Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Ready To Replace Office

Ready To Replace Office
Thread Tools
ghporter
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 24, 2014, 07:25 AM
 
I find that I only use simple word processing functions in Word, I seldom use PowerPoint for anything, and while I do use Excel, I don't do much more than basic calculations with it. And I'm still running Office 2008, since I abhor the newer user interface MS came out with after that version.

I have (in the past) tried OpenOffice and NeoOffice, both of which worked, but they worked very hard at seeming very complex and capable of doing way more than I need.

Is there a free word processor that will let me type letters and lists and envelopes and such (and if I need to I can do my own footnotes, references, etc.)? And is there a free spreadsheet that will let me do basic calculations? I don't need a complex system, but I'm most interested in not having to completely relearn everything I already know about word processing and spreadsheets, and especially with not having to learn a completely new user interface paradigm.

Advice and suggestions are gratefully appreciated.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 24, 2014, 08:59 AM
 
Have you tried iWork? I know that feedback on recent versions has been rather mixed, but by the sound of it, it might be what you are looking for.

IME, replacing Word is not that hard, unless you need the change tracking. Replacing Excel is more challenging, however.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 24, 2014, 09:07 AM
 
Free? Hmmm, apart from the ports of NeoOffice and Libre/Open Office, I don't know of many free office software. (I occasionally use Libre Office to exchange files, but find the UI disgusting.)

- The obvious choices are Apple's Pages and Numbers which are AFAIK free if you have a recent Mac. Otherwise they are at least cheap. Numbers has lost some functions that I was using it seems (I have to dig a bit deeper, though, maybe the functionality has just been moved).
- Nisus Writer Express/Pro are not free, but also solid choices.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Nov 24, 2014 at 09:17 AM. )
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 27, 2014, 05:44 PM
 
I checked into Pages, and the reviews for the current version (on the App Store) are horrible. Most of the bad ones seem to really focus on the lack of features such as bookmarks (which apparently available in previous versions) and what seem to be advanced functions, and reviewers went to a lot of trouble to complain about how much they hated it.

Is it really all that bad for a $20 word processing app?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 27, 2014, 07:57 PM
 
Why not continue using the old Office 2008 until Apple's Numbers / Pages get better and you'll get them free with a new Mac ?

-t
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 04:41 AM
 
Pages and Numbers work fine for me. I use them for billing, budgeting, and to keep track of students' schedules.
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 08:23 AM
 
What about Google Drive?
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Is it really all that bad for a $20 word processing app?
You initially wrote that you don't have very demanding needs, so I reckon you'll be just fine.

PS Isn't Pages free these days?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What about Google Drive?
It's cloud storage, not a word processor.

-t
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 07:46 PM
 
The App store wants $19.99 for them. The "free" part seems to have been a real connundrum for a lot of people. They seem to have only been free for people with the previous version of those apps.

The "basic word processor" point was just that. I wanted to know if Pages was as crappy as the vocal critics said. Apparently not at all... And if it's at all "Apple-like" then it will be easier to begin to use than Neo/Open/Libre Office ever thought of being.

One reason I'm ready to go with something different is that my wife's MacBook had Office 2004 - which is not supported in Mavericks, and certainly not in Yosemite. She needs word processing capability, but like me, not necesarily the ability to create fancy, complex documents that would require those advanced features I also don't need. I had thought I'd just move my student version of Office 2008 to her machine, but at the moment I can't find the media, so I'm seriously considering just replacing Office on both my wife's MacBook and my iMac.

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I'm planning to keep my eyes on things and see what turns up and/or what comes out in the future.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 28, 2014, 10:33 PM
 
It's free with new devices purchased after October 2013.
     
abbaZaba
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 11:58 AM
 
The complaints about the iWork suite stem from Apple removing a lot of advanced features when they debuted iCloud.com and updated iOS versions of these applications.

They stripped advanced features and changed how the files are formatted in order to facilitate the cross-platform (OS X, iOS, browser-based) editing of these documents.

Many people were very mad about this, though there was nothing that kept one from keeping and using the old iWork '09 versions.

Since this big overhaul, Apple has steadily been adding these features back. If you just read the reviews, you'll most likely run into the vitriol this created with past users. However, I would hazard a guess you'd do just fine with iWork. I use them almost exclusively and while I am not a power-user for word processing and spreadsheets, I find them absolutely fine to work with. They are definitely Apple-like applications from a UI standpoint.

I got mine free with my Retina MBP, so I would be ever-so-slightly hesitant to pay $20 for each.

I also use Docs and Sheets a lot in Google Drive and these are also viable options if you are in the Google realm.
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's cloud storage, not a word processor.

-t

As you probably well know, it includes a word processor, and other office tools.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 12:30 PM
 
What exactly is the difference between Google Docs and Google Drive?

