iWork in Business?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by iMi, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. iMi macrumors 65816

    iMi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    #1
    I am getting a little tired of Microsoft Office, especially Outlook. Lately it has been acting up a lot. OneDrive has been having photo uploading issue and syncing problems with office documents.

    I am tinning about simplifying my digital life.

    I am a consultant, so I work with other people. I share spreadsheets, but don’t really use advanced options in excel. Presentations are usually completed in Keynote (love it) and shared as physical printouts or PDF documents. I don’t really use Word much. If I do, it’s usually letters or publishing documents. Shared as PDF or printed.

    So, has anyone successfully used the iWork suite full time in a business setting? Do you run into issues when sharing with the Windows world often?
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    If you are doing things exactly as you say, you'll probably have little problem. "Simple" spreadsheets probably transfer. Sharing presentations and docs as PDFs or printed means no compatibility issues with the Windows world.

    Where it can become a problem is collaboration. While Pages can import and export Word, it doesn't do it perfectly. While Keynote can import and export Power Point, it doesn't do it perfectly. Numbers can import & export simple spreadsheets but is not a complete substitute for Excel. If things are simple, Pages, Keynote & Numbers can probably import and export compatible versions. But if things get a little beyond what they can effectively import & export, you end up affecting the documents... perhaps in unexpected or undesirable ways for the Windows collaborators.

    If you hold everything to the "as is," you're probably OK. But as soon as you need to step it up a bit, you may find that iWork cannot suffice. Be alert to such situations and you can deal with it at the point the potential issues pop up.

    What I do in my business is keep a bootcamp Windows installation available, and use native Windows Office apps when clients need to collaborate via those apps. That guarantees compatibility in collaborations. However, when there is no Office file sharing, I do quite well with the iWork apps.
     
  3. iMi thread starter macrumors 65816

    iMi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for sharing. I have a Surface for windows compatibility issues - mainly corporate web based PMI type of systems. I use them rarely. It's actually why I purchased the Surface. The tech support would not help because I was using "unauthorized hardware" even though I was running Windows natively via bootcamp.

    Anyone, I may try this... See how the clients respond. I figured, if something doesn't look right, they will let me know. Plus, I can always reinstall Office and jump right back into it.
     
  4. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    Obviously if output is printed, it will look exactly as you see it. If you export as PDF, it will look exactly the same to clients too. It's when you try to lean on import and export to & from Office Docs (files) where stuff can happen. And there, you won't be able to tell how it will look unless you take a look at something in Office programs before passing it back to clients.

    Since you have a Surface, I'm guessing you can run Office in Windows on that Surface. If so, any time you are working with Office doc files that need to be returned to clients as doc files, you can take a peek at them on the Surface first, then import them into iWork apps, edit them, export them back to doc files and then take another peek at them on the Surface (last) to see if what you are sending back retains its look as it was delivered to you. That would be the best way to pass Office files back & forth and do what you want to do without necessarily disappointing clients when an iWork input/export yields unexpected changes.
     
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #5
    OP: Keep in mind that the iWork file format is badly documented and if you need to store files for long term use its not a good choice because it might not be possible to open them in a another software if Apple stops developing iWork.

    If you use iWork its safer to export the files to another format for safekeeping...
     
  6. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #6
    iWork is most definitely not recommended for business. Too many incompatibilities, and even the file formats get updated every few years, or at least they did initially. As mentioned, if you value the integrity of your data, you'll want to export your files to other formats anyway... those being MS Office formats, but this constant import and export causes many problems.

    I made some presentations in Keynote but over time I've decided to make all new presentations in PowerPoint. It saves a lot of headache to have relative consistency of support and compatibility with all your colleagues.

    iWork isn't a business suite. It's basically a consumer version of Office for the Mac with a few pretty bells and whistles.
     
  7. iMi thread starter macrumors 65816

    iMi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    #7
    That's an excellent point. I'll keep that in mind.

    I decided to try working one of my email accounts through Mail. I haven't used it in years, aside from personal email, which I never really use much. The font size issue is still such a big problem. There is no way I could use it professionally unless there are some plug ins (aside from Universal Mailer - as it doesn't seem to work well) or default settings I could change to alleviate those concerns.

    I downloaded all the Microsoft fonts to improve compatibility between iWorks and Office. All documents that I open work and look great. The problem is exporting them. Everything except for the precise location of images placed into Excel works fine.

    I'll keep playing it with for a while. See what happens. Open to any other suggestions, of course!
     
  8. hal_kado macrumors newbie

    hal_kado

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    Mar 29, 2016
    #8
    I don't think you can completely ditch Office in most organizations, or at the very least you may need to use it online. I do use iWork + airmail as my office replacement. However there are times where heavily formatted documents or complex spreadsheets don't export/import well which can hurt if you need a Windows based colleague to be able to work with your document. As a result I found I still need office installed, mostly to double check stuff I export. Or in some cases where I'm designing a document intended for wider use I might lean towards building it in office....

    In short for me it works as I rarely need to share anything but the final pdf version of most of my files, but if you heavily share and edit documents with windows based colleagues/clients it can add complexity to your workflow.
     
  9. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #9
    I work in and am surrounded by 15000+ Microsoft machines. I use only Apple software on my Apple machines. I do not have outlook nor office products installed and I get along just fine.

