Thinking about dumping Office

My office suite needs have become significantly less demanding in recent years. As a long time MS Office user (primarily Windows) momentum kept me using it. My subscription comes up for renewal in early spring and I’m thinking about dropping it. I never do back and forth spreadsheets with others so strict compatibility shouldn’t be an issue. Went through a bunch of my existing spreadsheets and only found two that had significant issues, one with a pivot table and one with some funky formulas. I don’t use either of them anymore and only keep for historical purposes.

The crux of this long tale is my plan to switch to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Has anybody else done this? Any problems with the transition? I get free Lynda classes through my library and used them to get up to speed.

I don’t care much for Pages & Numbers, instead I’m getting ready to switch to LibreOffice.


I have transitioned mostly over to iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote). The experience has been mostly very good.

If it wasn’t for the ‘available offline’ issue, I would use iWork 100%. I would miss a few of my pivot tables, but Numbers can fill much of that need with it’s Categories option

Thinking about it, I seem to have settled on Google Docs, Excel and Keynote: one from each of the major office suite, arguably the best of each.

Microsoft Office is definitely the standard business office suite. And it’s been my experience that 90% of the users I’ve supported didn’t need it.

For a “normal” office worker the LibraOffice/OpenOffice spreadsheet is an excellent product. My O365 users and my LO/OO users routinely exchanged files and linked their spreadsheets to each other - if they weren’t password protected. If you know Excel, you will have no problem with LibraOffice. Word documents with extensive formatting didn’t always translate perfectly.

Now that I’m retired, I use Google Sheets and Docs, and Keynote. No solution is one size fits all. Try them all and see what works for you.

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I ditched Office years ago and use the iWork suite which is free.

For 99.9% of people they don’t need the power of office. The only issue is if your regularly need to send or edit documents to someone using Word or Excel. This has got better over the years, and the fault really is Microsoft because they try and make it complicated wanting to lock people in.

I just export to Word if needed using docx.

This is part of my mission to remove as many subscriptions as I can from my life.

I changed to iWorks 6 or 7 years ago. Using keynote instead of powerpoint was so liberating and creative. Powerpoint has was the most ugly of the three at the time. Also, everyone who uses ppt is so recognizable; all dang presentations look alike and lifeless! For the most part using pages is also a better experience as compared to Word. But it has some annoyances such as how it (not easily) numbers headers and such. Numbers is really Apples black sheep - though capable and has a better UI than excel overall, some UI choices are downright stoopid and un applesk (formula entry box i am looking at you!). Expect serious slowness for large sheets. Instead i often use google sheets or some python/pandas combo when too many embedded functions and formuleas would just make number-spagetti.

But using MS office again, nope, no more of that bloat for me.

Yes it was bloated wasn’t it. I remember some weird extra updater program that kept on appearing.

We are definitely better of without it

Yes, that was bad. :blush:

I am using MS Office via Apple’s App Store and it finally fits in and does not bother me with weird updater software.

Regarding dumping MS Office: I am using MS Office on Windows at work and I would consider myself a power user, especially with Excel. When I am at home and using my Mac, I still want to use MS Office. And to be honest, I do even prefer using Outlook over Apple Mail. Why? Compatibility and dealing with Windows users. Yes, I know. I know. I know! :laughing: But still…

If you are a light office user, I would recommend LibreOffice.

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I used to use Office a lot and still use Excel and Word when other people send me documents.

For my personal things I switched to Numbers and Pages mostly, with little need for presentation software. They are simple, powerful enough, work smoothly on Apple platforms and are responsive.

For school I use Sheets, Slides and occasionally Docs. Slides is ok, Pages is ok, Sheets is crazy powerful for me with its database-like formulae and scripting. They are not so responsive though and a pain on iOS.

So, plenty of options and depends on your priorities.

I’ve taken to each one smoothly, but with spreadsheet apps being my favourite apps, that may not be surprising.

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Think it depends on your needs. I’m fully Pages/Numbers/Keybote and occasionally use LibreOffice if I need to get something out as is. This works well for me.

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I am stuck with Excel and Windows. :frowning:

On the plus side Excel is way better on Windows than Mac

Again that depends on your needs. For me number is way better, since it seems to fit my way of thinking better than Excel ever has.

I was just meaning that if one is using Excel then the experience in Windows is better than the experience in macOS.

I don’t think Excel ever got optimised for working on macOS. But that does not rule it out as a viable option.

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Very often when I show clients what they can do with Textedit they realize they don’t need MS Word :+1:

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That’s why I need Windows+Excel. At work, I can use my Mac for a lot of stuff, but I often travel with two laptops.

Which is an odd bit of history, since:

The first version of Excel was released in 1985 for Mac.

I’ve thought this over for a long time, but my attempt to move away from Office definitely failed! I tried over a period of around three years to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

The main reason it failed was that I found it a nightmare to present using my laptop (and Keynote) because most places expect you to just provide a ppt. The export worked but it messed up all my transitions and effects and I ended up fed up because so many places provide poor support for external laptops. In around half the times I had to present, I couldn’t get HDMI or VGA working so I had to resort to exporting it.

Numbers was not on par with Excel, and missed so many features. I am a researcher and I use spreadsheet applications for analysis, not just making pretty PDFs. The Addons of Excel were the things I missed most, especially the forecasting tools. My impression is that Numbers is just a presentation tool, and the analysis features are extremely limited.

Finally, Pages ended up being the best of the three but I did need to work with others and the Word export didn’t function well. However, I much prefer Ulysses so hardly ever used it.

So, after almost three years trying, I eventually moved back to Office. I did keep the Apple designs from Keynote for my presentations and invoice template from Numbers as I liked how they looked.

EDIT: Sorry @JohnAtl, I didn’t mean to reply to your comment, this was meant as a general reply to the topic.


Too bad there isn’t TextEdit for iOS.