Microsoft Office Student 2004 or iWork '08 for a college student....

dubis07

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 8, 2007
33
0
Can anyone see a reason why I should purchase Microsoft Office Student 2004 with iWork '08 now having the Numbers app to import and export to Excel? I know it also covers Word and Power Point I'm just trying to figure out if I would have all my bases covered going into college. Does anyone see any problems I would run into at school if all I had was iWork '08?
 

chriswheat

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2007
249
0
Definitely don't buy Microsoft Office 2004 right now, with a new version coming out in January. I got through college using Microsoft Office 2004, but I definitely used pages more. The only time I really used it was to use Excel. I think you would be just fine with iWork. If you absolutely have to use a Microsoft program, you could always find a computer in a computer lab...but I really don't think you'd ever have to.
 

pianoman

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2006
1,962
0
iWork '08 should do it for you. especially now that Apple acknowledges compatibility with Microsoft documents - even Office 2007 documents.

if you do need Office later on, you can probably access it via a computer lab or you could just buy it.
 

coren2000

macrumors member
May 16, 2007
40
0
Im going with iWork 08 come September.

Im really happy it came out before school started.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
Depends on the course. For anything science/engineering based i would say that iWork doesn't quite cut it yet.
 

nsbio

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
634
0
NC
If you are doing anything remotely scientific, do not rely on Numbers. The app is not ready for prime time, save for cute looks. It is slow as molasses and lacks some basic functionality.
 

dubis07

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 8, 2007
33
0
Appreciate all the help guys! This is my first time posting here at MacRumors (though I have been lurking for awhile) and you guys were very informative!
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
When term starts download the trial of iWork, this'll give you 30 days in which you can see if it is capable. (For first year work it is probably capable, just). Hopefully this will see you fit until Office 08 comes out, or you can use Neo Office or Open Office and see how well they fit your needs.
 

stealthsniper96

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2007
169
0
i think the best thing would be to just ask the professors what kind of projects you'll be working on. this way you dont blow $125 on office only to find out you could have used iwork, or pay 79 for iwork andthen find out you need to buy office to.
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,587
0
Can anyone see a reason why I should purchase Microsoft Office Student 2004 with iWork '08 now having the Numbers app to import and export to Excel?
If your prime use of a spreadsheet is going to be exchanging files between it and Excel, then I can't recommend Numbers, its Excel export sucks.
 

macbwizard

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2005
279
2
I'm a science major and I find that even Excel doesn't cut it. Usually I'm forced to resort to Maple/Mathematica to get the graphs that I want.
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,587
0
I'm a science major and I find that even Excel doesn't cut it. Usually I'm forced to resort to Maple/Mathematica to get the graphs that I want.
Yes, Excel sucks for graphs. Numbers however, sucks worse (for science).
 

valiar

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2006
222
0
Washington, DC
Be aware that Numbers does not do:
error bars
proper scatter plots
curve or linear fitting

If you are a science/engineering student, iWork alone will NOT cut it for you.
My advice is to get both Office 2004 (for Word and Excel) and iWork (for Keynote). It is not that much money with an academic discount.

Or just head to a bittorrent tracker near you (wait, did I just say that? :)).
 

furyoo

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2007
9
0
Numbers doesn't come with a solver function, which you will probably find very useful as an engineer. At least I did.
 

Cameront9

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2006
789
87
You need to see if your school offers Office at a discounted rate. I got the full version for only $5 when I was at College. For that kind of price, you might as well get it and install it so you have it when you need it.
 

henry.oswald

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2007
58
0
i dont recomend office for the mac if your files are ever going to touch a pc, Things go wrong all the time for me, especial images. dont realy know how ilife works with word on a pc.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
i dont recomend office for the mac if your files are ever going to touch a pc, Things go wrong all the time for me, especial images. dont realy know how ilife works with word on a pc.
iWork is definitely worse in this regard. I occasionally had problems with missing images with word documents but ever since i realized you have to "insert" them rather than just drag and drop all these issues have gone. I don't have a single compatibility problem with the documents I create now.
 

pianoman

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2006
1,962
0
upon further research (read: personally using Numbers), i would not rely on Numbers as an Excel replacement. it is good for basic spreadsheet tasks but definitely not an Excel replacement.

Keynote and Pages should be fine for presentations and papers. Pages does lack some functionality compared to Word, but it gets the job done.
 

zolaman

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2006
5
0
You need to see if your school offers Office at a discounted rate. I got the full version for only $5 when I was at College. For that kind of price, you might as well get it and install it so you have it when you need it.
I second this advice. My school (Indiana University) offered it for $10 on CD or as a free download through the university network. Most of the state schools have some sort of deal like this as well to my knowledge.
 

Mac In School

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2007
1,290
0
I'd probably go with the one my employer would have me using after college, if you're doing intense stuff with it, and not simple budgets.

That said, another option might be to buy iWork and Excel, and skip the rest of the office suite. Do they offer that to Mac users?
 

vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
0
I'd say go with Office. I used Word for all of my notes during my biology undergrad, and I've been messing around with the Pages trial today and just can't seem to get the layout I prefer. I was hoping to switch over to iWork as I start grad school, but I don't think that's going to happen. Pages doesn't do lists as well as Word, has no (free-draw pen (that I can find) to scribble down little diagrams (did this often in Word) and just altogether feels more geared toward self-publishing via personal websites and blogs than it does for true word-processing (read: it feels pretty, not professional). Maybe I just need to get used to the styles format that Pages is based on, but it doesn't seem, at the very least, like it would make my note-taking/paper writing any easier/faster/better than word, and I'm not THAT much of an apple fanatic to spend extra time trying to get what I want out of Pages just so I can use an apple app. I'll put some more time into iWork to get a better idea, but I'm pretty sure I'll stick with Office once classes start back up.

Oh, and it saves files in a .pages file format. I was under the impression you could just choose the default format to save to, so I could use .doc, but you can't (at least to my limited knowledge). Saving just creates the .pages file, you have to go to "export file" and choose ".doc" in order to get a .doc that you can share (same for pdf, but I honestly never had need to create pdf's in my undergrad career, it was all doc's). It's a minor thing, but an extra unnecessary step. And you will almost undoubtedly have to have most of your files in .doc format for file sharing to your pc using classmates and professors, so save yourself the trouble and use Word. I'm sure your school will have at least some sort of discount on the software.