MS Office vs Apple iWork

Battle of productivity: MS Office vs Apple iWork

Wambui Mugo
Wambui Mugo

What works better - Microsoft Office or iWork?

The perfect answer is whichever best meets your specific needs. They are both polished products that have seen immense improvements over the years.

Word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets are the most common files used both at home and at work. Well, Microsoft office is an old-timer when it comes to spreadsheets, word processing, and presentation. Bill Gates announced the package (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) in 1988 dominating the world of operating systems and software.

Not to be left behind, Steve Jobs not only introduced new hardware but software as well. Apple iWork came into the tech space in 2005. All Apple computers don’t come installed with Office but iWork package that has Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.

Enough of the history and let’s dive in and compare the two in terms of functionality to help you make a confident decision.

Overall comparison

  1. Microsoft Office has more image formatting options than Apple iWork.
  2. Office suite file formats are more popular than iWork files.
  3. MS Office has more special effects for shapes and fonts than iWork.
  4. MS Office is very easy to use compared to Apple iWork.
  5. To access all Office features you need to subscribe to Office 365 but iWork is free to all IOS owners.
  6. Apple iWork has an in-built add charts option while you need MS Excel to do the same with Office.
  7. Any application that supports the iWork format can open documents with its ‘Open-In’ feature.

In general, use iWork if you create a lot of charts but, if you need bolder documents and presentations then use Office. On the other hand, iWork being free for IOS devices makes it a more attractive package for mac users. However, if you have a PC then Office offers more flexibility to you regardless of the subscription.

Operating system compatibility

Your operating system is one of the key factors to consider before choosing either MS Office or Apple iWork.

iWork is only compatible with Apple devices i.e. iPad, iPhone, and Mac. You can only use it on Windows OS through iCloud.

MS Office is compatible with both IOS and Windows OS. You can download it from the App Store for Mac users.

Office Packages vs iWork Packages

Microsoft Word Vs. iWork Pages

They are both similar in that they cover all basic word processing functions. From text formatting to images, custom headers and footers, numbered and bulleted lists, footnotes, and pictures.

However, Pages stands out when it comes to document design, especially flyers, leaflets, and posters that are easily formatted. Also, adding charts to documents a function missing on MS Word.

Nonetheless, when it comes to writing tools like spell checking and word count, Word is a winner. It offers a broader formatting option with the ability to add special effects to texts e.g. 3D or shadows. You also have a wider imagery effects to apply.

MS Excel Vs iWork Numbers

Microsoft’s attention to detail makes it the winner here. While Excel it might not have the aesthetics of Numbers, it is relatively easy to use especially with a large amount of raw data. They can both do everyday budgeting and planning calculations efficiently. However, for serious academics and professionals, Excel offers a broader range of mathematical functions than numbers.

Additionally, shortcuts, formulas, and AutoSum functions aren’t easy to find on Numbers and you are required to first experiment with the platform before working on it. However, Microsoft fumbled a bit on the copy and paste function giving Numbers an opportunity to shine. But you will find many ‘how-to’ tutorials on Excel than Numbers making it an easier pick for learners.

Not forgetting the Excel mobile version that has feature by feature of everything you can access on your PC.

MS PowerPoint Vs iWork Keynote

Overall PowerPoint is a win at creating a solid presentation while Keynote is a win at presenting it.

PowerPoint is more functional than it is beautiful. When it comes to font, texts, shapes, and picture modification PowerPoint has a packed library of it. Its level of control can make it a little bit complex if you haven’t mastered how to use it. Also, be careful not to go overboard with the available transitions.

When it comes to design, Apple Keynote nailed it! You can easily come up with a stylish and sleek presentation without creating a background design yourself. From their in-built theme layouts to animations, and easily interchangeable fonts, you are good to go.

In Conclusion

Apple iWork can hold its own when compared to Microsoft Office. In terms of ease of use, Office gets an edge but iWork still gets a thumbs up for having the charts feature in both the word processor and presentation applications.

The interoperability of Office in both Windows OS and IOS gives it an added advantage but the subscription fee makes the IOS users stick to iWork. Besides, the Apple iWork suite works well in the IOS environment while Microsoft Office does the same in the Windows OS environment.

Let us know which one you work with and why?