Substitute for MS Word

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by carlgo, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    #1
    I had a serious problem when I opened a Word legal document in Pages. It was very badly mis-translated and I had no way of knowing that. I no longer trust Pages for heavily formatted Word documents and hope to find a way to view and work with them confidently.

    A huge program like Office, especially if it is to be eventually only offered as a subscription, is overkill for my occasional needs. It there a Mac program that deals with Word documents of every kind reliably? I would not need Excel, Powerpoint, etc. Thanks
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Did you check out LibreOffice This is an excellent alternative to MS Office.

    So far rumors are stating that MS Office will continue to be offered as a stand alone product.
     
  3. MLinneer macrumors regular

    MLinneer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Location:
    Sherman, TX
    #3
    LibreOffice is probably your answer. But I wouldn't give up on Pages just yet. The majority of text rendering problems I've run into is due to an incompatable font and spacing. The same issues arise with LibreOffice and especially Word on Windows. If you don't have the specific font they originally used, even Word 2011 will bork it. For this reason, I much prefer to send/receive PDF files.
     
  4. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    #4
    I do believe a font was substituted. PDFs are totally reliable, would translate any document exactly? If so, I can simply request that all legal documents in Word can be sent as PDFs. Seems too easy...!

    Thanks for replies.
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    If all I needed was a simple and powerful word processor, my first option would be Mellel Lite. If I needed more options like TOC generation, I'd look at the full version of Mellel. Both have been around on the Mac for about 20 years and IMO a better option than the free Office suites. Both are on the MAS.

    If all you need is a decent text editor, with features like tables and lists, and the ability to read/write .doc, .docx, and RTF files, look no further than the free TextEdit app on your Mac. It's a lot more powerful and capable than most people give the app credit for.

    I exchange documents with my two attorneys, with one of them working off a paid-for group of templates. The paid-for templates contain some odd fonts and they also use Windows - I asked them to embed the TT fonts used in the documents before sending them to me, and those compatibility "problems" stopped; I really wish MS would provide that option on the Mac platform. I've also asked some of my employees to work with RTF file formats so I don't have to deconstruct their attempts at word processing, since they really only need a text editor.

    Pages is a powerful app, but it plays well with native and RTF documents IMO, .doc and .docx/XML files - not so much. A tip: if you're using/exchanging Word files but don't have Word on your Mac, DL and install the Office 2011 Trial or the demo Office 2016 so you can get the "free" benefit of the MS fonts that are installed along with the Office suite that you can't find anywhere else at that price (like Calibri), and you'll find you have fewer font substitution problems in your other apps. Good luck!
     
  6. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Any document you're not expected to collaborate on should always be sent as a PDF as that format is built to render the document exactly as it should appear on paper. Office format is more of a....guideline I guess as far as how the page appears so it is pretty much impossible to reverse engineer it for complete fidelity with MS' own renderer since the format doesn't describe every facet of the document and relies on the renderer itself for final completion. LibreOffice does pretty well at figuring this stuff out and so does Pages but really if you're working on a joint document it would be better to put it into something like Google Docs for getting the text complete and then use a product like Word/Pages/LibreOffice to finish the formatting and produce the final PDF.

    Sending legal docs in .doc or .docx format seems a very strange thing to do, especially as there can be meta data in the format which can expose details which the author doesn't want you to see - examples are editing history if the author modified your document from a previous one that they've used for another client.

    Get it in PDF. Or better yet, if you can dig through the .doc and find something interesting you shouldn't know, let them know what you found and then tell them they should always send PDFs for this very reason.
     
  7. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    #7
    Thanks for great replies. PDFs it is from now on. Funny, I got the Word app for my iOS phone and it showed the Word legal document perfectly, but for osX i would have to get the full Office suite and pay a subscription (in the future) to use it just once in a while.

    I do not understand why MS doesn't sell Word by itself.
     
  8. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey CA
    #8
    @campyguy: if I got the free demo and therefore Calibri, would the fonts stay even though I didn't renew Office 2016, or would MS yank them out?

    Also, thanks for the suggestions for Office substitutes. I will check them out.
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
    AFAIK, the Office uninstaller will not remove the fonts installed by the Office installer.

    My only tip after that is use Font Book to compare the version of each font installed - the MS fonts are installed in Microsoft folder in the Fonts folder. I always keep the newer version and delete the older version, which also checks off the need to disable duplicate fonts...
     

Share This Page