How Does OpenOffice 3.0 compare to iWork

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jlamb0, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. jlamb0 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I've been using OpenOffice 3.0 for a while now, and not only is it free, but it can open and save to all the Microsoft formats and the compatibility seems to be great. There are lots of threads comparing OpenOffice to Microsoft Office, but I'm wondering how it compares to iWork, since I've come across compatibility as a key criticism of iWork.

    It certainly isn't as pretty as iWork or MS Office for Mac, but as far as functionality goes, what do you guys think?
  2. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    Well, for Pages, I like the way that it handles a lot of the things that I customize for professional papers. I can always save as .pdf. I love Keynote! This is hands down a better program than PowerPoint, or the OO equivalent.

    I have to say that the OO Word processor is really really good considering that it is free. And with each rev it just gets better.

    If it's MS compatibility that you need because of an inner-working relation with others, then you will most likely want to stick with OO. If you are writing for publishing, presentations, and things that are not collaborative in a way that requires others on Windows to open and modify your work, then I'd say definitley give iWork a shot.

    Be warned, like Windows to Mac, it's different, and maybe not simply easy in the beginning, but once you get used to it, I think you'll like it.
  3. jlamb0 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Oh I know, OO took some getting used to as well. So Pages really gives you everything you need? What about Numbers? Spreadsheet functionality kept me firmly planted in MS Office for a long time, as I need lots of control over trendlines and other chart statistics.
  4. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    I switched to iWork when v 08 came out and haven't looked back. I've completely removed all Office apps from my computer. iWork 09 is even better. People I send files to that still use Microshaft Office can actually open iWork files easier than they could when I sent them in Office Mac format.

    Open Office 3.0 is also an excellent choice and it's a lot faster than the previous version, but it is a different program from iWork. Open Office tries to give you an Office clone where as iWork is creating a different product. iWork is friendlier and more page layout oriented.
  5. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    I tend to agree with this, though I do really like OO. I got iWork '08 when it came out and liked it very much, but realized it was still lacking in some of the "little things" that make for a complete office suite. I have been using the iWork '09 free trial (see Apple's website to try it) for the last couple of days and so far I have been VERY pleased with the progress it has made from it's last version. Finally, Pages functions as a fully featured word processor should. About the only thing still notably missing is auto save. Keynote has always been better than PP. Numbers, while still not nearly as powerful as Excel, has also continued to improve, though to be honest, I haven't played with the new version nearly as much as I have Pages and Keynote.

    Personally, I think iWork + OO can replace Office for a large majority of users. I use iWork as my primary day-to-day suite, with OO on certain docs that I know I will need to work with the older M$ Office docs I need to create for work.

    Regardless, you should take advantage of the free trial and play with iWork yourself. From what I have seen and heard the trial is fully featured for 30 days, so you should know by then whether it's worth the investment for you. For me it definitely is.
  6. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    OpenOffice's biggest plus is that it supports the OpenDocument format and therefore gives you cross-platform collaboration with Linux, Windows, AND Mac users.

    I use it for that reason, but with that said I prefer iWork's user interface and user experience. Breath of fresh air compared to OpenOffice, which is slow and clunky and barely even tries to "feel" like an OS X application.

    That said, there's a lot that OOo does that Pages does not. Our documents make extensive use of tagging photos with "Figure" references, from which a Figure Table of Contents is produced. It also supports the awesome MathML spec for formulas (I have no idea why people would pay for MathType when MathML does the trick for most things).

    As is the common theme here, it comes down to personal preference. Personally I have office suite schizophrenia.

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