MS Office or iWork for business

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sue De Nimes, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Sue De Nimes macrumors 6502a

    Sue De Nimes

    Apr 10, 2012
    I need to be able to access MSOffice files. Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations on a regular basis.

    I need to be able to open up MSOffice documents as they were created and send them to people using MSOffice.

    I need to use these apps for business - will iWork do everything I need and will be be invisible to people I interact with? Should I just use MSOffice?
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    IMO if you are working with others and shared files you should definitely stick with Office.

  3. Sue De Nimes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sue De Nimes

    Apr 10, 2012
    I send and receive docs with customers and I need them to be able to work with stuff without any issues.

    Things like formatting going askew on a word document is a deal breaker.
  4. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Agreed. I like Pages and Keynote, but I work in an Office environment where I collaborate on presentations and papers all the time, so I've gone with MO. I can't be asked dealing with compatibility issues. And yes, formatting can go askew.
  5. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I've had formatting go askew on the same version of Office on Windows without involving any Macs. Office isn't very good at preserving layout, that's not its job.

    If your documents are complicated, with lots of figures, tables etc... even a change in printer drivers can drive formatting askew.

    Just my experience.

  6. Arelunde, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

    Arelunde macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2011
    CA Central Coast
    The safest - and most comfortable - is MS Office for Mac. If you're used to a PC, it's a familiar environment and there aren't any "translations" required. I have both Office and iWorks, but most frequently use Office. The two programs don't function identically.

    If preserving format is important, Office has the simple capability to save docs as PDFs in the pull-down "save as" menu. It also can be done in iWorks, but not as easily.
  7. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    Great thread. I face the same decision with my new MBA. I'm strongly considering Pages versus Office because I don't need the full suite on my MBA. I have Office 2008 on my iMac, and one of my clients will provide me with Outlook 2011 for my MBA. As long as Pages maintains Word's formatting of bullets, indents and headers, I'm happy.

    Looking forward to more perspectives on this topic.
  8. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    Office is probably your best option if going for one or the other. I use Pages and Word in tandem, for similar compatibility-optimising reasons, and while I prefer Pages for creating the text and for the bulk of the editing, I use Word at various editing stages for when I need to exchange such files with Windows users. It's not a perfect system but with some manual adjustments here and there, it does do the job.

    As the earlier post suggests, Word has invariably had compatibility issues (even with other Word versions) and, in my opinion, Apple's iWork/Pages predecessors, AppleWorks, and especially ClarisWorks were better at dealing with Windows compatibility than the current Pages.

    I've used this dual-program system for a good few years now and while not quite as smooth as it once was, it's still better than working in Word all the time, I reckon.

    If you find you prefer to work in Pages, and you do a lot of word processing, then you too might find a way to combine both programs to good effect. Others may offer other differing but similarly positive experiences and ways of working.

    I can't really speak from any experience in respect of PowerPoint and Excel but I am aware that working in Keynote can lead to compatibility problems when PowerPoint is involved at the end-user stage.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I use MS Office for Mac daily and can tell you it runs perfectly fine. I routinely share files with Windows users and have no problems at all. If you don't want MS Office for some reason, there are many alternatives, such as iWork, NeoOffice, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Google Docs, etc. Searching the forum will reveal dozens of threads discussing these various alternatives and the pros and cons of each, such as this small sampling:
  10. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    You if you are exchanging files with other Windows users, you should definitely get Office for Mac 2011. iWork will mess up the formatting of anything but the simplest of documents. More information can be found here on a comparison between iWork and Office, including information of what they are better suited to.
  11. entropyfl macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2009
    Another vote for Mac Office 2011. I found that we had way to many formatting issues when trying to use iWork.

