Office: 2004 vs 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by toby jones, May 25, 2008.

  1. toby jones macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #1
    I'm currently running office 2004. I use powerpoint for presentations and word for smallish documents that need to be shared (writing articles / thesis in TeXShop).

    Is it worth upgrading to 2008? I should be able to get a copy from my local computer support people, but really, is it worth it?
     
  2. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #2
    No. Wait for the next version where Visual Basic will be reinstated. The only use for updated Office is the new file extensions but there are many ways to get around this if it becomes a problem: iWork, OpenOffice, docx convertor, Leopard TextEdit, etc. Apart from that it's all unnecessary bling - like Vista.
     
  3. SailorTom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    #3
    Depends how easily you can live with bugs for new features. I prefer the new UI in 2008 but am sometimes forced back to 2004, especially for using Visual Basic/excel.

    If you're using TeX as your main word processor, why do you even need office? use textedit for basic note taking (textedit can save in .doc/.docx format) and there is a presentation module for TeX. For publishing colourful pretty things use iWork - thats what it's designed for right?!

    Also if your in the UK and are buying, look at software4students.co.uk
     
  4. David2070 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I love 2008 and think its great.

    However, if you're happy with the version you've got and you don't need to read the new .docx/.pptx files, you may be better off spending the money on something else.
     
  5. toby jones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #5
    I only use Word for the odd thing that I need to do quickly and share with another user so they can make alterations to it. I guess I could get them to look at / view it in a text editor, but people get a little ****** about that. I guess I could send them this article I found about why it is best to do things like that in text editor - but they would roll their eyes at me...

    I did a CV in LaTeX. The formatting took me AGES and the code really isn't pretty... But the PDF looks pretty :) But still... What a mission...

    I think I won't bother about the upgrade. I hoped it would run faster running native on the Intel chip.. Sounds like it is still really buggy though and not much faster so little point in changing really.
     
  6. WorldIRC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    #6
    My biggest reason for upgrading to 2008 was for Intel compatibility. I technically still prefer the 2004 interface but speed and stability was something important to me so I spent the $50 (campus price) on Office 2008 and I've been happy!
     
  7. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #7
    IMHO, if stability is a requirement, stay away from office 2008. Even with the recent update, I find that Word 2008 (the office program i use most often) is quite unstable. I tend to make documents that have lots of tables and are quite long (hundreds of pages). I find there are frequent re-draw problems (text appearing on two different pages, then on no page, then finally in the right place, or text in footers being invisible while i'm editing it, etc.), randomly disappearing insertion cursors (that require killing word and restarting), and on two occasions it made my whole window start displaying crazy stuff (as if the graphic card was dying) and required a reboot. When I try to print a range of pages (as opposed to the entire document), embedded images disappear. When I paste an image twice into my document, the second or subsequent version eventually becomes corrupted.

    Frankly, I find it to be a complete mess.

    I used to use Office 2003 in VMWare fusion, and for awhile I rand that alongside office 2008, and the Office 2003/fusion solution was actually FASTER (and MUCH more stable and reliable). And office 2003/fusion actually works properly with Spaces (unlike office 2008, where windows and dialogs randomly jump from space to space). Office 2008 also puts things on the toolbox and makes them inaccessible from the menus or keyboard (for example, unlinking one header from previous headers), and makes other horrendous UI blunders.

    FWIW I run on a santa rosa MBP 17".
     
  8. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #8
    2004 ran fast enough for me, but i upgraded to 2008

    having done so... i don't really like the new interface, but that could just be getting used to change, i don't know

    the lack of vba is annoying, even though i didn't have much need
    it is just lack of respect in my opinion

    to me, 2008 isn't a necessary upgrade at all and you are probably better off without it


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  9. toby jones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #9
    > I tend to make documents that have lots of tables and are quite long (hundreds of pages).

    I found that Word couldn't really handle documents that long without freaking out so I broke my Masters thesis down into more manageable chapters of 7,000 words max. Then I just changed the page numbers so I had a whole thesis...

    > I find there are frequent re-draw problems (text appearing on two different pages, then on no page, then finally in the right place, or text in footers being invisible while i'm editing it, etc.), randomly disappearing insertion cursors (that require killing word and restarting), and on two occasions it made my whole window start displaying crazy stuff (as if the graphic card was dying) and required a reboot. When I try to print a range of pages (as opposed to the entire document), embedded images disappear. When I paste an image twice into my document, the second or subsequent version eventually becomes corrupted.

    And I found all of those problems even when I was saving those shorter chunks!

    This was precisely why I converted to LaTeX. I found that all those problems with printing Word also turned into problems with turning Word into a PDF - and I got sick to death of grapling with it.

    LaTeX has a bit of a steep learning curve... But if this is the kind of work you do then it is one of those things that needs to be done (like teaching yourself how to touch type). Can't say enough good things about TeX when it comes to stability and the beauty of the PDF output. It kind of inspires me to do good work so it sounds / reads as good as it looks!

    I could get a copy for free from the department, but I don't think I'll bother... I should just jolly well send people stuff in text editor :p

    If only I could get a copy of keynote for free from the dept. so I didn't have to use the dreaded ppt. (Not up to doing presentations in LaTeX just yet).
     
  10. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #10
    i did my masters thesis and ph.d. dissertation with latex, but unfortunately in the real word I need to work with word .doc's :) The problems I cited don't occur on Word 2003 for windows, so it's not a problem with word across-the-board. It's just that word 2008 is a steaming pile of garbage.
     

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