Which word processor or office suite to you use?

  • Posted: 16 August 2007 06:21 PM

    With the recent demise of AppleWorks I thought it would be interesting to see what people use today. I won’t bother to do a poll because there are tons of options and I could only think of a fraction of them off the top of my head. Just post what you use and why!

         
  • Posted: 16 August 2007 06:48 PM #1

    I use Windows at work for analysis, so Excel, Powerpoint, and Access are my main programs.

    On the Mac at home, I have Office 2004, but seldom use it; no analytical work. If I need integrated programs, then I definitely use

    Ragtime : word processor, page layout, spreadsheet, presentation. Much nicer than Office. And truly cross-platform.


    Mellel : word processor primarily for excellent non English language support, styles, note streams, outlining.

    Nisus Writer Pro : word processor for quick turn around projects

    Papyrus XII : excellent Page Layout program with cross-referencing and indexing, also has integrated database, published a book last year using it; also cross-platform.

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  • Posted: 16 August 2007 07:33 PM #2

    TextEdit. When I need to write, I wouldn’t use anything else. It’s fast, free and may be feature-deprived but it does everything I need it to - it turns letters into words and words into a story.

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    Posted: 16 August 2007 07:57 PM #3

    MS Office at work, for similar reasons to those listed above.

    I have OpenOffice.org 2.1 installed on my G5, and I mainly use Calc, the spreadsheet portion of the OO.o suite.  I have used Writer, the word processor portion a bit, but mainly when dealing with Word files created on other sources.  Since I always have X11 open for other purposes and I’m not an interface purist, OO.o is perfect for my needs.

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    Posted: 16 August 2007 08:24 PM #4

    I use MS OfficeX, the first OS-X version of Office. I’ve tried a lot of different things but keep coming back to this one because at my previous job I had to deal with compatibility with Windows Office. Now that isn’t an issue but I see no reason to fork over hundreds of dollars more for a new version, I don’t use 90% of the features as it is, why pay for more?

    However if they add a database to iWork, then I may very well retire OfficeX and my even older FileMaker Pro.

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    Posted: 16 August 2007 08:54 PM #5

    I use MS Office X for the same basic reason offered by geoduck. It does what I need, provides the necessary compatability with the Windows version, and I have never seen a reason to upgrade to Office 2004.

         
  • Posted: 17 August 2007 12:24 AM #6

    My needs for office software are relatively few, and word processing and spreadsheets are the only components I use with even remote regularity. Currently I favor NeoOffice, then AppleWorks. Read on for my pontifications on these and other office apps…

    For most purposes I primarily use NeoOffice, a Mac rebuild of OpenOffice without X11 dependencies. What it lacks in style it makes up for with functionality and freeness. For indescribable reasons I also find myself more comfortable with its spreadsheet component than with Excel.

    I still occasionally fire up AppleWorks for things that require more formatting and layout but don’t warrant a fancier package like InDesign. It’s not necessarily because OpenOffice is not capable, but because I am so familiar with AppleWorks after so many years of use that I can do certain things in it much faster than I could in any other software. It’s one of those apps that has its quirks, but if you are comfortable with how it works you can use it very effectively. Familiarity counts for a lot.

    I also have iWork ‘06 but don’t use it much. I feel frustrated by the interface. It often seems time-consuming to find basic features because so much is crammed together in the inspector panel. It has potential to be a worthy successor to AppleWorks, but I’m waiting for it to mature a bit more. That said, it looks like iWork ‘08 may solve some of my concerns based on the screenshots I’ve viewed.

    I want to like AbiWord because it’s so lightweight and relatively easy to use. But the Mac port has certain quirks like oddly discolored or artifacted buttons in the toolbar, which don’t affect functionality but really reduce my desire to use it. And, of course, it’s strictly a word processor, not an office package, so I would still need one of the other apps or suites around to fall back on for spreadsheets.

    I like the looks of the new Nisus Writer Express but haven’t had a chance to give it a good trial run.

    Finally, I hate to engage in gratuitous Microsoft-bashing, but I get really frustrated any time I try using Office. I spend almost as much time trying to undo what its supposedly-helpful autoformatting tools did to my document as I spend actually writing it. Don’t get me wrong, I could do fine with Office if I had to use it, but it just seems to clash with my style and what I expect ouf of a program. The part of Office I like best would be Entourage since I used Outlook Express a lot in my classic days and the two are very similar.

         
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    Posted: 17 August 2007 05:48 AM #7

    [quote author=“David Nelson”]Finally, I hate to engage in gratuitous Microsoft-bashing, but I get really frustrated any time I try using Office. I spend almost as much time trying to undo what its supposedly-helpful autoformatting tools did to my document as I spend actually writing it.

    I couldn’t agree more. The auto-correct feature in Word is the only thing that has actually made me yell and swear at my computer. There are times that I want to have a . followed by a lower case letter. There are times that I want to spell the word ‘teh’. Getting Word and it’s autistic savant AI to do what I want is d@mnd frustrating. Ever try to do a list without having the autoformat indent and autonumbering taking over? After many years of struggling with my old OfficeX I’ve finally gotten the features adjusted to fit my style. I’d hate like heck to start over with a new version of Office.

