Alternative to Microsoft Office?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DallasDonald, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. DallasDonald macrumors newbie

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #1
    I recently just got out of the world of Windows (new iMac). I was wondering if there was an adequate program that I could use so I wouldn't have to have Office on my computer, or is Office just something that everyone has to live with?

    Is there anything that works just as well if not better than office?
     
  2. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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  3. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #3
    iWork is the best $79 you'll ever spend.

    I've been MS Office-free since 2005 and haven't had any troubles or situations arise from it, and I have to deal with a lot of college professors and classmates. See an article I wrote here for more on using iWork and working with Windows-based colleagues.

    Nobody "has" to have Office - it only depends on what you're employers or educators require of you. And most seem just fine with PDF files.
     
  4. MurphyM macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #4
    You'd have to provide some more information on how you use Office and how deeply you dive into its features to get the right answer.

    Which apps do you use? What do you do with them? Be specific if you can.

    There are tools that will help you keep Office off your Mac, but it all depends on what your needs are.
     
  5. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #5
    I forgot to mention that while NeoOffice is free and quite similar (as psychofreak mentioned), iWork is $79 and not very similar to Office at all - way better in my opinion.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    In iWork

    Keynote>Powerpoint

    Then for basics

    Pages, Numbers>Word, Excel

    And advanced uses

    Pages, Numbers<Word, Excel

    Though Pages does better for advanced users over word than Numbers does for Excel.
     
  7. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Unless you're a real Excel power-user, I think you'll find iWork quite nice. IMO, Pages and especially Keynote are superior to Word and Powerpoint, but the consensus of most is that Numbers isn't quite up to Excel yet (though it's still quite nice). The UI is better to use in my opinion, and it's much more integrated with OS X. You can export to 2003/4 Office formats (which 2007/8 Office can still read) if you need to send a file to a Windows user.

    If you need lots of compatibility with MS Office, I suggest you also download NeoOffice, which is a free, open-source Office alternative. You could also use this as an alternative to office, if you like it enough. It's fully compatible with both old and new MS Office formats, and it's completely free.
     
  8. DallasDonald thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Very informative article, thank you!
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #9
    I do like it, but its missing a few features, like equation support without LaTeX (well Word's does suck, so its not a bit deal) and lack of citations.
     
  10. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Yeah, that's why I said IMO. It usually does everything I need more intuitively than Word did. But when working with lots of equations, you're probably better off with LaTeX than Word anyway. But that's just my own usage. Obviously mileage differs ;)
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #11
    Yeah definitely, LaTeX is also better for those pesky citations, though its learning curve is pretty steep. Especially if you aren't just using it with LaTeXiT for equations.
     
  12. forafireescape macrumors 6502a

    forafireescape

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    #12
    That pretty much sums it up, except I think Pages is still good for advanced uses.

    I seriously LOVE iWork. It's the best switch I ever made (besides PC to Mac, of course :p)
     
  13. nemex macrumors regular

    nemex

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    #13
    As other have mentioned, Neooffice is a free and very good alternative for MS Office

    Cheers! :apple:
     
  14. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #14
    I don't think anybody actually mentioned NeoOffice being very good, only that it exists, and is free, both of which are true statements.
     
  15. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #15
    My personal Microsoft alternatives:
    iWork 08
    NeoOffice
    Nisus Writer Express (or Pro, but I use Express)
    OmniGraffle Pro (kinda like Visio)
     
  16. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #16
    NeoOffice is very good, actually. Some who just try it out, already having MS Office or iWork may dismiss it quickly simply because it's less flashy. But it's a great program for most general users who'll never need to delve into MS Office's more high-end features. Obviously, anyone who already has MS Office doesn't have much use for it, but for anyone who doesn't want to shell out the money for an office suite, NeoOffice is a more than worthy alternative. I used it for a long time myself before switching to iWork, because I liked its ease of use and integration with OS X. Obviously, NeoOffice will be lacking to anyone who needs the more powerful tools MS Office provides, or who need full 100% compatibility, but for most users, there's really no reason to buy MS Office when there's NeoOffice for compatibility and iWork home use and the best usability.
     
  17. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #17
    I must disagree, I don't find NeoOffice particularly user friendly nor particularly well integrated with Mac OS X, and it's true NeoOffice isn't as "flashy" as Office or iWork, just as a pile of dog crap isn't as flashy as filet mignon.
     
  18. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #18
    MS Office doesn't exactly integrate well with OS X either. Whether you like it or not, NeoOffice has more than enough functionality for the average user. As for user friendly... I'm not sure what you mean. Unless you're referring a user who's only seen the new Office 2007/8. The interface is almost the same as MS Office 2003/4. In fact, some of the menu items are in more intuitive places than MS Office. It's definitely lacking in some things that makes it out of the question for some users, but for the average person who never delves into Office's high-end features--and likely doesn't even know what they are or where to find them--NeoOffice is more than enough.
     
  19. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #19
    That's why I'm an iWork user. I can't force myself to recommend something that's free when something that's $79 is just so worth it.
     
  20. unknown87 macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2007
    #20
    If you're anything more than a casual user, iWork just won't cut it. I write lots of research papers and Pages just doesn't have enough tools for me, I have to use Word. I did like the iWork trial and its functionality really depends on what YOU'RE going to use it for...
     
  21. Am3822 macrumors 6502

    Am3822

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    #21
    There's always LyX.
     
  22. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #22
    I've comfortably written research papers/projects upwards of 80 pages completely in Pages and found nothing lacking in it - in fact quite the opposite, it was quite pleasant, and few reports look better thats for sure.
     
  23. Island Dog macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

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    #23
    If you want something more than NeoOffice, then I would go for iWork.
     
  24. unknown87 macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2007
    #24
    Citations and bibliographies become such a hassle in Pages though - I've tried believe me! I know Word 2008 isn't perfect in this regard, but its so much easier and more pleasant to use. Furthermore, whilst your reports may look good on your screen, the fact that external moderators and journal editors (in my case) use Microsoft extensively, the looking good factor just goes. When I used Pages, I had to export to .doc, then open it up in NeoOffice to fix any formatting issues. Word just.... fits better with the rest of the academic world.
     
  25. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Ah, then I see where you're coming from. I use iWork, too, not because I find NeoOffice lacking, but just because iWork is so much more pleasant to use. Usually, I always recommend iWork but to also keep NeoOffice around for compatibility reasons.

    Maybe it didn't work out for you, but to say that it's not suitable for anything more than the casual user is just fallacy. Pages has plenty of advanced tools for more advanced users. Of course, they're not in the same place as they are as Office, so I can see how a dedicated Word user would find them more difficult, but once you learn your way around iWork, things become much more intuitive than they ever were in Word. Switching from Office to iWork is in many ways the same as switching from Windows to OSX on a much smaller scale.

    Same here. Sure, you can run into problems if you must export to Word formatting, but if you're most of us, that's what PDF is for. :D My Stats reports look so much better coming from Pages.
     

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