Microsoft Office vs Apple Office Apps

Do you prefer Microsoft Office or built in Mac Office apps?

  • Microsoft Office

    Votes: 41 73.2%
  • Apple apps - Pages, Numbers, Keynote

    Votes: 15 26.8%

  • Total voters
    56

Super Spartan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
446
198
Dubai
I see a lot of people using Microsoft Office on their Macs. See I am a 20 year old Windows user and I just recently switched to Mac. I am trying my best to only use Apple apps to get the full experience and want nothing to do with Microsoft because the main reason why I switched to Mac is their telemetry that you need to do at least a dozen of tweaks to fully disable it unlike with Apple where it's just a toggle switch to disable app/data sharing and more importantly their buggy Windows 10 that is full of bugs, every time they update it, they just introduce more bugs until I got fed up.

anyway, I see many people here talking about Microsoft Office, is there any specific reason why some prefer Microsoft Office on Mac still? Is Pages, Numbers, and Keynote not enough or what makes you not want to use the native apps which are free?
 

MacPeasant123

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2018
18
21
I use Microsoft Office on my Mac for two main reasons:

1. The first is familiarity and inertia: when I moved over from Windows to the Mac in 2012, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote weren't free at the time. I was already familiar with Office, so I bought Office 2011 for the Mac instead of buying Apple's suite which I wasn't familiar with.

As I used Office more, I slowly learned more of its features and I don't know how to do many of the things in Apple's suite that I use in Office. Even if I was willing to spend the time to learn Apple's suite, there's one feature in Word that I need for my job which Pages doesn't do: line numbers. That's a deal breaker for me. If Apple adds line numbers into Pages, I'd be willing to give it a shot.

I even spent time figuring out how to do things in Numbers that I do in Excel, to help a Mac-using friend at work who doesn't have Office. So I'll be willing to try if it does what I need.


2. The second is that I have to share files with coworkers who use Windows. You can export to Microsoft Office file formats from Apple's suite, but the conversion isn't perfect and that can be a problem. Formatting is very important in these files that I share, so I need Office to be able to work smoothly with the Windows ecosystem.

You can send PDFs to preserve formatting, but then they can't edit the files. None of us have the expensive Adobe software to edit PDFs, so that's not going to work either.


I also looked at LibreOffice, which does do line numbers in its word processing program, but the line numbers move around when the files are opened in MS Word in my experience. Sigh.
 

honestone33

macrumors 6502
I've just recently started trying out LibreOffice. Seems like a fully compatible suite.
Could not agree more! I've been using it for about 4 months, and it works real well.

One other thing, though, is that neither LibreOffice nor the 3 Apple apps the op listed contain no EMail program, whereas Microsoft Office does. (I actually used to use Office 2016, but I had a serious issue with Outlook 2016, so I ditched Office 2016 for LibreOffice). The EMail program I use is Thunderbird, which is free. Not that "sexy" looking, but it does a very good job, and easily satisfies my EMail needs.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,428
8,858
Prescott Valley, AZ
I see a lot of people using Microsoft Office on their Macs. See I am a 20 year old Windows user and I just recently switched to Mac. I am trying my best to only use Apple apps to get the full experience and want nothing to do with Microsoft because the main reason why I switched to Mac is their telemetry that you need to do at least a dozen of tweaks to fully disable it unlike with Apple where it's just a toggle switch to disable app/data sharing and more importantly their buggy Windows 10 that is full of bugs, every time they update it, they just introduce more bugs until I got fed up.

anyway, I see many people here talking about Microsoft Office, is there any specific reason why some prefer Microsoft Office on Mac still? Is Pages, Numbers, and Keynote not enough or what makes you not want to use the native apps which are free?
The ONLY reason why I use MS Office for Mac is for 100% file compatibility when I will be sharing the resulting file with a person who uses MS Office. Although other suites claim near 100% compatibility, they fall very short with files that contain non-trivial formatting.

My go-to productivity suite is iWork. Although I'm very proficient with various suites, I can be far more productive with those apps than with their alternatives.

For collaborating, I use Google Docs suite. Whether it is locally collaborating (everyone in the same room) or remote, nothing comes close to Google Docs for the ability of a team of people with a variety of technology to work in a cohesive manner.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,076
6,394
New Hampshire, USA
One other thing, though, is that neither LibreOffice nor the 3 Apple apps the op listed contain no EMail program, whereas Microsoft Office does. (I actually used to use Office 2016, but I had a serious issue with Outlook 2016, so I ditched Office 2016 for LibreOffice). The EMail program I use is Thunderbird, which is free. Not that "sexy" looking, but it does a very good job, and easily satisfies my EMail needs.
Why not use the mail application that comes with MacOS ?
 
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Super Spartan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
446
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Dubai
Anything wrong with exporting a word document that you've edited in Pages back to MS Word format (.doc)?
 

HappyIntro

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2016
209
209
I've been using MS Word and Excel for Windows since around 1993, so my comfort level with it has driven my use of MS Office on my Macs. I will say that it bugs the heck out of me that the Mac version feels like it has to be unique when it doesn't - I'd appreciate it if the Mac Office interface duplicate the Windows Office interface as much as possible, which is not how it is now or ever been. Additionally, I have run into cases where when my MS Word doc that I created on my Mac was opened up on someone's Windows computer, there were still formatting errors that were not there in the Mac file version - it is not always perfect working across platforms.

I have been telling myself I should switch to Apple's productivity suite, since it's free and it looks beautiful, but I hesitate because I know Word and Excel so well, I just get my work done faster because of it.
 

