Office software for Mac - which is best?

Knowz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
3
0
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

--Thanks.,
Knowz
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Isn't LibreOffice just the new name of OpenOffice? Libre being the french word for open in the sense of free...
 

Bobby.e

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2012
394
1
Kansas
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.
 

samh

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2009
317
3
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.
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).
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,835
4,497
"Between the Hedges"
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)
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
 

kemo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
741
111
ProtonVPN
How about Parallels + Windows and use MS Office for Windows? If you are so much after compatibility there is no better way now.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,835
4,497
"Between the Hedges"
How about Parallels + Windows and use MS Office for Windows? If you are so much after compatibility there is no better way now.
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
 

-tWv-

macrumors 68000
May 11, 2009
1,582
1
Ohio
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.
 

Meyvn

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2005
498
0
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.
 

etsi

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2011
248
1
Is iwork compatible with ms office? I don't work with complicated word/excel documents. I don't like LibreOffice.