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Discussion in 'macOS' started by SuperMiguel, Aug 12, 2010.
Best word processing software for Engineering Student???
(money is not a problem)
In what ways, exactly, do you want to "process" the world? Make it greener? Reduce population? Improve ozone layer? Reduce global warming?
lol i meant to say word sorry
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What kind of engineering? I used MS Word throughout college, served all my needs.
I know. I just couldn't resist! I prefer MS Office, because I need Excel's advanced spreadsheet functions and I need maximum compatibility with clients using Windows. It really depends on your particular needs.
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.
As you might guess, there are as many different opinions on this as there are people.
This is an easy one. You are an engineering student. Professional engineers share files with colleagues and others. Virtually everyone that they share files with use Microsoft Word. It is a steaming pile, but Word is what you need.
I hate to say this on a Mac forum, but because most places use Word on Windows, I would probably recommend you get the following:
A Windows OS (7 or XP)
Microsoft Office Professional
This way, you have complete compatibility with the Windows side, as even Office Mac, I have heard of some minor incompatibilities between it and the Windows version, so might as well go for a 100% solution.
Please be informed that there is no such thing as a "100% solution." Word for Windows is 100% compatible only at the version level. There are compatibility issues across versions--sometimes to the extent of complete incompatibility. This is a long-standing issue. Before the release of Word 2007, the most compatible version of Word on any platform was Word 2004, the extant version of Word:mac. To be clear, Word 2004 could read just about any .doc file created on just about any version of Word on any platform.
Even though Word 2008 lacks VBA capability, it can still read and write .docx files. It can also handle Word 2003 .doc files. It came as a surprise to this Microsoft basher recently when a Word 2007-using colleague needed my help with a Word 2003 .doc file. Her installaton of Word 2007 could not open the file. I used Word 2008 to convert her .doc file into a .docx file.
I know that my colleague's .doc file was created using Word 2003 because Word 2008 would not have been able to open it if it were created by an earlier version of Word. The bottomline is that you must pick your poison. My experience is that the Word:win poison has a bitter taste; the Word:mac poison is mildly sweet with a hint of mint.
LaTeX, baby. It's more for the hard sciences (math, chem, physics, etc.), but it is really powerful. It's got a bit of a learning curve though.
If money is no problem, go with Microsoft Office, better the suite made by paid professionals, then Open Office, iWorks is good, but I don't think it's on the same level as MS Office.
any guide around on how to use it?
If money is not a problem, go for iWork ($79) and (freeware) OpenOfficeDotOrg. Even with unlimited budget, there is no compelling reason to spend money on Word. I got through a number of grad EE courses using OOO and Pages at home and sharing files with other students who were using Word. I also (mostly) got away with using the OS X version of the Student Edition of Matlab.
LaTeX might a good thing to learn in your free time, but why bother when you can afford software that makes it unnecessary? You have enough to learn in EE school without adding LaTeX. If you find yourself on a text based Linux box then by all means take a look at LaTeX. Otherwise stick with iWork (Pages) and OOO. If you simply can't resist writing a check to M$, then pick up whatever the latest version of Office for Mac. As for installing parallels, vmware or virtualbox and littering your Mac with Windows just to do word processing?!? That would be the equivalent of flying through Beijing to get from Toledo to Cleveland. There might be legit reasons to have Windows on your mac. For instance, there might be some specialized simulation or other engineering software you need to run on Windows. But short of an actual need, I wouldn't bother with a virtualized PC. Since OS X is Unix underneath, I wouldn't bother with (even a virtualized) Linux box either.
BTW, I'm a mid-career EE who could easily pick up Office for $7 under the "home use" program at my employer and I still don't own a copy.
You can "get away" with using Pages and OpenOffice.org but you'll spend time making sure things are viewable in Word. Your best bet is to get work. The new versions (Mac Office 2011) should be coming out soon and work very well. It is supposed to release in October with a $119 Home and Student price point.
According to a number of sources, the 2011 version will have VBA that was dropped for the 2008 version.
Microsoft News release citing return of VBA.
If you can use OpenOffice.org until October, then pick up Office 2011, you'd probably be set. If you're already using VMWare Fusion or Parallels, then you could always get Office 2010 for Windows.
No any LaTeX editor is what you need. Engineering papers in an academic environment are done in LaTeX.
If you have to write a lot of equations, get MathType!
I couldn't live without it
I have worked with engineers in the corporate, government, and academic environments for more than 30 years. In all those years, I have met exactly one engineer who used LaTeX. Suffice it to say, most used Word. Before Word got to be so big, they used other wordprocessors including WordPerfect.
I still load a Windows VM because after all these years WordPerfect is still the best consumer-level word processing software around.
In a government or corporate environment Office formats are fine. In academic sciences and engineering, I haven't met anyone who doesn't prefer LaTeX to the Word/Mathtype combination. Once learned, LaTeX is a far superior platform with much more robust capabilities.
You are now answering a different question than the one that the OP asked. IMHO, Word is a steaming pile. Word:win is an even higher steaming pile. Suffice it to say that, left to my own devices, I would never choose Word for anything.
The OP's question was not what we preferred. He asked what does he need as an electrical engineering student. The inescapable truth is that he needs Word and the rest of the Office suite. LaTeX is a nonissue. It is free. The OP may download and install it at any time. He may learn it at his leisure. Authoring mathematically-intensive papers take-up a small part of the engineer's workday. Proficiency in LaTeX will be small consolation if he receives a blank form in Word format or a budget page in Excel format.
is latex the same as lyx??