Office Dilema

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by digitaldave, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. digitaldave macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2006
    I have recently started on a teacher training course, and need to exchange documents with the faculty staff, but unfortunately they are all using Windows, and hence Office (2003 IIRC). The problem I have is I can't decide what's the best software to use in order to minimise the problems in exchanging files.

    I'd love to use iWork, but I have encountered numerous problems with formatting including such things as Pages can't mix portrait and landscape in the same document (at least I can't figure out how to do it!), and various other little niggling issues.

    I have looked at the release version of, and although it's pretty good, there are again some minor issues that are starting to get really annoying. For example, I have been supplied with a document that has a list of bullet points on each page - they display fine when I open the file on a Windows version of Office, and when I open it in Pages, but in Oo_O, they display (and print) as a strange character in a square box! If I remove the bullets, then replace them, it looks OK, but if I do that, then save the file and reopen it, I'm back to square one with those bloody box characters :(. I've also had a few other formatting issues. Plus, although it's all native Mac and might look ok in Linux, the interface isn't as slick as a decent Mac interface.

    So, that leaves me with two alternatives:

    1) Get a copy of Office 2008. This should remove virtually all of the file exchange issues. I'm not too happy about the fact that you can't get rid of that document elements thingie just below the main toolbar :mad:.

    2) Get a copy of Office 2007 for Windows and use it in Boot Camp or with Fusion/Parallels/VirtualBox. This has the great advantage that I can also legitimately install a copy on my wife's PC as well, as she is using a very old version of Office (but isn't too worried about updating, as the version she has works fine for what she uses it for). However, this solution isn't as slick as using a native Mac version.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions about what I could do?


  2. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    I'd say for ease of use and less hog of resources, go with 2008 for Mac.
    That being said, I think it is slow as hell, you have to chase Word around your Spaces if you use them, Excel is CRIPPLED (lacks Visual Basic macros, lost or not-as-good functions), not to mention it sure ain't cheap.
    So, I'd say for overall performance, go with maybe 2004 for Mac? Haven't used it much, but my (questionably legit) copy of 2008 sucks...

    I'd say 2007 for Windows is a much better written, put together, and implemented product. I know this doesn't help a whole lot, just more to think about.

    In all, it depends what you use it for. For more document-based, artistic stuff, perhaps the Mac version. If you truly USE the software, and need to run very well and such, the windows version might not be a bad idea...
  3. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2004
    Mountain View, CA USA
    You can minimise the Elements Gallery. Double-click on the active tab, or click on the "Gallery" button in the toolbar.

  4. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I agree, a must to do cross platform work with the rest of the world. I also have i-Work, but I prefer, and use NEO OFFICE a lot;)
  5. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    I've exchanged word files from 2007 on Windows with 2008 on Mac and pictures/formatting have been perfect. Unless you use Excel a lot (the Mac 2008 version isn't a patch on the Windows 2007 version) I would go with option 1. Word 2008 on Mac seems a little easier to use than Word 2007 on Windows (which has always been, and always will be, a PITA).
  6. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Do just have a check with oOo3 (were you using 2 or 3?) and neo office. Just on the off chance. I know they should all work out the same but for the sake of 10 minutes and a potential saving, worth the effort.

    Otherwise, as the others have said, I'd get office for Mac 2008.
  7. digitaldave thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2006
    Thanks for the replies :).

    I have got the v3 of Oo_O, and it seems to be OK, but I have a problem with bullet points using an odd character. I also had a couple of crashes/wierd moments with it, so I'm a bit wary. And the interface isn't great. However, as has been said, it could be the best bet simply because it's free, and generally works quite well with Office files :).


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