Question re Microsoft Word and Mac OS X

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BarristerV, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. BarristerV macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    #1
    Hi all- I've been patiently waiting for the back to school sale and the MBA refresh to purchase my first Mac. With the recent rumors, that day may be here shortly (but I have been following long enough to take everything with a grain of salt). The power under the hood, longevity, ease of use, and portability has convinced me to make the switch from PC. But most of all, I've amounted a collection of Apple peripherals (iphone, multiple ipods, nano, and ipad 2) over the years and look forward to everything being synced, especially considering the announcement of iCloud.

    After researching specs on this website and others, I believe the MBA will suffice for my needs. I will only use the MBA for email, browsing, music, and streaming netflix/hulu. I may store photos on it (and not many at that), but I will not be doing any heavy editing (my long time girlfriend inherited a hand me down SLR, but really hasn't put it to use. She claims after this purchase she will begin taking Aperture, photoshop, etc classes, but even if thats true, as a novice, will we really need more power?). At most, I believe this MBA's biggest workload will be having multiple, large word documents and pdfs open, and the occasional spreadsheet.

    As a first time Mac purchaser, I have two questions:

    1. I'm not familar with Mac OS X, at all. I realize Lion will be out in July. I'm wondering whether I should wait for the release of Lion to make my purchase. If I buy now, I will be learning how to use Mac OS X on a soon-to-be outdated OS. It seems counterintuitive to learn how to use an OS that will soon be disappearing. I know the upgrade to Lion will be free, but it seems sensible to learn a new OS on the most recent OS. What are everyone's opinions on this?

    2. In my profession, Word is almost always used. Thus, it is a foregone conclusion that I will be purchasing Word for Mac. Because the MBA doesn't have an optical drive, is Word available for download on the Mac App store? Also, if I work on a Word document at work on a PC, and work on the same Word document at home on a Mac, will the transition be seamless? Or are there any discrepancies I should be aware of?

    Thanks for the input.
     
  2. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #2
    As for 1), learning to use the current version will only help you use the next version. The differences won't be nearly as great as you seem to think.

    I can't help on 2), as I don't use MS Office. However, I would expect there to be no trouble in using docs between Windows and OSX versions of Office.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Just because Lion is released doesn't make earlier versions obsolete. I still run Leopard on my MBP and have no need whatsoever to switch to Snow Leopard or Lion. Leopard and SL are still quite viable versions.
    No, you won't find MS Office on the Mac App Store. You can use the optical drive of another computer to install on your MBA.
    Yes.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    1. Lion will only add a few things, the basics of the OS X will remain the same. No need to hold on because of this.

    2. It's not available in MAS but at least Amazon offers it as a download as well (looks like only the family pack is offered as a download but it's only 20 bucks more for two extra licenses).
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    You can download Office direct from microsoft.
     
  6. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #6
    I'd wait until Lion came on the boot USB stick for the MBA since it's so close. Not clear yet if refreshing a pre lion Mac will require a reinstall of the original OS then a re upgrade to lion which would be a giant pita. But maybe apple will let you generate a boot image from the download in which case you'd be fine.

    As to MS Office 2011 for the Mac, it's quite comparable with the latest PC version. Not to say you couldn't run across the odd quirk, but I exchange complex word docs with PC users all the time and have found no issues with 2011. This was NOT the case for 2008 and prior Mac versions.

    I'd get office on a DVD and either use an external drive on the MBA which will surely work. Or you can use the macs drive sharing software to install from another Mac or PC DVD drive (may or may not work due to MS drm bs). If you download it from MS be sure to save it on another drive somewhere.
     
  7. endhalf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    #7
    Actually, there are problems betweene Mac OS version of Word and Windows version of Word. It seem odd, but that's how it is... If you really need to have word, I would recommend you either buy PC with windows or virtualize windows with Word for it... That however seem to be a bit strange, you pay extra just for Mac OS and then will be mainly tied to Windows anyway... It looks like some nice thinkpad would be better choice for you.

    BTW: these problems I'm talking about are causing mainly formating issues, not that windows PC wouldn't open your file, but it might be messy...
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Like what? I've never had issues of any kind between Word for Mac and Word for Windows, and I've used both for years. The same goes for Excel and Powerpoint.
     
  9. podsorcerer09 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #9
    Please elaborate because this is the first I'm hearing of these issues and I switch my documents back from Windows to mac all the time. I regularly edit my reports on the PCs in the library at my university and then open then on my MacBook and then back to the library again all the time. Never had a formatting issue yet.
     
