If you are a student and need to use the apps to create work that your professors will grade, and you know your professors use MS Office, then it makes sense to minimize your compatibility risks and use Office yourself.
While it's always good to learn new tools, especially those native to the OS, don't forget the old standby PDF, that was essentially made just for your described purpose .
As well, Pages can output epub, so if digital publishing is in your future...
Having undertaken a University course last year, my driving urge was to take aside the lecturers and give them a crash course in:
1. Spelling and Grammar
2. Checking their work
3. Use of technology*
5. Thinking independently and critically
Then demand my fees be returned. Reminded me of my earlier university days.
When people say "That was then this is now, it's all changed", no it hasn't the mindlessness just takes another turn in a new direction.
* Hilariously this was for an IT degree.
It is that blank cow like expression on their faces when you discuss things that are obviously a total mystery to them.
Halls of learning!?
What a joke!
But it has ever been thus.
If you don't know the difference between a degree and an education, you got the degree.
I am also wondering what should I buy.
If you are a student or a business professional and you know that your professors or bosses judging the quality of your work use MS Office, then it makes sense to minimize your compatibility risks and use Office yourself.
I have been a Mac user for many years, but until recently, I could not get away from using MS Office. This is simply for the fact that I know how to use it well. However, I am a teacher in a district that uses all Apple products, so I recently started using Pages, Keynote, and Numbers more. I have to say, iWork is much easier to use. It has been hard giving up Word and Excel, but I am more productive because of it. When you want to add pictures, tables, charts, graphs, change the way everything is laid out, iWorks is much easier. Whenever I needed to change things in Office, there are certain parameters that kept pictures from moving certain places, automatic formatting would change things that I didn't want changed, and it made modifying things more difficult. Apple makes it so much easier. You can even add audio files to a Pages document. For ease of use (you still have to learn a new program) I would go with iWork.
Also, if you are worried about compatibility, Pages and Keynote can be exported as a Word or PowerPoint, so you don't have to worry about people with MS Office not being able to access your file. I am a new iWork convert.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 24, 2013 11:59 PM (in response to teacherguy1980)
While I can see where the iWork (no s) applications will work well for your situation (where everyone has a Mac, and presumably has Pages, Numbers and Keynote), I'd still go with Tom's advice:
"If you are a student or a business professional and you know that your professors or bosses judging the quality of your work use MS Office, then it makes sense to minimize your compatibility risks and use Office yourself."
While Pages can read MS Word documents (.doc or .docx) and can save its own documents in MS Word file format (.doc only), the fidelity of the translation depends on using only features suppported in both applications (and supported in the same manner in each). Even within those limitations, the translation is not perfect.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 25, 2013 1:29 AM (in response to teacherguy1980)
I'll add to Barry's arguments, that a huge consideration for institutional users is long term access to the work.
.pages is a unique proprietry format, that Apple has varied from version to version.
Apple has a history of neglect followed by abandonment. Whether that happens to Pages or not we won't know till it happens.
Word has become a de facto standard and so will be much more durable.
Preferably we should all move to open standards. The EEC and some US States are trying to do so and they should be encouraged and supported. Apple is notable for its policy of non-compatibility with open document formats and that should be a concern.