Office for Mac vs. iWork

Why would anyone use Office on a Mac?- I used to think. I got my Macbook earlier this year and the same day I got it I bought iWork. At first it was hard getting used to it but after a few uses it became really useful and productive. Still, eventually I wouldn’t know how to do one simple thing and 30 minutes later realized that it was super easy.

It wasn’t until a few months into my Mac/iWork experience that I stumbled upon a bit of a problem with it. I had just started working on a new temporary job and my boss ordered me to do some graphic stuff on Excel. I thought “Awesome, I’ll go into my Mac, finish it in two seconds and it’ll look beautiful!”. Well, no, that didn’t happen. I tried doing what I wanted to do in Numbers and I couldn’t, there weren’t many options to chose from and it was impossible to do what I was supposed to do. That night I went home and downloaded Office for Mac (of course I didn’t buy it, the thing is like $200 bucks for a bunch of stuff I was going to use once.

And so that’s the end of my story. The next day I did my graphics and my boss used them to sell some shit. I didn’t get much work with Office (although I did use it a couple more times), and my experience with it wasn’t bad, but it was clear what each of them is for. Office is complicated, there’s a lot of menus, options, buttons; there’s really a lot of everything. It’s professional. And the price reflects it. So do the different versions available like Enterprise, Student, Home, Ultimate and so forth. It’s not exactly pretty, it doesn’t look bad but it doesn’t quite go with the aesthetics of the Mac interface. Actually, it’s the complete opposite. While the Mac apps are clean, simple and easy with the eye, the Windows ones are loaded with stuff and buttons everywhere, options and menus and headaches. But that’s not bad, it gets more stuff done, stuff more specific and complicated; like I said, Professional.

iWork, on the other hand, is a bit more efficient. It feels faster and cleaner. It’s simple. There’s no versions, just iWork. No iWork Students and Enterprises and Home. Just iWork. And the apps in it are also simple. Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Instead of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, Outlook, OneAccess, and the dozens of little useless apps and folders that Office installs. Even starting little projects like Invitations, presentation cards, personal budgets and stuff like that is super easy with pre-existing layouts that come with it. And it’s cheaper. But there’s also limitations, you can’t go too deep into documents or projects, there’s just not a lot of profound functionality. It’s great for little projects and stuff like that but if you’re gonna use it for more professional work there’s not a lot to do there.

And so there it is, iWork is for light users that don’t need a lot of features in their work, say students, home owners, teachers, etc.
If you need to do office work, and need a lot of features, then you need Office, because iWork will do shit for you.


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