Advice - MS Office or iWorks?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wepn829, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. wepn829 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have recently purchased my first Mac a few months ago. While I use a Windows PC at work and had previously used a Windows PC and home, I was frustrated with the home laptop and switched to a Mac. And I love it!

    Now my question is, I am looking for a Word Doc and Spreadsheet application for personal use at home and I am not sure which to get, MS Office for Mac or iWorks. I currently use Word and Excel (and am pretty familiar with both) at work and previously at home. I do basic like writing letters, expense spreadsheet calculations, account listing, etc. I would also like to be able to sent Word and Excel docs from my work computer (in MS Office for Windows) to my home computer and be able to work and edit them, and send them back. Not sure if iWorks would let me do that, or if MS Office for Mac is the way to go.

    I tried searching online and got various information, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Mike225 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    SF BAY
    Office 2008 and upgrade to 2011 for free when it releases
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    I say go with Office 2008. You can upgrade to 2011 for free when it comes out in October. It looks almost exactly like the Windows version (2011 that is).
  4. Jphilippon macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Upgrading for free? What do you have to have to be eligible? A working copy of Office:Mac 2008? Is that it?
  5. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    To upgrade from 2008 to 2011 you must have bought Office 2008 on or after August 1st, 2010.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Searching the forum with MRoogle will usually find answers to most of your questions:

    iWorks vs MS Office. Which to get?
    Microsoft Office 2007 Home and student vs I Work
    iWork vs Office
    iWork or Office 2008 for Mac?
    iwork, office for mac or open office for mac???
    As a businessperson: iWork or Office for Mac?
    iWork or Microsoft Office for Mac?
    iwork 09' or office 08'?
    MS Office 2008 - iWork '09 - iWork '10
    IWork or Office for college?
    iWork vs. OpenOffice
    iWork '08 vs. NeoOffice ?
    iWork '09... Goodbye to Office '08???
    Neo-Office or Open Office?
    ... and many, many others.

    You won't get any different results here, since there are many varied opinions on the topic. There is no definitive answer; only opinions and preferences.

    A good approach is to try what's available free. Then, if free apps don't meet your needs, look to the ones that cost.
  7. kirreip macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2009
    I would recommend you Office for mac. But why not try iWork first?

    Use the trial for 30 days and find out if it does what you need. If it does, then the low price is clearly an argument.
  8. wepn829 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks erveryone. I tried a iWorks on a trial and it seems to be fine for what I need, so going ahead and purchasing it.
  9. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Thanks for stopping back by to your thread and letting us know how it worked out!
    Awesome! And good luck with iWork, it is a great product.
  10. xsimsimx macrumors member


    Sep 26, 2010

    Of the two suites, selling for $79/£55, iWork is significantly less expensive than Office. Educational customers are entitled to a discount on this price. Microsoft Office on the other hand starts at $150/£107 for the Home and Student edition which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Entourage. The more expensive Standard Edition costs $400/£356 (upgrade $240), which includes some automator actions as well as better Microsoft Exchange support which is useful for business customers. Finally, the Media Edition costs $500/£450 (upgrade $300) which as well as the automator actions and better Microsoft Exchange supports Microsoft Expression Media.

    All new Macs are shipped with time-limited but fully-featured installs of both Office and iWork. These preview versions can also be downloaded for free from Microsoft and Apple, respectively. Trying the preview versions can be the best way to determine which one is most suitable for your needs.

    :apple:File Format Compatibility:apple:

    Microsoft Office for Mac has excellent support for Microsoft Office for Windows files, though there can sometimes be minor compatibility issues, Office 2008 can import both traditional Word documents and new Office 2007 "Open XML" Office files. iWork also has support for both traditional and "Open XML" Office Files but can have moderate compatibility issues with Word files containing complex formatting or Word-specific features — as will be the case with all word processors which must reverse-engineer Microsoft's file formats or don't include the exact same feature set. Some very old Word files will not open in Pages, but they will generally open in TextEdit. If you use iWork and you want to send files to Windows users that don't require editing it is probably better to send them as a PDF.

    Although iWork can open and save Office files, file management can be inconvenient. iWork automatically converts Office files to iWork formats upon opening, so when saving, users must "export" files to Office format, even if they were in Office format to begin with.

