Anything besides MS Office?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by seattlemaclover, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. seattlemaclover macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Seattle Washington USA
    I am a college student in seattle, and I am trying to decide weather or not to by MS Office with my 12" iBook G4. I know that the iBooks come with Appleworks, but is that enough? Should I get Office, or maybe just add Keynote ( I do a lot of presentations). HELP!!!!:confused:
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Keynote is a great program--will work even better than PowerPoint for all your presentations.

    You might also try the (free) It runs in the X11 environment, so it isn't as polished as a lot of other Mac software, but for basic word processing/spreadsheet stuff, it works fine--and you can save and read files in MS Office format.

    That might be the way to go in the short term. If you find you can't live without Office, you could always get it later.
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I'd say get KeyNote if you do a lot of presentations and use OpenOffice for everything else.

    I think OpenOffice can do presentations but I tend to not run X11 in full screen mode. So since OpenOffice is running in a "window" when you do your presentation it only shows up in the window. So then you have to switch it to full screen. And for some reason I seem to recall not liking that. I'd say get KeyNote and/or try OpenOffice. If you don't like OpenOffice you can always buy MS Office.
  4. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    If you're going to get Office, check your school's computer store, you should be able to find a student version of Office for much cheaper than the student version purchased elsewhere. I got my copy of Office X for 160 CND (including taxes), which works out to about 120 US.
  5. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    The Panda may be silent, but it speaks the truth. Give the Open Office a go and see if you can live with it. If you love it then treat yourself to Keynote.

    If you find the X11 a bit too clumsy then I'd use your student status to get a juicy discount on Office.
  6. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    I dumped all my word files on my iBook a few years ago and got a copy of ThinkFree. A few minutes later I was a happy camper. $50
  7. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    I am sorry my son... but you will be assimilated. I held out buying MS Office for as long as I could but finally had to buy it because nothing could really challenge it.
    Resistance is futile. :(
  8. raynegus macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2003
    I'd have to say get the student version of Office for OSX. As much as I hate Micro$oft, Word is kind of a necessary evil. I really tried to live with AppleWorks, but there were just too many documents that didn't open correctly in it. Many professors use Word and I couldn't read the forms they wrote. I needed Word.

    I actually deleted Office from my Mac about 3 times and tried to just live with AppleWorks, but every time I had to go back and re-install Word so I could read a form sent to me by a professsor (I'm a med student and we write a lot of examination forms).
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    There are programs out there that will read Word files, but you will likely need to send text files to someone, and the most universal format is unfortunately, .doc. You could always save them as PDF's (with OSX native PDF encoder in the print menu) but they are quite large to send through email.
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Interestingly, though, not even MS Word will read all MS Word files. The other day I did an export from Quark to MS Word format, and it crashed Word. Opened fine in OpenOffice. And OpenOffice does save in MS Word format.
  11. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    The University around here where I live has MS Office Student Edition for... $6.95. Yup. They're in cahoots with Microsoft for sure but... yeah... so check your school store too. For $7 you really can't go wrong.
  12. Coca-Cola macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2002
    Mellel! Mellel! Love, Mellel. It's so fine. I don't actually own it. You see I discovered Mellel after I bought Nisus writer express. Darn. Mellel is not only better but cheaper! I really think apple should make Mellel the default writing application. It is good looking too. Good icon. Very cool. Mellel! Buy your copy here.... and forget about open office. It is freaking slow and doesn't work with the desktop very well as far as transfering documents. It is free though! Free and Huge! As far as Thinkfree Office goes, it is fine, but a little slow and buggy. Sorry. But Mellel, is a work of art.
  13. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    I would say MS office right now is the fastest, most accurate, and...good looking office software (not saying much yea yea), I would say get Office for students, also then buy keynote and blow everyone away at your presentation.

    ...and mellel, yea kinda good, but just try adding pictures to the files...its just a metal TeXTEdit.
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Re: Anything besides MS Office?

    Depending on what school you're going to, you might be able to get quite a deal. If, for example, you're at the University of Washington (which is where I work), there's a campus-wide agreement that can provide Microsoft software for free. The only glitch is it's managed by each school within the university - some participate fully, some only offer a subset of the software (so they might not offer the Mac Office software for instance), and some don't participate at all. So you need to ask your computer support folks for more info.

