What Are the Mac Office Software Choices?

When you “switch” from Windows to Mac system, one of the first questions people get is “What Windows Office applications should I use to change it?” Of course, these “Office” applications are Word (for writing documents), Excel (for spreadsheets), and PowerPoint (for creating presentations).

Apple iWork

When you switch to Mac you have numerous choices. They are great. First, you can buy Apple’s “Office” suite. Named work. This includes a page name application that replaces Word. An app called Numbers, which replaces Excel. And Kenneth, a really great alternative to PowerPoint. At less than 100$, it’s a really good choice, and they have free trials too, so you can see if you like it before you buy.

Microsoft Office for Mac OS X.

The second option is to go ahead and buy Microsoft Office for Mac. This bundle includes Mac versions of Microsoft Office applications. But at about 500$, it’s a very expensive way to go.

Virtualization software

A third way to go is to run “virtualization” software on your Mac system. In short, you install an application called Parallel, and it creates a “virtual machine” on your Mac, and then you install Microsoft Windows and all your Windows software in a virtual environment.

Think of it as a holocaust on Star Trek. When people are in the Holocaust, they have no idea they are not in the real world. When it runs inside this virtual machine, it has no idea that it is not running on a “real” PC. It’s also cooling to see Windows running inside a Mac window. All other Windows Mac applications are running. Also, this option costs a lot less than buying a copy of Microsoft Office for Mac.

Open office

Another great option is a piece of free software called Office. Until recently, the open office was not very polished. I was reluctant to recommend it. But with recent changes, it works like a good, native Mac application. It has all the functionality of Microsoft Office. Given the “free” price, this can be a great option for people on a tight budget.

Other free Mac software

As a final note, although comparing a Mac computer system to a Windows computer system can be much more expensive, it is important to note that a new Mac system comes with a lot of free software applications of all kinds.

Mac DVD Player also lets you play DVDs on your computer system. The price you have to pay with many Windows systems. And time machine software really helps simplify the process of backing up your computer data.

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