Or is this just another case of Google's "Make Two of Everything"?
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What exactly is the difference between Google Docs and Google Drive?

Or is this just another case of Google's "Make Two of Everything"?

I think Docs is a Drive feature. Drive = iWork, Docs = Pages, Sheets = Numbers, etc. It is definitely confusing though, since I think Drive is a rebrand of Docs?
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 01:04 PM
 
iWork is Pages, Numbers and Keynote.


Just looking through the sites, logged in from my account:

Google Drive (drive.google.com) lets me create "document", spreadsheet, presentation, form, and drawing files.
Selecting to create a new "document" will send me to Google Documents (docs.google.com) and create a new text doc.

Didn't Google Documents used to be the full online office suite?

FWIW, the spreadsheet web app of Google Drive is terrible.
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think Docs is a Drive feature. Drive = iWork, Docs = Pages, Sheets = Numbers, etc. It is definitely confusing though, since I think Drive is a rebrand of Docs?
I don't think that's the right way of looking at it.

Google Docs existed WAY before Google Drive.
Therefore, Google Drive (like iCloud Drive) is an ADD ON to existing products.

That what saying "use google drive as your word processor" is completely ass backwards.

-t
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 03:53 PM
 
Okay, I stand corrected, although I think the context of my original suggestion was pretty clear in that I was referring to the office software.
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 29, 2014, 05:10 PM
 
That being said, Google Docs/Spreadsheet is certainly an ok app for occasional use.

But if you want to use an online app, iCloud Pages/Numbers might be the easier thing.

I haven't spent much time with it. I'm sure it's pretty bare bones.

-t
     
Jonesy
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Cupar, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 4, 2014, 04:20 PM
 
If you're considering the iWork apps you could try them out (or a close approximation) by using them on iCloud.com. It is pretty close to using a proper desktop application, with a few limitations.

I have to say that I agree with one of the previous posters. I miss a few of the features they have promised to bring back but it is good enough for every day use for me. I find it much easier to use than Office and will always go for the iWork apps in preference.
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 7, 2014, 04:06 PM
 
For the moment, I have a solution. I found my installation media and put Office 2008 on my wife's MacBook. I'm now looking into Pages and Numbers for myself, and we'll see how things go with that. I appreciate all the feedback everyone's provided, and I hope to update here sometime soon once I've figured out which direction I'm going to go.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2014, 09:40 AM
 
Just a piece of advice: you should keep a copy of Word and Excel around, just yesterday I tried to fill out a form which some braniac only made availabe as a .doc file. Usually small differences in formatting (e. g. different line breaks due to slight differences in the fonts being used) don't matter much, but in case of forms they may. In any case, to me this happens about once a year or so.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
And.reg
The Mighty
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: With the seagulls and the lobster rolls
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2014, 09:49 PM
 
Honestly I would just pay the $10 and get NeoOffice. You get free upgrades and it is stable and integrates seamlessly with OS X... and doesn't have that cluster-**** can't-figure-out-where-anything-is-to-save-my-life interface that Microsoft Office apps have.

Or, you could:

1. Learn LaTeX for advanced word processing and design, plus TextEdit for the basic stuff, and
2. Use R or Grapher for the basic calculations. All of these are free.
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 11, 2014, 07:08 AM
 
I hear what you're saying about the "new" Office interface. That's why I've stuck with Office 2008 for so long. But I do not need LaTex's advanced features, any more than I need advanced features for spreadsheets. And I don't want to "learn" a new app just to do the basic kinds of documents and calculations I have any expectation of producing.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
And.reg
The Mighty
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: With the seagulls and the lobster rolls
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2014, 06:29 PM
 
*shrug*

Can you get by with TextEdit for text and Calculator/Grapher for calls?

Ah, just had a memory of me working back in Appleworks 6.
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2014, 09:03 PM
 
Text Edit, maybe, but not much - kind of hard to format envelopes in Text Edit. Calculator and Grapher, not at all. I do need a spreadsheet to track specific data that requires preset calculations.

Anyway, my wife's been doing fine with Office 2008, and I haven't had much time to check out other apps as yet.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
drchimrichalds
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 18, 2014, 04:35 PM
 
I agree that NeoOffice is worth the price, I use it all the time and think it's pretty easy to use.
     
donaldkepler
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2014, 01:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Pages and Numbers work fine for me. I use them for billing, budgeting, and to keep track of students' schedules.
Actually I also use it for the same purpose. Once I tried to update Keynote but Pages and Numbers did not update...Did I leave anything important?
     
mindwaves
Professional Poster
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Irvine, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2014, 08:21 AM
 
I wouldn't use Google docs for data mining and privacy issues. I also use iWork, but very sparingly. I rarely have use for word processing needs.
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:08 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,