IWork 09 or MS Office for a Masters Student

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hello,



I'm taking a masters degree and I'm going to have a rather large paper that is going to be due in the next few months. I will have to put a lot of charts and pictures in it to get a passing grade and it is going to be like 60 pages long when it is all said and done.



I currently have office 2004 on my macbook and was wondering if Iwork 09 would be up for the job? I downloaded the trial version and it seems to work fine so far, but I was just wondering if there are any opinions out there or things I don't know about from just using the trial.



I think it will be alright to be honest. Also Iwork is cheaper and I could probably sell office on ebay and make it a really cheap upgrade!



Thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omelet1978 View Post


    ...



    I'm taking a masters degree and I'm going to have a rather large paper that is going to be due in the next few months. ...



    I currently have office 2004 on my macbook and was wondering if Iwork 09 would be up for the job? I downloaded the trial version and it seems to work fine so far, but I was just wondering if there are any opinions out there or things I don't know about from just using the trial.



    ...



    You may choose whatever you want. However, your choice will dictate what you can do with your files. As a graduate student, you must exchange files with your professors and colleagues. Few of these people use Pages; most use Office. With Pages, you will be able to exchange documents with absolute fidelity as paper printout or as PDF file. You will be able to exchange files with varying fidelity in Office format. With Office 2004, you will be able to exchange files format with absolute fidelity as paper printout, PDF file, or in Office.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    Use TeX.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    I used TeX and although apps like Word and Pages seem like they'd be better because of the interface, they cause a lot of frustration in large documents. TeX editors mainly use plain text and you use markup to not only style but automatically number images and sections.



    For example, say that you go ahead inserting images and charts, numbering them 1a, 1b, 2a, 3a etc. Then you need a chart put in at the beginning. You don't want to rename the other images and references to them manually.



    TeX auto-numbers all this stuff for you as well as generates linked contents and index pages.



    http://www.texmacs.org/



    Plus it has very good formatting for equations.



    It's also free.



    The fact it deals with plain text means that you can open and work on your paper using pretty much any plain text editor. You just wouldn't see the nicely formatted output until you processed it through TeX.



    In the interests of compatibility, I'd say to go with Office if TeX doesn't seem like a good fit. I think Microsoft Office is slow and bloated but Pages isn't that fast either and Office will at least open Word documents you are given, accurately.



    Check out Open Office though. It keeps improving performance and appearance and is also free.



    http://www.openoffice.org/



    It has really good compatibility with Word documents.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    OpenOffice.org is quite good, but tables can be slightly off when sharing files with MS Word. Also, it depends on whether you save the file as .odt or .doc when working with OO. Consider NeoOffice, which has a better Mac feel and is more congruent with Mac parameters. The two developers are very responsive to issues.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I used TeX and although apps like Word and Pages seem like they'd be better because of the interface, they cause a lot of frustration in large documents.



    TeX has no equal in price (free), output quality, robustness and portability (ASCII text source). End of story. But it takes some time for a newbie to get used to it and it can be proved difficult to use in order to produce documents with complicated layout.



    I don't know at which point its WYSIWYG coats help to simplify the use. I always was a hardcore (raw) TeX user under X11, even tried to program it at a lower level but it was long ago. Nowadays I put into service pdflatex for the occasional use.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member
    I would use the text editor of your choice for the text and then I would use InDesign for the page layout. I would then save the final product as a PDF file to give as a digital file.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mystic View Post


    I would use the text editor of your choice for the text and then I would use InDesign for the page layout. I would then save the final product as a PDF file to give as a digital file.



    If the final output is PDF, then any word processor will work using Macs built-in PDF generator. Might as well go with Mellel or Nisus Writer Pro and buy both for 1/5 the cost of InDesign.



    Mellel has multiple independent note streams, a superb styling approach (much different than Word and followers), and a usable outline integrated with text.



    Another option is Papyrus, ($99) which I used for publishing a book three years ago. Excellent program, very fast, and very efficient, which is a cross between word processor and page layout. Also, cross-platform. A little different than most programs. And There is a Papyrus Reader for free, so others can view your work.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Give Mellel a try. It's designed for writers (and book work.)
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