    As you have stated, I turn out only completed documents as PDFs and when needed collaborate via iCloud links ( haven't done this in at least a year ). Very easy to do. Some would say that complex Excel files do not share / convert properly. My argument is to use the best tools for the job. Typically, the excel file will have an incredibly complex backend, calculator that returns results to a front end simplified UI. While this is impressive as heck, I prefer building a proper database and a little javascript to get the same results. With the added benefit of much easier changes and reporting.
     
  10. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #10
    I do things with Pages, Numbers and export as Word and Excel. I have Microsoft Office to verify the documents before I email them out. Numbers is much better than Excel in presentation. Try creating a few sheets in Numbers and export to Excel and you will see why. Excel is like using a Commodore 64 Spreadsheet app that is limited to 1 sheet per tab. I hate this limitation of Excel.
     
  11. skaertus macrumors 68040

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #11
    I use Microsoft Office in both office and home. iWork is more a distraction than anything else. I cannot really share the documents with anyone else; and it does not have the advanced features that I need. And it simply cannot be used in organizations.

    Look, for instance, at what Apple did with iWork in 2013: it removed features and simplified the software, in a way that the suite for Mac matched the ones for iPad and iPhone. Several home users felt just abandoned by Apple, which, after nearly four years without significant updates, simply decided to water-down the suite. If an organization was using iWork '09 at the time, it could be in serious trouble following Apple's decision to "update" iWork in such a way.

    Microsoft Office is reliable and made for business. You can rest assured that Microsoft will keep developing it for years to come, and that it will keep compatibility. As nearly everybody uses it, compatibility is assured. No risks here.
     
  12. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #12
    Use mostly iWork. On occasion, I need to work on a specific Word document. Maybe once a year. At that time I can use a company Windows machine.

    Even with Office you can run into compatibility problems switching from one machine to another.

    Most of the the time I use PDFs for sharing.

    I’m not sure what Ebenezum is getting at by saying that iWork file formats are not well documented. Apple software engineers document everything up the wazoo.
     
  13. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #13
    Before I used iWork for business, I used it for personal use only. Used traditional Office for business use. Once I started using iWork for business, my skills with using the product greatly improved and I was able to do much more with iWork than when I used it in a more casual way.
     
  14. iMi thread starter macrumors 65816

    iMi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    #14
    I am definitely giving it a try.

    It's been at least a week now and everything is working out alright. No complaints. I have not touched Office yet, so we'll see what happens.
     
  15. jpl05 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    #15
    The thing I find great and unique in iWork is the integration of the apps. For instance I can have several tables in a pages document, do numerical computations in each of the tables with most of the functions of Numbers and even do cross table computations all in the same Pages or Keynote document. When we write complex documents with lots of tabular input at different places it is very handy to keep track of all values in overview tables.
     
  16. 960design, Oct 9, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017

    960design macrumors 68030

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  17. skaertus macrumors 68040

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #17
    I simply cannot get along with iWork. It is fine, but it does not have enough features.

    I use styles and cross-references extensivey on a word processor. It makes things much easier. However, Pages does not support those features, while Word has had them for ages.

    And my presentations must be opened in everybody’s laptop when I am going to give a speech. And sometimes I have to make some final editing in somebody else’s laptop. I cannot rely on Keynote. Not even on PDFs. I need PowerPoint.
     
  18. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #18
    Pages does support styles... both character and paragraph styles. But you are correct, Pages does not support cross references.

    Given your workflow for presentations, you really do need PowerPoint.

    iWork is not for everybody. But it is helpful for people to give it an honest try rather than simply to default to MS Office. As big of a fan of iWork that I am, I readily switch to MS Office for those tasks that it is better suited for.
     
  19. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #19
    I use a custom version of reveal.js for presentations.
    Create a network from my MBP and feed the content to 30+ users on their devices; be it android, ios, windows, linux... pretty much any browser out there.

    That way I can make updates to the very last minute and still get the presentation out to everyone. Plus, I have semi-control of their displays. While they can move forward and backwards during a discussion to take notes ( or view a chart a bit longer ), every time I advance a slide, everyone comes right back to where I want them to be. I can also control it from an iPhone or iPad, so I can walk around and keep everything flowing.

    At the end of the presentation, I pop up a PDF link for them to download.

    It seems to have that little extra WOW! factor that even keeps the ubiquitous PowerPoint pundits paying attention.
     
  20. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean NOBODY can use it in a business setting. "It simply cannot be used" is a pretty strong statement—particularly since Apple itself uses it, thereby invalidating your statement.

    As for personal experience, I've worked with 3 companies that use it exclusively with no problems at all—and yes, that includes sharing files with external clients who use MS Office on Macs and Windows.
     
  21. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #21
    Office does tend to work best on Windows, but there are other alternatives. If you just want simple functionality that's more like office of old, try LibreOffice. Totally free and the standard office suite on most Linux distros these days.
     
  22. GerritV macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #22
    Now that you mention LibreOffice, I was able to open AppleWorks documents with it, they must have been 15-20 years old. Never thought it would work, but a whole operational spreadsheet was right there for me.
     
  23. boppin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #23
    Hello,



    Perhaps you should completely reinstall OneDrive and / or contact OneDrive support.
     
  24. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #24
    That's one of the many reasons why LibreOffice is an integral part of my office productivity tools. I have 100's if not 1000's of old files in AppleWorks and ClarisWorks format. What I could do with ClarisWorks for Windows back-in-the-day made my co-workers using MS Office green with envy.
     

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23 September 26, 2017