    I would recommend everyone upgrade from 2008 as its a massive upgrade on that
  12. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    True. Even saving as PDF is no guarantee that some formatting won't go bad. That said, Office 2011 is the best choice to minimize any problems. I use it because my clients are all PC centric and it offers thebest compatibility. One has a mix of 07 and 10 versions so some issues crop up but not as many as worth iWorks and Office

    Also, 2011 has a number of neat new features such as conditional formatting that creates bar graphs in cells that are solid color, not gradient fill.
  13. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I have both MS Office and iWork. Hands down I prefer MS Office. I've been using Office since 1997 on Windows and I know it very well. Plus it has a better feature pack than iWork and for the most part, you don't need to worry about compatibility between Office for Mac and Office for Windows.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have both, and while iWork has some nice features, I keep coming up against incompatibilities with Numbers. What works and looks good in Excel, does not really work all that well with Numbers. To that point I stick with MS Office.
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I like both Office and iWork and use both regularly. The better one is clearly Office, but I do enjoy working in iWork's blank canvas layout sometimes.
  16. 9Benua macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2011
    The need for MS Office is the only reason I get Parallel on my mac.
  17. Sue De Nimes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sue De Nimes

    Apr 10, 2012
    I have gone with MSOffice for business use.

    I wouldn't recommend running MSOffice via parallels or any other virtualisation tool. It just doesn't beat running a native app.
  18. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    Need to stick with Office

    As a Finance Manager for a large Healthcare Network, I use Excel, Access, and Word 10 hours a day. Excel, in particular, is deeply entrenched in the business world. Round tripping a file to and from a non-Office app can be tricky at times, although numerous apps are improving in this area each year (they have to in order to be relevant).

    I run MS Office in my shop on Win XP (ancient). Being a Mac fan, I personally use my 2011 MBP at least half the day at work and need to run Office for Mac 2011 to share files effectively. Going back and forth is a piece of cake. I will say that the Office programs run better in Windows, unquestionably, but the 2011 Mac Office is much improved. I still need Parallels to run MS Access natively in Windows as there is no Mac version at this time.

    I find Numbers to be fairly powerful, but still not robust enough to replace Excel in the office environment.
  19. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I have both also...Two copies of Office for Mac...I didn't way to buy it, but had to, Pages and Numbers try, but they are not perfect at imports. If your clients use Word and Excel, then Office is a must have.
  20. Nba247365 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Honest question: So you run MS office on Windows through parallels? Why don't you just use MS office for Mac?
  21. 9Benua macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2011
    1. I need to use MS Access.
    2. I have enough memory to use parallel without affecting my mac's performance and I find MS Office for windows is much more stable and trouble free than MS Office for Mac.
  22. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    Office, iwork is abandonware. Apple have dropped the ball big time with iwork...
  23. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I have both iWork ad MS Office for Mac.

    For my personal stuff I find myself using the iWork apps more, but when I need to have compatibility with work related stuff, or with files that I created back in the day when i wagon the dark side (Windows) I use MS Office.

    Although I do prefer using iWork because of it's ease of use, there are just some things that MS Office just Excel's in (pun intended)
  24. CoMoMacUser, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    I don't know if this is still the case, but with Windows, if you didn't have Office, you could download a free viewer from Microsoft that would let you view PowerPoint, Excel and Word files. Does Microsoft have viewers for the Mac? I ask because with my new MBA, I'm considering getting just Pages IF I there are viewers for PowerPoint and Excel. I rarely create or edit PowerPoint and Excel files, but I do often need to view them.

    Edit: Yes, I know that I can view PowerPoint decks with Preview, but a lot of the formatting goes squirrely to the point that I can't read some of the text. So relying on Preview isn't a viable option for me.
  25. revdrw macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    Problems Syncing Outlook 2011 with iCal, Google Cal, and CalDAV

    I had no problems with my new Macbook Pro and MS Office 2011, until I tried to sync it with Google Calendar and iCal CalDAV. It wouldn't work. Flat out, you couldn't do it. I have a Dell with Outlook 2010 on it, and I use it extensively to make appointments, send e-mail reminders of appointments, etc. When I found that Outlook 2011 would not sync with ical and CalDAV (something about the newer OS?), I took my brand new MAcbook Pro (Bought June 7) back to the Apple Store for full refund. Geeze, you guys gotta make that work. I suppose I could have run Outlook with MS WIN 7 from my Mac, but you guys gotta do better than that.

    I just read that MS will come out with a Service Pac that will fix some of that, but do be alert if Office Outlook Calendar is something you want to sync across platforms using Google calendars and your iCal.

    This is the only problem I know about, other than that, MS Office 2011 worked great. But for me that one problem was a deal-breaker.

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