    I don't know about the other colleges here - but as others pointed out you can for sure get the academic version of MS Office for about $140. It includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Entourage (their Mac mail application).

    Openoffice is worth a try since it's free, but it didn't do the job for me. I was a Linux user for a few years and it wasn't even the best free word processor available (on Linux, Abiword is probably the most compatible and the leanest).
  15. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    The 909
    Hmm...Sound familliar?

    You might find some useful information in this thread from about a month ago.

    Just a thought :)
  16. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    I used to have MS Office on my Mac. I ended up dumping it for AppleWorks. I can't justify 300+MBs for something I don't use all that often. I've actually found AppleWorks to be easier to transfer files between Mac -> PC or Mac -> UNIX. I also have installed, but the 600+MBs it takes up is driving me nuts. I'm going to move it to my iPod soon. I need OOo however for work (where we use StarOffice) so I can't be without it.

    Honestly, I love AppleWorks, no suite comes close for the price or the HD space. I actually like the Presentation software in AW, however I used it to create slides for a presentation in English Class in December. I haven't tried Keynote, but if you do "online" presentations I'd get it, if you are just making slides, AW will do you fine.

    MS Office is not worth the money ($200+), AW is free with your iBook and Keynote is only $99.

  17. deriviative macrumors newbie


    Mar 20, 2004
    thinkfree is ok -- we have it, 2.2 verison, and it's cheap -- but man it balks at converting style elements and graphics from word. maybe if all you do is write papers and rudimentary powerpoint or excel/calc, but thinkfree caused so many compatibility problems with paying clients that i reinstalled word for a back up -- defeating the point of thinkfree -- it's not quite "there" yet.
  18. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    OpenOffice has one application that is really really ridiculously needed on the mac - a simple drawing app.

    Yeah sure, you have all the Pros, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc etc... but the only App i miss from Windows is Paint! Yes, Paint!

    OpenOffice has something called "Draw" which still has too many features but its nice enough!

    I use MS Office, btw. As a student I coundn't live without it.
  19. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2004
    One thing to consider is MS Office 2004! The new notebook layout view could turn out to be a great tool for every student. I used OneNote 2003 a lot on my Win laptop before I made the switch. In fact, it's the only app I'm missing on my PB. OneNote has just one problem; the file it creates cannot be read by any other app, not even MS Word! (You can convert the files into another format that can be read by Word, though). So the MacBU did the right thing to build OneNote functionality directly into Word. If you buy now the current version of MS Office, you qualify for a free upgrade to Office 2004 (you only pay a few bucks for shipping).

    While OpenOffice is a great suite on Windows and Linux, I just didn't like in the X11 environment and you don't even get the latest version (1.1). Once OpenOffice is an Aqua app, it might turn out to be a great replacement for MS Office.
  20. zamyatin macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2003
    First option: TextEdit. Yes, it can read and write MS Word formatted files (starting in 10.3). So light and fast, working with it is like a dream. (And when you send RTFs to Wintel MS Office users, most of them don't even realize the file's not a Word DOC.)

    Second option: Rapidly improving and gaining marketshare quickly. This app is going to replace MS Office in the next few years, there can be no question of that. The current Mac version is not quite so polished, but nor is MS Office, for that matter (compare Word to OmniGraffle in terms of GUI, and you'll agree). Try NeoOffice/J, it doesn't require X11:

    Neo/J is based on OOo 1.0, but it is still competitive with MS Office. However, 2.0 will be coming out early 2005, and it should bring a fully-native Mac version along with many enhancements and new features. Even if MS Office is free at your university, being locked into their file formats will cost you in the long run. OpenOffice uses openly-documented XML file formats that many other suites can read and write and always will be able to. You've got choice, and don't underestimate the value of that!
  21. vollspacken macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2002
    Boogie-Down Berlintown
    I think MS Office is to sluggish and bloated, and so I use Mellel for word processing. it's a cocoa-native app and therefore very fast... I'm very pleased with that lean application (I bought ThinkfreeOffice one year ago and it SUCKED big time..!)

    I'm still thinking about convincing my dad to buy Keynote for me... ;)


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