My New Macbook Pro - Should I buy Office?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by My Name Is, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. My Name Is macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    Hi, I am going to be buying the 2.26GHz Macbook Pro with an upgraded 320gb HD and I was wondering if I should buy the Home & Student Microsoft Office with it. I am going to be a freshman in college next year and I am brand new to Macs. Because of this, I don't know if I need Office or not.

  2. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    My MBP arrives tomorrow and I'm going to try to get by with iWork and Open Office. MS Office '08 for Mac is a pain in the rear (I've seen it on my wife's MacBook).

    I'd say try OOo since it won't cost you anything and if its not cutting it, the get MS Office at the point you actually need it. I've heard several people say they've gotten by with Open Office and iWork just fine.
  3. yoyomaster macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2009
    I would suggest you download the trial versions of iwork and Office 08 and see which one you like the best. There are also Open Office and Neo Office (which are free) if you decide you don't want to spend money on those programs.
  4. Jon-Luke macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2009
    Cape Town
    If you are new to Mac then I would reccomend getting office because the software is familiar territory for PC users. I have office and iWork and I find that I use word more than pages. Excel more than the apple version and I also prefer Entourage (outlook) to apple mail. But that's just me.

    It used to be that you needed office if you wanted to share files with PC users but now things have changed and you can use any of the iWork programs instead of the microsoft version.
  5. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    I have been using NeoOffice for a while and have been able to get by with it. It works very well and should easily do what you need.
  6. iBadger macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    When I tried OpenOffice I had trouble with the powerpoint(glitchy) so I switched to NeoOffice. So far NeoOffice gets the job done, I can't complain.
  7. My Name Is thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    So does the MBP come with any work applications at all? All I probably need is a Work, Excel, and Powerpoint-like program.
  8. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    The only reliable way (if you can use the word reliable when transferring files between copies of Office) is to use the Windows version of Office. I have Office 2K running on XP under Parallels. Most of the time I use iWork since it is much better for document creation than MS Office. If someone using Office wants to share my docs and make edits, I can export to Office format and check it in Office 2K for formatting problems. Frankly, until a document is done you shouldn't really be worrying about formatting that much anyway but most people do for some reason.

    Anyway, I have iWork, Office 2K, Office:mac 2004 and NeoOffice installed. I could drop Office:mac easily since it is slow and crashy. 2008 doesn't sound much better despite being Intel native.
  9. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    One question: why use both?
  10. My Name Is thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    1 more Q -

    Can I go to the Apple store and buy it from them (that day) and have them upgrade my HD for me from 160 to 320?

    Also, I am using my college's discount online. Is it in-store as well? Do I bring my acceptance letter or whatever to them?
  11. mike5411 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    You might want to see if the college you are going to gives you office. I know at my university, we pay x amount of dollars each semester for a "technology fee" and that includes a copy of office professional that we can download and use.
  12. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    If you are buying office, check with your college to see if they have any specific offers. There may also be a US equivalent of where you can get Office for about £36 instead of the £100 or so for Home and Student (and it's legit - official microsoft-linked website).

    On the other hand, there is the money off offer if you buy with your mac (
  13. guitarguy09 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    "The Good Land"
    I've been considering getting a new iMac and I've been thinking about the same question. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that overall iWork is better than Office, however I just need to get more familiar with the interface/layout of the various programs. As of now, I'm probably getting iWork and then waiting to see if I want Office later if needed.
  14. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    iWork is much better than Office on Mac. Office is slow (it's made to be slow) and more buggy than iWork.
  15. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Unless you're collaborating with a lot of other people who only use Windows I would recommend iWork for these reasons:

    • It's cheaper
    • It's faster
    • It's prettier
    • It's better integrated into the OS
  16. mavfan11 macrumors member

    May 6, 2008

    There are some functions that Office can do that Numbers in iWork and the others can't touch. I use pivot tables and as such must have Office as iWork, open office & neo office have poor excuses for pivots compared to Office. It's a niche, but really powerful, tool for pulling information from large databases. But I'm in the position of having 100,000+ lines of data and over 200 columns and needing to pull specific information out for reports all the time. It's really the only reason I had to buy Office, I wish I could have gone with Numbers.
  17. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Keynote is a must-have for presentations. It blows powerpoint and its open equivalents out of the water.

    Pages is great for some things (esp. templates), I'd rather use Word for typing a letter or paper.

    For spreadsheets, I haven't liked Numbers much. I'd rather use Excel or open equivalent.

    So I think iWork plus MSOffice/Open Office/NeoOffice is best option. You just have to decide which of the Office suites is best for your needs.
  18. jovanboi macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    I would say use Iwork. I've used it this past semester and think it's pretty nice.
  19. Jigsawjammer macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2009
    You should get office

    I just got my MBP and decide to try iWork instead of office so here is my experience.

    I am a teacher and taking college classes as well so I use office daily (no exaggeration). I liked the price of iWork and I think I like keynote over powerpoint so this is why I purchased it. I started my testing of pages with word documents that have special formating and it just destroyed the formating. THis is a problem because I need to share documents with co-workers at times and they might have an issue if they don't know what they are doing. You can play around and try to get your formating back but it is a waste of time. Just one example was making a document in pages in landscape mode, saving it as a word file then opening it in word set the formating back to the normal view making it look crazy.

    I would say if you will never share a paper or do any kind of special formating (unlikely in your situation) then iWork is totally fine for you. I can't use iWork only but I spent the $41 on keynote and I think you really should get office-I doubt you would regret it.

    Also, Apple and Microsoft allow you to try their programs for free for 30 days so just download the two and play around with them.

    Maybe others could talk more about using the two.
  20. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'd try Openoffice first, iWork second, a VM machine with a copy of Office for windows third (if you already have office for windows that is)... then buy the OSX version if you must.
  21. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK

    Only thing I would add is the use of LaTeX for extensive papers and reports. Nothing beats it in terms of stability, portability, expense (free), and oh such beautiful typesetting.
  22. CRAZYBUBBA macrumors 65816


    Mar 28, 2007
    Agreed. I certainly cannot afford to use iwork for daily work due to this reason.
  23. Matt Phoenix macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2006
    I just found out my University sells Office 08 for Mac for $50 and jumped on that. I'm job hunting and sending out resumes/coverletters in the .doc format, and would rather not encounter any formatting errors. However, if it had cost more than that, I probably would have tried to get by with a beta of Windows 7 and an old copy of MS Office 03 Student Teacher edition (which can be installed on up to 3 computers...).
  24. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
  25. bhadoc macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    I am in the same situation as you, op. What I am doing is saving the money for now and downloading the free trial of iWork. I am going to download open office. By the end of the summer after some playing around with both I'll make my decision. Don't decide right are already probably familiar enough with ms don't spend the 120 bux quite yet.

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