MS Office: Windows vs. Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Evangelion, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #1
    I have iWork installed n my Mac, and I like it. But now my wife is starting to use Excel more and more at her workplace, she she would like to take some of her work to home, so she doesn't have to sit in late at the office. I'm quite hesitant to make her user iWork for this (she does use it, but for other purposes, like word-processing), since the two might not be 1:1 compatible with each other, and Excel and Numbers behave in different way. So if she learns to do something in Numbers, it might not help her to do the same thing in Excel. So I'm planning to buy Office 08.

    Now, how compatible is the Office 08 for Mac with Office 03 for Windows? Is the UI similar enough that she can transfer skills learned in one version to the other? I assume that the files are 100% compatible? Is there any caveats I should be aware of?
     
  2. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Torontoland
    #2
    When Microsoft originally planned Office 2008, they were going to incorporate the 'ribbon' system used in Office 2007 for Windows. Thankfully, they went with the more traditional, less gimmicky user interface. While there might be a small learning curve, your wife shouldn't have a problem adapting having used a previous version of Office.
     
  3. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #3
    It would definitely be better to use Excel than Numbers.

    As for compatibility between 2007 (Win) and 2008 (Mac), for the most part there shouldn't be any problem. Functions are the same. File path references will be slightly different, if she is referencing another file on the computer.

    The major problems would be if she tried to use UserForms based on ActiveX (which most Windows users do, instead of the Forms toolbar) - they won't work on 2008. Likewise, if she uses any VBA, 2008 does not support VBA at all, and 2004 (Mac) has VBA support, but only based on VB 5, which is the equivalent of Office 97 (Win).

    If she really needs those last two capabilities, then consider using Boot Camp (free, but requires re-boot) and/or Parallels/VM Fusion and using Office 2007. Many times companies have special deals where employees can purchase the complete Office (including Access and Publisher) for greatly reduced prices.
     
  4. nanvinnie macrumors regular

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    Feb 23, 2007
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #5

    You are correct in what you say about 2008 for Mac and 2007 for Windows, however the OP said 2003 for Windows.

    2008 and 2007 use .docx and 2003 does not, so that is an issue. Make sure you save down on the Mac side. The lack of VBA support still applies, 2008 does not have it. If it straight calcs, it is probably OK, but if it involves complicated macros, etc. then it becomes dicier.

    I have found if I really want to work at home, I use VMWare and 2007 just so I don't have the hassle. I use 2008 when it doesn't matter.

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  6. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #6
    You mean that it's possible to save documents in the older format? In that case, there is no problem :)...?

    I don't think that the Mrs. does any macros. Just calculations, graphing and the like. By the time she needs macros, MS has probably released the next version of Mac Office, and that will include Macros :).

    Of course I might also take a look at Open Office. It might be less suitable (even though they try to make the barrier of entry low for Excel-users), but it's free. And I would have better uses for 130e than to spend it on Excel....
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
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    #7
    Yes, you can save down in 2008 to a version compatible with 2003 for Windows. 2008 will read your 2003 docs with no problem.

    Yes, the new version of Office for Mac is supposed to have VBA capability restored.


    It is a good solution for some users, but not all... it will still have some quirks and compatibility issues

    Good luck!

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  8. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #8
    Thebig problem with OpenOffice and Excel is compatibility of all functions. Some do not respond the same way on both products. I use OpenOffice 3.0 exclusively, and save to .xls format to share with others. But these are relatively simple files. (Until early this year I had used 2003 on Windows XP for a Fortune 50 company for several years.)
     
  9. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #9
    Sorry, I missed that note. I used 2003 on Win XP for several years and could exchange files fine with Office 2004 (which I keep on my eMac), but I have not upgraded to Office 2008. No need since OpenOffice (and Numbers) give me everything I need.
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    This is not entirely true. If the latest updates to Office 2003 are applied, then the apps read and write the Office 2007 file formats. In fact, the suite defaults to the new formats.
     

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