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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Switcher - Excel & Word for Mac?


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mab

 
Member Since: Mar 12, 2007
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I ordered a new Macbook last night, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival! However, my girlfriend is slightly less thrilled. She has no problem with the purchase, but doesn't see the point and is worried about how she'll be able to open her Excel and Word docs on the laptop(we'll still have the windows desktop). I mentioned installing Windows XP, but her comment was, "then what's the point of buying a mac?"

Are there mac apps that can create and/or open Word docs and Excel spreadsheets, edit them, then save in .xls or .doc formats? Should I just purchase Excel and Word for mac, or are there better alternatives? Is this a better option than installing Windows XP, and running those versions of Excel and Word?

Beyond the Word/Excel issue, any ideas for how to help her get over the hesitancy to at least try the mac?

Thanks,
Mark
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sooNMac

 
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Make some slideshow with BGM using iPhoto. She'll like it!!
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Brendan

 
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OpenOffice can open doc files, and I believe has an excel like application to open those files too. However, the formatting may change a little bit between switching programs.

Microsoft Office 2004 is also available for mac here.

Show her the Mac interface, and features, and she may just fall in love. You could always show her the oh-so-adorable Adium duck, too!

Brendan Welsh
Aluminum Macbook Owner
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tandaina

 
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Second the Open Office recommendation.

I use it in Linux but have also installed it for family members in Windows. Really, once you get used to it its much nicer than MS Office. And its FREE. They have a Mac option on their website, it'll be one of the first things installed when my MacBook arrives.

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. - Terry Pratchett
http://snowonroses.blogspot.com/
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Kash

 
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If you're dead set on using Office, it makes more sense to get the Mac version as you'll save both time and money (well, more so the time, but then again, time=money).

With Boot Camp you have to restart the computer. This is a total pain if you just want to open some Office files. Plus, you're girlfriend would be right, what's the point of getting a Mac if you need to boot into Windows just to do basic office tasks?

However, instead of OpenOffice, I would recommend NeoOffice. It's technically the same thing, but looks prettier and doesn't require you to install X11


June 2007
July 2009
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mab

 
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Thanks for the quick responses. Not to be dense, but what is X11?
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Kash

 
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X11 is technically a windowing system. It's essentially a toolkit for building graphical user interfaces on Unix/Linux systems.

It's all a bunch of technical jargon. You just have to know that OpenOffice requires you to install it for it to work.


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mac57

 
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Hi mab - Welcome!

I use Office: mac and exchange files regularly with my Windows work PC (my company is not as enlightened as I am! :dive: ). I have had no issues at all in either direction (create on PC, open on Mac OR create on Mac and open on PC).

X11 is an alternate windowing system that is used in unix and Linux. There is a port of X11 that can run under Mac OS X, which allows you to use unix and Linux apps that were coded for X11 windowing vs. Mac OS X windowing.

Mac OS X's X11 works well. I run a number of Linux X11-based programs (OpenOffice is one such program - that is why X11 was mentioned) and they work flawlessly.

Hope this helps!

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zeroz52

 
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Taken from wikipedia:

In computing, the X Window System (commonly X11 or X) is a networking and display protocol which provides windowing on bitmap displays. It provides the standard toolkit and protocol to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on Unix, Unix-like operating systems, and OpenVMS, and is supported by almost all other modern operating systems.

X provides the basic framework, or primitives, for building GUI environments: drawing and moving windows on the screen and interacting with a mouse and/or keyboard. X does not mandate the user interface – individual client programs handle this. As such, the visual styling of X-based environments varies greatly; different programs may present radically different interfaces.

It's standard as part of linux operating systems. I am waiting for Leopard to come out before I purchase my Macbook, but looked into Neooffice and would recommend that as well as it integrates right into OS X.

Doh, I got beat to the punch.
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slashjunior

 
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You can buy Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition pretty cheaply. The only thing about Office 2004 for Mac is you don't get Access, but this is no big loss for most users.

About the hesitancy...the Mac is very intuitive. If you have used Windows then anyone can pick up Mac OS X, just some things are different.
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Another vote for NeoOffice.

As also said above you can get the student teacher version of office for around $129 if you want genuine MS Office, but for free you might fine NeoOffice does all either of you will need. Try Neo first and if it does the job for you, use it and save your $$$. If not, buy office for Mac.
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If your a university student check with your bookstore and technical services offices, you may be able to get a copy of Office for free or very cheap. I got my copy of office for Mac for under 10.00 at the bookstore.

The politically incorrect answer to the GF is "get your own laptop"

http://www.lightcafe.net

New servers, much faster than before
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OpenOffice and NeoOffice will handle many of your needs for Office compatibility, but if you need 100% (well, as 100% as anything made by MS can be) compatibility you'll have to get Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac.

In particular, two Office features my company uses often (password protection and revision marking) are not compatible with either of the open source Office clones.
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Le Fumeur

 
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Pages can open them.
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technologist

 
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I also want to mention that Office 2008 is about to be released in a few months. If you decide to pay for Office, you might want to wait until it hits the stores.
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