General Question

RafBM's avatar

For what features (which Apple Pages lacks) do you need or prefer Microsoft Word for Mac?

Asked by RafBM (100points) July 7th, 2009

At this very moment, I am using Microsoft Word for Mac to create a perfectly compatible document for my Dad (you know, with all the great stuff like in-table text-boxes which Apple Pages really lacks support for). Well, I can’t help but swear and think that software is gruesome, slow and anything but integrated to the OS. So, this question’s for the ones who know well both Apple Pages and MS Word for Mac. What are those mysterious features that make MS Word a priceless piece of software and should make me throw Apple Pages away?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

StellarAirman's avatar

I have never found one.

RafBM's avatar

@StellarAirman Cool! At last I see I’m not the only one.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

MS Office for Mac is desirable because MS Office is the business standard.
In a professional situation, you’re pretty much going to have to use office at some point.

For example, some people use the open source Star Office, but if you need to email your resume to a potential employer, you can’t bet on them being able to read those Star Office files. They will have Microsoft Office.

jrpowell's avatar

I hate Word, I prefer Pages. But I like Excel a lot more than Numbers. I haven’t really used Keynote or PowerPoint much. Last night was my first time screwing around with Keynote.

RafBM's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic I don’t want to be condescending, but first, Apple Pages exports very well to .doc files. Second, I would prefer not to read features that translates as being the business standard. We all know Microsoft has about 90% of the market share of mostly everything. By a feature, I mean something that is good and satisfying to use in a software.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’m sure there are things that aren’t super about office. I deal with those things regularly so I’m aware of them. If Apple pages export to doc and xls formats, that’s pretty awesome and there’s no need for Microsoft at that point.

RafBM's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Thanks! Glad to see you understand my point well.

bob's avatar

I loathe Word with an unholy passion, but Pages doesn’t do well with footnotes. Documents with lots of footnotes and/or long footnotes will have random white space introduced to various pages. Word does a better job of letting you manage that white space manually.

There’s a few other areas where Pages won’t let you fine-tune a document quite enough, though none immediately to come to mind. 95% of the time Pages can do everything I need, and do it very, very well, but 5% of the time Word can do stuff that Pages just can’t.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Open Office can save to Word DOC format.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@eponymoushipster That’s all that’s really needed these days.
There tends to be formatting issues with these sorts of situations but most times, they’re easily overcome.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic yeah. occasionally the tables don’t work well, but i’ve had the same thing happen between versions of Word itself.

suzyq2463's avatar

I have found Pages to be wonderful for creating almost any kind of document—and doing it seamlessly and beautifully. With iWork 09, exporting a Pages document as a Word document is really simple, so translating a Pages document into a PC world is a non-issue. But, I have spent so many years in a Microsoft environment (my university is all PC except the Art department) that I am more familiar with Word, so I find myself using it as my primary word processor (and hating myself for it). As @bob said, footnoting isn’t implemented well in Pages, and in academia, footnoting is a must.

jumpo7's avatar

I use both Pages and Word… there are a number of things that Word does differently, which app does it better depends on your needs. Personally, the problem with using Pages is despite the fact it can export to Word, anytime your page is more complicated than a basic page of text it does not export all that well. So I use Word because that is the only way I can be mostly sure that the doc looks right for the other person who is using Word. As someone else pointed out that is still a challenge as there are differences between versions of Word which then have the same problem as using Pages. There are of course problems sharing files between Word on the Mac and on Windows, but we are talking Windows to Windows only as well.

That said, I use Pages as much as possible as I greatly prefer the interface. Both programs suffer when it comes to creating more complicated layouts (images, tables, etc) since they are not page layout programs. As has been noted Pages does not do footnotes well, but Word does not do styles well. I have spent tons of time trying to get Word to properly apply styles.

As for resumes, I either send PDFs made from Pages, a feature not in Word (unless you have acrobat or some other third party install or use the print to PDF on a Mac) or I send text file. Sending a Word doc resume is too unreliable… even if I made it in Windows Word because of the version differences. You don’t know what the employer is going to see.

TheCreative's avatar

I have always prefered Pages over word even if I have to run across some incompatibility problems here and there. The work you can create is simply beautiful and I use it for school to write essays all the time. I think it’s brilliant an I could use it forever. But that’s just my opinion.

noyesa's avatar

I use them both, but I stick with Pages when I can. For things like thesis papers and anythign research intensive, Word 2008 has a lot of great features, but honestly, if I need the brawn of Word, then I would use Word 2007 for Windows. In my opinion, Word 2008 for Mac is an afterthought. Outside of word, Excel 2008 for Mac and 2007 for PC are quite different applications, and are not cross-compatible at all. Word 2008 for Mac is a sorry competitor to Word 2007 for PC. The ribbon interface didn’t translate, and they didn’t make the most of it. 2007 has a lot more polish on features that it shares with Word 2008, those same features which elevate it above Pages.

iWork lacks an equation editor. For that reason, I’ve never been able to type up computer science, chemistry, physics, or calculus papers in Pages. You can buy a third party one, but you’re likely going to have to export them as image files. Why do that when I have Word 2008, which comes with Equation Editor? Better yet, I could use Word 2007 for Windows, which has a much more streamlined equation editor and handles inline equations better.

Word has much better organizational features, which don’t do much if you’re typing a 3–10 page report. However, when you type a paper in the 50+ page range, the citation manager, bibliography generator, and the table of contents tools make Word so much more pleasant than Pages.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Pages lacks these features.

eponymoushipster's avatar

If you’re looking for a quick, simple, powerful word processor for the Mac, that can handle basic Word docs and works fast, try Bean.

evegrimm's avatar

I’m not sure if you’re looking for more opinions on this, but I find that using Office for Mac (04 edition) doesn’t always read .docx (etc) documents, or reads them scrambled. (This is also true of Office 03 (Windows ed).

I’ve never had that problem with Pages, Numbers or Keynote. (For the respective file extensions…I don’t know Excel’s off the top of my head.)

(I also love being able to export .pdf documents. Pretty much everyone has Adobe Acrobat nowadays!)

Does anyone else miss AppleWorks/ClarisWorks and Hypercard?? I loved the functionality and intuitiveness of said programs.

stefman's avatar

Features lacking in Pages but present in Word:
(1) Cross-reference fields (for instance, “See page ## for a description of widgets” or “See Comment ## on page ##”) that will update when the location/text of the referenced material changes.
(2) Numbering fields for, for instance figure numbers, chart numbers, section numbers, etc. that are not part of an numbered list, but can carry on throughout the entire document, and can be reset at the start of each new section/chapter.
(3) Hidden text feature that can be used to hide a chunk of text without deleting it and then bring it back at will.
(4) Macros to automate repetitive tasks—I don’t know what I would do without them.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther