iWork AND Office on the same Mac?

Just Write
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Thu May 29, 2008 6:08 pm Post

Yeah, I'm probably tempting fate.

The company I work for has a well-kept secret benefit that I recently found out about - serious discounts on MS products for home use. Long story short, I can get one copy of Office 2008 for Mac for a few dollars. I'd be mad not to buy it since it's the cost of a single lunch. I already have iWork on my MacBook Pro. It's a pentium, 1GB. I'd only plan to load Word and Excel (I see no use for Powerpoint and I have no idea why I'd want Entourage -- unless anyone can convince me differently).

So, do I dare install both? Remove iWork? Caveats? Suggestions? Issues to think about with Scrivener?

As always, a huge thanks. :mrgreen:

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Thu May 29, 2008 6:15 pm Post

I have both iWork and Office 2004 on my Macs, and they don't interfere with each other, but honestly, I'd question whether Office 2008 is worth it, even for a few bucks. I haven't heard anyone say it's an improvement over Office 2004, which is no great shakes. iWork 3 is really good, and the only time I ever open Word these days is when I have to see whether the word count and formatting are going to look right on the other end. If you don't *have* to be involved in MS Office, don't be.

Gaijin de Moscu
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Thu May 29, 2008 6:53 pm Post

My company has the same benefit, and I decided to pass for now. Pretty much for the reasons mamster mentions...

I did buy the latest version of the office for windows, to run it under Parallels, which I used the grand total of one time after I installed it and admired the ribbons. I haven't opened it ever since.

I do open Word 2004 regularly on my imac because my editor uses Windows. That's once a quarter... For all the rest of the time, iWork serves me well... I wish my company struck a deal with Apple instead... maybe they will.

But if I were to install it, I don't see any issues of co-existence with the other programmes.

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Thu May 29, 2008 7:02 pm Post

I agree - you won't have any problems running them both on the same Mac, thousands of people do just that :) But unless you absolutely need Office, I just wouldn't bother.
Antony Johnston

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Thu May 29, 2008 7:19 pm Post

antony wrote:I agree - you won't have any problems running them both on the same Mac, thousands of people do just that :) But unless you absolutely need Office, I just wouldn't bother.

I would like to interject that "problems" in the above is relative. sure the computer may work fine, and your software may function per specification, but you might have problems of an mental or emotional nature. The origin of these problems may or may not be related to iWork, but there is an almost certainty that any post Office installation diagnosis is a function of running the Office installer.

Unless you are a masochist. In which case feel free to install Office.

It is a shame that I feel the need to put another disclaimer in a post, but here goes...


Anyone need that explained?

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Thu May 29, 2008 8:19 pm Post

For the small fee, why not install? Whether you use it, that is another matter. I have Office 2004 and iWork 08 as well as OpenOffice 3.0. I have managed to get by the past few weeks just using iWork and OO, exchanging files with those who have MS Word on Windows. No problems at all.

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Thu May 29, 2008 8:35 pm Post

Here's a devil's-advocate reason for making the purchase - Excel. I don't think Numbers compares, especially if your work requires you to use or construct serious spreadsheets, involving (e.g.) pivot tables or somesuch.

Whether Excel 2008 is any better than Excel 2004, I have no idea.
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Fri May 30, 2008 1:36 am Post

Another devil's advocate chiming in, here.

As companies finally bite the bitter Microsoft bullet you'll probably start getting files in the 2008 format (.docx etc.). If you're only paying a trifle for 2008, I'd get it just so you don't have hair-pulling sessions with the (buggy) converter Microsoft has distributed or translators from other vendors. You can close your eyes while converting the file to rtf in 2008. :)


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Fri May 30, 2008 4:35 am Post

NeoOffice — and presumably OpenOffice — will read .docx etc., in my brief experience without problems. But I guess even I would be tempted to get Office 2008, if it would only cost a few bucks, though from what I've heard I'd probably set it up on a separate external boot disk so my main operating system didn't get polluted.

That said, although I prefer the interface of OpenOffice to that of NeoOffice, I find it does all sorts of strange things in terms of letters and numbers overprinting each other or duplicating themselves ... and numbers in dates persistently putting themselves in the wrong order 72 instead of 27. I suspect it may come from trying to run both on the same system since they seem to share preference or other set up files and seem not to like playing with each other. I guess I'm going to have to remove OO once again!

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