iWork or Office 2008 for a student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mattcube64, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Hi guys!

    I was looking at picking up Office 2008 at my campus bookstore the other day, but they were all sold out. I went back today, and saw they had it for $150. That's a little steep, especially considering I have '04. However, with as much typing as I do, I'd like to run native on my Macbook.

    Then I saw that iWork '08 is only $39. That's quite the bargain! However, I couldn't help but think that even at that price, I'd still prefer Word, as that's what I always have used.

    I've tried OpenOffice, Bean, NeoOffice, etc, etc... and I never like them as much as Word. Do you think Pages could officially switch me?

    And, I am correct in knowing that all Word/Excel documents can import and export with iWork, right? Everything is compatible?

    What would you guys recommend?

    OH! And to add to the confusion... We also have "site-licensed" software. For $69, I can get Office '08 through that... What's the disadvantage to that? No box? Is that it? I thought you might download it or something... but there's a shipping charge. So, I'm confuzzled.:confused:
  2. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    I have iWork 08 and and Office 04 running for me, and I always use Pages. Whenever I need to send the file to someone who doesn't have a Mac, I just export it in Word format...but I always by default use Pages. I think it's easier to use.

    Plus, Keynote blows Powerpoint out of the water.
  3. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    I have the same thing except that i can not recall the last time that I used office 04-I almost always use Pages. If I need to use office, I normally will simply use my dell laptop that i have for school-

    I have played around with Numbers and I have to say that it is fairly limited-I simply was not comfortable with it. I have never used keynote but I know people that have I know that is a superior app than powerpoint.

    if you are unsure apple has trial of iwork-i say try it out and see if it works

    heres the link
  4. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    iwork is great. Much better and cheaper than ANY other microsoft product.
  5. DarkFlash macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Try the trial version and see what you think. I went with iWork myself. WAY cheaper, and runs a lot better.
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    If you plan on sharing files with others you should get office. There are always conversion errors in both of them when giving your files to your pc friends, but office tends to have fewer. Plus, office is the industry standard (unfortunately but true)... I do agree though that keynote is way better, however, whenever I do presentations it is never on my computer (normally a presentation laptop/setup) so conversion perfection is a must - there's nothing more embarassing than bringing in a file that doesn't look at all correct as you load it up to give a presentation. Don't screw yourself - get office.
  7. Pees330 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'm also in college now and I use Office. I just find it easier and quicker since all of the files I use are based in Office. I'm sure I could convert them in iWork, but it's not worth it for me. I don't have to worry about any converting factors when I submit my work to my professors online.
  8. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    If you're in an industry where people you need to send files to are using Office then your best bet is to use Office also, it's MUCH easier.
  9. timsutcliffe macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007

    I think if you're a student, then Office is the one to get. If you need help or anything with your spreadsheets, then you're far more likely to find someone who can help you with Excel than in Numbers.
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yes, but it never seems to make much difference... I guess we really do need a new "iWork vs. Office" thread nearly every day.
  11. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Hey, at least it makes your list more impressive!
  12. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    I'm a student, I went with office. I am sending files between people and I cant have formatting problems or anything different. I know when I send a word doc out that it is what I just wrote up and looks great.
  13. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Of course, this assumes that everyone you send it out to has the same version of Word as you do.

    PDF is the way to go for document/formatting consistency, no matter who you are sending things to.
  14. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    If you use office 2007 and have it save as "backward compatibility mode files - ie anything but the new format of .docx, xlsx, etc...." then you won't have any problems with compatibility.
  15. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    The basic question is: do you need Excel? Numbers is similar, but not a complete substitute -- particularly when interchanging files.
  16. Neptunian macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006
    I've tried Microsoft Office 2004 and Microsoft Office 2008. To me, the layout is almost the same. But, running MO 2008 is faster compared to MO 2004.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not a die-hard fan of MO. I'm using iWork '08 too. Loving it every second using it. But, if you are a heavy user of Excel (for doing calculation and also drawing graphs), then you might have to considered getting MO 2008. Excel is much better and advance than Numbers. Maybe this is because Numbers is just too new in iWork (FYI, Apple just introduced Numbers in iWork '08). If not, then iWork '08 works fine with you, IMHO.

