So the built in textedit.app isn’t good enough for you eh? If you need to write some basic text its good enough but when you need more features or want to keep track of your finances in a spreadsheet, using some kind of office suite is useful.
Here are some office for mac alternatives you could take a look at.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
Where I work we have a mixed environment with mostly Windows clients. If you want the best compatibility with your Microsoft colleagues I recommend that you opt for the well known Microsoft Office. I use the Mac version myself at work and it generally works okay. Then again, my employer pays the license. Some of the alternatives listed further below on this page also at some degree works with Microsoft docs depending on how complicated the documents you have are. Get your own at Amazon: Office Mac Home and Student 2011 – 1PC/1User [Download]
Apple had their own suite as well and it was called iWork. I am using it myself for our budget spreadsheet at home. It looks nice and is easy to use. Apple also provide a lot of templates you can use as a starting point.
You don’t have to buy the whole suite (and it doesn’t really exist anymore). Numbers (Spreasheet), Pages (Writing) and Keynote (Powerpoint alternative) can be bought seperatly through the App Store. I only use Numbers because I don’t need the other ones. Thus saving money.
Apples “suite” works with files from Microsoft office and if it encounters any compatibility problems with the files you use it will tell you what the problem is so you can fix it.
The Free Alternatives
While Microsoft makes the most known and used software for office tasks you don’t have to go that route if you don’t want to. Saving money is important and you can do that by using some of the good open source alternatives out there.
OpenOffice is a well known and constantly in development office suite. It is entirely developed by volunteers with a huge amount of talent and knowledge. It is developed over 20 years so its an reliable package. You get 5 different type of tools:
- Writer (word processor)
- Calc (spreadsheets)
- Draw (Image application)
- Math (Mathematical equations)
Living on a budget is hard but OpenOffice makes it easier. Download it here.
Google docs also have all the basic office tools you need like spreadsheets, writing, presentations, drawing and e-mail (gmail of course). Storing all your documents using the Google Drive. It integrates well with other tools from Google.
Uploading Microsoft documents and editing those is usually no problem.
You can also check out these. NeoOffice is quite nice and it supports retina displays if you have one of those computers.
Paid software is getting some serious competition from the open source alternatives. In one end you have Microsoft and in the other the biggest one is Apache OpenOffice.
You can always try it out and see what you like but this page lists the most popular choices out there and it is ultimately up to you what you want to use.