office suite

iWork (Mac OS X)

iWork Keynotes

IMHO the best of the iWork applications.

MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Like most IT professionals I know them well; I prefer (Apache) for many situations and sometimes the iWork (Mac OS X) applications.

MS Office 2011 for Mac OS X is extremely buggy

iWork Pages

PRO: sleek and wonderful for making really pretty documents with great fonts (as long as you stay within the Pages world).

CON: not so reliable with import/export to and from MS Office formats.

BIG CON: iWork Pages 08 can't handle references and citations, at all ! A simply incredible shortcoming, which means I find myself still using OpenOffice.Org's OpenWriter.

iWork Numbers

It is pretty enough for tuck shop computations, however the poor date handling (iWork Numbers 08 can't even display difference of hours in hh:mm format) and lack of proper custom data formatting make it unsuited to professional spreadsheet work. So far I prefer OpenCalc and even MS Excel. Too much smoke and sauce, not enough flesh. (Apache)

Despite my many attempts to learn to love Mac iWorks' Numbers (pretty, but mostly useless when it comes to calculations and easily formatting them) and Mac Pages (which has simply dreadfully useless import and export filters), and even the MS Office suite (noting that MS Office 2011 for Mac OS X is extremely buggy), Apache remains my office application of choice.

In the earliest days as StarOffice from StarDivision in 1999 this tool was almost completely unusable for any professional work. It has however made major strides over the years. I had some mixed results with stability of 3.0 on Mac OS X Leopard, but OpenOffice 3.4.0 seems to be far more stable on Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

There are still some serious limitations on its ability to export reliably to MS Word formats, so it is not suitable for editing some documents like CVs if certain people (like some recruiters) absolutely insist that you send them CVs in an MS Word format instead of as PDF, because they simply don't get that PDF is a publication format and MS Word is not, or because they insist on editing your CV to remove your identity before forwarding it to job clients because they are paranoid that their clients will then contact you directly, or because they insist on feeding your CV into certain keyword-matching programs that only accept DOC and that then send you automated job emails.

Otherwise, for all internal word processing, I use, not MS Word, and I use Open Office Calc, not Excel, for all of my internal spreadsheet work.

Visit also my remarks on OpenOffice Draw (Apache), which is a very handy drawing and illustration tool.

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