Best office software for Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MXM, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. MXM macrumors member

    May 23, 2009
    I know there are iWork, Microsoft Office for Mac and also OpenOffice, all providing similar functions. Putting the cost aside, which one offers better quality and ease of use? I'll mainly use word and excel (including making graphs/charts). Thanks
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Word is just a fancy word processor and can easily be duplicated using the OO/NeoOffice equivalents, Bean, or a basic text editor. However there is no substitute in terms of power and compatibility for Excel, making the Office Suite a no-brainer if those things are important to you.
  3. dvince2 macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2007
    Unless I'm doing heavy lifting in Excel, I use iWork for all my needs
  4. Mr9758 macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    I have both the Microsoft Office Suite and iWork. Generally, I use Word for word processing, Pages for more graphically complex documents, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations. It's nice to have PowerPoint around to double check and edit the presentations exported from Keynote. Office is also a necessity if you collaborate on documents by emailing them back and forth.
  5. MXM thread starter macrumors member

    May 23, 2009
    Thanks for all your replies, that helps a lot!
  6. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    In general...

    If you need strict compatibility with MS Office for Windows, your best bet is to run Windows and MS Office with Boot Camp or virtualized with Fusion/Parallels/Virtual Box (free)/Crossover.

    If you need mild compatibility with MS Office for Windows, you can use Office 2004 or 2008 for the Mac, with the understanding they are not equivalents and there is little VBA support in 2004 and virtually none in 2008. Excel will be the primary difference more so than Word.

    If you want MS Office-like interface, etc. then Open Office/Neo Office are good choices and they are free. But they will not provide strict compatibility with MS Office. They will however, give you a more Office-like experience.

    If you want the functionality of MS Office with a Mac experience, the iWork is the best bet. It is a great value for the cost. Pages is a great tool, and Keynote is superior to Powerpoint in my opinion. Numbers is good, but does not provide the power of Excel. You can check out a comparison here: MR Guide - iWork v. MS Office

    You can also check out Mariner Write and Mariner Calc

    If you just looking for a nice word processing, then Bean is free.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  8. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    MS office really for heavy/official stuff can't be beaten
    for simplicity i love iWork for general day to day :)
  9. Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    There exist trial versions for all the main office suites. I would recommend to try before you buy and see what works for you. The MS Home and Student Office suite is really not much more expensive than iWork.

    I myself really wanted to get away from MS Office, but decided otherwise after I had failed to achieve a similar work experience with Keynote...
  10. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    Just a clarification. There is more than "little VBA support" in 2004. The VBA is based on VB5, whereas Office 2000/2002/2003 is based on VB6. If cross-platform compatibility is an issue, then have whoever programs in VBA, that they should ensure that it is compatible with Office 97, and that will get it very close to Mac 2004. But then Office 2007? Yeah, if 2004 is used with files from 2007, then there is even less compatibility.

    Is that ideal? No. Is it a pain? Yes. I had to translate and test some VBA code that was being provided by a professional programmer and the client needed cross-platform compatibility. It took a long time exchanging files, testing, refining, re-testing, etc.

    "virtually none in 2008" should read: "There is no VBA in 2008, not even a hint of it.

    It is sad that there is such a discrepancy between the Windows and Mac versions. But Office 2007 has now gone the way of .net and so even with MS assuring that VBA support would come back with the next iteration of Office for Mac, it might be too little, too late... and not even the latest. And exactly what kind of VBA would it be? Ideally there should be a cross-platform programming capability (i.e. Python, Ruby) that would work equally well on Win and Mac computers. I used to so some programming with VBA (Office 2003), but have not touched anything else on the programming end (my job has taken me in a totally different direction), unless I reach back to 1968 and Fortran programming on an IBM 360 with card reader.

    [Yeah, I'm an old codger. :D ]

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