iWork or Office 2008 for Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dizzydot, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. dizzydot macrumors member

    dizzydot

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    Hope I'm asking this in the right section (if not please feel free to move this as needed!)....

    I'm totally new to Macs (actually I haven't got one yet but I'm ordering the MBP 13" in the next couple of weeks):D, I'm doing a degree part-time at university and I also work full time.

    At the moment I use microsoft office 2007 for my course and job (essays, invoices etc), so I use word, powerpoint and (occasionally onenote and excel). I know most of my lecturers use word so I would have to be able to email them my documents in this format.

    I was all set to get iWork pre-installed but now I keep hearing about compatability issues when saving/sending/sharing documents that are made with pages and then saved and shared in word format - tables misaligning, bits missing etc.

    I then looked at Office 2008 for Mac but the reviews on this are a bit so-so aswell, saying it's not as good as the windows version, features hard to find etc.

    So now I'm really confused which bit of software to get.:confused:
    I know I could run office for windows with bootcamp but my copy of windows is OEM and I don't want to go to the hassle and expense of buying another copy of windows and have to keep re-booting from one OS to the other.

    Has anyone got any opinions on the 2 programs, particularly from a new windows -> mac user point of view?

    Hope my question(s) make sense and thanks in advance for any info :)

    dizzydot.
     
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #2
    For your needs I would go with Office. It's not that bad, although it does have its quirks. If you're already using Office for Windows then this is no surprise to you. The interface is a bit different but you get used to it pretty quick (certainly easier than the transition to the "Ribbon" that I still struggle with).

    You might actually want to get both, eventually, as iWork definitely has its uses. However, yes, you do run the risk that anything with special formatting may look different. It's the same as you get when you open a Word document with OpenOffice -- "usually" it works but sometimes you get little changes. Depending on what you're writing, this maybe isn't a big deal, maybe it is. For a letter or a report, maybe no big deal. For a newsletter, or a form, with lots of text boxes and precise alignments, it could be very annoying.

    Your new Mac will come with a free trial of iWork (and possibly Office too, if they still do that). Play with it to see if you think it's worth buying. I use iWork primarily for making presentations in Keynote and the odd newsletter in Pages. I never use Numbers.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    I have come close to picking up Office 2008 several times. I'm still making it with iWork and OpenOffice.org. Why not give OOO a try since it's free and see how it works for you? The next line of defense is to try iWork for a mere $79. Lastly, you can pack off a few Benjamins to M$ if the lower cost options don't cut it for you. But there's no reason to start with the most expensive option, is there?
     
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #5
    This is true. If you can get away with the free options, by all means go for it. Once you start finding it annoying to fix formatting issues in documents (or if others start complaining that the documents you send them don't quite look right) then you could spring for Office.
     
  5. InfoSecmgr Guest

    InfoSecmgr

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    #6
    Microsoft Office is, for better or worse, the de facto standard. iWork isn't bad, but it does have a few bugs when dealing with images within text (at least it likes to crash for me when I move images around a lot).

    Office 2008 feels a bit sluggish but otherwise I haven't had any major issues. The updater is a bit annoying, though. I understand 2010 is coming out soon or is already out, I haven't tried it.

    Open Office isn't bad either, but if you have people counting on getting docs from you, just stick with MS Office.
     
  6. mcmlxix macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #7
    Open Office?

    I'm in a similar situation. I'm about to buy a new MBP and I'm, wondering if I should get iWork (or MS Office) preinstalled, which would be cheaper than postinstalled. Or should I use Open Office for free.

    Currently I'm used to MS Office for Mac and Windows. How does Open Office stack up? How compatable are its files with MS Office?
     
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #8
    I would say compatibility tends to be "pretty good" but that will depend on how complex your documents are. For a straightforward report, or a basic PowerPoint presentation, you might not notice any difference. If the report contains clip art and embedded objects like equations or WordArt, you might see things get changed in the conversion from Office to OpenOffice. The problem is then when you fix it to make it look right in OpenOffice, and send it back to someone else using Office, it doesn't look right for them.

    This happened to me a few years ago with an organization I volunteer with. I produced a paper form that was pretty densely packed and precisely spaced so everything could be crammed into two pages. One year someone else updated it in OpenOffice. (That year, it became a three-page form because it spilled over :rolleyes:) Then the following year I had to update the version he created. He sent me a "Word" doc. So follow the conversions: once from my Word doc to his OpenOffice, then he fixed it up to look good in OO, then he exported it back to Word and sent it to me. By then it was so screwed up (margins were changed, tab settings and paragraph spacing defaults were different, text alignments, embedded graphics that started as vector drawings were now bitmaps) that I started over again from one of my own previous Word versions in order to fix everything.
     
  8. Ralphalph macrumors member

    Ralphalph

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #9
    Office for Law School

    I'm in lawschool and just completed a 13 person group project which involved creating a very complex document. If you're doing any kind of collaboration with people who use office, just buy office. There was one guy who used Pages, and it caused constant issues with Styles, Footnote formatting, and other strange inconsistencies between versions that are difficult to catch, but important when you're creating a legal document.

    Ralph
     
  9. dizzydot thread starter macrumors member

    dizzydot

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Thanks

    Thanks for the replies :)

    I'm veering towards office at the moment, but think I'll give both a go when I get the MBP (assuming it still comes with trial versions of each).

    I've tried OpenOffice very briefly and and tbh found it really clunky and had issues when sharing info from it - admittedly it was quite a while ago though and I wasn't 100% with it as I'm so used to MS Office.
    I think that's one of the reasons I'm swaying towards Office for Mac, the fact that I am used to it. As much as I can't wait to get my MBP I do worry that I'm going to find things frustrating/confusing after using a PC for god knows how many years.

    It's alot of money to spend to find out there's things I don't like on a Mac!:eek:
     
  10. calb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    The iWork applications are better Mac applications, but ultimately Office is a must when compatibility is key. I agree with your OpenOffice experience and hope Office works well for you. :)
     

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