Super Spartan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
446
198
Dubai
sorry for the OT question, but one of the most features I used in Word is the format painter where I can select a word or phrase using the format painter brush, then easily apply the same formatting to other test, lines, paragraphics, etc. in one go. How can this be done in Pages?
 
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purgatori_sakkara

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2018
42
22
Australia
I really don't like word processors in general. The whole lack of a separation between formatting and content is really bothersome, and results in head-scratchers like "Ok, so it doesn't look like I'm in 'bulleted list' mode anymore, but why is the next paragraph I'm typing indented as if it were a bulleted list, and why doesn't switching to other styles (e.g., body) get rid of this stupid indent." I like to be able to look at the underlying code that I'm using to control formatting so that there is no confusion or ambiguity; hence my love for LaTeX and Markdown.

That said, there are times when I'm either forced to use a word processor or it offers the path of least resistance. An example of the second case would be when I want to type up a quick document that is going to contain some academic references, but I can't be bothered setting up a BibTeX file for those references, so I elect to type up the whole thing in Mellel instead and have it and Bookends handle my references. An example of the first case would be when someone sends me a Word doc that they want me to edit/fill out before sending it back to them. The simplest and most reliable solution is to use MS Word.

Now I happen to think that Pages is a better product than MS Word, but, given that the above two cases are the only ones in which I use a word processor in the first place, I don't really ever find myself using Pages for anything. And as for the rest of the office suites? I never use Excel/Numbers for anything, as I can just use Tableflip, R, etc. for tabular/numerical/statistical data. PowerPoint/KeyNote? Hell no. I avoid slide presentations as much as possible, and will often just print handouts if I'm giving a presentation. If I do need slides, I'll write them in LaTeX or Markdown and output to PDF.
 
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alien3dx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2017
843
180
office in mac lesser function because don't have excel xll but it's okay for me. In windows, sometimes i open wordpad and type because i like it opening fast and idea wouldn't loss.. The note in mac and ipad are pretty good also for quick idea writing.Quite rare i use pages but i prefer microsoft word as familiarity.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Dec 15, 2010
1,595
218
Colorado
If you need compatibility with others then you need Office. If you just send PDFs then iWork is fine.

Pages and Keynote are awesome. Numbers is good for most things, you’ll need excel if you do complex calculations.
I just keep tract of a budget so Numbers works just fine and works with iPad and iPhone as well.
 
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jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Dec 15, 2010
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Yes, although the Mac version of Excel is still more advanced than numbers.
True.
- - Post merged: - -

Yes, although the Mac version of Excel is still more advanced than numbers.
I just upgraded my and my moms computer to the latest Office version and in my case I am disappointed with Outlook from the last version as it seems nothing is new but icons and a new look. She upgraded from Office 2008 so much is different although they took away a few features from Entourage.
 

Ulenspiegel

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2014
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Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
I use Microsoft Office on my Mac for two main reasons:

1. The first is familiarity and inertia: when I moved over from Windows to the Mac in 2012, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote weren't free at the time. I was already familiar with Office, so I bought Office 2011 for the Mac instead of buying Apple's suite which I wasn't familiar with.

As I used Office more, I slowly learned more of its features and I don't know how to do many of the things in Apple's suite that I use in Office. Even if I was willing to spend the time to learn Apple's suite, there's one feature in Word that I need for my job which Pages doesn't do: line numbers. That's a deal breaker for me. If Apple adds line numbers into Pages, I'd be willing to give it a shot.

I even spent time figuring out how to do things in Numbers that I do in Excel, to help a Mac-using friend at work who doesn't have Office. So I'll be willing to try if it does what I need.


2. The second is that I have to share files with coworkers who use Windows. You can export to Microsoft Office file formats from Apple's suite, but the conversion isn't perfect and that can be a problem. Formatting is very important in these files that I share, so I need Office to be able to work smoothly with the Windows ecosystem.

You can send PDFs to preserve formatting, but then they can't edit the files. None of us have the expensive Adobe software to edit PDFs, so that's not going to work either.


I also looked at LibreOffice, which does do line numbers in its word processing program, but the line numbers move around when the files are opened in MS Word in my experience. Sigh.
This.
Exact same reasons in my case.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,227
1,912
Between the coasts
I abandoned MS Office many years ago. I never really liked the cluttered user interface, whereas Apple prefers to hide the clutter until needed. Since I have very little need to collaborate on files with others, and nearly everyone I do collaborate with has Macs or iOS devices... I'm happy to live Office-free (and you can't beat the cost savings).

I've yet to ask anything of Pages or Numbers that they haven't been able to do (no need to use Keynote). Well, there were some file conversions for a while... I used to receive some monthly reports that were formatted in some ancient .xls version that Numbers couldn't hack. I used OpenOffice for the conversion, but had no other reason to use it - I kept it on my Mac "just in case," and when I no longer needed that file conversion OpenOffice went un-used for years - finally deleted it altogether.

The nature and history of Word and Excel are such (so many decades of usage in nearly every business, and Microsoft's willingness to add any feature that a large corporate client requests) that there's often one or two (generally) obscure capabilities that Pages or Numbers may not match - however, which of those obscure capabilities is needed varies greatly from person to person. If one must live within an Office-centric collaborative workflow, if one needs one of those unique capabilities... you use the tools that get the job done.

Apple chose to take a "think different" approach to its office suite; it's far more GUI/drag-and-drop oriented than Office. And, no doubt in part for legal reasons, they've chosen to not duplicate the MS Office feature set on an item-by-item basis. If different works for you, then great! If not... you do whatever is best for you.
 
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