Mac Office Suite Choices-Office08/NeoOffice3/iWork09...what do YOU recommend?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Since this is an often-asked question for switchers, I'll share my experience with Office suites on my Macbook Pro with Intel Duo 4GB Ram running 10.5.7.



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

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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!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    winner: iwork 09 for sure.



    iwork just has that awesome apple polish and can do more than ms office. you can save as office files anyways from iwork.



    open office/neo office are pretty nice for being free i gotta say. but really the money for iwork is totally worth it.



    ms office. pretty useless. NO COMBO UPDATER. made by MS, slow...avoid. plus it's expensive.



    nice post.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmeister92 View Post


    winner: iwork 09 for sure.



    iwork just has that awesome apple polish and can do more than ms office. you can save as office files anyways from iwork.



    open office/neo office are pretty nice for being free i gotta say. but really the money for iwork is totally worth it.



    ms office. pretty useless. NO COMBO UPDATER. made by MS, slow...avoid. plus it's expensive.



    nice post.



    Numbers is a nice application but only under some circumstances can it be considered a replacement for Excel. Yeah, I know it's Microsoft but Excel remains the gold standard in spreadsheets.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    fair enough, i really only use keynote and pages and don't have much experience with spreadsheets so i was speaking from that viewpoint. i guess for student activities: writing papers, doing presentations, iwork is better.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Having worked on Excel (Win) in a Fortune 50 company for 8 years, yeah, Excel is the standard. Unfortunately Excel on the Mac side is crippled (2008 has no VBA, and 2004 is old VBA, comparable to XL 97 VBA).



    For the past year (no longer analyst work) I seldom work with spreadsheets, so OpenOffice, NeoOffice, and Numbers meet my minimal needs.



    For daily writing I use Nisus Writer Pro, for academic writing Mellel, and for page layout InDesign.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    iWorks 09 no question.



    iWorks is a beauty. Polished, intuitive, fast, stable, almost flawless. Plus Pages 09 works with endnote and mathtype so you can do equations and citations on the fly. Numbers vs. powerpoint is like comparing Marilyn Monroe with Kelly Osbourne.



    This is not even a question. MS Office for mac is so broken there should be a law prohibiting MS to charge money for it, period. MS Office has the level of polish of a concrete grinder. Office is even worse since it is a MS Office copy made by teenagers in mom's basement.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,773member
    iWork if the work is personal or shared with a Mac-based office.



    NeoOffice if the work will be shared with PC-based users or a mixed office environment.



    Microsoft Office if you can get it for less than $10 bucks at school, or if you have no other choice.
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