New to Mac, unsure what office utilities to use

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by johnee, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. johnee macrumors 6502a



    I'm buying my wife a macbook pro next week and although she has used computers for a long time, she needs something that just works (no flibbertigibitting with it!)

    But her needs don't end there! She will need an office utility program (word processing, spreadsheet, presentaion) for her new digs.

    What are my choices for a fully supported program (no open source stuff, need support in case I cry mommy) which is able to open WORD/PowerPoint files and maybe even comes with a spreadsheet program?

    I understand there is the iWorks stuff, but it doesn't have a spreadsheet program. Also, is Page/Keynote fully compatible with Word/PowerPoint files?

    Thanks from the humble newbie.
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Microsoft Office 2004 for OS X? It's not Universal yet, but there shouldn't be much noticeable slowdown while using it.
  3. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    oh, forgot to mention that I've heard microsoft office is SLOW and sometimes unstable, and COSTS. I was hoping to find an alternative to that as well.

    Thanks though
  4. djstarrock macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2006
    UK, Scotland, Glasgow
    Well there NeoOffice but you said no open source it does spreadsheet but its can do presentations it pretty stable and best of all its FREE.
  5. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
  6. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I like Neo Office, though layout, fonts, and formatting always end up quirky for me. MS Office is quick enough on my MacBook, you just need more RAM as it's still running through Rosetta. If you want 100% compatibility, you'll just have to shell out the money, I'm afraid. If you can get Office through an edu discount, or university account, you'll save a bundle, if not... well.
  7. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    Decent speed and stable on a MacBook. Cost though. Well that's a totally different issue.
  8. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Open Office is butt ugly... Neo Office is much better (essentially a Mac-ified version of Open Office).
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I really hope Open Office works out, but for work, it's gotta be Office 2004, no question.

    If you refuse to support MS financially then there's the fifteen dead men and a barrel of rum option.

    Office 2004 is useful for opening powerpoint files etc, and for creating powerpoint files that will be viewed on PCs.

    For creating presentations that will be played on the mac, Keynote is by far the best.

    For creating nice layouts, Pages beats word into a cocked hat. Pages is less powerful but far more friendly than Quark.

    Pages and Keynote have the same interface, which is a little unlike anything you've seen before, so first time can be a bit tricky, but after that it gets much easier.
  10. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    What kind of support you think you'd get from Microsoft if you have a problem, beyond some generic webpages and some user forums? These are the sources of support you get with open source software as well, but there is the possibility of communicating directly with the person who can write the code and fix your bug.

    Last time I had a problem with Windows, I gotta say the support was useless.
  11. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    does it work with WORD documents?

    Does Pages open MS Word documents as well as Apple says it does? Here's Apple's words:

    Are they truthsayers or forkedtongues?
  12. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
    neo office is the best free office suite, well that i have used anyway
  13. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a



    I forgot to mention in my orig post that I don't want MS stuff. I'm getting to be an old fart, and computers to me are a tool, not a hobby. I just would like to use something and not have to know the history of it or how it works to use it.
    My new approach to thinking about computers is like that of a toilet. I use a toilet. I know how it works generally, but I don't have to understand it to use it to it's fullest potential. :D And when it breaks, I call a plumber so I don't get my hands dirty.
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Note the words "wherever possible" ....

    Simple documents will look exactly the same yes. Moderately complex documents more or less yes. Really complex ones won't.

    You will always pretty much get all the text with nothing missing even in complex documents. But the elements in the layout may be shifted a bit i.e. a picture may be shifted over a few pixels or more.

    Fine for home use, and fine for text-based work, when you're not reviewing the precise graphical layout of a document.

    Not so hot for paid, professional work that mixes text and graphics in Word or where importing a layout from/into Word is important.
  15. phantasmagoria macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2006
    Office isn't slow at all on the latest Intel Macs and there are plenty of discounts abound on Office 2004 due to a new release on the horizon later this year. NeoOffice is great too. I use both, but as I use it for work and need the compatibility I would still pay for MS Office if I had to choose between the two.
  16. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    I use Office 2004:Mac and haven't had a problem with it on my MacBook. I abandoned Windows for the reasons you also mentioned but Office has never really been an issue for me. It's solid and it's compatible. And MS continues to release updates for it (I believe the last one was the end of February).

    Office for Mac doesn't require anything more than some space on your hard drive. If you have 1GB RAM you'll be good to go.
  17. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Word 2004:Mac is in my experience a far better product than Open Office.
  18. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for the help

    I thank you all for your input, it was very helpful to get user experience.

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