Mac virgin ... Do I need MS Office?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by journalistarr, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. journalistarr macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2009
    Hi all! This is my first post here and I'm looking forward to many more. I've been a creeper for a while, learning more about the world of Mac from you guys' posts, but I just found out today that my 15'' Macbook Pro has shipped and should be here in a few days! I ordered it pre-installed with iWork, but I'm worried about compatibility with MS Word documents, since many newsrooms (and writers/editors in general) use PC's. Should I purchase MS Office for Mac? Or should iWork by itself be sufficient? Thanks! :)
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    iWork should be fine. If there are issues with your documents, then you should consider buying Office.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    You could also try NeoOffice or, both are free (NeoOffice is donationware).
  4. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Pages does fine with Word documents.

    It's all that unsafe VisualBasic stuff that Pages would have a problem with.
  5. statik13 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2008
    Depends on what format you're going to submit your files as. If it is PDF, then it really doesn't matter what you generate them in. If it is Doc, everything listed above is compatible. If you want to use the ironically named Microsoft "Office Open XML Format" you'd probably be best with the Microsoft branded Office 2007.
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    For Macs it's: Office:Mac 2008
  7. tripletaker macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    If you do a lot of collaboration with other people on documents, you might need Word. I can't live without Word because that's what everyone else uses.
  8. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I don't know of any alternative that handles Word forms properly in order to be filled out.
  9. guzzlamiamor macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    It depends on what specifically you are using it for. I use Open Office and it works fine (I believe iWork has similar compatibility features). You are able to easily open a Word doc, spreadsheet, or PP presentation. The only issue you may encounter with this is if the original Office doc contains complex formulas, macros, etc. On the flip side, you can create a document and actually save it in Word format. This is useful if you are writing papers for school and things of that nature.
  10. journalistarr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2009
    There will be a lot of collaboration on documents, but mostly only text editing. From my understanding, iWorks can save in doc and docx files, so this shouldn't be a problem, right? Thanks for all the help folks.
  11. Psychmike macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2008

    My sense is that it will depend on how much cross platform work you have to do. I like to type using Pages but my home computer is a PC with MS Word. For the most part, documents can be transferred seamlessly but there are regular and annoying problems with less-often used features like headers and footers. If you're just typing without having to do a lot of formatting, you should be fine with Pages.
  12. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Best to go with Office then.
  13. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Allo wme to vote for iWork.

    I haven't used Numbers, or even Keynote extensively, but Pages is a dream for word processing.
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Numbers is certainly good too and I don't even have iWork '09, although I am seriously considering upgrading.
  15. erratikmind macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    S.F./Las Vegas
    I started out with only iWork '09 when I got my new MBP. However, due to the daily exchange of word docs in the office and with clients, I loaded an old copy of Office Mac 2004. Having done that, everything is working perfect, now. :D
  16. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Wait, you haven't gotten the mac yet, right?
    Just try iWork, and see if it is ok. I use it, and unless I do graphics, everything is perfect when viewed in word. Also, it imports word fine (usually including graphics). Then, if it doesn't work, just get a copy of Office (or try NeoOffce or Open Office first).
  17. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    1. Not to be rude or anything, but please make use of the search features of the forums. This question has been asked many times.

    2. It depends on how much formatting you use. Pages does not always produce the nicest word documents. If it's mainly text and minimal formatting, you will be fine. And, like other are suggesting, there is also openoffice and Bean as alternative FREE word processors.

    3. Personally, I would recommend Pages and Word.
  18. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    Plus when transferring from an office format to a iwork format (incredibly vague, I know) you occasionally loose some info or it gets reformatted. Office for mac has more than its fair share of problems, but it is still the best productivity suite out there...
  19. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Ask your fellow collaborators if they use the Track Changes feature. If so, it's best to stick with Office to maximize compatibility with this feature.
  20. journalistarr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2009
    Yes, the search is very helpful, but it's also helpful to be able to explain your own personal needs and situation. That's the purpose of a forum ... exchange of ideas?

    Thanks again guys for all the help. I think I will take heed to the general consensus and try the iWork with NeoOffice and feel it out ... if it's too iffy, I'll go ahead spring for the Office. *Sigh* Microsoft just won't let me out of its grasp ... lol.
  21. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    To be honest if you are exchanging files back and forward then office is the way to go.

    I don't know about the '09 version, though I often need to present at conferences and I had issues with keynote not working well with powerpoint.
  22. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    If it's part of your job then get Office. My company wants everyone to change to one of the OpenOffice variants. It's pretty useless when you send someone a file that they can't open. Or if you save it in some kind of compatible format but it doesn't look quite right. Save yourself the headaches and get Office.
  23. fishcake macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009
    Virtual machine?

    Another option if you have Microsoft software kicking around might be setting up a virtual machine. I recently switched and was faced with the same issue, since I had a spare copy of Windows XP and Office 2007 it was cheaper to buy Vmware Fusion and build a virtual machine to run office. Fusion can interact with OS X from within your virtual machine so you can store all of your documents within OS X, but read and write them with Office 2007 so you don't end up with duplicate files.

    Alternatively, you could install Windows as a dual boot using Boot Camp, but you lose the interoperability with OS X whilst you're working.

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