Microsoft Office 2008 vs. iWork '08

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 204467, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. 204467 macrumors 6502a

    204467

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    #1
    Please try to be impartial guys. I know this is a Mac forum and will undoubtedly get many responses saying go for iWork, you don't want any of the Dark Sides applications dirtying your beautiful Mac..
    Back on track; getting my first Mac this summer, I want to know which one to get. I am very familiar with the Office setting, having used it all my life, even when I used to use Macs in one class in my old school, but it seems iWork is very intuitive, simple, and also costs $70 less. I also am aware that compatibility is not an issue, so don't throw that one at me. I'm just a little apprehensive about entering a new school year with several more challenging classes than last year and being stuck with a program I don't know as well as Office. Plus, for the rare occasion when I want to use Excel, is Numbers as good? From the tutorials online, it seems to me to be a little less "pro" than Excel; plus, it's Apple's first attempt at a spreadsheet application (or is it? I really don't know) and I really like Excel. Helpful advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. NotFound macrumors 6502a

    NotFound

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    #2
    I say Office 2008, from a student's point of view.
     
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #3
    I use Office 2004 (Mac) and 2003 (Windows) so I am going to be speaking from that perspective.

    If I were to start from scratch, probably what I would do is this:

    - iWork for the Mac side

    - WMWare, Windows XP and Office 2007 for the Windows side.

    This solution provides the ultimate in flexibility and compatibility.

    That said, Office 2008 for the Mac would be a nice solution as well.
     
  4. skd macrumors 6502

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    carmel, ca
    #4
    as a student I would just stick with mac software. you're at that point in your life (going to school) where learning should be enjoyable. And learning to use a computer software program is not rocket science, especially a mac software program. Honestly, if you want to use windows buy a DELL - they're a heck of lot cheaper and your "familiar" with them. Good luck.
     
  5. 204467 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    204467

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    #5
    Not going to have a Windows side, as I don't feel like buying another license for XP/Vista; and I definitely don't feel like buying VMWare.

    While I agree that I don't suppose it could be that hard to learn the ins and outs of iWork, I just have to say this; my, that post was unnecessarily malicious.
    Any answers on the functionality of Numbers vs. that of Excel?
     
  6. DiamondMac macrumors 68040

    DiamondMac

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    #6
    I just spent 2 of the last 3 months doing document work and preferred Office

    I bought iWork when it first came out too but I just really have yet to fall in favor with it over Office '08
     
  7. NotFound macrumors 6502a

    NotFound

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    Nov 30, 2006
    #7
    I've heard from some people that they have trouble converting some formulas from Excel to Numbers and vice versa. Here is a thread I found discussing some compatibility between Office 2007 and iWork 08.

    Hope that's helpful.
     
  8. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

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    #9
    Right now I'm using a MacBook Core Duo 2.0 GHz with a paltry amount of RAM (512 MB), so I've been trying out Pages. I got iWork as a high school graduation present, and the more I use it, the more I like it, although Office 2004 is good, as well.

    Pages is light and nimble and very intuitive. Word is a resource hog, but it has the necessary tools to get the job done, and, besides that, it's not too shabby itself. Clean up the RAM usage, and you're good to go.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's really a matter of opinion and necessity. I've not had any compatibility issues using Pages (I can't speak for the rest of the iWork suite... I've only barely used Keynote and have never used Numbers), but the most complicated issue I've brought in was a two column document. Some people prefer Word, some Pages. It just depends... give each of them a shot... both are available as trial downloads.
     
  9. mynameisshawn macrumors member

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    #10
    Office
    I have 08 and I like it, I haven't experienced any problems with it so far.
     
  10. Britanium macrumors member

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    Mar 9, 2007
    #11
    +1 Office

    From another student - I say Office.

    Excel is the deal breaker for me -- I'm not able to perform all the tasks in Numbers that I can in Excel (2004 Mac), especially with the required Excel (only) data packages that some classes require.
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #12
    Just trying to provide another option.

    BTW, the only way for 100% compatibility with Windows Excel, is to run Windows Excel. This is especially true for Macros.

    This is one area that Mac Office and Numbers are lacking.

    Macros are one.

    Some equations and formatting.

    Numbers is good, but it's not Excel.

    As I mentioned, and others, Office 2008 is a good solution. Even Office 2004 would probably be okay as well.
     
  12. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

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    #13
    If you are a "power" Excel user, you will find Numbers very limited in what it can do. If all you want is a few tables and graphs you should be fine with Numbers.
     
  13. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #14
    A nice way of putting it.
     
