??iWork or Microsoft Word??

in Mac Software edited January 2014

I'm new here and honestly, a bit lost.

I just bought my first computer in November. The Apple Store manager (who was great btw) insisted that I needed The Microsoft Word program, which I bought. I rarely use it. Today I found out I had a 30 day trial version of iWork on my computer and took the little tour. Fortunately I am not familiar with either program enough to have a preference. My needs are mostly personal. I do need to be able to do inventory, fliers, etc. for my 'at home' business, projects and/ or informative stuff for my kids school, and various personal projects. I like it clean, creative and simple. But I have a few questions:

1.) Why would the manager tell me I needed Word, if I had iWork already on my computer? (aren't they just 2 different versions of the same thing? iWork looks better.)

2.) Does that 30 day 'trial' start when I bought my MacBook or when I first use it?

and 3.) Which one (and why do you think so) is the better one to have?

I appreciate any help and advice you can give me!


  • Reply 1 of 25
    bclapperbclapper Posts: 237member
    My GF at the time was very competent with the MS Office Suite so I got Office for Mac.

    I, on the other hand, only have the need on occasion so prefer iWork - especially Keynote which is excellent

    Ideally, I would say stick with iWork and learn it's differences unless you are very familiar with Office and use it a lot

    I think the 30 day trial starts when you 1st use the app, though I may be wrong
  • Reply 2 of 25
    talksense101talksense101 Posts: 1,737member
    Depends on if you share your documents with a lot of people. People tend to pay the M$ tax to ensure interoperability between the documents they generate and the world in general. Packages like iWork and Open Office are pretty good at compatibility with the Word document format, but M$ always has some little gotchas which tend to mess up formatting. If cost is a criteria, try Neo Office.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Welcome to AI!

    I'm a little surprised that the salesman suggested Microsoft, but he must have done so based on what you told him at the time. It is unlikely that he was completely off.

    However, having used both applications, I prefer iWork because of its clean appearance, the similarity between the applications, and the interactivity between the applications. It works seamlessly with the other applications that came with your Macintosh: namely, the iLife suite.

    For example: You can take a photo, imported into iPhoto, edit it, then open Pages and access it right from within Pages. If you want to make a change to the photo that is applicable only for that one particular use of it, you can make that change right in Pages, using the exact same interface available in iPhoto. Thus, the learning curve is not as steep.

    For small business, Numbers is plenty powerful.

    The 30 day trial should start from the first time that you actually use the application, that is, first of the application. So, you should still have plenty of time to give my work to try. If you like it, it will only set you back 80 bucks or so, which is nothing compared to the time that it will save you in learning.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    I have both iWork and MS Office. If you are mainly using these applications for yourself, not sharing much with others, then there is no compelling reason to use MS Office. I absolutely cannot stand Word for Mac, it's ugly and worse then the Windows version, while Pages is clean, simple, and nice to look at. Keynote is a joy and looks great, easy to embed photos and videos. PowerPoint looks less great, adding media is harder, but overall not bad. Plus you can use your Apple remote with Keynote to advance slides, I can't get it to work with PP. The only program which I feel overall is better in Office is Excel. Dealing with very large databases, advanced statistical formulas, macros is better in Excel. However, if you are doing straightforward stuff with the spreadsheet, Numbers works fine. It also has the advantage of being much better for creating presentable tables, charts, and graphs - they look way better than Excel's versions.

    On the rare occasion you need to send someone a document for use with Office, all you have to do is Export the document to its Office version (under the File menu). As long as you are not using advanced formatting, the conversion works without problems 99% of the time.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    Thanks for all of your input.

    I will probably get alot of use out of whatever program I decide to use. But it is definitely for personal use. I know I haven't been very comfortable with the WORD program. Something about it rubs me the wrong way, but since I paid about $140 for it I thought I should give it a go. Now that I have a few months behind me and using my other Mac apps, I like the idea of having a similar program that would be integrated with them. Being totally blind at the time, I wish I would have been shown my options before I paid for the MS, but now I know. But I think I'll fool around with iWork before I uninstall the MS. Hmm, I wonder how much I can sell a used MS Word program for? :o)

    Thanks Again!
  • Reply 6 of 25
    rob05aurob05au Posts: 348member
    I prefer Iwork 08 and Neo Office to MS office any day as iwork and Neo can do pretty everything MS Office can do and in most cases much better with a heck of a lot less hassles that MS build in.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Thanks Rob...

