2/16/13
9:04 am

Forum Question: iWork Vs Office 2011 for Mac

Does iWork have the same capabilities as Office 2011 for Mac when I need to create documents? I ask because I am thinking of ditching Office for Mac and purchasing the 3 iWork applications, but have been discouraged by Mac users across the board. They say it doesn’t have the capabilities as Office and is too generic.

Comments: 8 Responses to “iWork Vs Office 2011 for Mac”

    2/16/13 @ 9:16 am

    In the past, “iWork” is the name given to the collection of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. But that name is not really used anymore. You purchase each app individually in the Mac App Store. Just including that to help out others reading this.
    The Mac apps and the Microsoft apps are similar, but not the same. Pages is like Word. Numbers is like Excel. Keynote is like PowerPoint.
    But these are different apps. They have different histories. The Microsoft apps are more than 10 years older than Apple’s, and so have many more versions, which have added many more features over the years.
    For most users looking for a word processor, both Pages and Word are fine. They don’t match each other exactly. But I find that the features that Word has that Pages is missing are pretty obscure. The typical Mac user will never need them.
    On the other hand, the typical Mac user will appreciate the nice Mac-like interface of Pages. For instance, I find that Pages’ use as a layout program (brochures, posters, flyers, etc) makes it better than Word for lots of people. You can do a lot of that in Word, but it is harder to learn how.
    For Numbers, I love how it uses Tables to create very nice-looking and easy-to-read sets of data. I think Numbers spreadsheets look better than Excel ones. At least if you expend the same amount of effort.
    Keynote also have a very different interface that I find easier to use than PowerPoint.
    But much of this is subjective. If you have been using Office apps for years, then you’ll need to expect to spend some time re-learning how to create documents if you switch to Pages/Numbers/Keynote. It wouldn’t be fair to expect to be able to use them at a high level immediately as you have trained yourself to work with Word/Excel/Powerpoint. You may LIKE how Office apps look and feel. And others may LIKE how Apple apps look and feel. Subjective.
    So what about just trying them out? They are cheap compared to Microsoft’s apps. If you are a serious office app user, and have a Mac, I would think it would be normal to have and use both Apple and Microsoft office apps.

      Patti Strout
      2/16/13 @ 7:26 pm

      I used Word for years, but now prefer Pages. There was a learning curve but now I open all my old Word documents in Pages instead. I think the only feature I wish it had would be Word Art. But the ease of use in inserting photos from iPhoto is soooo easy!

    Brian Huffman
    2/16/13 @ 10:15 am

    I’ve used Microsoft Office for at least 10 years. I work in a very large corporation. Most people use about 10% of MS Office capabilities. Like Gary, I really lime working with the Mac counterparts better. I’ve started to dabble also with Google’s drive apps, which can also work without a network connection. If it wasn’t for very large corporations I suspect Office wouldn’t be used very much by choice.

    Mark McCluski
    2/16/13 @ 10:28 am

    I found Pages and especially Numbers to be more accessible than their Office counterparts, so much so that although Office is admittedly capable of doing more, I actually *do* more with the Apple products. In fact, at work I would use Numbers to do the tasks I wanted to do, then export to Excel for corporate consumption. People on the job wondered own got my spreadsheets to look so good.

    Robert
    2/17/13 @ 3:48 am

    The Office apps are full of features and so are heavy and so can run slowly (vitally grinding a 5 year old iMac to a standstill). I have also found there to be some neat features of the iWork apps; such as Keynote’s Smart Builds, that just aren’t in Office. There is, however, an issue of compatibility as opening Word files can ruin some formatting. Try a typical file on friend’s mac first to see how annoying any reformatting is for you and get a feel for the layout, and feature set, of the apps.

      Arthur Carter
      2/17/13 @ 8:26 am

      I too have been trying to switch to Pages and Numbers from their Office counterparts. I have a mixed view. I encounter odd, quirky issues with both apps and sometimes give up and go back to the Office version out of frustration. It might be a style problem in Pages that can be handled more easily in Word. Or, it might be difficulty creating cell borders in Numbers. Keynote is so different from PowerPoint that I don’t use it at all.

    iPadawan
    4/20/13 @ 12:13 pm

    I’am a mac fan, but numbers and pages are very very limited. A lot of things can be done in excel but not in numbers. I like the table style, meaning for every set of data a different table, but the formula’s are inmature specialy on the iPad. Wish that excel comes to the iPad. Also i realy misses sites discussing numbers, that way Apple will/could give numbers more attention in theire development.

      4/20/13 @ 2:54 pm

      What things, specifically, can be done in Excel and not in numbers? I know some things can — Excel is much much older and has had many versions while the iPad Numbers is very new. What formulas specifically are not available? What else?

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