  14. muldul macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I'm a students, so i use word processing, spreadsheets, powerpoints and the like quite allot. I have used both office 08 and iWork 08 previously and i must say i prefer office. It is solid, it integrates well with office for windows which is essential for me. It hasn't crashed once. I just could get used to iWork. It was too simplified (i know, how is that a bad thing, but i couldn't get basic things done with out having to check on here on how to). I would say go with office, it may be more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
     
  15. nsbio macrumors 6502a

    nsbio

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    #16
    Office 2008 is slow and crashy, but even then there is no practical alternative to it for a student. The only program from iWork that is really good is Keynote. Pages does not open many Word documents correctly (especially those with embedded pictures) and Numbers ... I will spare my comment here.
     
  16. tmelvin macrumors 6502

    tmelvin

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    Mar 17, 2008
    #17
    I agree with the other here. After using both, I prefer Office 08. I use iWork at home on our home iMac, and it's great. Wife/Son like it because it's fast, and light. It's fine for what they're doing too.

    But for heavy lifting, both Word and Excel are great. Entourage is better than the critics say too, at least in an office/business environment. I use mail for personal.

    For one poster that said Office 08 is buggy and crashes is nuts. I have Entourage, Word and Excel open all day. Never crashes or slows, ever. It's all running on a 2.2 MB w/ 4GB RAM, and 10.5.4. Oh, and get all the SP's and patches if you go the Office route.
     
  17. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #18
    there is really no comparison on this topic. Excel is much much more powerful than numbers.

    Yes, Excel are even better if you need some data analysis, or advanced plotting. If you are not sure what potentially need to be done in the future with spreadsheet app, excel sure is a much safer bet.

    PS. office 08 student edition has 3 licenses, so if you can find people to share the cost :D
     
  18. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    #19
    Only use one program from Office 2008 and that is Word the rest I do in iWork '08. I say get iWork '08 and Word and you will be fine.
     
  19. Michael J macrumors newbie

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    #20
    Some real reasons

    I've used both iWork 08 and MacOffice 2008.

    Advantages of MacOffice: Familiarity with Office suite.

    Disadvantages of MacOffice:

    Word is buggy. My computer has been plagued with page re-write issues since I did the upgrade, and nobody was able to help me (many helpful people tried). If an application cannot work properly and nobody can help you, that's not a good sign.

    Entourage is even worse. If you need a calendar / email / contact manager, Entourage will drive you crazy. At least, if you are me. Main problem is the clunnkiness of the calendar interface; it just doesn't "do" much. By comparison, iCal is much more intuitive. Example: In iCal, you can drag a task from the attached task list, directly into your calendar, and create a timed task! How cool is that? Entourage emails to not work well; I constantly had connectivity issues and formatting problems.

    ExcelMac is pretty good.

    PowerPointMac is pretty good too, but it lacks some of the features of the Office 2007 version, such as certain animation features. (However if you create a PPT in Office 2007, the MacOffice 2008 version will display and execute correctly).

    As for iWork:

    Pages is simple and intuitive. I love the look and feel. And I'm not really an amateur; I've published two books.

    Keynote has fewer features than PowerPoint, but it does everything so much better. The animation and effects blow PowerPoint out of the water. There are some compatibility issues between the two, however. So if you try to import a PPT file into Keynote, it will not appear exactly the same. And if you try to "dumb down" a beautiful Keynote file into PPT, sorry. It just won't look as good.
     
  20. ionlygreat macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #21
    +1 for that. That's what I'm planning to do. Of course, if you don't want to run windows on your mac, that's out of the question.
    If that's the case, I would say go for Office, just because it's something you're used to and also because there might be some small differences in iWork that you're not prepared for (for instance, I wasn't prepared for the fact that Pages doesn't show you what each font looks like in the formatting bar, but that you have to open up the fonts palette to take a look at them. Word shows you exactly what the fonts will look like, and 08 will even do a live preview for selected text if you hover over the font. There might be some other small things that no one mentions, but which you may find irritating). If you will be interacting, sharing files, etc. with Windows users, Office would make it easier (not to say that iWork can't do it, just that if you're using Office, you won't run into any formatting problems or changes that you're not prepared for). That said, Office is really expensive and iWork is not. And, iWork is by Apple so it comes with the usual goodies that Apple packs into every app it makes.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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  22. 204467 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    204467

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    #23
    I guess I'm get Office; I was probably going to do that anyway, so it's all cool. I jjust want to know one last thing; is it possible to change the auotomatic save mechanism so that documents (in any of the three programs) are NOT saved in XML format? I know how to do this with Windows Office '07, but I imagine it's a similar process, just executed differently in Mac Office '08. If nobody offers advice on this, okay; I'll just look for help elsewhere when I get my computer.
     

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