    I appreciate your opinion. I am starting to get the feeling that for my needs, maybe iWork is the way to go. :o)
  • Reply 8 of 25
    I have used Word on the Mac since 1990, actually considered an expert (and on the Windows side since 1999). I still use Office 2004 on my eMac, but on my Macbook Pro I use iWork (Pages) for a seminary newsletter (took a week total time to setup the layout, including using Greek and Hebrew, proof it and send it out). Worked like a charm. Then I use NeoOffice for opening any MS Office documents. Never a problem. I also had downloaded the Open Office 3.0 private Beta and now the public Beta. Excellent as well.

    For serious writing I use Mellel and Nisus, for extensive page layout I use Papyrus.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Hi Grayshades.

    I appreciate your wisdom. As far as requiring multiple set ups, I'm not quite there yet. There is just oogobs to learn, isn't there? But it's quite fun. I think maybe I will go with the iWork and then as my knowledge/experience grows, I can enhance, add whatever to meet my needs? But if I can ask you another question....

    Would you advise me to keep the MSWord installed, even tho I plan to go with the iWork at this point? I don't much care for it. Can I just re-install it if I decide I need it later on?

    mwn :o)
  • Reply 10 of 25
    As long as MS Word works, I would keep it installed. It's not doing anything unless you use it. And once you start uninstalling, re-installing, it can throw MS Word (Office) for a loop (happened to me a few weeks ago).
  • Reply 11 of 25
    mrsinmrsin Posts: 163member
    I love Apple, simple as that. Having said that though, with all of Microsoft's ups and downs, one must give kudos where kudos is due - in my opinion, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has done a marvelous job with Microsoft Office: Mac 2008! Keep in mind, as always, your mileage may vary (YMMV). I also have, in no particular order: iWork '08, Schrieben, AbiWord, Appleworks(?), Bean, Mariner Write, and a ton of text, or document, editors. I see text manipulating apps and utilities as tools, use the one that best suits the task at the time and which appeals to you for that task. Don't limit yourself simply based on the developing organization of the program \. Keep in mind we still have to interact (a lot) with PC/Windows users, and though Apple's apps have made great strides in this area, MS Office does it innately . There's a couple more I should mention since I'm here, NeoOffice and Open Office, these too have come a long way over the past couple of years and deserve a look see .
  • Reply 12 of 25
    macaloymacaloy Posts: 104member
    I have used both and prefer Word
  • Reply 13 of 25
    steste Posts: 119member
  • Reply 14 of 25

    "Keep in mind we still have to interact (a lot) with PC/Windows users, and though Apple's apps have made great strides in this area, MS Office does it innately"

    Absolutely excellent points. I guess I'm still in the 'chasing shiny stuff stage'! LOL. Thank You. The truth is, my self imposed limitations are only a reflection of my inexperience on computers. I fully expect to be at that point sometime (hopefully sooner than later), so I will definitely be referring back to your post and trying to learn about all the possibilities you recommended.

    I really appreciate you sharing your experience with me.

    Have A Great Weekend!
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Mac Aloy.....

    I appreciate your input. Why do you prefer it? Do you think it is something I should start learning off the top at my level of experience? I really want to know.
  • Reply 16 of 25

    Yeah, you almost caught me! LMAO! :o) So, Thanks for YOUR input.

    Have A Great Friday!
  • Reply 17 of 25
    macaloymacaloy Posts: 104member
    Originally Posted by You think so? View Post

    Mac Aloy.....

    I appreciate your input. Why do you prefer it? Do you think it is something I should start learning off the top at my level of experience? I really want to know.

    To be honest, I have used Word for years and years and I didn't have time to re-learn iWork which IMO needs to be learned IF IF IF you are planning on writing some in-depth paper (which I was doing) with all sorts of things inserted.

    Now, I am sure there are easy ways to figure it all out but I gave iWork two days and just couldn't find out how to do certain tasks

    So, I went back to Word and everything worked fine for me

    I am sure down the road I will learn iWork and love it but at the moment, I just stuck with what i knew
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Okay, I get that. So you learned Word first. I haven't become familiar enough with either one yet so I'm still chewing on it. Are you an Apple or Windows user? I will be using it for various projects but not of the 'serious business' variety. I like having creative options that are easy for a beginner to use. In any case... I do appreciate you coming back and giving me the extra info.

    Have a Great Weekend.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    I've used iWork a reasonable amount and I think it is quite good. I have also had no problems creating files for other people who use MS Office, or reading opening files in iWork which were created in MS Office.

    In comparison to MS Office, I would say iWork is a lot better. The main reason for this is I don't find myself getting frustrated with iWork, like I regularly do with MS Office.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Hi CID.

    I'm not big on frustration either. And your saying that it hasn't kept you from being able to do creating or reading MS? I'm not likely to have alot of that going on anyway. Hmm. Thanks for your experience with it. I do appreciate it.

    You think so? :o)
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