Office 2008 or iWork 09?

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Which is better? Neo Office/Open Office are ok. The UI for both really suck, so I want to pick a good package...

I can get Office Home and Student for 89 dollars on Amazon.

There are also some things that just don't work right in the Neo/Open Office packages like labels. I have already been through that frustration. Even iWork doesn't have the same label support as Office... at least as far as I could tell. I have iWork 08 but I got frustrated with it making labels. That's just one example.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    Apple should include label templates with Pages, but it's so easy to create them, I suppose that's why they don't.

    You're never going to get a simple answer to the question of which one is "better" -- so much depends on what you are trying to do. Personally, I think iWork is great for what I do, but it does come with a learning curve if you're used to Office. You get an awful lot more for the money with iWork.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    While office is 89.99 (up to 3 licenses in not using Exchange and I won't be), it is similar in cost to the iWork family pack... so, price being equal, which is the better value? I am more familiar with Office on Windows but have only read mediocre to bad things about the Mac version (i probably won't be writing VBA code for anything I do at home). I want Office more for the Word component than any of the other components.

    I will be making DVD-style packaging prints and cd/dvd labels and maybe some address labels in the not-so-distant future. I want the package that is going to do these things better and easier, at least.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Well again, for me personally, iWork is great. I think Office is way more complex than the vast majority of users need, and I really just don't like Microsoft's approach to much of anything. I think most people (even Office fans) will admit that Pages handles graphics much more easily and cleanly. Just be aware of the learning curve. I hear many people become frustrated with iWork because it's so much different than Office. I think that's a plus, but YMMV.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Let me chime in for iWork. I dropped Office a while back and no longer even have it installed.

    Much of what I do involves getting images I create on to print and into presentations, and iWork's integration with iPhoto makes this an absolute breeze.

    There are loads of templates on the Net... try here:

    Of course, making your own is very easy, so...
  • Reply 5 of 12
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Another vote for iWork. I have both, the older office 2004 and current iWork, and I would say I use iWork 90% of the time. The only MS office app I use now is Excel. Even there I'm trying to get used to Numbers.

    If you exchange docs with windows users frequently then office might be better. My MO is to create in iWork and distribute in PDF.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    If I decide to go the iWork route... I think I might be better off holding off until Jan or Feb... iWork was released at MacWorld this year so the iWork 2010 or 10 or whatever they call it can't be far off. My fiancee needs Office for her school work (i got Office 2007 for Windows for her). I thought it might be easier to have Office on the Mac, too.

    I just know that Open Office/Neo Office feel dated compared to the current versions of MS Office and iWork and to me hard to use...
  • Reply 7 of 12
    If you can wait, then do -- but it seems the scheduling for iWork revisions has moved to something closer to 18 months. Having heard no rumors of a new version, I think it's fair not to expect anything until the middle of next year. I have a sneaking private suspicion that it will come along with the slate computer. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
  • Reply 8 of 12
    If I'm not wrong, there is a trial version of iWork... you could grab it next week and the 30 days would hold you over until January's Big Day.

    Like Dr above, I don't really think a new version of iWork is coming anytime soon. It's pretty nice as it is, though. (Though I personally wish they would include a drawing app to bring it up to Appleworks capability; that's just me, and I have plenty of drawing apps anyways).
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Since this is an often-asked question, I'll share my experience with Office suites on my Macbook Pro with Intel Duo 4GB Ram running 10.6.2.

    I've gone back and forth. I currently have installed MS Office 2008, NeoOffice 3, and iWork 09.


    Office 2008 opens the slowww-est of the 3 and can't open any macros contained in Excel sheets I email from my Windows counterpart at work. I have suspicion as to why the macros were taken out, but it's my conspiracy theory at best. M$ says they'll return the macros with the next Mac version of Office due in 2012-ish. Entourage 2008 is NOT a feature-for-feature match Outlook-clone and doesn't direct sync with iPhone..has to use iCal as a conduit and that is marginal at best. Forget integration with Google.

    So far, the M$ Office 2008 software has had more support patches than any other software installed on my Mac. Regrettably, I have to open Word docs sent from my Windows work computer and even then, formatting doesn't stay the same. What's up with that?

