, free, math/science apps.
     
  3. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    I'm a big OpenOffice fan, and hough I haven't tried, it OOo 1.0.3 for Mac X11 is supposed to be very stable and ready for prime time so to speak. (I use OOo for Windows/Linux, but haven't for the mac yet).

    So, here is your list, with what OOo can do...

    Open, edit and write MS Word and MS Exel files (Office 95/97/2000/XP/...) - Can do all of these.

    Write scientific texts (automatic table of contents, footnotes, line height, printer friendly formats(what you see is what you print, see LaTex and so on) - Can't say for sure, but yes to line height, footnotes, and prnter friendly.

    Save files as PDF documents - Yep, and it's free too.

    Save files as HTML - Of course!

    Mostly stable and bugfree - 1.0.3 as I mentioned it spose'd to be very stable.

    Cheap Price or for free - FREE!

    Nice to have(n2h):
    Save files as HTmL 3.2, HTmL 4.0/CSS 1, XHTmL 1.1 / CSS 2 - Not sure, never tried. Would be a nice feature, tho, so I wouldn't be suprised if there was a plugin for it.

    n2h: Tight/Native GUI integration into the parent OS GUI - Haven't used it on the Mac, but seeing as Apple now officially supports thier X11 server, I don't see why it should be a problem.

    n2h: Available on any platform ("any" means Linux x86/Linux PPC, BSD x86/BSD PPC, Mac OS X, Windows) - Yup.

    n2h: Open Source - Yup.

    n2h: GPL/LGPL Liscense - Yup. (correct me if I am wrong, but I THINK that OOo is a GPL product).

    n2h: Multilingual (English, Frensh, Spanish, German, Chinese) - And then some... (US English (dh), UK English (dh), Canadian English (dh), Catalan (d), Chinese-traditional, Danish (dh), Dutch (dh), Finnish, French (dh), German (dh), Greek (d), Italian (dh), Japanese, Korean, Polish (d), Portugese (dh), Russian (dh), Spanish (dh), Sweedish (d), Turkish.)

    n2h: Spelling correction (maybe as well multilingual) - Very large spell checker dictionary (I remember reading it was bigger that Words, but I can't back that up). Available in US English, UK English, Canadian English, Catalan, and Danish.

    n2h: Open StarOffice / OpenOffice documents - Well, ya. :)


    So OOo is probably the way to go for you! I would recommend getting it here: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html as it is the latest OSX stable release. (1.1 is not ready for general use under OSX yet).

    Rob
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Forgot to mention - this is an OS X feature. You can print to PDF, so any app supports this, as long as they can print.
     
  5. ionas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Old Europe
    #5
    I know OpenOffice, but:

    1. the PDF export function is part of OpenOffice (and cause of that available on linux and windows and mac); the mac itself supports printing to pdf afaik

    2. open office does not integrate into the system well, i would go so far and say it is really very very bad integrated.

    3. i dont need math, i need it for typing long texts, scientific ones

    4. open office uses a dual liscense model - gpl + sun liscense.

    regarding open office:

    i want a program that starts fast, and is integrated THIGHTLY; both is not the case regarding open office.

    i thought about buying ms office for mac stundent version (about 180 eur), but that does not open open office/star office files and does not write html well nor pdf, and futher its not available on linux, and well - somehow i think its a bad choice.

    so there is no other office suite out that works on multiple platforms and works good? - the nice2have arent needed but nice to have - remember that.

    somehow it feels like there is need for a java based LaTex GUI based editor (you dont write basic latex source code but use some kind of gui for it) to be developed?!

    that would not include the possibility to read ms word / exel / powerpoint or open office word / exel / powerpoint files, but it would enable me to have a format that prints well (ps/pdf) (what you see is what you print) and is available on many platforms.

    i guess latex does not support hypertext links :(.

    somehow i feel lost.

    maybe the g5 rev.b will be fast enough to start open office; all i have to fight then are ugly graish windows style gui elements - buaah!
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #6
    Welp, here's some more choices that I can think of off hand...

    AbiWord. I've used it, but not extensively. It is fairly fast under win/linux, and according to some review I read somewhere (can't recall off the top of my head) it is faster than Word for OSX. It's open source, and the standard Gnome word processing application. www.abiword.org

    NeoOfffice. It is a Java implementation of OpenOffice. I have heard good things about it, but it is pretty new. You may want to look into it more to see what it has to offer. www.neooffice.org

    Lyx. It is an open source LaTeX editor that will run under OSX, according to its website. I have never used it, but I found it during a Fink search. (speaking of which, have you looked through the Fink packages list to see if there are any other word processors that might suit you there?) http://www.lyx.org/

    As far as the ugly OOo gui, I am under the impression that the 'look and feel' of X11 apps under 10.3 is defined by a windows manager that is included in the Panther package, and it can be made to look basically like an Aqua app. I could be wring however. (I am almost certain I can change the look and feel of OOo in Linux using my standard KDE windows manager, don't know why it would be any different in Apple's X11. As a matter of fact, I use a OSX10.3 style theme on my linux desktop).

    What version of OOo have you tried on OSX? What kind of machine were you using it with? How long does it take to load vs. how long Office takes to load on the same machine?

    Hope some of this helps... I read an article concerning word processors for OSX abotu 2 days ago, and can't find it again. I know AbiWord fared well in speed test compared to Office, so it may be worth looking at the website to see if its features have what you want.

    Rob
     
  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #7
    Just saw this in another thread... http://www.redlers.com The application is called Mellel. I have never used it, but I was reading the website and it seems to have many of the features you are looking for (table of contents generation, endnotes, footnotes, etc). It also seems to be lacking a few basic ones (columns and automatic list support). http://www.redlers.com/generaloptionswithmellel.html
    It costs US$29 (whats that, like 25 or 26 euros or so?) and that includes updates for the next 3 years. Anyways, it is cheap enough and seems to have a free trial, so it might be worth a look.

    Good luck,
    Rob
     
  8. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    open office is quite nice for just writing word documents and other casual use
    microsoft office, even though it is made by microsoft, is an excellent program especially when it comes to doing more advanced things in excel and word
    the student edition is $150 and a new version i believe is coming out this summer
    might want to try open office first and if you're unsatisfied with the power of it buy the new version of office this summer
     
  9. davebl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #9
    look no further

    http://www.marinersoftware.com

    These programs allowed me to completely wash my hands of any microsoft product. Both MarinerWrite and MarinerCalc can handle Office files, save as office files, and anything else you want to do.

    The download for the trial is 4.5mb and the program uses basically zero system resources.

    This is my favorite word processing/spreadsheet software ever.

    IMHO, OpenOffice is a great solution to PC users, but not quite ready for the mac.

    dave
     
  10. zamyatin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Your list of criteria could easily be a list of OpenOffice's features! Being free and open source, you definitely ought to give it a try. While the Mac version isn't complete, it is usable. I recommend NeoOffice/J, as was mentioned above (though slightly misnamed). You can get it from www.neooffice.org/java/

    Let us know what you think! (I'm part of the OOo project.)
     
  11. hesitaliandad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #11
    i love neooffice. it's my sole office program. you guys have done amazing work. thank you so much. keep up the good work
     

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