5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2011 1:11 PM by thomas_r.
Stuwawah Level 2 (375 points)

I am a college student and I need to type from time to time. I am considering getting pages but wanted to get some opnions which s better: Pages or MS Word for Mac


I already have Mac office 2008 for Mac installed on my 2011 Macbook Pro but I feel Microsoft if out to screw over Mac users cause the software is clear buggy in constrast to my usage on Windows 7 through my parralels Desktop on my Mac..


What you think?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)

    MS Office is by far better than the iWork suite. Furthermore, as a college student you will find that Word, Excel, and Powerpoint are the standard.


    If you believe MS is out to screw Mac users, then what would be the benefit to them? Fewer sales and less profit. Is that how you run a business? Of course not.


    I've used Office for the Mac since it was first released ages ago. If you have problems then the more likely case is your computer needs some maintenance and you need to upgrade Office because you are using an out of date version.


    First off: Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions


    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.


    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

    Next: Kappy's Personal Suggestions for OS X Maintenance


    For disk repairs use Disk Utility.  For situations DU cannot handle the best third-party utilities are: Disk Warrior;  DW only fixes problems with the disk directory, but most disk problems are caused by directory corruption; Disk Warrior 4.x is now Intel Mac compatible. TechTool Pro provides additional repair options including file repair and recovery, system diagnostics, and disk defragmentation.  TechTool Pro 4.5.1 or higher are Intel Mac compatible;  Drive Genius is similar to TechTool Pro in terms of the various repair services provided.  Versions 1.5.1 or later are Intel Mac compatible.


    OS X performs certain maintenance functions that are scheduled to occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly period. The maintenance scripts run in the early AM only if the computer is turned on 24/7 (no sleep.) If this isn't the case, then an excellent solution is to download and install a shareware utility such as Macaroni, JAW PseudoAnacron, or Anacron that will automate the maintenance activity regardless of whether the computer is turned off or asleep.  Dependence upon third-party utilities to run the periodic maintenance scripts had been significantly reduced in Tiger and Leopard.  These utilities have limited or no functionality with Snow Leopard and should not be installed.


    OS X automatically defragments files less than 20 MBs in size, so unless you have a disk full of very large files there's little need for defragmenting the hard drive. As for virus protection there are few if any such animals affecting OS X. You can protect the computer easily using the freeware Open Source virus protection software ClamXAV. Personally I would avoid most commercial anti-virus software because of their potential for causing problems.


    I would also recommend downloading the shareware utility TinkerTool System that you can use for periodic maintenance such as removing old logfiles and archives, clearing caches, etc.  Other utilities are also available such as Onyx, Leopard Cache Cleaner, CockTail, and Xupport, for example.


    For emergency repairs install the freeware utility Applejack.  If you cannot start up in OS X, you may be able to start in single-user mode from which you can run Applejack to do a whole set of repair and maintenance routines from the commandline.  Note that AppleJack 1.5 is required for Leopard. AppleJack 1.6 is compatible with Snow Leopard.


    When you install any new system software or updates be sure to repair the hard drive and permissions beforehand. I also recommend booting into safe mode before doing system software updates.


    Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):



    Carbon Copy Cloner

    Data Backup

    Deja Vu



    Silver Keeper



    Super Flexible File Synchronizer


    Synchronize Pro! X


    Synk Pro

    Synk Standard



    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQs on maintenance, optimization, virus protection, and backup and restore.


    Additional suggestions will be found in Mac Maintenance Quick Assist.


    Referenced software can be found at CNet Downloads or MacUpdate.

    Last: Update to Office 2011.

  • ds store Level 7 (30,325 points)

    You'll find LibreOffice has all you need, cross platform, reads Office files and costs you NOTHING!



  • Stuwawah Level 2 (375 points)

    Ok thanks

  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)

    True, but because it is not fully compatible with Office 2011 one may find it's unsuitable for college courses. It's spreadsheet, for example, is not fully compatible with Excel in many possibly important ways.


    Since Microsoft products are usually site licensed at most universities the cost to students may also be NOTHING or relatively cheap. My former university made a documentation free DVD available for $10.00.


    Office is the standard for colleges and universities. Its academic pricing and availability to students mandates its use over outdated copycats like LibreOffice and its ilk. They may be suitable for the nerd on a budget, but not for students. I think after my 30 years in academia I should know.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,640 points)

    MS Office is by far better than the iWork suite. Furthermore, as a college student you will find that Word, Excel, and Powerpoint are the standard.


    That first sentence is a bit too absolute.  For my needs, Pages is BY FAR better than MS Office.  However, you are correct that MS Office will likely be the standard at any university.