Apple iWork Versus Microsoft Office

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Apple has made a real effort building software to compete with Microsoft Office. I remember buying iWork 09 when I got my first Mac. Eventually Apple did a very nice thing by making the Mac and online versions of iWork free. You still have to buy the iOS version sadly, but I rarely use that since I don’t have an iPad anymore, so you could probably live without it.

I remember using Word Perfect, back in the day, most of my word pressing training was done with that software. I’ve spent a lot of time with MS Office, even on my mac, and unfortunately the last version of MS Office for Mac came out in 2011. It wasn’t until this year that we saw a new version for OS X.

Universities and corporations still require MS Office for students and employees, but Apple’s iWork software shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some advantages to using Pages over Word if you are a Mac user. I admit that in the past I typically used MS Word the most, even for writing my articles for iDropNews. Recently, I’ve switched back to Pages to do the bulk of my writing for work and then finish up with MS Word.

Let’s look at some of the features I like about Pages. First, by far the best feature, is how the app saves documents. Every file created in Pages is saved in the iCloud. This allows users to work on their documents with any Apple device be it Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Since the file is stored in one location, it’s easy to work on multiple devices. Another useful feature is the saving feature. Every keystroke or change is automatically saved. Of course, there still is the option to manually save, but why bother? The third, and perhaps not really a feature per-say, it the simplistic look and feel of Pages. It just works, it’s not flashy, and doesn’t take long to load.

Windows users obviously can’t use the iWork software, unless they opt for the web version. Word also has more features than Pages, though many of them require some research. I still have to use Word as the articles I write need to be in docx format. I can convert my documents from Pages into Word format with ease.

Microsoft has their own cloud service, now called One Drive, which works most of the time. The difference between iCloud and One Drive is how files are stored. Microsoft uses two copies, one in the cloud, and the other stored on your computer. It syncs the files instead of having just one storage place. In theory it sounds like a redundancy backup option, but when there is a discrepancy between the two copies there are problems.

Sometimes you may be forced to chose which copy of a file to keep. The server version or the computer version, should the two copies not match. It may be hard to know which one to keep. Usually I would chose the most recent file, but somehow it always seemed to end up being an older version of the document I was working on, forcing me to re-write large sections of the document. This happened to me once or twice when I was at school.

All in all, I like Pages more than Word. While MS Office is more widely used by most people, I think Pages shines with it’s reliability.  I was able to adjust to Pages fairly easily and with the few powerful features that I like, it’s the best way to make sure you don’t lose those important documents.

 

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