    Bottom line is, I don't appreciate giving M$ the $150 for this clunky software. I've read other user recommend using MS Office 2004 for Mac since it does include the macro support for Excel.

    NeoOffice 3 is a free derivative of the free OpenOffice 3 that was recently released and often has enhancements not found in OO3. NeoOffice has found a home in the Dock as I use it alot for home-base quick document or spreadsheet use. I like being able to create any type of document without having to open another program and can save my work in a default MS file-type(.docx, .xlsx, .doc) in case I need to email it to the office. I haven't tried the Presentation piece of this suite. There isn't an email client included in this Office suite.

    Bottomline is, NeoOffice is a great piece of software and the free price tag shouldn't negate it's value. It's cross-compatible with M$ Office and adds a few tweaks that make it more Mac-friendly.

    iWork 09 was recently purchased as part of the Mac Box set mainly because I wanted OSX 10.5.6(with all the updates) and iLife09 and it was cheaper to buy it this way. While I haven't tried out the more intense parts of iLife09, it shows great promise as I find myself using it more. You can export your documents into Word and it hits/misses being 100% perfectly imported into Word. I like the media integration and the ease of use of dragging and dropping, which is a core strength in Mac software altogether. I was up and running with Pages alot quicker than I had with Word or even the dreaded Word 2007 with its changed interface....another personal UGH! for me.

    Bottomline here is, $79 is a great price for a suite that includes Pages(Word), Numbers(Excel), and KeyNote(PowerPoint) and integrated well with the Mac media suites. Apple seems committed to continue making iWork a viable work suite. I'm hopeful one day that Apple will merge iCal and Mail together so it can be an Outlook killer.

    Overall, this one is a toughie. Most worksites use M$ Office and depending on how much work you want to put in so you can keep using an alternative, I'd recommend a combo of NeoOffice 3 and iWork. Heck, sometimes the Mac Office .doc and Windows Office .doc files don't import and display exactly anyway, so I would save the $150 and spend the $79 on iWork and add the free NeoOffice. Use Pages for your word processing and NeoOffice Spreadsheet for excel-type needs.

    If you're just getting starting and on a budget(ahem, college students), NeoOffice is the way to go. Just plan to get iWork at some point.

    As a "I have to say this".....if you have to work intensively with Word or Excel from the office and at home/on the road, then bite the big bullet and purchase a copy of Windows XP, Office 2007, Parallels 4.0 and install them. Not the most desirable option since it runs between $400-$800 to do this(depending on the version of Office08 you get), but it may be necessary if it's work-required. Or, choose to not do work at home.

    I hope this helps. Sure would appreciate feedback if I've mis-quoted something here.... Let us hear your experiences and recommendations!
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Interesting... so, Office for Mac is not that good? I am already getting Office 2007 for my Win7 box, so maybe iWork 08 will due for the time being. It is hard for me to get used to Numbers. We use Office 2007 at my job so I am used to the MS way of doing things.

    I wish NeoOffice and/or OpenOffice would update their GUI to something more like even Office 2003. It feels like Office 97 to me.

    I don't mind Pages, I converted most of my Word docs to Pages, but not my Excel docs as many of them won't open correctly in Numbers.

    Keynote rocks. Sometimes, I wish I had presentations to do just so I had an excuse to use it.

    One thing that iWork 08 doesn't do is let me password protect my Numbers spreadsheets. Does iWork 09 do that? I assume that NeoOffice would do that, though.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    My opinion is that if you use/need Excel often, you're better off with Office. If it's just word processing and you don't exchange a lot of Word files, you're better off with iWork.

    Excel '08 is supposed to be dog slow for certain heavy usage (I'm still using '04 under Rosetta and I have no problem with it), but Excel is still Microsoft's best product. Nothing offered by Apple or OpenOffice is really usable if you're comfortable with Excel.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

    If I'm not wrong, there is a trial version of iWork... you could grab it next week and the 30 days would hold you over until January's Big Day.

    Yes, all Macs ship with a fully functional trial copy of iWork already installed. You get 30 days of use. If for some reason you don't have it already (or the current version), the try-out can also be downloaded from Apple.

    It also should be said: Apple is often criticized for selling only expensive products, which for the most part is true -- but iWork is a great bargain at $79.
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