Alternative to MS Office?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jedi5, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Jedi5 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    North Burbs, IL
    My nephew just bought his first MBA over the weekend.
    He is now looking to buy/install MS Office.
    Is there a free alternative for him anyone can suggest for to try out before he makes the MS purchase?

    He's a sr in HS and is taking his MBA to school next fall.

    I have OpenOffice installed on my MBP and for me, that does the job.
    Then again, I probably use OO maybe 5-6 times per year.

    I was going to suggest OO to him and see if he likes it.
    Or maybe another free one that someone can recommend.

    With him going to school next fall, would it just be better to buy MS Office?

  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    He should probably be able to get a significant discount on MS Office, being a student.

    He could also try "LibreOffice".
  3. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Sign up for a Google account and use Google Docs. It's a power suite of tools for students and of course free.
  4. roadbloc, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    LibreOffice and iWork (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) are both ok-ish alternatives that are free (iWork is free with every new Mac). As he is a student however, I recommend seeking a genuine copy of Office.

    Try and see if you can pick up a copy of Office 2011 or 2008 cheap (I recommend 2011 personally). Or you could see if subscribing to Office 365 is a viable option. And finally, if it has the features needed, Office Online is free and runs straight in a web browser.
  5. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I agree.

    Office 365 University is only $80 for a 4 year subscription and allows for 2 PC/Mac/Tablets + 2 Phones.
  6. Jedi5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    North Burbs, IL
    Thanks all for the great suggestions!
    I'll pass them along and let him go from there.

    As for 365, long term though, wouldn't this option be more expensive?
    You buy MS Office for $139 as opposed to 365 where after 4 years you have renew your subscription and now you are at $160.
    Am I not understanding this correctly?

  7. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010

    If you buy MS Office for $139, you are "stuck" with MS Office 2011 for Mac. If you want to upgrade to MS Office 2015 next year, you'll need to pay again... maybe an upgrade fee, maybe the full fee. With the subscription, you'll get it at no extra cost.

    Office 365 for Windows includes products that are not available in the Mac version... Publisher and Access. So if you have access to a Windows system, you can install Office 365 on that and get access to those programs as well... all included in the cost of the subscription.

    That $80 is for up to 4 devices total. So the possibility exists to use Office on an iPhone, iPad, Windows tablet, and soon Android phones/tablets. That could be one of those benefits that is only appreciated once one tries it.

    With the subscription, once your sub lapses, you don't have to pay to access your files... only to edit them with Office itself. And you can pay for a single month ($10 for the month) if you want to edit files.

    You always have the option to buy Office after that if you feel more comfortable with purchasing rather than renting.
  8. imaccooper macrumors regular


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    Completely agree. Although it doesn't sound like much of a deal, when you break it down as done here then it becomes much more obvious. Also, if you change computers regularly then you will have to pay for a new copy every time whereas with the subscription you simply download it and are good to go.

    All i will add is that you can also get a free trial month. It gives you the full version so you are able to test it out thoroughly. I would definitely suggest doing that even if you don't decide you want office.
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    This. Don't do anything until you learn whether his university has special pricing for students. It's very common, and the price is generally very low.

    If they don't -- the other suggestions are good.
  10. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    The company I work at switched to Google Docs a few years back and we haven't looked back. MS Office has so many problems even dealing with its own files and for documents we send which we want the receiver to read, we convert to PDF. Within a university environment Google Docs is a great choice and works well. I do personally have a copy of MS Office 2011 but it is dog slow. I also have LibreOffice and iWork. Given the choice, I use Google Docs or iWork. The import filters for MS Office docs are pretty good these days and obsessing about formatting isn't worth the hassle when you can simply fix whatever layout issues there may be and then send the completed doc as PDF.

    Sadly, there are some institutions that are still wedded to exchanging MS Office formats in which case you have little choice but hopefully you can get a discounted copy.
  11. Jedi5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    North Burbs, IL
    Thanks all for the information and education on 365.
    I had heard and read about 365 but never really paid close attention.

    I forwarded the suggestions and in the end, they went with 365.

    Thanks again for your help!!

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