iWork vs. MS Office

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dominicansrul93, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. dominicansrul93 macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2007
    I just got a macbook and I am completely new to macs. I'm starting high school this year and I am in need of some type of office suite. I have used office 04 on mac and I hated it. I hate the fact that the speed is super slow since it doesn't run natively and I hate the interface. I saw iWork and I really like it. I want to know if iWork's word processor works wit MS word format and if keynote works with MS office. I can wait til office 07 for mac or watever it is going to be called. And I can wait til the next iWork. I really want to use iwork specially since there are rumors of the 3d and all those things.
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I recommend NeoOffice :)

    At least until MS Office 08, or OpenOffice goes native...
  3. marvinsum macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2007
    It really depends whether you want to save it in Office formats (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc). I find iWork has compatibility issues even when you try to export it. Sometimes it even crashes when exporting to PDF. :rolleyes:

    But if you're not tied down to a single format, then iWork is amazing.
  4. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'd guess the next Office will be 2008 (they're usually one "year" higher than the Windows version). It'll probably launch later this year...although I don't remember hearing anything about it for a while.

    I *think* I remember hearing that iWork supports importing/exporting Word documents-pretty sure it does.

    You might consider Open Office, which is the big open source office suite.

    I don't like the interface as well as Microsoft Office, but the price is sure right (free), and it does import and export MS Office files. Super complex formating may not translate exactly the same, but for most stuff it should be fine.

    Personally I'd use Open Office instead of Neo Office. Neo Office is built off (a sometimes outdated version of) Open Office. Neo Office basically builds a different interface on it. It's free, so you can always try both, but personally I'd go with the more mainstream Open Office, which is usually a newer version.

    Here are current screen shots of how Open Office looks now:
    The second one is in a different language, but you get the idea.

    I'm not sure if high school students qualify for an educational discount or not, but I'd check that out on Apple's site, as you may be able to get hardware and software like OS X and MS Office for cheaper (Office is like $80 versus whatever it normally costs).

    *technical stuff you can safely ignore* Open Office currently doesn't use OS X's Aqua graphical system, but rather the Unix x11 (which is integrated into OS X really well). Practically speaking that pretty much just means Open Office looks a little different from other OS X applications, like it's menu bars are at the top of the windows, rather than the top of the screen.
    There are efforts under way to move Open Office over to Aqua, though I don't think they've given a time table (there's a downloadable alpha version). Honestly it doesn't look much different though.

    Neo Office doesn't use Aqua either, it uses OS X's Java system to build what some people think looks more like a normal OS X application. I'm not really sure it looks better...but regardless it's an old version of Open Office. (It's goofy those guys are wasting time off on their own thing rather than helping the main Open Office project.)
    *End pointless technical stuff*

    EDIT: Actually I just checked out the screenshots of the newest Neo Office, and it does look better than it used to. At any rate, you can always try both. Open Office is more full featured than Apple's iWrite, and it's free. I'd think it would at least hold you over until Office '08 (unless you decide to just keep using it to save money). One nifty feature I like in Open Office is the ability to save directly to PDFs, which MS Office can't do.
  5. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    If you are going to be sharing a lot of files with PC guys, then Office seems the best way to go at the moment.

    Keynote and PowerPoint are just very different. I once exported a Keynote presentation to PP and the results where terrible.

