Stupidly bought iWork w/new iMac. It's awful. Where's cheapest place to buy Microsoft

Discussion in 'iMac' started by stever500, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. stever500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD.
    #1
    Suite of Word, Excel and Powerpoint?

    Many people online at 1-800-My-Apple and at the Apple store strongly suggested trying iWork with Pages and Numbers for $41 and then getting the $99 1-1 membership too INSTEAD of buying Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint for the $146 they were selling it for, all student discounts.

    Numbers and Pages are AWFUL for me. None of my tons of PC word docs (I'm a 15 year PC user before last month when I got a 27" iMac 3.06 base model which I adore, for the most part) look right in pages. There are logos in Word for our company that won't move to the center of the pages document. The guy on the phone from Apple said there's nothing I can do after we spend a lot of time with Footer and Header changes.

    He thought the store would refund me the $41 I spent on it and then sell me the $146 Microsoft suite instead. He also said I should have done this to begin with because so many of my docs and spreadsheets were on Microsoft. Arghhhhh. I have spent countless frustrating hours this past month trying to get stuff to work. I can't wait to get rid of Pages.

    Is there a cheaper, yet safe place to get Word, Excel and Powerpoint than the Apple Store discount? I don't want to buy anything on Ebay. I just don't trust that place, mostly. You never really know if you're going to get what you are trying to get and it's a pain if the product is a scam, to get your money back. I don't have time or patience for that. Is there another trusted seller though? Or, just get it from the Apple store and call it a day? $146 seems like a LOT of money just to have Word again, and Excel. I don't really use Powerpoint much at all but it would be nice to have if I need it.

    A friend had mentioned openoffice but I'm not really familiar with it. The one that's free on the internet? Is that really comparable to the actual "Word" product? If it is, why would so many people... buy Word for so much money?

    Thanks,
    Steve R
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Student discounts are good. Otherwise the software is usually the same price within a few bucks everywhere. Also, there's no real need for the pics. You can likely post them in the setup thread.
     
  3. djc6 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #3
  4. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #4
    If you work for a company, check with your IT dept. Mine sells Office for $10.
    Otherwise, the education discounts are the way to go.

    Microsoft Office for the Mac will format documents in a similar manner to Office for the PC (better than iworks of course) but there are likely to be small differences....I would say that if it is really important to view the documents as they were on the PC then consider using VMWare fusion and a PC version of office (which you may already own).
     
  5. Gaijin de Moscu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    Geneva
    #5
    Great advice. Mine does the same.

    That's the only really "cheap yet safe" place to buy MS products that I know of.
     
  6. stever500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD.
    #6
    Thanks for the great tips and advice. I'll remove the pics from my original post then as well... I was just so happy that I actually figured out a way to post them where they didn't turn into red X's, I was compelled to do it. Photobucket has been a bad choice for me due to it's slight bandwidth. They wanted me upgrade to "Pro" (which costs money) due to all the people that clicked on my original iMac post here. I didn't want to pay for a hosting service if I didn't have to.

    Back to topic, I didn't realize that Office for Mac would be different than Office for Windows. I wonder if the logo that is indented all the way on the left when I use Pages would still be indented and immoveable all the way to the left on Word for Mac? That would stink. On my original PC version it's centered where it needs to be.

    I'll check into whether my company has Office available somehow for such a cheap price. I doubt it but I'll check. I don't think our IT dept sells anything at all come to think about it so I'm sure I'll be stuck just buying it online from Amazon or Apple.

    Again, I appreciate the quick responses. I don't know what VMware fusion is and it sounds more complicated than I need to get right now. I hope the basic Office for Mac will work... I should find out soon.

    Cheers,
    Steve R
     
  7. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #7
    It's not really that different — the layout and placement of the interface is slightly different — but aside from that, files you open from a PC version of Office will look *exactly* the same on the Mac version.

    You also mentioned VMware Fusion (or Parallels Desktop) — either of these two programs are applications that allow you to run Windows applications on your Mac. So if for some reason you really didn’t want to use Office for Mac, you could install Fusion or Parallels and run Office for Windows instead, and it'd be the same familiar interface you're used to.

