Office for Mac or Parallels + Office?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by slo-climber, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. slo-climber macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013

    I will have to get an Office to my Mac. Especially because of Excell and Word. Do you suggest Office for Mac or Parallels with normal Office?

    I think I will have to use also Visual Basic in the future. That works only in Windows as far as I know?

    I know, that I can run Windows with Boot Camp too. But I don't need it for gaming, so I think Parallels would be better choice.

  2. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    I have both office for mac and office for windows and I usually go the parallels route if I want to use excel. for simple word doc, I use office for mac. I think excel in office for mac sucks.
  3. ravipiero macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013
    Office for mac suits my every need (word, excel, ppt). So unless you have something specific task to do that is only available on office365, I'm going to recommend office for mac.
  4. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
  5. Micky Do, Jun 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    I have Office for Mac installed, and did use it, but seldom do so these days. I mostly use iWork now.

    Pages opens Word documents, and it can export Pages documents as Word files, which works OK for me. It is not always so straight forward with Excel and Numbers, but it can be done. However having Excel available makes it easier

    I wouldn't bother with going down the Parallels + Office route.
  6. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    If you have to use Visual Basic, then you will need the Windows version of Office.

    I run it in Parallels on my Mac mini and it's fine - actually, it's much more responsive than the Mac version. So long as your machine has lots of RAM, you are good to go.

    The only thing I don't like is the way Windows software renders fonts, but that's Windows for you.

    The current release of Mac Office (whatever patch number it is up to) is actually excellent - responsive, works with retina displays, and they have finally fixed the crashing problem with track-changes mode. I used to lose a lot of work to that (hence the need to use the Windows version of Office).

    I have to say I love the look of Pages, and it renders fonts beautifully. But it's missing tonnes of features. I'm not really an Office power user, but Pages doesn't even have a document map. When you're dealing with very long documents, this is an essential feature for me.
  7. slo-climber thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    But I have several Word documents, which are not opened correctly in Page. Let sey, my thesis, which was written in Word is not good in Page. It has a lot of tables and images that aren't shown correctly. Also I get a warning that certain fonts don't exist.
  8. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    I've used Office for mac for years and I've never had any issues with it (wrote my bachelor's thesis with it and so forth), so I can't really recommend going the roundabout way via Parallells.

    When it comes to the talk about Visual Basic, as a programmer I would recommend that you don't bother with it as it's generally pretty hated language mainly suited for beginners. If you're going to go with a "Baby's first programming language" that holds your hand I'd recommend going with Python as it's also pretty darn beginner friendly and there's a lot more demand for Python programmers than Visual Basic ones.
  9. slo-climber thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    When I open my bachelor thesis (or any other a little bit "complicated") document , this message comes out:


    Index for example is totally messed up.
  10. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    Agreed. It's a real pain in the ass to make/modify diagrams with it.
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My needs are fairly basic in Word and Excel and I haven't had any problems using the Mac version. I occasionally help by brother with some real estate brochures which he does in Windows. I can make changes and he is able to use them.

    I just prefer working in OS X instead of Windows. Was working in Windows last night making changes to an old Visual Basic program I maintain for a non-profit. That is one of the few programs I have to run in Windows. I have used Office in Parallels but find the Mac version easier to use.
  12. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I respectfully disagree. VB and its editor are enabled by activating the Developer Ribbon. I've been using VB in Office 2011 since it came out.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have both thanks to the office365 subscription and I will say functionally, performance, and feature wise. The windows version of Office is superior to the Mac Office one.

    If you're happy with Mac Office great but I felt Microsoft treats it as the unloved redheaded step child and it is lacking in comparison to its windows counterpart.
  14. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I have an Office 365 subscription and the ability to use Office on all my devices, iMac, Mac, Windows laptop, iPad, iPad mini and iPhone is fantastic. With Microsofts new management and their new outlook on things I think the next version of Office for the Mac will pretty much on par with the Windows version. They did an awesome job with the iPad version and them bringing One Note to mac has been pretty good as well.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    One can only hope, I'll not argue that the iPad version of Office is top notch, they outdid themselves. I'm anxious to see what Office for Mac will look like
  16. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2012
    Bear in mind that Office & Parallels will be pretty costly - £45 for Parallels 9, £70 for Windows 7 Home Professional and £161 for Office 2013 Home and Business at least - probably more as these are currently the cheapest available prices from Amazon UK.
  17. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    It's tricky to do but I suggest you find out whether you have a strong preference for one or the other. Each of us can tell you what works for each of us but that means nothing with regard to what you'll prefer. I have Office 2011 and 2013 and find both work equally well for me but YMMV as other posts in this thread (and every other Office thread) have already indicated.
  18. lancdoc macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    Office for Mac versus Parallels + Office

    I have both with my Office 365 subscription, and have used both at a novice level. I agree with most posters that the Windows version has more features and works well. Parallels runs this flawlessly. The main difference I see though is in Outlook. The Mac version is incompatible with everything, no iCloud function whatsoever, even the Windows version has that. As a long time user of Outlook, I'm hoping the upcoming version of Outlook for Mac has better ability to use iCloud and do things such as importing current outlook folders, etc.