    Both Words and Power Point are definitely not a match for Pages and Keynote. I used both Pages and Keynote a lot. But I still have a copy of MO 2008 installed on my MacBook. This is because I still need Excel (for drawing scientific graphs).

    So, ask yourself. Do you need Excel. If yes, go for MO 2008. If not, go for iWork '08.
  17. chrismac00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2007
    I was in the same situation last month. I had been using Windows all my life and Microsoft Office was it. I used it all the time for school and what not. So last month, I got a MacBook. I knew I would have to buy Microsoft Office 2008 Student Edition again, but I recently bought the 2007 version for my PC. So I was looking for a cheaper software. I saw the free ones like Open Office, but with "free" there is always something different. So I remember having the iWork trial and it was about to expire in 2 days but it worked. So I started using it and it worked for me and I could easily send to people by exporting to Word and I could export it to Word onto my USB to use in school. I personally will never use Microsoft Office again. iWork is the way to go! Numbers is better than Excel and Keynote is way better and easier to use than PowerPoint. So go ahead and buy the $39 iWork at your campus. It's really cheap there compared to the original $79, but it's 100% worth it!:D:D:D
  18. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    True, they'll likely be able to open the file, but that's no guarantee that it will look the same. Given people's lack of understanding using formatting tools and proper header, title and body differentiation in their Word docs, I'm not holding my breath for perfect results on another machine. Thus PDFs.
  19. Olvenskol macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I'd avoid Office 2008 for now if you have '04. I upgraded recently and it's decidedly buggy still. Give it a few months ;)

    I also have iWork and really like it. I flat out prefer Numbers to Excel and find the Pages UI to be a little easier to use than the Word one. I still use Word for my main docs though: in part because of habit (20 years of Word experience!) and, in part, because I have one .DOC file that doesn't preserve its image correctly when converted to Pages (btw, I don't think this is a bug: the document is very unusual and I think the imaging difference is due to a difference in font measurements).

    Overall, Office has more features than iWork, but iWork does what most people need and does it very well.
  20. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    I had been using iWork for a while and thought it was great ...... then, I had to email a friend a document in Word format (.doc) The exported file could NOT be open in Word.

    My advice is that if you need to send documents that can be read in Word .... get Office.

    get the students edition, it's great value for money.
  21. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    You'll have some conversion issues even with MS Word running on Windows from '95, '97, 2000, XP, 2003, and 2007. It's pretty much a guarantee that anytime you exchange a document between people who were not running the exact same version of MS Word there is a chance that there will be a problem with some of the advanced formatting. Advanced table formating and Font substitution are two of the biggest ones that come to mind.

    If preserving your formatting is your primary concern and the other party doesn't have to make any edits I would suggest you export to PDF after using your preferred word processor. You can still select and copy text as well as insert comments. It's also a pretty good way to filter out any metadata that many Word editors have been known to store within Word files.

    If collaboration is more important then you'll want to work in the Word format. You may run across issues when you convert them back and forth but basic formating shouldn't cause you any issues.
  22. phoxrenvatio macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2007
    both are good, but MSoffice is not too much safer for converting, because it's not truly the same as it's Windows counterpart, you're still converting the heck out of it, always checking compatibility, ect. now as many said though, it's prob better if you are gonna send stuff to teachers, instead of printing it out, but if you're gonna print stuff out more, get iWork, it just looks nicer, smoother fonts, graphics, ect.

    however it is a matter of preference. try iWork, if you like it, and it fits your needs - get it, if not, upgrade MSoffice ('08 is SOOOOO much better than '04!!!) hope this helped, if not sue me :eek:

    PS- all of the MSoffice is better when sending files crap is equivalent to Windows for work ONLY, and Mac for play/art ONLY, it's a lie both are good, though i am partial to Mac, and both app suites are good, so don't worry... if you budget says iWork, you'll be fine, if you're habits say MSoffice, then get that

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