This is sort of a dumb question but...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Beowulf666, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Beowulf666 macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    What sort of writing program comes on all new macs? I mean I will be getting a new macbook or macbook pro in a few weeks from today for college. I'm in a lot of science courses (bio, chem, physics) and I have to do a lot of lab write ups which involve graphs (X and Y), tables, charts, etc... And so I've never owned a mac before, so I'm just wondering, Is there any program on the mac that can do those sort of things or is it just basic pie charts and data tables and basic word processing?

    Sorry for posting such a dumb question, I would be laughing at some guy who asked me this, and so I don't question you for thinking I'm a tad bit on the dumb side. I just want to be POSITIVE that the mac is what i really want, and can handle everything i throw at it. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you can throw in an answer/opinion I would GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks once again guys.

    Also, I was wondering whether or not I should go for the macbook pro or just the macbook. I mean, i'll just be doing a lot of basic stuff on it, like word processing, email, music, movies, nothing too graphic intense. I do have the option of getting a macbook pro but it's really going to put me back a while money wise. Is there anything besides the better screen and graphic card that would make the macbook pro a better choice? Thanks again guys for taking the time to read this.
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    The basic app that comes with OS X is called TextEdit. It's like notepad on Windows, except that it can do spellcheck, format margins, etc. It's surprisingly capable, but if you're a student, I advise you invest in either Office for Mac (wait until January for the new version, but I think the current one has a cheap $10 upgrade) or iWork. Personally, as a student, I say go with Office. It makes life loads easier when file sharing. There are other threads on this, so be sure to check them out before deciding which one. :)
  3. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    You're right to ask such a question, and as it is, I don't think OS X comes with a very adequate word processor. Albeit, TextEdit is *far* beyond compare of Windows Notepad. You can certainly use it to quickly hammer out a paper, but when you get into graphs, tables and charts you're going to want something else.

    I'd think about getting iWork if I were you; With it, you get Numbers and Pages for doing all your spreadsheet data, (beautiful) charts, tables, better MS Office compatability, etc. It's a pretty worth-while investment.

    You could also look at NeoOffice (a port of OpenOffice) which is a free download; It also gives you pretty good results and can't be beat on price. It should be able to handle Office files well, and be a damn fine word processor, spreadsheet/chart app.

    Finally, the choice between MB and MBP is entirely up to you. You're right you get the larger screen and dedicated graphics card. You lose the ability to remove/replace the hard drive. It's 90% "can you afford it" and about 10% if you really need it. Unless you need 3D or are doing graphic design, the MB would be a fine collegiate choice.
  4. atarin macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2007
    It's not a dumb question at all! NeoOffice is great and free. It can export files into Office compatible types (.doc, .xls) and read them, as can iWork (iWork is not free, but it is far less expensive than Office for Mac). You really can't beat the price of NeoOffice! It has no clipart, and neither does iWork, so if you need clipart at all, then go for Office for Mac. I used to think I needed clipart before I got my iMac, but since I've been using actual photos instead, I don't miss clipart at all. I use both NeoOffice and iWork. They're both good. I think that NeoOffice does a better job of reading and exporting Office files (it can handle watermarks and some of the table formatting better in my experience). I choose which one I use on a case-by-case basis.
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i personally would not get iwork. get office or neoffice

    also id get a macbook and if you want more screen get an external monitor. this is chepaer than a mbp

    trust me, for the needs you listed the mbp is overkill and you wouldnt notice a diff performance wise from a mb

    hope that helps
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Why wouldn't you get iWork?
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    because most likely all of his profs and collegeues will be using office. Numbers simply can't stack up to excel, it cant even do iterative calculations which may very well be needed as well as other features.

    Also, the compatibility is still not 100% with each other.

