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Office 2008 vs. iWork

by z1221 / December 13, 2008 8:31 AM PST

I finally made the switch to Mac! My Mac mini is floating on a truck somewhere right now. I need to buy an office program. I was thinking about iWork because of the price. Will iWork play nice with Microsoft Office files as far as import and export?

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I would go with Microsoft Office
by MAD geek / December 13, 2008 9:02 AM PST
In reply to: Office 2008 vs. iWork

Alright, iWork is a really good program, but they don't have the great user interface that Office does. I have office but have tried iWork and here are the differences.

iWork comes with three programs, pages, keynote, and numbers, whearas office comes with five, entorage (an emailing program), Chat (a chat program, Word, Powerpoint, and Excel which I'm sure you know.

Entourage, is a great program and is worth the money.

Keynote is childish, although I am a child, it doesn't come with the costomability that powerpoint comes with. Also not nearly as good transitions, its transitions are cool for the few they have but they don't account for the amount office has.

I don't like pages because it doesn't come with WORDART which is awsome, also pages doesn't come with nearly the amount of fonts Word does.

I never use excel or numbers because I am in school and don't have to do any accounting but I can imagine that expirience makes a difference and for that I would have to go with excel.

Finally, there is the compatability issue. Although I think you can export iWork as .doc or others, it is just much harder to transfer files from iWork to a teacher or I don't know how old you are but also through a network at work.

If money is not an issue, I would definitly go with office. If money is an issue I would still go with office because of expirience, in a few years when mac revises iWork I am sure I will go with that, but for now it is definitely office.

Hope this helps, cause it took me many precious minutes to write, have fun, cause I certainly am with my mac, and sorry for all the appositives, we just learned them.

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Can you share why you will part with money?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2008 9:38 AM PST
In reply to: Office 2008 vs. iWork
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by MAD geek / December 13, 2008 10:11 AM PST

You know that would have been nice to know before I made a big investment, can you tell me the differences between neoffice and normal office

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What investment?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2008 10:16 AM PST
In reply to: Cool

NeoOffice is free. Works with Word .DOC files, the spreadsheet works with Excel .XLS files.

Why wouldn't you install it and try it?

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by MAD geek / December 13, 2008 10:22 AM PST
In reply to: What investment?

Well I didn't know about it back then, but it is too late now. Although it can't hurt to try it so that I can recomend it to others, also since you are tracking this thread is there any way to change my cnet account name without changing my email and password.

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You started just under 2 hours ago?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2008 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: Well

Sorry if I missed something. What office did you go with?

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Still Deciding
by z1221 / December 13, 2008 12:02 PM PST

I haven't purchased anything yet. I was looking at iWork. I just wanted to know if the conversions between office and iWork were quick and easy.

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iWork or Office
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 13, 2008 10:13 PM PST
In reply to: Still Deciding

iWork applications can open all the MS Office files.
Pages can do .doc
Numbers can do .xls
Keynote can do .pps/.ppt

There is no conversion process, just double click the file and it opens. To save documents created in iWork as Office documents, just "Save as" and choose the appropriate Office extension.

Keynote is arguably better than PowerPoint and in my experience, does not suffer from the things stated in the second post.

As Bob noted, there is a free alternative that will open and save all the Office formats


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I'm Thinking iWork
by z1221 / December 15, 2008 7:31 AM PST
In reply to: iWork or Office

I stopped by a Best Buy to try iWork with some office things that were on my flash drive. Due to the money factor, I think that I am going to buy iWork.

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by MAD geek / December 15, 2008 7:34 AM PST
In reply to: I'm Thinking iWork

Why didn't you just install the free trial of iWork?

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I'd like to know one thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2008 7:44 AM PST
In reply to: I'm Thinking iWork

Given NeoOffice price and your last reply, why isn't it a viable solution?

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Here's Why
by z1221 / December 16, 2008 7:12 AM PST

The reason why I picked iWork was because I really enjoyed using Keynote. NeoOffice's presentation program didn't seem as robust as Keynote.