  19. kitkat8391 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    Boot Camp will actually take up less space on your computer than Parallels, so I would personally go with Boot Camp. I have an application called Wine and Wine Bottler that I use for the moment which helps me use windoww-based programs, but Boot Camp is much easier to use.

    I have Office for Mac. I knew I was going to use it and thats it. I didn't have to go through the process of seeing if it was the best option really since I needed it ASAP. I like it though. I haven't had any issues with it, I can send it to people with windows or print and edit things from a windows computer. It can still read everything even if i edit the document and send it back to myself.

    So just pick what helps you the most. If you think you'll use a few Windows programs and/or don't want to find another program that can work just as well for Mac, then use Boot Camp. If you don't think you'll use anymore Windows programs and/or you know programs that work on Mac that work for you, then I'd suggest getting Office for Mac

    Hope that helps :)
  20. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Office for Mac is often a CPU hog

    I use both Office for Mac and on Windows 7 via VMWare Fusion.

    Mac Office generally works OK, apart from handling some macros, but the consistent problem that I have with MS Word is frequent excessive CPU usage.

    I find that Word will often suddenly start using 90-99% of one CPU core and the only way to stop it is to close and re-open.

    I've seen this on all 3 Macs that I own at the problem has existed in the at least the last 4 versions of Mac OS X (i.e. from Leopard).

    I'm not alone with this problem, and have tried many suggestions, in particular disabling any auto spelling or grammar checks. But the problem always re-occurs sooner of later.

    This isn't really a huge problem unless I'm running on battery power, in which case, it's a BIG DEAL. 90% CPU use (even when not typing or doing anything) will quickly drain the battery, normally when you have no chance of re-charging, e.g. traveling.

    On the other hand, running up VMWare / Parallels just to edit a Word doc is also "overkill" and uses a significant amount of CPU just to run the hypervisor.

    Sadly, other software such as Pages or Open Office are not an option - they are simply not "compatibile enough" with anything other than very simple Word document layouts.

    If anyone has fixed the CPU hogging issue, I'd love to hear about it!
  21. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I have no problems with CPU usage on any of my Macs anymore. I used to, with Office 2004 and 2008. I used to live in Excel. It's not "Word" - it's all of the MS Office apps, going back several years.

    I used the Mac's built-in font management application to disable several of the fonts installed by Office and noticed that each of the apps would spike and peg CPU usage - so I re-enabled the fonts in MS's installed folder.

    In one other instance, with Office 2008, I had issues with the Office apps after an OS upgrade, until I used the Recovery partition to repair permissions - there were dozens of errors associated with the Microsoft fonts folder installed in the Library>Fonts folder. I also reinstalled Office.

    I've ensured that Office apps can "talk" to the Microsoft Fonts folder and that the permissions scripts are run regularly, including after every Office 2011 update. No problems with excessive CPU or RAM usage in 5 years now - one of the apps will spike to about 20-30% for a few seconds, then return to 1.5-5%. Office apps appear to be sensitive to duplicate fonts - I disable duplicate fonts as well; I used to use QuarkXPress and just got into the habit of managing fonts years ago and it's just second nature with my workflow.
  22. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Thanks for the suggestion!

    This is useful information - I had heard something about fonts being the cause of the CPU spikes, but I'll check out your suggestions. Appreciate it!
  23. inmnbob macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2014
    Chicago and Twin Cities
    If you need outlook with exchange server there is no comparison you need Windows. If you are a heavy Onenote user and need to send documents, link calendars to meetings etc. to onenote then you have to use windows.
  24. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Big spreadsheets are painful even with latest hardware on office for Mac... I'm talking worse experience than 10 year old windows PC..... Don't even bother trying to touch a record set with 10k plus rows..,
  25. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    You need to check out the student discounts in the UK. Office Pro for £39. Doesn't help much with Parallels (although I prefer VM Fusion) but make a huge saving on MS products.

    goole for software 4 students and you'll find some great deals.

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