    I would avoid the headaches and get the program that will most likely be the standard at you university.

    dont get me wrong, iwork is nice but when you have to share among others, its not there yet in terms of features
  8. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    but.. but.. it makes such pretty graphs!! ;)

    I totally understand your point though. If interoperability is a must, he should probably get MS Office (after trying out NeoOffice, of course!)
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    true i do use iwork for things of my own as i do like the interface better.

    lol i have yet to get a hang of office 07. why ms ever went and f'd up the menus is beyond me
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I missed this question the first time around...:eek:

    I think you should go for a macbook. With the money you save, you can get yourself Office, a case, a nice mouse, etc. (or about 5 minutes of beer money :p ;) ).
  11. ArmyKnight12 macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
  12. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    If you don't need the matte screen or video card of the MBP, save yourself some money and get an MB. The extra cash can be used for RAM and hard drive upgrades, if desired, or simply put away until the need for it arises. Besides that, Macbooks are far more durable than Pros, and will run cooler on your lap.
  13. timsutcliffe macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007

    I'd go with Office if you're wanting a word processor, especially if you've been using it on windows, as it's basically the same. I'm sure pages is fine, but i've never used it ahead of Word for word processing.

    And i think i'd go with a macbook, based on cost.
  14. Naimfan macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    Not a dumb question at all. As others have said, OSX comes with TextEdit, which is great--up to a point. For the uses you describe, I would suggest Office. I love iWork, but it does not allow error bars (unless it has been updated significantly in the last couple days). Plus, as others have noted, it Office will make file sharing easier.

    From you've described, a MacBook would be great. And as others have noted, both here and elsewhere, the MacBook is more durable (although I hate the glossy screen). Unless you envision yourself doing work that requires a graphics card, in college a MB seems like a better buy.

    Good luck!
  15. Matiek macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
  16. AutumnSkyline macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2006
    I know from experience it is sooooo much easier to format sub and superscripts in Pages. You can customize the toolbar to be able to have two buttons, one for each. It's one of the little things that makes it not a PitA to write Chem. labs in. There is no easy way (that I have found) to do this in Office 04. It may be different in 08, but I still prefer Pages to anything Microsoft can dish.

    If you opt for iWork, Remember to go to file>Export>Word format. It'll format in .doc and will be compatible with any .doc reader, again, this is from experience.
  17. Guy Incognito macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    I would also add that the Macbook offers better portability than the Macbook Pro. I can use my Macbook on a plane, for example.

    Also, both MS Office and iWork are available as fully functional 30-day trials, and NeoOffice is free. Download them all and see which one(s) suit your needs.
  18. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W

    New Macs (at least were I live in NZ) come with a trial of iWork, with pages on, which I prefer to Office if you like you the buy the "key" to keep.

    Office is more widely usable, depending on your Colleges computers.

    My iMac cam with a demo of Office on. So in this setting you can try to see if you like best.

    I wouldn't bother waiting until the new version of office comes out if you need it now. There is a free upgrade (well, ten bucks or something) if you buy office now until the release of office 2008 for Mac.
  19. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    Well Office is best if you need to use Excel alot as Numbers isnt quite there yet.

    I use iWork as my main productive suite now. I find it so much nicer to use. And... looks a damn sight nicer than 2004 and 2008 put together.

    As said already, go out and try different ones and find whats best for you

    Computer wise, get a MB. It will suit you. If you cant stand the glossy screen, which really isnt that bad, get the MBP.
  20. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Get NeoOffice/OpenOffice/Office and iWork, I think you can also get and educational discount on iWork and Office.

    iWork is fantastic for presentations, if you need a Powerpoint killer get iWork for just for Keynote because it is well and truly worth it. Also Pages has better template than Word, if any thing an iMac with iWork and NeoOffice/OpenOffice/Office it will get you to do what you need.

    I am currently using a Macbook with upgraded memory, IMHO the 13" Macbook is a great option mainly because of the feature and size, if portability is an issue go for a Macbook with the memory upgraded (it work well for me).
  21. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX

    MacBook footprint - 32.5 cm wide, 22.7cm long

    MBP footprint - 35.7 cm wide, 24.3cm long

    MacBook thickness and weight 2.75cm and 2.27kg

    MacBook Pro thickness and weight 2.59cm and 2.45kg

    MBP is thinner, and a mere three by two centimetres wider than a MacBook, 0.18kg heavier... there isn't much in it at all.

    For a 13 incher, the MacBook is a chunky mofo, considering all the extras the MBP crams into its not-much larger enclosure
  22. olg macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2007
    Office isn't that expensive as a student. Most colleges have agreements with MS to purchase their software really cheap, with limitations, such as one copy of each title only.

    My wife got us Office 2004 for $7 this past summer. I thought it was better price than iWork and there aren't any issues when she e-mails presentations to her classmates.

Share This Page