iWork '08 - just how compatible?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by thomasp, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    UK
    #1
    Has anyone tried cross-platform compatibility between iWork '08 and Microsoft Office (both '07 and the previous version - XP I think) on Windows?

    The Apple site boasts that iWork can import Word files into Pages, Excel files into Numbers and PowerPoint files into Keynote, but to those who have tried it, how well does it do this? Does it do it as well as when opening an Office XP file in Office '04 on a Mac?

    Also, the Apple site is a bit quiet on the other side of cross-compatibility. Exporting, say, a Pages file to a Word document and opening it up in Office on a Windows machine. How well does iWork (all 3 applications) handle this - is there any noticeable difference in the files? I assume you can export as a .doc file and as a .docx file (for Office '07).


    Finally, I had a 30 day iWork '06 trial on my PowerBook, and that has expired. Can I download the iWork '08 trial and try that, or do I have to buy it now (as the trial has expired)?


    Thanks :)
     
  2. thegrifman macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #2
    I've had more success exporting to Word than importing. My econ professor sent out a word document with some pictures embedded and Pages wouldn't show those but it rendered all the text and the table just fine. I exported my econ notes to .doc which included some comments that I use to tell myself I need to look something up and so on and Word 2000 opened it up and actually showed my comments so I was impressed with that along with proper formatting of the text and such, although it was simply helvetica with some legal style bullets. I then tried opening it in Word 2007 and again it opened with proper formatting and the comments were displayed off to the side like they should be in Word 07. So, so far for me it looks like exporting works better than importing. I did also at one point export a doc with an embedded image and that opened up in Word 2007 although the image had taken on a light gray tone vs the black and white it had in Pages.

    Only other thing I tried was exporting my budget from Numbers to Excel and while each table was formatted properly it did put each one on it's own Sheet in the "Workbook" so it wouldn't be quite as intuitive to view that as it is in Numbers since you can have multiple tables on one sheet.
     
  3. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2004
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    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. The reason why I'm asking is because I'm debating whether to go for iWork '08 or Office '08 (if/when it's released :p). I'm currently running Office '04. Trouble is, being at university, I need total cross platform compatibility, because my uni has one mac on the network :( I have a couple of minor compatibility issues with Word between OSX and XP at the moment, but nothing too severe.

    With the appropriate Higher Education student discounts, I imagine iWork will be considerably cheaper than Office (when it's released), and I should probably upgrade to something that supports .docx files, as the current plug-in for Office'04 seems to do more harm than good...


    Also, after looking at the Apple website, Pages seems to be more like MS Publisher (on Windows) than Word. It seems to be more for laying out newsletters/newspapers and that sort of thing than just writing a boring old word processing document. How easy is it to just write a standard 1000 word essay in Pages, without any fancy columns/formatting/etc.
     
  4. thegrifman macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2006
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    Kennesaw, GA
    #4
    I think all that newsletter stuff on the web site is just to show off what Pages is capable of. I use it to take notes in class and I can easily see myself using it to write a research paper as I'll have to do at the end of the semester. It's got a Header and Footer by default on all pages that you can just click on to enter the info and it's so easy to change formats and such. I wouldn't worry about writing papers on it. I bought it with student discount and it was only $8 off, I paid $71 instead of $79 so not much savings there but still totally worth it in my opinion. Unfortunately since my econ professor does use word and likes to embed images I have to keep it around for that. If all you're going to use it for is writing papers and you're not trying to do anything fancy like open up a .doc with embedded graphics or anything, you should be fine with Pages.

    I actually just fired up Office 2007 via VNC and dropped a piece of clip art into my exported document, saved it and opened it up in Pages and the clip art showed up exactly as it did in Word, so perhaps the graphics importing isn't totally bad, maybe my professor is using a really old copy of word or something, who knows.
     
  5. Schnebar macrumors 6502

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  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    Which brings up the point that nothing is 100% compatible with anything else, even Word with other versions of Word. If you care about your documents looking to others the way you created them, then you won't give them Word documents, you'll create PDFs.
     
  7. bentley macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    #7
    That's what I've started doing.

    I used to invoice people using a template I made up in Word but on getting Numbers I've tweaked their Invoice template and made something that looks really good and professional. I email most of my invoices so in order for the invoice appear as I want it I export to pdf.
     
  8. applemumba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #8
    Have just received my iWork, iLife 08 copy so hoping for some great compatibility.

    I have a fair few excel spreadsheet so will be giving it a go on all of them and see how I get on.

    Oh and the new keyboard came today too! looking forward to using it.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Good for you. I teach a Mac class and I'm always surprised to find how many of my students don't even know about OSX's ability to easily generate PDF files from any application. After all these years, it's still OSX's secret weapon -- one of the Mac's most important and underutilized features.

    Simple rule of thumb: Unless you want to give the recipient the ability to edit your documents, and don't care about how they look, then you should always be sending them a PDF. How many people would send anything but PDFs if they asked themselves those two questions beforehand?
     
  10. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #10
    Thanks - downloading now... 468Mb's gonna take a while :eek:

    I usually do that if I'm sending a "read only" file already. But, especially when working on group projects at university, I'll need to send Word/"Exhell"/PowerPoint files that the recipient can edit, then send back to me and I can edit a bit more.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
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    #11
    Right, that's about the only time you should be sending these files. In my experience however, the vast majority of the Word and Excel files I receive are intended just for reading. This is not only thoughtless but potentially dangerous. When I'm feeling especially cranky I feel like asking the sender if it would okay if I randomly change some of the text or numbers in their documents and send them to somebody else.
     

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