    So I wouldn't recommend iWork 06' just at the moment. I am planning to wait and see if the new iWork has better compatibility with Office and a better word processor, if it does, I'll buy it.
  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    If they helped the OOo project, it would mean Open Office would come quicker (still a few months from now) and for now, more people would go to MS while NeoOffice does not improve...
  7. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I does not have any issues, regardless of the format. However, it certainly does not export excel fles since there is no current Mac equivelant. You may get occasional format differences. Word has a few unsupported feautres from Pages and the opposite is true of Keynote and Powerpoint. Crashes? First I have ever heard of that, but anything is possible if someone does something entirely weird.
  8. ppnkg macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    Try Neooffice, at least until you have more choice. I think it works just fine, and the guys behind the effort have just released two patches which appear to improve performance.
    I don't like MSoffice too (appearance, reliability) but I have it because of certain features that other people at work use (e.g., the tracking tool). I use it only if must.
    I can't recommend iwork - pages, that is, because keynote is ok (and better than pp). I hope the new iwork will be much much better.
  9. nichos macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Another vote for neoffice/openoffice. If you go with one of these, your files will be guaranteed to open later, can't say that about MS office as they're always changing formats.
  10. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    And just to be clear, Open Office reads and writes MS Office files pretty well.
  11. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I am using NeoOffice for now, and it seems to be very good at handling MS Office files, even reasonably complex PP presentations (I know Keynote is better, but at work, it's PP). I do have to say that getting Office is rather important though. It is the industry standard, and if you can say that you have good Office skills, it will be more beneficial to you.
    Since you're going to be high school, there's no need for Office just yet. NeoOffice and iWork can get all of your reports done, and you won't be doing anything complicated enough to warrant the price of Office (even if you need to share documents with group mates). My advice is to buy Office when you get ready for college. By then, a second Intel version will be out, and you'll be able to buy a single license for half of the price of a Student version if you buy from your college bookstore.
  12. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    As much as i love iwork, it doesn't play super nice with MS Office. If compatability is the issue, no need to consider iwork.
  13. banjomamo macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    this is so true. you can get office docs into iwork without much effort but back into an office format is rather counterintuitive.
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    The search function of these boards doesn't work particularly well, but you can certainly search for threads with "iWork" in the title, and find that one starts about once a week on this very topic.

    Bottom line: Your Mac comes with trial versions of both iWork and Office.
  15. bigiffo macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2007
    Although it's old and doesn't run natively, appleworks is great. That has the whole suite, including paint!
  16. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Although NeoOffice is great, it has always been a bit unstable on my Macbook. Whenever I use Expose with lots of NeoOffice windows open, it crashes. Also, if I close NeoOffice with an unsaved document open, when I click "Yes" on the dialogue box that asks me if I want to save before the application shuts, it just crashes and asks me if I want to restart the programme.

    When I get my MBP I think I might pick up Office instead.
  17. bigiffo macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2007
    AppleWorks is the same price as iWork. It is on version 6.2.9. It is very reliable. I love it. Why, apple can't you release AppleWorks 7?
  18. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Try the real Open Office then. It shouldn't have those problems.
  19. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Open Office is a lot more advanced, runs natively on Intel hardware, is MUCH more compatible with MS Office, and has a much more similar interface.

    Oh yeah, and it's FREE. :D

    I mean really, if you want MS Office compatibility and something similar, your realistic options are either buying Office 2004, or downloading Open Office 2. And personally I wouldn't buy 2004 since it's not Intel native and should be replaced hopefully this year...or at least in the fairly short term.
  20. paulbaker macrumors regular

    May 4, 2007

    Hi, my name is Paul. I have MS 04, but have been using NeoOffice, and I have since deleted MS 04 from the machine. Thank you.
  21. defeated macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2007
    if you only use it for yourself, and doing basic stuff, iWorks is good enough for you.
  22. primusrocks macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2007
    East Lansing
    I would definatly say that you should use NeoOffice until the new version of MS Office comes out (08). There is not much of a point for you to buy a program right now that is basically at the very end of its life cycle. I use NeoOffice and it is more than usable.
  23. Agurri macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2005
    Québec, Canada
    As a college student, Electrical Engineering, I used to work with both iWork and NeoOffice. I would only use NeoOffice as a spreadsheet. Recently , I found a nifty little program that would do just the spreadsheet. It's called Marine Calc. http://www.marinersoftware.com/. It's great and it is similar to Excel... so I think it's getting the job done waiting Office '08 to come out.

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