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  • Posted: 17 August 2007 07:51 AM #8

    At work I use Office, at home I use a combo of TextEdit, BBedit Lite 6.3 and OpenOffice (what can I say I’m cheap). Usually first write things in TextEdit, then go to OpenOffice for more formatting options. Sometimes I need to kill funky formatting on a document someone sends me or I bring from another machine, which is where BBedit comes in. I really need to pay Barebones for the new version at some point, add that to the list. Its just so handy for reworking stubborn text, allows you to do some pretty sophisticated Find/Replace stuff both in a single document and across whole directories if need be.

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  • Posted: 17 August 2007 12:41 PM #9

    Scrivener+Mellel+Bookends… and iWork ‘08

    So the bulk of my work is done in Scrivener, which I use for collected sources for research and for writing and revising drafts.  I use Bookends to tabulate all my references and keep them in a database.  Then I use Mellel to do the final draft, which then automatically syncs to Bookends and inserts all my citations and populates the bibliography at the end.

    I also use iWork ‘08.  Pages has really grown up in verson 3.0, and Numbers is great.  I don’t do a lot of presentations, but Keynote makes the ones I do present look amazing.  With iWork ‘08 now out, I am finally able to completely get rid of MS Office on my mac.  Yay for progress!

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  • Posted: 17 August 2007 06:44 PM #10

    [quote author=“geoduck”]I couldn’t agree more. The auto-correct feature in Word is the only thing that has actually made me yell and swear at my computer. There are times that I want to have a . followed by a lower case letter. There are times that I want to spell the word ‘teh’. Getting Word and it’s autistic savant AI to do what I want is d@mnd frustrating.

    Exactly. Personally I find it astounding that Word has such a stranglehold in the business world when it seems to cater to people who can’t even spell or capitalize correctly on their own, let alone do basic formatting properly. Is it possible that working professionals actually fall into this category? I should hope not….

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2007 03:11 PM #11

    I have Orifice 2004 at work, but use it only to open/edit someone else’s documents. I tried using Word a while ago to create a short (17-page) document with a few simple graphics & PDF links, and it was such a hairball. Word fought me every step of the way, then inserted a section break after the list of links every time I tried to print (and the links went dead anyway). I dumped it into NeoOffice, and had it working pretty quick. So I like NeoOffice, but keep the X11 version of OOo around just to be prudent. OOo is supposed to release the first public alpha with an Aqua interface in a couple of weeks.

    I’m primarily interested in the writing tools… I’ve never gotten into spreadsheets, and I hate hate hate presentations. So….

    Like David, I want AbiWord to work. I think I was the first person to get it to build on a PPC system (Linux), and there are some older patches with my name on them from back when. It just isn’t there though. LyX, IMO, has exactly the right approach to a GUI writing interface — but LaTeX (which it mostly uses for formatting/printing) is a little too restrictive for me.

    For industrial-level technical writing (I maintain a suite of documents that is approaching 1000 pages), I use Vim to edit and groff to format. I can have PDFs (with bookmarks and links) done in less than 10 minutes; the same chore would take all afternoon with FrameMaker, and that was back when the whole suite came to 600 pages.

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  • Posted: 31 August 2007 05:51 PM #12

    Dirt Road: They already have a public version of OpenOffice (sans X11) for Mac: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/download/aqua.html

         
  • Posted: 07 September 2007 07:44 AM #13

    At work, Windows XP and Office 2002,
    At home Mac OS X and iWork ‘08

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    Wow this is so much better then my old Mac Plus!
    Steve

         
  • Posted: 07 September 2007 09:18 AM #14

    Apple Products FTW

    I just got my wife a new MacBook, and fortunately haven’t had to add the Microsoft products to it.  She needs to send some things to others in Word format, so I got the iWork 08 family pack and she’s been happy with that - as have the people receiving the files.

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2007 07:01 AM #15

    At work we’ve been entrenched with Excel for many years.  There hasn’t been much equal.  We have licenses for Office 2004.  All but 2 of our couple dozen or so Mac workstations/laptops are still PPC based so there won’t be a big push to Office 2008 right away.  Word is used as well, but to a lesser degree.  PowerPoint is used occasionally.  (Not by me though.)  One person I think is actually using Entourage (not me).

    I use Excel regularly, but in typing a simple text document I always open TextEdit instead of Word.

    I’m going to look again at iWork.  I bought a license for it a version or two ago then didn’t really get into it.  I’m actually hoping Pages might make a reasonable replacement for PageMaker for a few things that Word doesn’t really do well.  Most of the other offices have moved on and/or never really used it that much, but here at HQ we have some folks often with a decade or more working here and of course a library of old office documents that often open in PageMaker.  I’ve been able to use InDesign, but since even I resisted that forever, I don’t really want to have these guys try to use it.  They’re admin workers not designers.  It would be nice not to have to create some of these things again from scratch with a new app, but we have to make that final break from Classic somehow.