Question for writers and about pricing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Simple Living, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Simple Living macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I'm switching from M$ to Mac and decided on the iMac. I considered the notebooks but I'll just get one later since I can use my M$ laptop until then.

    I have a question for any writers (or those with first-hand knowledge) about which program to get with my iMac. I want iWork '08 because I don't want anything to do with M$ anymore. That said, my question is this: Do you have any problems formatting manuscripts and/or magazine articles in a way that's compatible with editors who use Word?


    Should I just "get over it" and get Office 2008 when it comes out? Will this product make iWork obsolete? It's supposed to be pretty powerful. Apple wasn't trying to make a serious competition for Word, anyway. If I get iWork '08 will I eventually regret it? M$ seems dead-set on keeping their Mac software going strong. Since most people tend to use Word, should I just get Office '08?

    Now, for the pricing question.

    I was going to wait until after MacWorld 2008 in mid-January before I bought my iMac. (I'm waiting until January for tax purposes.) But, I just can't see Mac bringing out improvements for the iMac this go 'round. (And if they did, it would be a very minor one.) My question is this: Do you think iMac prices will go UP after MacWorld and I would be better of getting one beforehand, or should I wait and see if they lower the price a bit? Also, if I buy on in the beginning of January and they do lower the price after MacWorld, can I just bring in my receipt and have them make up the difference in price (since it's within 30 days)?
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    iWork is great but you can't set it up to save as Word by default. I work in a Windows/MS Office environment and my solution was NeoOffice, which _can_ be set to save as MS file formats by default and is damned good to boot.

    Give it a try - it's open source/donationware - the only thing I really don't like about it is slow startup (which I solve by leaving it running most of the time :p )
  3. ghostwriter macrumors regular


    Nov 7, 2006
    Rocky Mountains U.S.A.
    I use MS Office 2004 and plan to upgrade to 2008 upon release. I like iWork and others but always seems to end up returning to Word.
  4. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I use Microsoft Word because my clients expect .doc files. Yes, I know Pages can save to .doc, but that's not the default (you would have to export if I'm not mistaken).

    There is something to be said about hitting Command-S whenever you feel it's warranted and not having to go through the hassle of exporting.

    I hate Microsoft as much as any Apple fanatic, but I do like their Office product and will continue to use it. I currently use 2004 and plan on upgrading to 2008 when it's released.

    In terms of pricing, the iMac won't go up in price. Specs may improve but prices will remain the same or decrease slightly.
  5. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Boy, you guys know how to make a guy feel better. I feel better about getting my iMac come the first part of January now.

    If the price decreases, can I bring in my receipt for a credit on the price difference, as long as it's within 30 days?

    As for the products, I guess I'll stick with Word. (Grrr...) Office 2004 is out now and if I buy that, will I get a free upgrade to 2008?
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    It all depends on what you're doing......but I don't think you have to worry too much since clients who produce magazines are going to be dumping your text into a program like Quark or Indesign. They're going to do their own formatting and layout. My understanding is that some techincal and science journals like submissions in LaTex so not everybody wants .doc format files anyway.
  7. mrock macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    I'm a fairly recent Mac convert and have been using NeoOffice until Office 2008 comes out and I can see if it lives up to the hype.

    On my PC desktop I've started using Office 2007 which (apart from Access) is great in my opinion. The problem is that some 2007 formatting doesn't quite import properly into NeoOffice.

    Also, Powerpoint and Keynote seem much nicer for presentations that the NeoOffice offering!

    So.. for now I am using NeoOffice for the bulk of my work but often have to load up Word 2007 in VMWare to deal with some formatting.
  8. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    I am a college student and have recently switched from Office v.x to the latest version of iWork. I actually deleted Office completely, and do not use it for anything anymore. I have emailed in papers and all that jazz, never once has a teacher had a problem with them. These are even documents with pictures/tables/etc. iWork has a free 30 day trial that you can download from Apple's website. I would at least try it, and if you don't like it, you can go back. The main reason I switched was cost, Office is EXPENSIVE, $150 for a student license, no thank you!

    Here is the link to the trial version:

  9. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you need to be absolutely compatible with Word, and it sounds like writing is your business, then you need to buy a copy of Word for the Mac. Otherwise, I've come to prefer Pages.

    iWork is a great set of programs, at shareware prices, but if you work in it you will need to do a final review in Word before submitting your work to a publisher. Of course, it depends on how involved your work is. Mine usually contains embedded illustrations and footnotes.

    A trial copy of iWork comes with new Macs. You can test it on some of your existing documents and judge for yourself. Best wishes.
  10. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    I personally like WriteRoom:

    Word and Pages have too much garbage in them. Sometimes your formatting gets lost, especially in Word, grrr.

