[X-Newbies] Re: Office Suite Conundrum

Charles Martin chasm at mac.com
Mon Apr 4 16:00:26 PDT 2005

> From: Brian Durant <globetrotterdk at gmail.com>
> I am taking
> delivery on my G5 on Monday, but still don't know what to get with
> regards to an Office suite. This still seems to be an area where the
> Mac OS is weak.

Actually, it's an area where the Mac is quite strong, because there are 
so many options.

>  I had been hoping to use OpenOffice.org, Neo Office,
> Koffice or the GNOME Office software that includes AbiWord, but they
> don't seem to be ready for prime time yet on OS X. What Office suite
> software do people use on OS X?

AbiWord by itself has now been ported into a native OS X application, 
and apart from being butt-ugly works very well. Most Mac people simply 
use AppleWorks or TextEdit for reading Word documents, and AppleWorks 
can read (and write) both Word and Excel formats. Pages (part of the 
iWork Suite for $79) functions as a passable Word substitute, and 
Keynote works well for Powerpoint format and vice versa. Quite frankly, 
for 90% of people out there AppleWorks' Word/Excel emulation is all 
that's needed.

In addition, there's the slow but reliable ThinkFree Office, which is 
reasonably priced at $50 and works better than any Java app I've ever 
seen before. There's NeoOffice/J for X11 which seems to work reasonably 
well (but I'd definitely put it last on the list of Office-wannabees). 
Finally, there's the real thing -- Microsoft Office. Inexpensive 
($149), full-featured and frankly quite a bit better on the Mac than it 
ever was on Windows. It's not perfect, but then how could anything from 
-- or emulating -- Microsoft be?


FL-MUG: central Florida's Macintosh User Group.
Meetings: second Thursday of the month, 6-9pm,
at the Orlando Science Center.

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