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by GDEsplin / January 11, 2009 9:27 AM PST
In reply to: Here's Why

Check out the keynote of macworld. iWork '09 beats MS office!!! Hands down!! I am telling the truth, and it costs less!

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iWork v Office
by jonwatt / December 21, 2009 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: '09!!!

There is no argument, iWork is vastly superior for any professional presentation, Keynote has a slicker presentation style, stylish and easy to use transitions (which can not translate well to the inferior Powerpoint) Pages is a nicer word processor and can be exported as a Word Doc no problem.
Numbers seems almost identical to Excel, but with more choice of graphic finish.

If you do want to avoid the 'trashing' of a great Keynote presentation when exporting to clunky
Powerpoint, export as a Quicktime movie and see the difference.


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I have all three coexisting nicely
by mhollis55 / December 30, 2009 3:45 AM PST
In reply to: Office 2008 vs. iWork

I purchased iWork as a part of a boxed set that included Apple's Leopard. Works great.

Keynote blows away anything you can do in Microsoft's Powerpoint and I essentially taught myself the application in one day.

Pages has wonderful templates for professional documents you want to come out of your office with. I also used it to help create a book report for my daughter. She read "Little House in the Big Woods," and I used the Book Report template and scanned in an image of the book. My work got a "very good," her report got an "Excellent."

Numbers is a work in progress. I cannot import "Excel" files as exported by Quicken 2007. Intuit's Quicken is preventing me from upgrading my Mac Pro Cheese Grater to Snow Leopard and their next release will supposedly be numbered 2008. I think Intuit dropped the ball on development and they don't seem to understand that there is a problem. Numbers has much better charts than Excel and there are tons of very useful templates (a hallmark of Apple's suite of applications) but a lot of the analysis I'm doing has to do with material from Quicken, for which I must keep Excel.

Neo Office and Open Office provide anyone with completely transparent access to Microsoft Office documents, with the ability to edit them and save them in Microsoft's former (non DOCX or DOCM) filetypes. There would appear to be some indication that Microsoft's own applications won't read these new file formats due to the success of a lawsuit on infringement:,microsoft-rolls-out-word-patch.aspx

Neo Office applications do not go any further than Microsoft has and I'm not certain I would particularly be interested in doing a complete automated table of contents, bibliography, end notes or index for a research paper with Neo Office or Open Office. These are things I have trusted to Microsoft's Word and Word does them correctly, assuming there is no operator error.

The Microsoft Office suite contains Entourage, a perfectly useless email client. Entourage is needed in Leopard and before if you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server on your company's network, but Apple's Mail under Snow Leopard completely and fully supports Microsoft's Exchange Server now. Apple's Mail, with the addition of Spam Sieve, is the most spam-aware and extendable email client I have ever used and I have been on the Internet since 1984, before it was opened up to commercial entities.

It contains Microsoft Messenger, which may be completely replaced with any one of dozens of chat clients, as well as Adium, which can handle your Microsoft, Jabber, Yahoo and AIM clients. More about that here:

Word 2008 has a cleaner interface, but I have to report that my last version of Microsoft's Office suite was Office X, so I have not upgraded with every new release. The best feature about Microsoft's Office is that there is no "Clippy," or other annoying "helper application" that will notice you are writing a suicide note and want to help you choose the method of your demise (Rope & Chair, Gun, Pastry).

Excel 2008 works great, although I don't particularly like the four tabs at the top of all spreadsheets, allowing one to choose Sheets, Charts, SmartArt Graphics and WordArt. I did insert a "SmartArt Graphic into one scheduling sheet for the New Year and it was an absolute headache: Art on Excel is not designed to accompany data, it's designed to cover it. It took me some two hours of work to get one graphic to seem to peek out of a daily schedule. I had to cut it into sections for visibility then align everything so that it was visible around the edges. Microsoft can do better.

Powerpoint 2008 is still the same old Powerpoint with few real additions to the application. I think Microsoft has ceded leadership to Apple's Keynote here.

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by ww927bin / May 16, 2010 4:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Office 2008 vs. iWork

iwork09,keynote supports import and export MS office .ppt files

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