Microsoft Word: Alternatives? Can 'Pages' open .doc files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacNoobGuy, May 16, 2012.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    hey guys i've been looking for an alternative to LibreOffice because i don't want to install Java. i was going to buy Microsoft Word, but it's only available as a complete package. can Pages from Apple open .doc files? what's the compatibility like?

  2. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Pages can open .docs, and the compatibility is ok. There a few fonts that don't carry over, and some formatting stuff. If you just have straight text, it should work just find.
  3. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    ok thanks. what can i use other than Pages, LibreOffice and Open Office? is it possible to buy Microsoft Word by itself?

  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Possible alternatives:

    - Mariner Write
    - Bean

    Neither are as full-featured as Word (Bean is very basic, very easy, and free). It really depends on how many of Word's "features" that you need....
  5. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Doesn't appear so. It's $120 for home edition of office. If you are a student, check your university for academic discount. If you work for a company, check to see if they have a deal with microsoft - some have a deal where employees can buy a copy of office for $10.

    I have never found a program which does perfect import/export of .doc files, other than just simple text. Usually the import is better than the export.
  6. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    ok, thanks. i've been using 'libreoffice', but it says it needs Java every now and again. is there any way i can disable that?
  7. goRoostr macrumors member

    May 17, 2012
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    I have been using Open Office for about 2+ years now and its great. Even the layout looks similar to word, and the options are basically the same.
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No. You don't need to disable Java in the first place.
  9. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    what are some other options out there? openoffice and libreoffice are giving me problems and i can't afford office for mac by microsoft.
  10. jaykk macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    Pages are just fine as a word processor, I started using Pages more and more, because some of the templates are excellent, and envelope etc prints correctly on first try.
  11. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    ok thanks, but i'm looking for something with a free trial.
  12. shwc, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    shwc macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2005
    I use Mellel as my preferred word processor. I am fairly sure you can download the app and try for free for a time period. It used to work that way. I assume it is still true.
  13. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I also use Pages as my first-choice wordy processor.

    I also use NeoOffice, which is a fork of LibreOffice with extra Mac-centric stuff. But if you've been having trouble with LibreOffice, it won't be any different.
  14. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    I can chime in that Pages is good BUT don't take Mac enthusiasts gushing that completely to heart. If you need rich Word compatibility, Pages can't handle everything. Things imported will change. Things exported to .doc will change too.

    If your need is such that you need to open and close .doc files so that content isn't changed, you need Word. If you can live with things changing, Pages might fly.

    Office on the Mac is still available for less than about $130. Alternatively, if you want maximum compatibility with Windows Word users, consider installing Parallels or similar and a Windows version of Office. If you work somewhere with an IT department, you might be able to buy just parallels and they can give you an installation of Windows + Office.

    I personally love Pages/Numbers/Keynote and use them often. But when I need to work with Windows files and page compatibility is crucial, I fire up Parallels and do the work in Office for Windows. It's the only way to be certain to maintain full compatibility with Office for Windows files. Every other option will have some compromises.

    All that said, if perfect compatibility is not essential, iWork does a great job importing & exporting .doc files (just not perfectly in all things that can be done in Word or Pages).

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