Some general questions - Likely buying a MBP in the next week.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by deebee29, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. deebee29 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2010
    #1
    I'm new here and will likely be making the switch from Windows to Mac, at least for my notebook, in the next week or so. I am looking into buying the base model of the 13" MBP of the Apple website.

    I am a university student studying Business, and am very dependent on my laptop for completing reports, essays, and assignments. The university I go to is mainly Windows based, so it is important that I will be able to work on the same files on my MBP, as well as on the computers at school. I've never used a mac before and my main concern is compatibility with windows, especially the Microsoft office software. I need to be able to work on the same file on mac and windows and also send files to others from my mac, to be opened in Windows. My plan is to install MS Office 2008 on the MBP, but I need to know first if there will be any issues with using the same files in mac and windows. I use MS word, excel, and powerpoint on a regular basis and need them for school.

    I am also wondering about the iWork suite. I can get this for $60 with my new MBP, is it worth it to have this as well, along with MS Office?

    The main things I will be using the MBP would be schoolwork, internet browsing and research, and possibly the Sims 3. Any suggestions, input, advice, etc, would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    iWork does support MS Office files, you can open, edit and save them but MS Office for Mac will be even more compatible. You can download free trials of both to try them
     
  3. skippymac macrumors 6502a

    skippymac

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    #3
    I would deffinately recommend iWorks 09, apart from numbers, as excel is far more powerful and useful IMO. I cant speak for MS Office for mac but i assume excel will be basically the same for that as on windows

    Pages and keynote are incredible, but may need a little bit of tweaking before being used on a windows machine, especially keynote.

    I generally convert my keynote files into quicktime which works just fine, allowing you to keep the mac wizardary
     
  4. deebee29 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Is the MS office for Mac (2008 version) just as good as the current MS office for Windows? Does it have the same features and work the same way? Would anyone recommend having both? I have MS office for Mac, but am wondering if I should purchase iWork too, as it is $60.

    I need to be able to use office on the mac and office on windows almost seamlessly, it needs to be simple. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this?
     
  5. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

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    Austin, TX
    #5
    I am the only one in my company who uses a Mac. I'm use MS Office for Mac and have not had any compatibility problems with the other folks using the windows version of MS office. That being said, there are some known issues with compatibility between the two versions, one of which is office for mac does not support VB macros.

    MS will be releasing MS Office 2011 for Mac later this year which is supposed to address many of the compatibility issues.
     
  6. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #6
    The biggest issue will be VB macros, which will not run on the Mac. Other than that they files can exchange seamlessly.

    Enjoy your purchase. :)
     
  7. redscull macrumors 6502a

    redscull

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    Texas
    #7
    You could always run parallels with true MS Office installed into the Windows virtual machine. Then use OSX for everything else. I'd definitely upgrade to 4GB RAM if you plan to do that, though, and would probably upgrade RAM regardless.

    One of the main problems I've seen trying to share doc/presentation development between Mac and Windows computers is with the fonts. If you don't restrict yourself to using fonts that all involved machines share, it'll totally hose your layouts.

    Personally, I like iWork better than Office. I just find it a lot easier to use. But if you're already an Office pro, that wouldn't matter much to you (and might even be a reason not to bother with it). If you're definitely going to be using MS Office, I really wouldn't see a reason to also use iWork.
     
  8. deebee29 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2010
    #8
    I'm sorry, but what are VB macros?

    My only issue with Parallels, is that I would have to purchase Windows, which would get expensive. I do own the windows version of MS office as well so that wouldn't be an issue. The MBP that I am looking at already has 4gb of RAM. I would definitely be careful with fonts, I've had that issue before between my home PC and school PC, but that is easily avoidable.

    I wouldn't call myself an office pro, but I do use it a whole lot for school, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint are absolute necessities for my classes. Does the Mac versions of these have the same capabilities, for instance, does it contain the referencing features etc. that MS word 2007 for PC has?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    Numbers is the worst iWork app, Excel is simply unbeatable in its category. Of course if you do just simple things with Excel, Numbers could be just fine. I find Keynote being a lit better than PowerPoint and Pages to be about the same as Word, there isnät much you can do for text processing anyway.
     
  10. deebee29 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I guess I won't bother with iWork then. Excel is used mostly for accounting purposes in my classes.

    I may purchase Windows 7 in the future, is it possible to install that without having to wipe out everything on the system? I'm not sure if I would use bootcamp or something like parallels.

    Again, anyone know what vb macros are for and how they would affect my use?
     
  11. bigjobby macrumors 65816

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    #11
    DO NOT buy Office 2008 as Office for Mac 2011 is (hopefully) due for release this summer and will support VB macros. It will also include an all new Outlook (as Entourage is going to be dropped). So far feedback from beta testings have looked very positive.

    So if you can hold back from getting MS Office, then hold back.

    VB macros can be used to automate complex processes amongst other things. See here for more info. From my days in support, they were also used by virus writers.

    Another alternative to iWork and MS Office for Mac would be Open Office which is free but in my opinion it is probably best to stick with MS Office as its pretty much standard in the professional world. Also if files were created with other applications, you may risk losing some of the formatting when saved over to the MS Office standard formats.

    For the costing of the Windows OS, your university may have a volume licence for their students to install for free. So get this checked out before jumping the gun. This might not be the case for Office (Windows version) but there's no harm in asking... you just never know.
     
  12. Wreckem macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #12
    MS Office 2011 won't be out until around Christmas. It is currently in Beta 4, and MS is one or two betas away from a release candidate.

    In all likelihood his school has site licenses for all MS products so he should pick up Office 2008 from his school and use it until 2011 is released.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    You can install Windows without wiping OS X. If you're using light apps such as Office, use parallels or something as it will make it a lot less painful (booting to Windows just because of one app is ridiculous).

    Visual Basic macros
     
  14. deebee29 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2010
    #14
    I don't think I will be installing Windows, but it is nice to have that option, just in case.

    I have a family member who has the family version of MS Office 2008 and offered to let me use one of their 3 licenses. So I won't have to buy that anyways. I would have needed something by September anyways, so I wouldn't have been able to wait until Christmas.

    I still find visual basic macros confusing, which makes me think that I wouldn't really be affected by the lack of them in Office 2008. I would think that I use it for fairly basic reasons, using equations and functions in the spreeadsheets, but nothing too complex.

    Thanks for being such a wealth of information!!! :)
     
  15. Betelgeuse macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2008
    #15
    By the way, if you decide you want to install Windows (via Bootcamp, Parallels, or whatever), you should look into whether your University has a subscription to the MSDN AA (Microsoft Developers Network Academic Alliance). This is a highly under-publicized MS program that gives away copies of MS operating systems (and some other software although notably NOT office) for free. Terms vary from school to school, but the places I've been have allowed students to use it with virtually no conditions.

    Do a google search for MSDN AA along with your school name and see if anything comes up. Otherwise, perhaps inquire at the IT department as to whether your school has a subscription to MSDN AA.
     
  16. deebee29 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2010
    #16
    I tried googling that, and apparently my university does not participate, but I will check with the university should I decide to use Windows. I'm hoping to avoid that!

    Thanks!!!
     

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