Doing without MS Office

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MortimerJazz, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. MortimerJazz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'm aware that this may be a silly question, but I'm a life-long PC user thinking about converting.

    Anyway, around the workplace Microsoft Office is seen as the standard package for your word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. I'm aware that there's now a Mac version for this, but the reviews of it on the Apple site aren't great.

    So my question is, are the applications that come with the Mac compatible with Office? ie could I open up my Powerpoint presentation on the way home and do some work on it?

    If not, could you recommend something that would? I've heard Appleworks mentioned a few times. Is that compatible?

    Thanks alot for your help,
     
  2. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    there's a few options

    1. Microsoft Office is available for the Mac - 2004 works now and there's a new version due within the next few months

    2. NeoOffice is open-source and for many of us works well as an MSOffice alternative - I use it every day. You also can't beat free (free doesn't mean limited features either - this really is an excellent app)_=]

    3. iWork (produced by Apple themselves) is inexpensive and can read-write MS Office files (although, in my experience, not quite as seamlessly as NeoOffice can). It includes a word processor (pages), spreadsheet (numbers) and an excellent presentations app called Keynote.

    Edit: I guess I should mention that I'm a Mac-based user working in a largely Windows environment. I really don't have any problems at all exchanging files with Windows users. The only thing I _would_ add to the above is that if powerpoint is your primary concern, you might be best going for MS Office itself - both NeoOffice and Keynote can handle powerpoint files, but it's not quite as straightforward as sharing Word or Excel files.
     
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #3
    Most Mac word processors can open Word documents. Pages and Keynote can read and write Office files. However, if you need to collaborate with people using Office, or be certain that your documents will look exactly the same in Office as they do to you, then you should get the Mac version of Office.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #4
    If you buy Microsoft Office 2004 now from the Apple Online Store you get a free upgrade to Microsoft Office 2008 when it is released.

    Personally though I would just get iWork '08. It really is great application and it looks great to boot.
     
  5. MortimerJazz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2007
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    London
    #5
    Thanks alot for the replies - much appreciated.

    What's Appleworks by the way?
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #6
    Microsoft Word has been available for the Mac since 1984. Microsoft Excel originated on the Mac and was ported to Windows. Microsoft's Mac applications tend to be more compatible with their Windows counterparts than one Windows version of a Microsoft application is with a different Windows version. Except for a couple of gotchas, PowerPoint on the Mac is fully-compatible with PowerPoint for Windows. Before playing back a presentation created on a different platform, you should go through and check formatting for dingbat (used primarily for bullets) and symbol characters. Microsoft chose not to make the character mapping of dingbats and inserted symbols compatible across platforms even if you have these fonts properly installed. This tends to be a minor annoyance and is easily rectified.
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
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    #7
    It is the old Apple office suite. It has not been updated in about six years. I'd say get iWork '08 or Microsoft Office, forget about Appleworks.
     
  8. Ariez macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2007
    #8
    Depends how you use Office. If youre advance user NOTHING comes close to Office. But if youre the casual users then go with neooffice.
     
  9. Curren~Sea macrumors regular

    Curren~Sea

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    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    My wife and I are pretty heavy MS Office users due to our work environments. I switched to Mac last year and have been fighting hard to get her to use it... but she won't because it's not fully compatible with all of her Office files and formats.

    Someone might say, "minor inconvenience" but for some the reality is that these incompatibilities are extremely annoying. In my wife's case they are show stoppers and she won't consider using the mac. Busy professionals have better things to do than fiddle-fart around. The computer is a tool to get work done...

    Anyway... the point is that I have tried to make iWork and NeoOffice work for compatibility but I'll most likely hunker down and buy Office for Mac and hope it is 100% compatible. Then maybe my wife will start using the Mac.
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
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    #10
    Just get office- it's worth it solely because of Excel. No free alternative (NeoOffice, OpenOffice) comes close to Excel.

    For Word Processing just install LateX packages and use TeXShop.
     
  11. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    May 16, 2006
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    London
    #11
    If you are a heavy Excel user, then it really is quite necessary...NeoOffice is fantastic though, and so is iWork :)
     
  12. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #12
    You are talking, but you are not saying anything. Exactly what are the problems that your wife is having? I can't recall the last time I had a problem with a Word or Excel file that had been produced by a competent author. I included this caveat because Office applications are big, badly written, and provide lots of ways to screw-up. And as I stated in my previous post, you can expect fewer compatibility issues with Office:mac and any version of Office:win up through Office 2003 than between any two versions of Office:win. If we knew your issues, then you might find a lot of help here.
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Three great applications, actually. ;)
     
  14. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #14
    I'm using iWork 08 and don't miss Office in the slightest ... :)
     
  15. byakuya macrumors 6502a

    byakuya

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #15
    I'd also suggest using MS office for the mac.
    while the alternatives to MS office surely are great (I have tried open office already in my pc days) it just is more comfortable using MS office if you have to share your files with windows people.

    There also are few threads here and there where compatibility issues are discussed...I personally haven't encountered any when I was trying out neo office and open office but apparently it can happen.

    byakuya
     
  16. Curren~Sea macrumors regular

    Curren~Sea

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    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    The incompabilities we experience happen all the time with graphics and bulleted lists as well as font and general formatting. I'm talking about NeoOffice and Word. As for competency this is a non-issue. We work with hundreds of other individuals who all use Word/Excel/PP and whether or not they are "competent" at Office applications doesn't matter. What matters is the work that needs to get done and the effort required to do it. Nobody wants to spend (waste) precious time on software incompatibilties.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Personally, I don't like wasting precious time fixing formatting problems created by Office users with competency issues. This can be a bigger barrier to work getting done than "incompatibilities."
     
  18. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #18
    I like iWork but then the only app I use is Numbers...was not a big fan of NeoOffice.
     
  19. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #19
    iWork 08 and NeoOffice

    I have tons of Word and Excel files that I use for work and for clients; iWork 08 works on them most of the time and when it can't NeoOffice works fine. I think I will get the new Mac MS Office when it comes out, just to have for extreme cases, but it is a bitter pill.
     

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