I'm confused...I'm planning to buy a MacBookPro Retina Display and would like to know if I need to buy Parallels and Office? Only iWork? Only Office?

  • Asked by Veronica M from Miraflores
  • 05 20, 13
  • Asked about:  Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac

5 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    As always the answer depends on your needs.
    For maximum compatibility, get Office (for PC) and run it under Parallels. You will also need to buy a copy of Windows.

    iWork can import from and export to Word, Excel & PowerPoint, but the conversion is not always perfect. Word docs translate well until you start getting fancy - then you'll have some reformatting to do. Excel is ok but remember that Numbers does not support a macro language like VBA. PowerPoint has translated pretty well for me. I Like iWork, and unless I need the really complex features of Office I will create my docs & spreadsheets using it. And the price is very reasonable.

    There is Office for Mac - I do not use it. All I know is that it does not support VBA. I'd go for parallels & the PC version.

    You didn't ask this but it might be relevant: if you are replacing a PC, Parallels can import everything from the PC. Windows OS, applications, and your files. I did this & did not have to buy Windows, & the copy of Office I had is working just fine. The only expense was Parallels itself.

    • Answered by Timothy O from Dover
    • 05 22, 13
  • It is the best decision you would ever make in your life...your life productivity will increase multi-fold using Apple MacBook Pro Retina. I recommend the following:
    1. Buy the max hard disk space available if you plan to download your pictures and videos from your iPhone and iPad AND old emails. I bought a 256GB hard disk and have only 16GB left. FIrst analysis is how much space you will occupy in the new MacBook and decide accordingly. You cannot upgrade later.
    2. You don't have to install Parallels at all.
    3. iWork is great, but you don't have Access. If you need Access, then I suggest you install NeoOffice. Cost is US$ 10 per year. It has everything and more than Office Professional and it will work flawlessly on Retina Display. I evaluated all the other Free Office softwares and chose NeoOffice.
    4. I have Parallels and my old Office 2003 Professional, but seldom use it. I use NeoOffice everyday, but miss the feature that iWork would offer me to upload all iWork files automatically on iCloud! I already have bought Keynote and plan to buy Pages and Numbers soon. Unfortunately Apple has stopped trial versions of iLife. I wish they would allow trial before purchase.
    5. I do miss Outlook and the ease of emails in Outlook. Mail in Apple is not great. Other than Outlook, you can give up Office.
    6. Of course you have one more choice - you can choose Office for Mac including Outlook - NO Access -, over iWork.
    I hope this helps.

    • Answered by Ruumi D
    • 05 21, 13
  • If you want totally seamless integration with sophisticated documents produced in Windows versions of Office, you might need Parallels (or other VM package), Windows and Office. However, most Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) are fine in the Mac version of Office. VBA works OK in most cases - though any ActiveX controls will be disabled and there are a few other functions missing due to the different ways of working (print preview is one, where the function in the Windows versions is missing in the Mac versions - due I think, to the fact that the print preview function is built into OSX).

    If you don't need to regularly convert (or share) files withOffice users, iWork is a good option - and a lot cheaper.

    I need to regularly exchange spreadsheets with VBA with Windows users - I do most of my work in Office 2011, switching to Excel 2010 running on Windows 7 through Parallels, to check compatibility and run the occasional macro that only runs there.

    I've also got LibreOffice running as a trial - fine for basic work (and more like earlier versions of Office than iWork) but I've not found it good enough when layout and macros are critical.

    So there's no definitive answer - if you need to check compatibility issues, as I did last year (when switching from Windows to Mac), put some files on a USB stick and go to your nearest Apple store and try them out.

    • Answered by Stephen C from Laurencekirk
    • 05 23, 13
  • Thank you all for your answers and time. All the answers have been really helpfull.

    • Answered by Veronica M from Miraflores
    • 06 15, 13
  • I have a MacBook Air and use Office 2011 for Mac to stay compatible with my PC colleagues. It works great and has the VBA programming capabilities if you need them. I also have iWork software and use it whenever I can because I like it and it is compatible with my iPad. I don't run Parallels because I haven't needed it so far.

    • Answered by Greg W from Silver Spring
    • 06 14, 13