    Note that in doing that, you need to purchase not only the VMware or Parallels software, but a copy of Windows (XP, Vista, or 7), and you'd need a copy of Office for Windows. Office starts at around $150 for PC versions or Mac versions.
     
  8. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #8
    i personally have not experienced any problem with using iWork
    i think its a good alternative to the well overpriced microsoft office
    and it opens all my word doc`s without any problems

    but it may be as i use at work open office and therfore allways safe microsoft document in a format that can be opened easy by everyone , even people who might use office 97
     
  9. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #9
    I agree, although some complex Word docs don't like Pages, and some complex Pages docs aren't liked by Word. I guess iWork is just too advanced ;)

    Sometimes it's easier for people to just use Office sometimes, especially if that's what they're used to, despite it being a terrible product.
     
  10. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #10
    You will get better cross-compatibility with Office for Windows but it still won't be 100% with Office for Mac. Also, Office:mac doesn't have feature parity with the Windows version either, and performance on the Mac version is horrendous. It would help to know what you use Office for, so those of us who use both versions of Office can tell if Office:mac will be enough or if you should save your money and just get Office for Windows.

    Virtualizers like VMware and Parallels are not complicated. They act essentially as applications in OSX that emulate the PC BIOS and allow you to run Windows inside OSX. You install the virtualization app like any other OSX app. Then, through the in-app wizard, you install Windows/Linux/whatever OS. It's essentially a little Windows world on your Mac. But it does require buying a copy of Windows (~$90 OEM licence) and the virtualization software (~$70).

    I also second the notion of checking with your workplace. Because Office 2010 for Windows and Office:mac 2011 are coming out really soon, Microsoft is doing their HUP program with volume licence clients, which lets employees purchase an Office (either Win or Mac) licence for home use for $10. I was able to get Office 2007 just a month ago for use with my Windows XP Bootcamp.

    I guess it all depends on what you need. I *need* 100% compatibility and feature parity for work, so installing Windows and Office for Windows on my Mac were no brainers (use Bootcamp and have Parallels using the partition for in OSX use). If you've found iWork to be unsatisfactory, you may be on that same boat.
     
  11. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #11
    Last I checked, no Pages docs are liked by Word. Pages isn't an industry standard. And, Office for Windows is gold. No other Office suite comes close. Only legit criticism against it is that it's overkill for what most consumers need.
     
  12. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #12
    My email inbox has been flooded with Office discounts for Black Friday. I have seen it as low as 49 bucks. Amazon, Tigerdirect, Newegg, all have great deals going on. Just shop around.

    As far as performance, it has been very good for me in the 3 months I have been using it in college. Rigorously I might add. I have been using Excel to figure interest rates and taxes in spreadsheets, as well as pivot tables, etc. Word, to do my APA formatted assignments, with citations. I also switched to Entourage for my email solution, and I like it. I am using PowerPoint to create a presentation this week too.

    It is working for my needs, hasn't crashed yet on me, and I am using Snow Leopard (clean install). I switched from using Windows for over a decade, about 3 months ago. I am really liking Office on Mac. My current class, Computer Fundamentals 1010, is using a textbook that I found really informative. "Picture Yourself Learning Microsoft Office Mac", its on Amazon for like 30 bucks. I am a distance learner so my school shipped me it a few weeks ago, and I have even been reading it at the gym while cycling. Excellent read.

    Also on a sidenote, the Myday planner is pretty cool. I just wish you could
    customize its colors. Pukey purple sucks.
     
  13. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #13
    That's not true. There are millions of people who think it sucks and hate it. That's a pretty legit criticism.
     
  14. musukosan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #14
    I can't vouch for the compatibility with MS Word, but I would look into OpenOffice. It's free, and I hear it's very close to Word.

    http://download.openoffice.org/other.html#en-US

    Also, Google has free Word, Excel, and PowerPoint online. You can make a document online and export into it's corresponding Office version. Plus, the documents you make are online, thus you can access them anywhere.

    http://docs.google.com
     
  15. fobfob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #15
    OpenOffice is well behind even Pages for Word compatibility and general feature. If the OP is complaining about Pages, and I don't blame him, then Word is the only option.

