MS Office for Mac 2011 vs iWork

Which office suite do you use on your Mac?

  • MS Office for Mac

    Votes: 121 70.3%
  • iWork

    Votes: 51 29.7%

  • Total voters


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
Which one do you use? Which is better and more user friendly? When you compare Pages, Numbers and Keynote to Word, Excel and PowerPoint do all three of them stack up well against the respective MS applications? Is the learning curve for iWork steep if you have never used it? Who has made a switch to iWork and been completely happy with it?


macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
iWork is probably more "user friendly" if all you need are basic documents and spreadsheets. Office is much better if you need as much of a guarantee of compatibility as one can expect with others using Office.

The learning curve for Office and iWork is not particularly steep for basic documents.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
Somewhere over the rainbow
I use Pages and Keynote from iWork a lot for my work, however occasionally I would need to export them to ppt/doc for my colleagues to edit and that usually causes problem during the conversion. Other than that, really happy with iWork. Hope they launch a new version soon.


macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2011
I use a combination of Google Docs (multi-user collaboration is used in the office frequently) + LibreOffice, my only point being I don't think you should limit yourself to these two choice.

If you held a gun to my head I would choose MS Office...


macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
Cambridge, UK
iWork for me. But it does get frustrating that I have to have to export to doc or xls or ppt for my Windows-using colleagues. Sometimes, I even have to open a powerpoint file again in Office and save as pptx otherwise they don't see some graphics.

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
Ft Lauderdale
I use keynote - on an ipad and an MBA, it's more robust and faster to create general business presentations.

For spreadsheets and docs though I use word and excel.


macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
Office for me. Mainly because I need to submit documents for my university essays, and so compatibility is key.


macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2010
West of England
Office for me, I had iWork on there but I was getting too many Excel spreadsheets from work that wouldn't open so I had to go with the alternative.


macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
Office, as it is used very extensively in my workplace and I cannot risk the inconvenience of possible incompatibility issues.

That said, I am not very happy with office for mac, as it seems to have some memory management issues (eg: word has a tendency to hang when editing 50+ page documents, not sure what I pressed though, but closing it means all unsaved work is lost). Given an opportunity, I would probably jump ship to iworks right away.


macrumors member
Aug 30, 2011
I have both but use Microsoft Office for Mac the most. Not having to convert to .doc or .ppt is key, and knowing my teachers can open it and have a better chance of it opening fine is good.


macrumors regular
May 10, 2010
Same as most, I use Office because of compatibility with Windows users. Between work and school, I need to be able to end .doc's. Although I really do like Google Docs. We use it a lot at work within my group, because we can share them with one another easily.


macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2007
Pages and Keynote are TOTALLY doing my head in with their exporting to Word and PPT.

They don't convert well when I'm sending to my manager/colleagues.

Everything about the 'Duplicate' and not having a 'Save as' features is doing my head in arrrrrrghhh!! Rant.


macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2011
MS Office. It is also a very valuable skill if you work in a corporate environment to be an expert in MS Excel and PowerPoint. You get noticed a lot quicker than your peers.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2011
It is also a very valuable skill if you work in a corporate environment to be an expert in MS Excel and PowerPoint.
That is right on target ... not sure about the getting noticed part though ( varies a lot probably ) that you followed it up with.


macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2011
That is right on target ... not sure about the getting noticed part though ( varies a lot probably ) that you followed it up with.
When you're the only individual on your team that knows how to do VLOOKUP and pivot tables, you'd be surprised how often your manager comes up to you. I pretty much now only handle special projects assigned to me by my manager and don't do the day to day peon stuff.

Being an expert in Excel is key in finance. So much so that as much as I love Apple products, I wouldn't waste my time trying to learn Numbers. I'd use that time to get better at Excel.


macrumors 68030
Aug 15, 2010
Southern California
I use Office for compatibility reasons like everyone else. I work with a lot of ROI excel spreadsheets and can't risk any formula glitches when jumping from one software program to another.


macrumors 68000
Funny how so many people seem to talk about compatibility issues between iWork and Office. I agree that years ago there were issues, but frankly I've seen more issues with Office just not working. One example was a complex ppt presentation that my colleague couldn't get to run on Office. He sent me the file and I ran it perfectly with Keynote.

I've not had any colleagues mention issues with any exported iWork files I've sent them.

I also second the suggestion for using other options - as I'm constantly using Google Docs to collaborate with other office colleagues.
Last edited:

Hey Jude

macrumors 6502a
May 9, 2008
I use Office 2004, so I shouldn't have voted in this poll. However, for what it is worth I use Office, and have zero experience with iWork.

Carry on.....;)


macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2011
London, UK
With Auto Save, Versions, full screen and stuff iWork is now a lot slicker. What I'd really like is for Office and iWork to use the same document formats-so all dock, xlsx and pptx. Then I'd probably switch back to iWork. But while there's compatibility issues, I'll stick with Office. I can save it in the default format and it'll open in Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows at university.


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
i typically use Office due to compatibility issues but i use iWork on my iPad when i'm on the go when needed.
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