IWork or Office for college?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by asdf1234567890, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. asdf1234567890 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2009
    I'm buying a Mac Book Pro for college today :) I want to make sure I can email all assignments to my teachers if i need to. Should I go with Office or IWork? My major is secondary education in history so I know the computer is good but I dont know if IWork files are compatable for PCs because the college im going to is PC based.

    Thanks so much!!!! :D
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    iWork can open office documents and can export iWork documents in office format.
  3. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Office. It simply isn't worth the risk in college to run into any problems. Also, many colleges have deals in place with Microsoft to get office for cheap. I got Office 2008, Windows Vista Ultimate, and Office 2004 for $7 each.
  4. rlav macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Office. It may not be the best UI, but in college you want something that you don't have to worry about compatibility issues with group projects or online submission.
  5. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    I moved to a mac last year and went with office. I know it and it works fine. Personal choice I know but I prefer office:)
  6. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...you could try openoffice or neo office for free before you paid for a program...
  7. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I chose iWork over office at the beginning. I ended up buying Office later for better compatibility.
  8. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    Once you get into your upper division history courses, Pages will be sufficient. It's best to have Office for compatibility issues.
  9. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Office will be much easier for you. Converting documents to iWork sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Converting back to Office is the same way. It's a headache, and it's usually most frustrating when you're in a hurry. There are some advanced things you can only do in Office, which means no conversion is possible.

    I'm no fan of Office, but it's the way the world turns. Every job you get will likely use Office. Files on the internet are often in Office format. Unless you want to fight the big evil corporate giant, Office is the best choice.
  10. andypullen macrumors member


    Sep 1, 2007
    I started college with both iWork and Office on my iBook... that was 6 years ago. I finished college after taking Office off of my iBook to free up disk space. I found that I never used Office when I had iWork. That was even before iWork came with Numbers. If you need Office for collaboration (though in my opinion iWork works just fine in that department), I would use both. It is so much more pleasant to work with the iWork suite. It's not even funny.
  11. raygungirl macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2009
    So far I've exclusively used OpenOffice for all my coursework, because I was way too cheap/poor to buy MS Office and OpenOffice is free. I had no problems with compatibility as long as I exported the document as a Word file. This was on a PC, but I don't think that makes a difference in this case.

    Just be sure to export to a Word document before sending it to your teacher.

    I ordered and plan to use iWork with my new iMac. I was skeptical at first that you could really get by without having Word, but after using OpenOffice with no problems (even their version of Powerpoint/Keynote) for a few semesters, I'm really not too worried.

    That said, I think it depends on what you're going to do with it. I've never once had to collaborate with anyone on a text document, so I cannot speak to how well that works with OpenOffice or iWork.
  12. feflower macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    consider Mellel


    Take a look at Mellel for word processing. It is cheap, it is fast. It is also made by academics for academics. It will export into Word, but I haven't test this exhaustively.

    I would also take a look at this website/blog:


    It gives tips about other useful apps for school.
  13. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    iWork. It has a better UI and can open and export files in Office format.
  14. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    iWork. I switched from Office a year back and there is absolutely no way I will give up iWork if I can avoid it. The better UI coupled with a cheaper price, better usage of disk space (658 MB vs. 1.5 GB for Office 2008) and good compatibility make it excellent. I've worked on basic MLA essays on school PCs, imported them into Pages perfectly and re-exported just as well.
  15. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I agree and would encourage you to check into this
    You should be able to get either Office for the Mac or PC at a reduced rate

    In general...

    If you need strict compatibility with MS Office for Windows, your best bet is to run Windows and MS Office 2003 or 2007 with Boot Camp or virtualized with Fusion/Parallels/Virtual Box (free)/Crossover.

    If you need mild compatibility with MS Office for Windows, you can use Office 2004 or 2008 for the Mac, with the understanding they are not equivalents and there is little VBA support in 2004 and virtually none in 2008. Excel will be the primary difference more so than Word. That probably won't make a difference for you in college, but will in business.

    If you want MS Office-like interface, etc. then Open Office/Neo Office are good choices and they are free. But they will not provide strict compatibility with MS Office. They will however, give you a more Office-like experience.

    If you want the functionality of MS Office with a Mac experience, the iWork is the best bet. It is a great value for the cost. Pages is a great tool, and Keynote is superior to Powerpoint in my opinion. Numbers is good, but does not provide the power of Excel. You can check out a comparison here: MR Guide - iWork v. MS Office. You can export and import Office docs, but there are issues at times.

    You can also check out Mariner Write and Mariner Calc

    If you just looking for a nice word processing, then Bean is free.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  16. jay1118 macrumors member


    May 28, 2009
  17. theARNSKI macrumors regular

    May 27, 2009
    I'd probably have to go with Office, just as everyone has said, for compatibility. Especially since you said your school is PC based.

    It wouldn't hurt to have iWorks though, since it can export to Word format.

    I had the same question when I picked up my macbook a little over a month ago. But I decided I'd stick with iWorks for two reasons: when I picked up my macbook at Best Buy, they had a deal with iWorks and MobileMe, I forgot what it was, but that deal along with my student discount pretty much gave me iWorks for free; the other reason is that my college seems to be switching to Mac. Our computer labs are slowly, but steadly replacing the PCs with Macs.
  18. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I use both, a solution to that is the Neo Office/iWork combination...

    There is another lengthy thread here.
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  20. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Check your IT department if you get Office for free. Our students qualify for XP and office for free since we bought the license for OUR department and the students under our major.

    If not, another vote for Office. Buy it at amazon, the Student version.
  21. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I used to use Office for all my office type work, but now I've gone to iWork and haven't looked back. Much better GUI in my opinion, and it works much faster.
  22. Chris 123 macrumors regular

    Chris 123

    Jun 28, 2008
    U.S. (New England)
    I was a freshman last year and had both office and iwork.

    iwork was a huge hastle for me.

    i vote office
  23. Eanair macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    I vote Office.

    But then again, I knew that I needed Excel, and that the iWork equivalent (Numbers, right?) wasn't up to the job.
  24. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Office, but honestly if I was doing college over again I'd just do all my word processing in LaTeX.

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