Customer Review

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor compatibility with office documents - don't buy unless you work in a mac-dominanted environment, 2 May 2011
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This review is from: iWork '09 Retail (DVD-ROM)
After making the switch from windows to mac 5 months ago and buying iwork, I have finally needed to uninstall it and get the office for mac package. I'm an independent consultant and need to exchange word and powerpoint documents with clients and colleagues backwards and forwards, and there are lots of compatibility problems. You can save pages and keynote documents as word or powerpoint, but still many tables, graphics, etc are changed, not recognised or corrupted.
Also if you save documents as the office version instead of the mac version, it is not recognised in the "open recent" menu. So when you open , say, pages and you want to come back to the last document you worked on, unless you remember exactly the name and where you saved it, it is not easy to find it because it doesn't show it in "recent documents". Also once you have saved it as .doc or .ppt and you want to save it again, the default saving location and the default name are not the ones you used when you saved it as word or powerpoint, but the location and name of the last .pages or .key document you last worked on, even if it was a completely different document. I can't tell you the amount of time I spent just searching for documents because they ended up in the wrong folder. To avoid this, the only option is to keep 2 versions of each document, one in mac version and one in office version, and then making sure they both have the same content. Far too much hassle for me.
It may be that iwork programmes are better products stand alone in terms of design than office. However if you're a seasoned office user, it is actually quite tricky to unlearn and then learn again how everything works in iwork. Simple things like formatting an object or changing bullets to me seem more complicated in iwork than in their office counterparts, because you have to open the "inspector' menu rather than clicking on the icon in the windows ribbon. I can't really see much improvement from word and excel to pages and numbers. Keynote seems to have more multimedia functionality and a very good design, but during the last 5 months it has been tricky enough to learn how to do the things I was able to do in powerpoint, so i never actually got round to the more "wow' functions of keynote. If it had been fully compatible, I would have persevered but for me there isn't much point in creating great graphics in keynote if my clients are going to see them distorted or corrupted. I can see iwork being a good choice if you can create standalone documents and exchange them in pdf format, or if everybody in your sector uses mac. If your clients are in a windows-dominanted environment, for me the discussion of which product is better designed is futile. If you're in the same situation, be warned. I bought iwork on the back of the very good reviews but I wish somebody would have told me about the compatibility problems.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 May 2012 12:01:32 BDT
M. Newnham says:
Thanks very much for this review - I'm in the same situation as you re having just switched to mac, and having clients who are mainly Office users. I've been very tempted to switch to iWork, but now I'll be heeding your warning. Thanks again.
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