iWork vs. OpenOffice

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DoNoHarm, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    #1
    Hello People,

    Other than the obvious price difference, how do OpenOffice and iWork compare? I'm thinking of switching to Open Office and I'd be interested to benefit from other peoples' experiences....
     
  2. Diaresi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #2
  3. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #3
    I have both and use both since they serve different purposes. Basically anything that has to be cross-platform, i.e. handle MS Office files, I use OpenOffice. Otherwise I use iWork (unless it requires Hebrew/Greek, then it is Mellel/Nisus Writer Pro).
     
  4. mariov macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #4
  5. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #5
    Yup, if you require MS Office file transfers, stick to OO. I bought iWork and it doesn't work for me.
     
  6. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I used both and found iWork worked better for me, just had to switch documents into pages and numbers a lot. Now I have MS Office for mac and I like it a lot more than either of them ;)
     
  7. bengal85 macrumors regular

    bengal85

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Iwork can probably open more file names and might be easier to use and its a smaller over all file for the whole program than open office
     
  8. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #8
    Quite much that.

    iWork: far more polished, the interface is much better. It is designed for MacOS from the start and is well-integrated with the system. It is intuitive and a pleasure to use. It also is faster and uses less resources. It opens OOXML files (MS Office 2007/2008) better than OpenOffice.org. Still, it lacks some important features (such as cross-references in Pages).

    OpenOffice.org: slower, heavier on memory, less streamlined and not much Mac-like. Crashes more frequently (at least for me). However, it is 100% free and tries to replicate most of MS Office functions.

    You should try both. And you should also try Microsoft Office and online office suites such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets. If all you need is a word processor, give Mellel and Nisus Writer Pro a try, perhaps you'll be surprised.
     
  9. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    OOo works great for me. I'm assuming everyone here is talking about Native OOo and not the X11 version or NeoOffice. It's not flashy but it's a good office suite. I use it most of the time.

    That being said, I also have iWork but only because I like Keynote. I wish I could only get that. Other than that, no real benefit I've seen.

    M$ Office 08 is buggy. I don't like the interface or how it behaves with Expose. The only reason I keep it around is if I get a PPT file that doesn't behave properly in OOo, but this is rare.

    Overall, I'd say you'll probably be fine with OOo. It's free so you might as well give it a shot. If you find yourself begging for more than that you can always buy or get a demo somewhere. I've never had OOo crash. I have had M$ Office crash a number of times. OOo starts up faster than any of the others on my computer at least.

    If you're just looking for wordprocessing, Bean is a great simple wordprocessor. It's literally just that. Very straight forward and simple I use it along side OOo because it's very compatable and it opens almost instantly and has a very minimal look and a fullscreen typing mode to eliminate distraction. Also, it's free!!!

    Recommendation:
    • Start with OpenOffice.org and try Bean a little
    • If this doesn't work out decide if you want iWork or M$ Office after playing with the demos.
     
  10. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #10
    Keynote is surely the gem in the iWork package. Pages has also a good approach of mixing a word processor with desktop publishing features. But Pages inexplicably has no cross-references support.

    I think you meant how Office 2008 behaves with Spaces, not Expose... The interface is OK for me, not great, but not bad at all.

    Yes, give it a shot.

    I've had crashes with both OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office. They are more frequent with OpenOffice.org; it always crashes when I try to open large OOXML documents. Never had a crash with iWork, though.

    iWork programs start faster than anything else for me. OpenOffice.org and Office 2008 are much slower. But, as of my experience, OpenOffice.org also is slow to start on Windows and Linux. Office 2007 software, on the other hand, is very fast on Windows machines.

    I really think you should go for MacOS-only apps (iWork, Nisus, Mellel, etc.), as I feel they are more streamlined. I am moving away from cross-platform solutions, such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org - they carry too much bloat with them.

    But you should try OpenOffice.org. Perhaps it works for you.
     
  11. john hopkins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #11
    office crashes way too much

    I am so annoyed with Microsoft. Office crashes a lot. They have improved autosave so I hardly lose my work.