  10. setasai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    #10
    From what I've noticed that on "some" occasions, the formatting will change a little. Word for the most part doesnt have issues unless you're using really complicated pictures and alignments but even then, it's not that big of a deal. Most of the time when I see this is between a current version of PPT and sending it to a colleague that opens it in a slightly older version of PPT.

    I really wouldnt worry about office compatibility.

    As for you're other question, I would wait if you could just because but in the end it's a moot point since it is unlikely they'll change so much that we all get floundered at how it runs.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    It would be helpful if you could be more specific. I've heard these claims about incompatibility from time to time, but they're never substantiated by any facts... just a nebulous "formatting" issue. I've never had formatting change between Word for Windows and Word for Mac. The only possibility I can think of is if you're running an older version on one system and a newer version on the other, and the document has features that were not available in the older version. In that case, it's a version incompatibility, not a Windows/Mac incompatibility.
     
  12. Faux Carnival macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #12
    You should know this. MS Office on Mac is a joke. Just another thing Microsoft screws Apple over.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Apparently, you don't have experience with Office for Mac, or you wouldn't be saying this. It works perfectly well on a Mac.
     
  14. BarristerV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    #14
    Thanks for the input. Will the MBA meet my above stated needs? Just looking for confirmation, because I noticed a microcenter near me is offering the 2011 MBPs for $999, but I would prefer the MBA. Also, if I choose to purchase a MBA now rather than waiting for Lion, are OS upgrades generally pain free?

    I didn't think of this before, but I wonder if the reps at the Apple store would install Word on the MBA at the time of purchase?
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Yes, any Mac model can easily handle the requirements you specified.
    Yes.
    Maybe, but it's a simple process to install yourself.
     
  16. deason macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #16
    I'm a frequent user of Office for Mac(2011) and often need to exchange documents between my mac and other PCs. Have never had an issue with Word, Powerpoint, or Excel. Always a smooth transition.
     
  17. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #17
    It is a trivial matter to install software, but I suppose you could ask...

    Edit: I looked on the Apple website, and it seems you can purchase your MBA with MS Office preinstalled.
     
  18. PittAir macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #18
    Have you used Office 11? Works perfectly, with no problems or compatibility issues. I have almost no reason to use a windows machine anymore.
     
  19. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #19
    +1 I bought a USB DVD drive to install it.
     
  20. Acronyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #20
    I have Office 11 for Mac and use it daily to work on Word and Excel files that are shared with Windows machines at work. I’ve never had any problems, formatting issues, or anything else go wrong. In my experience so far, working in Office between the two systems has been very seamless.

    As for installing it without a CD, as others mentioned you can buy and download it directly from Microsoft. This is what I did and I had no problems at all.
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #21
    Funny. MS Word is important to me too, and I have have always liked Word on Macs better than the Windows version. I'm only talking about the Office v.X and Office 2008 versions. Editing features are naturally more accessible on the Mac version, so instead of going through the menu system to.....use superscripts/subscripts (for example), or learning keyboard shortcuts (I know them, mind you), I still like that they're selectable at the click of a mouse.

    I don't have 2011, but this is because I have a feeling I wouldn't like that ribbon thing, Mac or Windows.
     
  22. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #22
    I use both Mac and windows version word and excel every day on my MacBook pro. I always have vmware running with xp. My work folder is shared between os x and windows. So, I often edit a same file using both Mac and windows version. Both version works very good, never had any issues. Mac version takes longer time to start, but more pleasant to use.
     
  23. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #23
    I upgrade my windows version to 2011 due to some featur is required by some stupid software I use for business. That ribbon thing is soooooo bad. Does anyone know how to turn it off?
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #24
    And pay about $50 more than you would from Amazon.
     
  25. setasai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    #25
    Preferences area there is settings for the ribbon, you can set it to autohide or off completely. I prefer the autohide just in case I want to use it.

    When I said formatting issues, It's mostly in PPT or word with text boxes and pictures. Every once in a while I would get tables shifted or text boxes moved a few notches over. Nothing so large that you'd open the file and be like "holy cow it's completely messed up", just small nitpicks and i've seen it between newer/older version switches and between my WIN7 tablet running Office2010 and Mac running Office2011.

    This is not to say that it happens ALL the time and it has been reduced dramatically since Office2011 came out. It is by no means a dealbreaker or problem but I thought I should mention it just as a reminder that when you open your document, do a quick check before you send it off to your boss or thesis committee. It's just a good habit is all.
     

Share This Page