Office software for Mac - which is best?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Knowz, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Knowz macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2012
    Hi everyone, recently I bought a rMBP and installed Mountain Lion on it.
    One of the most important things for me is being able to use a good office suite (especially a word processor) which is fully compatible (formatting, styles, etc) with Microsoft Office on Windows (I'll need to be transferring files a lot to computers with MS office for Windows on them, for others to view/edit/print, etc).

    What office suite / program(s) would you recommend?

    Is Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 good? What are your opinions on it? Is it completely compatible MS office for Windows?
    Additionally I've heard that MS office for Mac 2011 is not yet ready for the Retina display - does it really look bad or it bearable?

    Other than that what else would you recommend? Is Apple's Pages completely compatible with every version MS Office for Windows?

    I've currently installed LibreOffice and it has several compatibility problems with MS Office for Windows - and I'd really need a word processing program which will have no problem compatibility-wise in regards to formatting, styles, etc. Are there any other open-source ones which are fully compatible?

    Most importantly, I want an office suite (and a word processing program in particular) which is:
    1. Fully compatible with all versions of MS Office for Windows (i.e. no styling/formatting, etc problems when sending files back-and-forth)
    2. Looks fairly good on the Retina Display

  2. GGJstudios, Aug 11, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  3. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Isn't LibreOffice just the new name of OpenOffice? Libre being the french word for open in the sense of free...
  4. Quotenfrau macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2011
    No "new name" is wrong. It's a fork. See hole story at Wikipedia
  5. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2012
    No word processor is 100% compatible with all versions of Office. Even Office isn't 100% compatible with each other. Office 2011 for Mac will be your best Mac software though.
  6. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    Indeed, fonts and print setups can cause the same document to appear different in the SAME version of Word for Windows on different machines/installations.

    Having spent many, many years in the Windows world and knowing MS Word VERY well, I actually LIKE Word and Excel 2011. Powerpoint is OK. There are a couple of obnoxious things about Excel (the keyboard shortcut to edit cell contents without overwriting is by default an unfriendly combination). I did not care for Pages, and of course the native file format is no compatible anywhere else.

    I have found Compatibility to be pretty good between the PC and Mac side (Word 07/2010 and Word 2011 for Mac, that is).
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    As other posters have pointed out, this is not happening
    Not even among different versions of Office on Windows

    Office 2011 is the best Mac version for compatibility at this point, but it is not perfect
    But it will be better than any Open Office variation or other software for compatibility purposes
  8. kemo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2008
    How about Parallels + Windows and use MS Office for Windows? If you are so much after compatibility there is no better way now.
  9. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    While that definitely works (I do it some myself), it does require an investment in:
    Parallels or VMware (unless VirtualBox is used)
    Windows (Win7 likely)
    MS Office for Windows

    Quite a hefty $$ investment
  10. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    I love Office 2011 for the Mac. I've never had any issues with compatibility for windows machines and I think the interface is great. It does take some getting used to if you come from using the Windows version, but it's pretty self explanatory and definitely a big step up from the previous version of office for mac.
  11. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Typically, as the complexity of a document increases, the likelihood for complete compatibility decreases
  12. Meyvn macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    Office for Mac 2011 is definitely going to be the best choice for compatibility. It's also going to be the most expensive, and honestly, I don't think any of the listed options are truly problematic compatibility-wise unless you're talking about cooperative page design or cooperative presentation work. And if you are talking about those things, we're the wrong people to ask; you should just coordinate with your coworkers to use the same software & fonts, whatever those may be.

    As far as UI, I think iWork is the best if we're talking about the whole suite. It's also much less expensive than Office, especially when you factor in the "buy once, use on all your Macs" advantage. If word processing is really the only thing you need, Bean is excellent, and free.

    If you need spreadsheet & presentation software and don't want to pay for it, LibreOffice is really the only game in town. Its UI is pretty crappy, though, and if you are working in a shared environment, its presentation component is going to have the worst compatibility problems of anything out there.
  13. etsi macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2011
    Is iwork compatible with ms office? I don't work with complicated word/excel documents. I don't like LibreOffice.
  14. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    You can export Pages documents as Word docs, etc
    But compatibility can be spotty at times

    I like Numbers, but it is not a substitute for Excel

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