    However only today I lost around 1 hour with all the necessary restarts, and God-knows-what is happening to my poor macbook when I have to force shut it by pressing the power button 3 seconds, and also quitting lots of frozen applications at once.

    I'm moving to iWork asap and will avoid all Microsoft products from now on (should have learned after the Entourage experience...)
     
  12. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    OpenOffice is not Microsoft Office. It is an open source project that is totally separate.
     
  13. Izzybeff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #13
    I switched to a Mac last month and got iWork preinstalled. At first I didn't care for it so I downloaded Open Office.. Cared for that less. The more I work with iWork the better I like it. I definitely like that you can print into PDF format which I don't remember being able to do with Microsoft Office..
     
  14. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    I like iWork, but school has pretty much forced me to use Office. Since my last comment (like a year and a half ago) I REALLY like the new Preview, for viewing PDF's and taking notes. I typically download my school ppt files, then save them as PDF's and take notes on those.
     
  15. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #15
    In general...

    If you need strict compatibility with MS Office for Windows, your best bet is to run Windows and MS Office with Boot Camp or virtualized with Fusion/Parallels/Virtual Box (free)/Crossover. This is the only way to ensure you are completely compatible with Office 2003 or 2007 on Windows. You can convert docs to .pdf, but that isn't always an option if you need collaboration.

    If you need mild to good 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. There are converters for .docx available.

    If you want a 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. They are robust and complete packages from the Open Source community.

    If you want the functionality of MS Office with a Mac experience, then 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. Nothing compares really to Excel on Windows if you need all of the features.

    You can also check out Mariner Write and Mariner Calc. Both are decent alternatives, but are not as widely used.

    If you just looking for a nice word processing, then Bean is free.
     
  16. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    You can print to PDF from any Mac app.

    Good rundown... Although I think you sell OOo a bit short on compatibility. With all but the latest versions of office the compatibility is 100%. It's only really some of the new versions like docx files that translate a bit off from time to time. Although, still it's better at docx than the old versions of MS Office. :)

    I got Mariner Write from MacHeist but I don't really care for it. It doesn't do anything that Bean can't! I actually rather like Bean as a clean word processor.
     
  17. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #17
    I have all 3 installed, Office 2008, NeoOffice and iWork. iWork does not like my spreadsheet but have no issues with Excel (it was originally developed with Excel on Windows) and NeoOffice also has no issue.

    NeoOffice also opens WordPerfect files, which for some reason Office 2008 on my wife's computer will not. Have not tried my version of Office yet to see if I can open WP files on it.

    If your needs are modest, iWork is probably more than enough. If you have to interface with any Office users, Windows or OS X, then get something that can handle both the DOC and DOCX files.
     
  18. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #18
    I have iWork ('06, '08 & '09), NeoOffice & Office 2007 (in Parallels & Crossover) installed. I use the iWork apps 99.99% of the time.
     
  19. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #19
    MacDawg's rundown ought to be a sticky. It's good advice.

    Personally, I'll do 99 percent of what I need to do in iWork. Although I keep Open/NeoOffice around, I would only use them for a random word processing or spreadsheet project that was clearly out of Pages/Numbers league (and frankly, I haven't found many things I can't do in Pages/Numbers).

    As for Open/Neo's other components -- particularly graphics and database -- give them a pass. They look high powered but they will inspire great amounts of frustration and aggravation.

    mt
     
  20. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    I agree with most of this post, but let's get deep into the weeds. Nothing on the Windows platform will ensure strict compatibility with a broad array of Office formats. The most compatible version of Office on any platform is Office 2004, the last Mac version of the Microsoft productivity suite that did not suck [too much]. It can't open Office 2007's XML-based formats, but it can open just about everything else. If all required fonts are installed, then Office 2004 will display your files with no formatting glitches. Try that with your installation of Office:win.

    BTW, my friends and colleagues are having a hard time opening .doc files in Word 2007. They send their .doc files to me so that I can use Office 2008 to convert them into .docx.
     

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