    :apple:Pages vs Word:apple:

    Both Pages and Word are perfectly adequate word processor and page layout programs; however Word generally has more features, and the approach to the user interface taken by Apple and Microsoft are quite different. Both Word and Pages allow you to type, colour, style text with fixed style, have auto-correction and can track changes. On balance Pages probably has better templates though Word's are fairly good too. Pages includes a powerful template-making feature, and handles the creation of paragraph and text styles with more ease than Word. Pages is weaker on footnotes and endnotes (you have to choose one or the other), it also lacks citation manager. Additionally, unlike Microsoft Word, it doesn't include a built in equation editor. However if you install LaTeX you can use LaTeXiT with iWork which may be preferable as it is much faster to use than Word's equation editor. When dealing with large documents Pages can take significantly more RAM. Most users find that Pages is faster than Word. Many users have noticed that Word often "lags" when typing, sometimes by several seconds between typing and seeing text appear.

    :apple:Numbers vs Excel:apple:

    Numbers and Excel are both spreadsheet programs though they are designed to be used in different ways. Numbers, currently at version 1.0, has far fewer features than Excel, although its use of multiple tables per sheet is excellent for basic tasks, such budgeting and holiday itineraries as you can use multiple tables per page as well as easily apply colour schemes and summation rows to each table. Excel only supports a single, essentially infinitely sized table per sheet, however is more suitable for demanding business, professional and academic uses, while handling the simpler tasks reasonably well.

    Unlike Numbers, Excel supports advanced charting and enables plotting multiple lines of data at once as well as error bars. Excel also handles true scatter plots and curve-fitting. While Numbers' charting options are limited, many would agree that Numbers' charts look better than those from Excel. While charting options in Numbers are lacking, Numbers does support all the same formula commands as Excel, meaning that sophisticated calculations are possible in Numbers.

    As with Pages and Word, Apple and Microsoft take a very different approach to the user interface in Numbers and Excel. Veteran Excel users will likely require some adjustment transitioning to Numbers. The current version of Numbers performs very slowly with large data sets. When exporting from Numbers to Excel, each table becomes a separate worksheet in Excel, and a new worksheet is added indicating that the work has been exported. This can be inconvenient when collaborating with others who use Excel.

    :apple:Keynote vs Powerpoint:apple:

    Keynote and PowerPoint are both presentation creating applications. Keynote is widely regarded as being superior and was used by Al Gore to create "An Inconvenient Truth" as well as for Steve Jobs' Keynote presentations at MacWorld and WWDC as well as other Apple Special Events. Keynote features a wide array of templates and transition effects. Keynote can open PowerPoint files, although some reformatting will probably be required after conversion to the Keynote format. Keynote exports presentations in several file formats, including QuickTime and Flash. Keynote files cannot directly be opened in Windows and as such you have to convert the file first which depending on the route can cause loss of formatting / transitions.

    :apple:Mail/iCal vs Entourage:apple:

    Entourage doesn't have a direct equivalent in iWork as its functionality is provided by Mail and iCal which are bundled with Mac OS X.
  11. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    If you haven't purchased iWork yet, try OpenOffice (or NeoOffice) because that's free and could work for what you need!
  12. filfortugno macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ms office

    More schools and businesses use windows and ms office so it makes sense to use programs that are compatible. Pages, in iwork, exports to .doc, but never fully. there is always something wrong with the output file.
  13. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    This is true too
  14. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    i converted to works about a year ago. no problems getting and sending docs to my colleagues who all use ms office.
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Same. Compaired to iWorks, MS-Office is junk.
  16. Bartman01 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    Depends on what you need. If you have to use MS Office (or even worse Microsoft Works) documents for work purposes then MS Office is the only 100% reliable way to do this. I tried using iWork/Open Office for a while, but kept running in to issues with specific documents that only MS Office liked and that I had to use 'as is'.
  17. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    Golden matter what you want to do.

    I'll only say it once.

    NEVER iWork.
  18. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
  19. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Anything more complicated than an indentation in iWork won't display properly in Word. If compatibility is an issue, always use Office.
  20. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    Yep. And don't even get me started about how terrible iWork is w/ footnotes and endnotes.

Share This Page