    WriteRoom just lets you write. I absolutely love it and it really helped me with my books.
  11. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I second Writeroom. Until I took a break from my novel, I wrote 30k words in it. When I start writing again next year, everything's going to be in Writeroom. I don't think I'll ever write a story in a traditional (Word/Pages/etc) program again. It was actually one of the reasons I bought an iBook.
  12. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I doubt magazines actually use Word for publishing. They probably just copy and paste your text into their publishing suite, so you might even be able to submit your manuscripts in pdf. In any case, each one should have its own standards about whether they prefer doc, latex or pdf, so just check their websites.
  13. RSNL macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2007
    So ended buying it at bestbuy for 1633.49 after tax and have 24 months zero interest. Thought they would atleast give me a student discount or pricematch the student discount because i am taking 1 class in a community college right now...

    It is still in my room unopened....Should I buy it elsewhere for cheaper..1600 seems like a lot for an imac.. what should i dooo???? It keeps telling to open it =P
  14. peejack macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Yes you have to export.
  15. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Which one did you get? I'm assuming the 20" 2.4GHz by that total. You can get it in an Apple Store or online for just under $1500 after tax if you're a student, but other stores aren't allowed to offer those discounts for the most part.

  16. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    i'm a student and i've tried alternatives to office. If your printing out the doc for a professor, its fine to use an alternative. But, if you're sending it to them, even in doc form, they can read the doc but often the doc is formatted incorrectly and looks weird. Honestly, office is the only choice if your doing heavy writing b\c it is the only one that is fully compatible with everyone else.
  17. mas90guru macrumors member


    Dec 30, 2007
    Umm, what's so terrible about Google Apps? It's free and you can get at it from everywhere. I've been writing for years and have never had an editor request anything but a text document.
  18. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    The cesspit of civilization
    My 2 cents...

    Congratulations on your decision to switch. I'm a postgraduate student (in the medical sciences field) and currently have a macbook that I use for work and fun.

    I'm not exactly what you may had in mind when asking for writers, however, I do write a lot in my computer, both professionally and amateur (I'm writing a short novel). I've been using Office since 1994, and until iWork 08 came out, MSWord was my main and only word processor app, even when I switched back to mac in 2001. Now I don't have MS office anymore, and I'm happy with my decision. I have written several research papers and a thesis on pages on my mac (to be fair, I started the thesis on MS word in my old iBook, and imported it to pages on my new MacBook without any glitches). My university asked for both .doc and .pdf versions of the thesis, and Pages managed them without a hiccup, not losing any formatting (tables, figures, footnotes, images, etcétera) on my document. I even helped ALL of my colleagues on exporting to .pdf their .doc thesis, and didn't had any problems on these word-pages-pdf translation.

    Pages 08 is a powerful word processor application that has the ability to export seamlessly to MSword (although it is true that in order to save as .doc you have to export, I only need to save as .doc when I'm about to send the document to a windows user, and in the interim, I keep the document saved as .pages in my computer). I understand that there may be glitches on some heavy formatted documents, however, I've yet to found one on any of my documents. This last version of pages is a very elegant app with a "native Mac" look that has support for writing features that past versions lacked (e.g., comments, just to name one).

    Before iWork 08, I played with several alternatives to MS office, including Meller and scrivener, but none seemed what I needed. I even started using TextEdit (included in every mac) for my lesser needs. Now I'm done searching, and with Pages I have what I need.

    I think you have to take this programs for a spin and decide what suits you best. Fortunately, your new mac will include FREE preinstalled TRIAL versions of both iWork 08 and MS Office 2004, and you can download ≈1 month trial versions of Scrivener, Nisus Writer, and WriteRoom before you decide on what you'll set for.

    I second the motion that any editor of a respectable magazine will need only your text document for pasting it on a layout program. Anyhow, if your editor works with word, you shouldn't have any problem. My thesis advisors and the people that checks thesis on my university didn't had any trouble opening the documents I sent them. You just have to make sure the font you use is available on the computer they are using: this avoids the "weird" aspect of some documents.

    P.S. On the other hand, MS Word for mac have a nice "note-taking" mode that may appeal some reporters and journalists. It is called Notebook mode and has a built-in voice-recorder that once came in handy for me.
  19. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I wasn't expecting a lengthy response like this one. I hoped for one, but I didn't expect one! Like you said, I'll just have to experiment with with iWork and Office 2004 (doesn't that come with a free upgrade to 2008?) and see which one works best for me. I don't want to bother with scrivener or any other programs. The "note-taking" mode would actually come in handy, so we'll see what happens. Thanks for taking the time to type out your post. I appreciate it.

    Now, if Mac would just come out with an iCar and iTruck, I'd be set! Who wouldn't buy a car made by Apple? ;)

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