OpenOffice VS MS Office suite, which do i go with?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mpulsive81, May 23, 2007.

  1. Mpulsive81 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2006
    McKinney, TX
    When I purchased my Mac last year I also picked up a copy of MS Office Student/Teacher edition. I'm going to during the Fall & Spring semesters so I figured that was something i'd definitely need. About a week ago, someone mentioned Openoffice on this board when I was having issues setting up Transmission. While I didn't download the suite in it's entirety, it got me thinking about the alternatives.

    Before I get bombarded with the "M$ $ucks!" posts, I'm looking for an honest opinion of user friendliness and functionality. How does the presentation of the application compare in regards to MS? I didn't purchase iWork because the guy at the Apple store told me that I may be better off getting MS Office because there may be occasions where i'd have a compatibility issue if i need to turn something into a professor electronically.

    One of my qualms with Office is that the programs are slower to load than most of my other applications. Now increasing the ram to 1gb made an noticable improvement, but entourage is a piece (when trying to open it up)

    Also, please no posts of "download it yourself and try it out". My Mac has limited space as it is, and until i can upgrade my HDD, i have to be selective of what i download. Thanks in advance for your honest .02!
  2. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005

    NeoOffice (Aqua port of Oo_O) works fine for me. I never owned/tried MS Office on my Mac though. I am not a heavy office-suite-user either.

    so yeah, "download it yourself and try it out" :rolleyes:
  3. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    I've got NeoOffice. It does a good job of opening MS Office docs, but I wouldn't like to write a thesis on it. It feels sluggish on my eMac (1gb ram, 1.25mhz) compared to my old copy of MS Office 2001.

    I've also used Mellel and Nisus Writer. They're were both alot faster then MS Word and NeoOffice. Very good for academic writing. But I'm not sure how good they are with Word docs. S'pose you can always use Neo to open word docs.

    It really is a case of download and find out! You can delete it again afterwards. Not sure what the problem is with this.
  4. kiang macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2007
    (preparing to get flamed all-over)
    MS Office beats OO is every way IMO. But if you're considering to get office on your a, I'd say wait wait until Office 2008 comes out, and in the time being use OO. the ribbon is just a great way to easily access the functions you need for the thing you are doing.
    OO can do everything MSO can do, but the usability, compatibility and interface of MSO is just superior in every way.
    Really, I know alot of you guys can't stand MS, but truth be told: MS is a VERY good product, and with the ribbon, at last MS made an original and good change to the way you create document.
    So I'd go with MSO, and after all, remember what Apple said at WWDC06: copies never get as good as the original :)
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    How can you recommend a product which is not even available yet? It is my understanding that Office 2007, Office 2008's older sibling is a drug on the market. If it were any good, then it would be selling better.

    The OP needs to answer this simple question: "How will I use my office suite?" If his primary use is file compatibility with Microsoft Office, then I recommend Office 2004. Word-compatible apps may require him to perform substantial reformatting edits to make his Word document look like it does in Word. If the OP is producing documents for hard copy or PDF submission, then he has much more flexibility. NeoOffice, AbiWord, Pages and many of the small-footprint word processors will do the job.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I have both, and I'd say that if you have Office 04, I would not see any real reason to use Neo (unless you wanted something like the database module which has no Office 04 analog).

    Entourage is a notable exception, but then it doesn't have a Neo/OOo analog anyways. I use Mail/iCal/AdBk in conjunction with Word, Excel, and PPT. I've always been happy with that.
  7. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Office 2004 will always be slower as it's running under Rosetta (Emulation for PPC Binary). Since it was never (and will never be) a Universal Binary (both Intel & PPC executable code) it will always be slower. As you've already noticed, increasing the RAM helped a good deal, but in short, it won't be as quick as a native application.

    As for what others have suggested. Just stay with MS Office 2004 right now. You'll have better compatibility with MS Office XP/2003/2007. And when Office 2008 comes out, you can certainly take a look at that.
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Just as a note. MS Office 2008 will not have VB scripting in it. NeoOffice is currently the only native "Office" software that supports VB scripting on Intel and it looks like that will be the case for a while.

    I have MS Office running under VMWare/Bootcamp and NeoOffice. The user interface in Neo is not as good as MS but not that bad either. The Java code does slow down Neo but not as slow as MS Office would be under Rosetta. MS in Windows XP is very fast, even in VMWare.
  9. slashjunior macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2007
    I would also agree with sticking with Office. It is best to cover yourself completely. You don't want compatibility issues hindering your work. Office is a bit slow because as someone said it was originally written for the PPC Macs and it has not been ported across to Intel yet so it is running on Rosetta.

    I do enjoy working with Keynote sometimes though. It is nice to create presentations that look better than the boring, overused PowerPoint effects.

    I have personally never used OpenOffice or NeoOffice because I have Microsoft Office 2004. I think Office is still one of Microsoft's best programs. I wish I could say that about other parts of their business.
  10. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I think they are both good.
    I never had any compability issues with NeoOffice and I've been using it for all my schoolwork. As someone already said MS Office's interface is better but Neo's is not bad at all.

    I just prefer to have Neo because I like to use Open Source software as much as I can and since it suits all my needs I really think I will stick to it.
  11. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2005
    NeoOffice will definitely hold you off till Office 08 comes out. It's a solid program and I've never had any formatting problems in my time using it here in Uni.
  12. sajurcaju macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2007
    A few specific issues

    We recently switched from being long time PC users to a Mac Pro. We're pretty happy we switched. MS is getting way too intrusive.

    I have used both OO and MS Office. I have no experience with Neooffice.

    OO will occasionally have font issues when reading MS files. The characters are there, but sometimes they take up a bit more room, causing your nice formatting to require some surgery. Not often, but it happens.

    I also just changed jobs. I work remote, so I was receiving files from people at the new work (in MS Office format) on my Mac with OO. This worked fine until someone sent me MS Office 2007 files (.docx, .xlsx, etc.). If one of your professors sends you a file like this, right now you have two choices--either get them to re-send in an older MS format, or get Office 2007. I assume that software projects like OO will catch up to this, but the new format is incompatible with *everything* right now, including older versions of MS Office.

  13. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    If the document is in .docx format, then your have a third choice. Download the developmental version of Microsoft's Office Open XML Converter. The current version handles only Word files. Excel and PowerPoint conversion while be added later. There are also a DOCX Converter freeware widget and a shareware filter which are advertised to convert the .docx format. I cannot vouch any of these converters, but all are less expensive than Office 2007.

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