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You can easily import Microsoft Office files to work on them, then export them again in Microsoft Office formats to pass them around. In some ways, Google Docs is more powerful than Microsoft Word. Collaborating with multiple users simultaneously in a document is a pure joy.


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The entire suite is free and you get 15GB of storage included. Accompanying apps for iPhone and iPad are great too. LibreOffice is widely recognized as the best open source alternative to Microsoft Office suite. To make the deal even sweeter, LibreOffice recently added an online component. LibreOffice also does a good job in regards to formatting when importing Microsoft Office documents. Even complex Excel spreadsheets imported into LibreOffice Calc work like they should.

LibreOffice actually grew out of OpenOffice, which used to be the de facto alternative to Microsoft Office. So we advise you to stay away from OpenOffice. Download : LibreOffice Free. Pages, for instance, is the best Word alternative for Mac. As these are Mac-centric apps, the UI is quite different. Instead of being top-heavy, the options show up in a contextual menu on the side.

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Since all three apps are now matured, all the basics are covered. The iWork Suite lets you import and export documents in Microsoft Office formats it will save to the default iWork format, though. Download : Pages Numbers Keynote Free. When nothing else will do, just open Office. It essentially gives you access to free Office for Mac. While the feature set is limited, the basics of document editing, spreadsheet formulas, and presentation options are all covered.

Using this option opens your document in Office Online. If you want to stand out with your presentations, try some more modern online presentation tools :. If you want more of that for creating and editing plain text documents, you should try using Markdown. Markdown is a syntax What Is Markdown? Then Markdown is the answer for you no matter who you are.

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All the formatting happens using shortcodes. So for example, to make a word italic, you wrap it with asterisks. You can create a complex formatted document without ever lifting your fingers from the keyboard. Buying the latest version of Microsoft Office will cost you a few hundred dollars or a subscription for Office Most of the time, the options listed above will suffice for you.

Google Docs works as a great alternative to Word, and the same goes for Sheets and Excel. But there might be times where you have to use Office for a particular task or for a limited period of time. You can download the latest version for Intel Mac here. OpenOffice for Mac includes the key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program with a user interface and feature set similar to other office suites. It may not be quite as polished as Microsoft Office but considering you get all this for nothing, you really can't complain.

The six components OpenOffice for Mac comes with are Write, Calc spreadsheets , Impress presentations , Draw, Base database management and Formula mathematical application. Java can make it unresponsive sometimes There are some drawbacks to OpenOffice for Mac of course. Occasionally, you will experience formatting or printing issues when using documents that have been made in Microsoft Office.

However, the main one is that since it is largely based on Java, it can be rather slow and unresponsive particularly when opening new files. This has certainly been improved in the latest releases but its still a sluggish old thing compared to Microsoft Office. The numerous settings and buttons that come with it can also be a little overwhelming too and it would be nice to see it made a little simpler and streamlined in future releases.

A great free solution to MS Office. As you type in the Formula bar, Excel will autofill values that may match. Excel has expanded and can now handle a total of The Elements Gallery offers Ledger Sheets, templates for commonly used tasks such as juggling a household budget or managing company payroll. We find these handy for getting started with a project. However, we prefer the elegant layouts, outside-the-grid setup, and print preview tools within Apple's Numbers for light users of spreadsheets. Probably the worst thing about Excel overall is its lack of support for Visual Basic.

While power spreadsheet users will find Excel richer than other programs, those who rely upon macros are sure to be disappointed and may be better off keeping Excel or even switching to Excel for Windows. PowerPoint Microsoft continues to tout its Smart Art graphics, which can turn a bulleted list into nearly any kind of diagram or flowchart with a few quick clicks.

However, as with Office for Windows, we find Smart Art initially a bit less intuitive than advertised. The Toolbox's new Object Palette keeps formatting options in one place. You can resize elements with a zoom slider in a snap, just as Dynamic Guide lines help to align text boxes and pictures. PowerPoint stands out from Apple's Keynote and other competitors in key areas, such as control over audio narration. And there are more layout and slide transition themes. While making a public presentation, a detailed digital clock is meant to help keep you on track.

A Thumbnail View like the one in Office may help to keep from losing your place. You can flip through slides on location using an Apple Remote. Entourage Although Mac users can rely upon the free Mail, Entourage offers more features fit for business. The upgrade offers more practical functions than its counterpart, such as an Out of Office assistant that lets you craft vacation messages specific to the recipient.

Filters for junk mail and phishing are beefed up.

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There are To Do lists, accessible in the My Day widget along with appointments and the color-coded calendar. You can accept or reject a meeting directly within a calendar event. Meetings can be forwarded directly to others, and conflicting and adjacent appointments are better managed. The workspace is more customizable overall, thanks to toolbar tweaks and the Favorites menu.

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My Day is a helpful snapshot of upcoming To Do items and appointments, although its bluish appearance can't be customized. We just wish that it showed an entire day's events instead of hiding the morning's appointments in the afternoon and displaying overdue appointments in a separate pop-up window. Setting up Entourage for a Gmail account took no time. However, after claiming to have succeeded at setting up our Hotmail account, Microsoft failed to explain why it couldn't do that after all.

Messenger for Mac Microsoft also throws in this free instant-messaging application, which enables users of its IM tool and Yahoo Messenger to contact each other. Messenger for Mac enables users to check spelling, pick from among many emoticons, and see what others are listening to on iTunes.

Service and support Microsoft offers searchable inline and online help menus, which answered most of our questions, as well as Web-based community forums. Video support is not yet available. Conclusion Overall, we found ourselves wondering why someone would splurge for Office for Mac Sure, it's a step up from the version, and the only one that runs natively on Intel-based Macs. But other companies serve up software that's compatible with Office documents and costs half as much, if not less--or nothing at all.

Office for Mac also skips some niceties that give its Windows counterpart an advantage over rival software, such as the interface slider bar for zooming in on a document. The document element templates may be attractive and helpful, but the selection feels skimpy next to Office for Windows, and Smart Art isn't as intuitive to use as advertised.

It's too bad that the easy-to-find metadata inspector and other touted security features for saving work in Office are absent. Plus, we'd like to see more integration among the applications. For example, in Office for Windows, a chart pasted from Excel into Word will change when you manipulate its underlying data set in Excel. Nevertheless, people who rely heavily upon productivity software for such tasks as bulk mailings or crunching scientific calculations in spreadsheets may prefer Microsoft's package over others.


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Although we like Apple's attractive, introductory Numbers spreadsheet application, for instance, Excel for Mac is more robust, handling a million rows of data. At the same time, Excel 's lack of Visual Basic support is a serious flaw that shafts power users. Still, Entourage's update may motivate more businesses to use Office on a Mac.

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Word also offers richer features than Apple Pages, such as mail merge form letters that can accept data from sources other than the Mac Address Book. There's better support for long documents as well. File compatibility is another reason to skip, say, iWork or ThinkFree Office , which can read Office's new files but can't fully edit dynamic charts and Smart Art graphics.

If you and fellow project collaborators plan to alter all elements of documents saved in Microsoft's newest formats, you'll have to spring for Office for Mac Only really creates Word documents, and when copying and pasting into other formats your mileage may vary.

1. Google Suite

It's a terrible HTML editor. Even with some flaws, this software still seems to do the job on my work computer. I've never needed an update, and probably won't get one until they give me a computer this software won't run on.