    I find Mac Office to be pretty good, all things considered. Unfortunately there are some bugs still, and some of those are pretty basic. Also its quite slow in general, but on a reasonably fast/newish Mac that becomes an observation rather than a problem.

    When moving documents from Mac Word to PC Word or vice versa, there can be some problems, they are not exact. Sometimes it comes down to bugs in the Mac version, but other times they are just simply different unfortunately. Most of the time it is fine, but if you regularly exchange complex Word documents with colleagues running PC Word, the cracks will show up, and you'll probably want to go the virtual route.
     
  16. dave92029 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #16
    I like iWorks

    +1 I have BOTH iWork '09 and Office 2008. I like iwork and generally use it more than Office 2008. I am able to open all the Office files originally created on my PC in iWorks and they look the same. :cool:

    I recently bought my iMac and i love it and All the Apple software, actually the software is the reason I purchased the iMac. :D
     
  17. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #17
    I use Neo-Office. It is a port of the open sourced Open Office.org.

    It may not be MS Office, but it's damn good, and free.
     
  18. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #18
    That logo should appear properly in the Mac Office 2008 edition. I start to encounter problems when it comes to things like fonts and more advanced functions like comments in word or macros in excel. But stuff like tabs, margins and spacing should be the same in either the Mac or PC version.

    *tip- after you install Office, change those default file formats. ..The newer file extensions give people with older versions of Office trouble so better to use the more common office formats until more people update office....
    http://it.rockefeller.edu/pdf/documentation/Change_Default_Setting_Office_2007_2008.pdf
    Enjoy your new imac! :)
     
  19. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #19
    Also on a side note, you canchoose what format to save your chosen file
    in using Mac Office. You can also use "compatibility report" in your toolbox,
    for a report of known issues when cross-platforming your document. I have found these 2 solutions to be invaluable.

    Office is not without its problems. But these 2 features make it more comfortable to use. You can save in many formats in all the different software of Office. Excel for instance, you can save in the old format, etc.
     

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  20. meirvin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    #20
    i save everything as beautiful PDFs so it doesnt matter to me, personally I am happy to not have any microsoft products on my machine
     
  21. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #21
    its all down how you save a document and not down to what office you use,so in the end it is down to the chap in front of the keyboard and mouse , if he does his job right , and its not rocket science
    its possible to open the document with any office product
     
  22. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #22
    Yeah I know it's hard, doesn't it suck that you can open almost ANY file in iWork yet you can't open iWork files in Office? Shame. Oh not to mention iWork can press out PDF's, a pure travesty. I'd never spend money on something that integrates itself into a work environment as well as iWork, which can read and make Office documents and create UNIVERSAL PDF's and a superior final product all at a third of the cost.

    Dammit Apple! Stop being so awesome!
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #23
    I picked it up locally for $99.99 at Staples. My client needed 3 licenses for their family too so it worked out.
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #24
    Here's my two cents after reading this thread.

    If you need guaranteed 100% compatibility with your current Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) files that you created on the PC, then the best way is to get WMWare Fusion or Parallels, install indows (XP for example) and install Office 2007.

    This will provide you the exact same operating environment that you have been used to and your documents will be exactly the same. There will be no issues with formating, embedded file types and VBA for example.

    The next level down would be Office 2004/8 for the Mac. While not 100% compatible with the Windows version of Office, it's pretty close if you will. You may have some issues with complex documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and we'll need to tweak them. But this should be minimal.

    For your needs Microsoft Office for the Mac may be enough. You can test a trial version and see.

    I won't go any farther down the pecking order with iWork, OpenOffice, NeoOffice and others. Just to say for simple word processing, spreadsheet and presentations they are fine. Many individuals find them to meet their needs. And they are decent products.

    However, you will have issues if you work in a Microsoft Office operating environment. Many of us who have tried them as alternatives have found too many issues and it's not worth the time, effort and hassle. YMMV.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  25. stever500 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Gaithersburg, MD.

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