Pages or Microsoft Word Online, which is better?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by seasurfer, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    In your opinion, if you want to write a book chapter, which one would you use. I don't want to install Microsoft word for mac until they release a 2014 or 2015 version.

    So, my options left will be using Pages or MS Word Online.
  2. rmackner, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    rmackner macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2014
    If you are just using a word processor to write a book and it won't be the final draft then it doesn't really matter where you write it. But if you are doing the final editing within the program then we need to know what format you attempt to save the final draft in. If it's going to be in a .doc format then I would suggest word since the formatting will stay intact when someone from a another version of word opens the document.
  3. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    If you are willing to consider Pages as a possibility then I would also include (and personally rank much higher):
  4. aaroman macrumors newbie


    Jan 16, 2013
    Professional review

    There's an excellent review at ComputerWorld entitled "Review: Microsoft Office Online vs. Apple iWork for iCloud vs. Google Drive".

    The 10 second synopsis? They're all ok, but Pages is the most polished and easiest to use and consistent, especially with the other iWork packages. And it's free if you've got an Apple ID. Note that this review was done right after the iCloud beta was announced, and thus without a lot of the features it has now.

    If you've got Pages already, whether the OS X, iOS, or iCloud app, you've got the best for general word processing. There are places where it still needs improvement (as do GoOgle and Micro$oft) but if those don't impact you, you're good to go.

    Some quotes from the article:
  5. pingssgp macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I'd second this recommendation, if you value your work. Apple's software updates often break backwards compatibility and you could find yourself unable to open older documents after a few years. (search "this document can't be opened because it's too old.")

    LibreOffice and its sibling OpenOffice are both excellent choices if you value the availability of your data in the future. They have a long history and have evolved significantly over the years to give you a mature suite of products.

    I personally choose the open format since I don't want my data locked in to a proprietary format in either pages or word.

  6. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    LibreOffice and OpenOffice have terrible UIs and are a bit… clunky. They’re not exactly a pleasure to use in my opinion and they’re not bug free either. I had several encounters with them because of MS Office, but often they are just as bad or worse and if you really need to change something they can become very complicated too. MS Office is better and still works, but it’s a bit dated (although Microsoft won’t break document compatibility like Apple does). Pages is the most polished and up to date, but it comes with a limited feature set. However, if it’s purely about typing with minimal formatting, it’s probably your best choice.

    If you are serious about book writing however, I strongly recommend Scrivener (see Mac App Store). It’s the best word processor for more advanced writing, especially if research is involved.
  7. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I personally prefer the offline version of word, but I understand you waiting on the new version.

    Well isnt pages free on the mac now? I suggest trying that. But if you already have a subscription to MS 365, then try em both out and see which you like best.
  8. NoBoMac, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Minor nit, LibreOffice is either a child or step-sib of OpenOffice since LibreOffice is a fork of the original OpenOffice.

    Not a frequent word processor, more spreadsheets, so not completely germane, but my vote is OpenOffice/LibreOffice. And of the two, OpenOffice.

    With the Apple stuff, they are slick UIs, especially on mobile devices, problem is, they like to do "Apple things" to the documents. For Numbers, as an example, when the spreadsheet comes back from Numbers as an Excel, cell borders are changed to hidden, every sheet is made into a "table" like sheet (got to spend time to reformat or copy/paste-special to a copy to remove the Apple-added formatting). Some formulas get totally changed (in one case, added extra math to existing formula). Now to be fair, Numbers handles Excel better than all other 3rd party Office-like apps I've tried re: formula compatibility and functions such as cross-sheet references.

    OpenOffice/LibreOffice do pretty good re: going between Office and themselves. If nothing too "fancy" going on, no touch-up needed usually in Office.

    OpenOffice over LibreOffice: yes, LibreOffice gets updated more often than OpenOffice, but that's not always a good thing. LibreOffice is too busy doing "cool" things with their updates, and that has added bugs. And in one particular case for me, created, fixed, and recreated the same bug (conditional cell formatting: initially put in a speed enhancement that broke the formatting, fixed the problem, a few releases later, conditional formatting broken again). OpenOffice is a little more stable, so if happy with UI and current version fits your needs...

    ADD: to echo pingssgp's comment re: open. As per above paragraph, I've swapped between OpenOffice and LibreOffice over the last couple of years with no issues due to they "speak the same language", flexibility the locked formats from Apple and MS do not allow. And if OO/LO are not acceptable, NeoOffice is still out there, Lotus...

    ADD2: TextEdit? If not doing anything fancy, might be a viable option.
  9. jms969 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    +1 and the latest update is a true mac interface. I have office 2011 and greatly prefer libreoffice...
  10. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Does the latest update have the Yosemite interface?
  11. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    You can customise many of the UI elements (colour and all), but this is how it looks by default:

    Attached Files:

  12. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    The UI is not as cool as Pages. :)
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think MS word has so many features over Pages, that its a no brainer. If you buy into the subscription model then you'll get this and the new version.
  14. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I think it’s very reminiscent of Java apps. It’s very functional and you can change a lot of things that you could never do with Pages or even Word, but it has a steep learning curve as a result. I also encountered plenty of bugs and occasional crashes when I last used it, which is why I never bothered with it.

    But you should check out Scrivener as well:

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