General Question

Cooldil17's avatar

Which is better iWork 08 or Microsoft office 2004 (Both for Mac)

Asked by Cooldil17 (485points) March 29th, 2008

I have a macbook pro, I have both iWork and Microsoft Office but in order to save space on my MBP I’m deleting files. So I wanted to know which program I should keep.

Keep in mind that I’m in highschool so i will need a prorgam that is good for making projects in a fast manner, I’m aware that iWork can convert to any extension but I need your opions and fast people!

And if you could and your in the same situation as me, explain which you like better and why. You know, all that jazz!

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11 Answers

eklamor's avatar

I’m in college and have a MacBook. I liked using office 04, and was considering iWork. My turn off was I dont have time for a learning curve right now. And I wanted something to run better cause I have an intel mac. So I pirated office 08. Runs great on a mac and I got it for free. Check out and if you want I’ll send you the direct link I used. Office 08 is word, excel, and powerpoint and runs a lot better and smoother than 04.

Cooldil17's avatar

@Oklamor: The funniest part is I did the exact same thing except I don’t use piratebay, I use a program called iSerial Reader and it just constantly updates with new serials but all you do is type in the program and it will list the versions with the different serials for that version! So I got Aperture, iWork, Microsoft Professional Suite, Bento, iRooster, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign.

Its a lot of free crap! lol

glawrie's avatar

We did some testing recently. We used to use Office 2004. Office 2008 is not really that compatible with Office 2004, and has a learning curve (different UI) so actually no more logical upgrade for Office 2004 than iWork or OpenOffice / NeoOffice. So we did some compatibility, speed and UI testing and reached the following conclusions:

* iWork – easily most compatible (i.e. able to read 2004 files without errors), and easiest to use, and fastest in operation. But uses odd file format (folder based) that makes files huge (3x bigger than office equivalent) and requires them to be zipped before they can be loaded onto internet file systems or sent by Skype (something we do alot). Not very expensive.

* OpenOffice / NeoOffice – second most compatible, second fastest in operation and with most familiar UI. Does the job, but UI a bit rough around edges. We ended up testing NeoOffice which has best compromise between OpenOffice function and Mac compatibility. File sizes the smallest of all three applications – typically 2/3 of size of Office 2004 equivalent. This app is free.

* Office 2008 – least compatible (some of our old PPT files wouldn’t open at all!) and slowest in operation. Least liked UI – but possibly this could be tweaked to be less annoying. File sizes slightly bigger than Office 2004. This app is very expensive.

So we have ended up moving to NeoOffice – which is free (so no dodgy piratebay activity required). Works pretty well.

Spargett's avatar

I think Apple’s iWork 08 is amazing. The only downside is that there are few things that don’t export well to proprietary Office formats. Any highly complex or unique formating doesn’t usually do well in the conversions.

Other than that, it works beautifully, runs lighter, smoother, and 10x more efficiently.

Try to skip out on the pirating. Apple makes it’s software significantly more affordable than Microsoft.

TheDeadWake's avatar

Honestly, if your looking to save space on your mbp I’d invest in a good external hard drive, or if you have an iPod with some free space, enable it for hard disk use and backup your files to it.

Both iWork and office have their merritts. iWork is a lot quicker and more intuitive for me, while office is the standard for colleges unfortunately. The great thing about iWork is it’s ability to export to the office file types, but I keep office around to make sure everything transfers intact. That way I’m not emailing a doc with screwed up format issues.

sharl's avatar

Some great answers here so I’ll focus on one particular aspect: Presentations. When Keynote version 1.0 shipped I bought it, thinking I’d switch over the course of a few months (I was running 5 or 6 presentations a week at the time, and knew PowerPoint pretty well). As a test of Keynote on the first day, I opened up the PPT file for a lecture I was about to give. It converted fine, and a few minutes tweaking the fonts had it looking better than ever. A click or three later and the transitions are smoother than I’d ever seen in PP, and I’m hooked. I honestly never went back to PowerPoint after that first day. If you do presentations on a Mac you need this application, and it’s worth the entire price of iWork to get it (especially at academic discounts!)

Oh, and try not to pirate software. If it’s good enough to use, it’s good enough to pay for. Student discounts on Office are steep. If you can’t afford it, find an alternative and support the efforts of shareware, freeware and Open Source developers. Lecture over ;-)

Besafe's avatar

you said you had both, so my suggestion is to keep both. If your runing out of disk space archive seldom used files to DVDs or an external drive.

Maverick's avatar

I think iWork is excellent and well worth the $79. I still switch back to Office occassionally, but less and less often as I head for iWork instinctively now. So I’d vote for iWork – and buy it you cheapskate! ;-)

Besafe's avatar

At home I find I use pages and keynote more than the ms versions. Wish I had it at work. Im still not comfortabe with Numbers

freerangemonkey's avatar

I currently have iWork, MacOffice2008, and NeoOffice installed on my macbook. While Pages and Keynote (iWork) are far superior to Word2008 and Powerpoint2008 in terms of usabilty, templates, appearance – everything, really – iWork’s answer to Excel falls short. For serious users, you really need either Excel or NeoOffice.

If it weren’t for the fact that I get personal use versions of Office from my company for $20, I wouldnt even consider Office. The price doesnt justify itself when compared with Numbers ($79 for iWork) and NeoOffice (free!).

I mostly end up using Pages, Keynote (again, both iWork) and NeoOffice’s spreadsheet.

But I could easily get away with just NeoOffice and save myself $79.

waterskier2007's avatar

@cooldil17, yes you use iserial reader as i do, but u still have to download the program from somewhere, unless ur just talking about upgrading the trial version that came with ur computer to the full version. im assuming eklamor did the same thing but got his actual software using piratebay and then got a serial somewhere

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