For some time, iWork has been considered the least valuable option for Microsoft Office. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint compile the standard productivity suite that everyone is expected to use.
For someone who’s used Office for a long time, they may not be willing to move away from the convenient options that help them do so many things. However, it’s time to give iWork a chance. Don’t you see that?
Apple’s iWork suite is often overlooked in favor of Microsoft Office. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the office industry standards; They are the apps that everyone expects to use. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft Office is better than iWork.
In fact, Apple’s productivity suite offers some huge benefits over what Office has. It is free and easy to use and its files can be synced via iCloud. Whether you’re an Office expert or a complete newcomer, iWork definitely deserves your attention.
Let’s take a look at why we need to consider the confrontation between iWork and Office.
1. iWork is free
This might not matter if you use Office for free through your university or workplace, but for freelancers, hobbyists, and anyone else who uses these types of apps on a regular basis, the price can make a big difference.
Microsoft offers its apps for free, but they often have limitations. For example, if you download Microsoft Word on your Mac, you cannot edit or create new documents, you can only read existing documents. To unlock everything, you need to get an active Microsoft 365 subscription, which starts at $70 per year!
Of course, a Microsoft 365 subscription also unlocks access to other apps like Outlook, Publisher, and Access. But most people don’t need these specialized apps anyway.
In contrast, the iWork suite is completely free and unrestricted on any Apple device. There are no restrictions, and Apple even offers the ability to download iWork apps for free to owners of older Apple products.
2. iWork has a cleaner interface
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are very powerful tools, and their interfaces are full of options and menus. This is good if you are a power user since you have quick access to all the many settings you might want to use.
But most of us don’t need all of these options.
Managing references, text items, and math equations are not a common concern for the average tech user of the Office suite. All of these extra features lead to a cluttered and distracting user interface.
Apple iWork gets rid of a lot of clutter in favor of a cleaner look than Microsoft Office. Eliminating all these distractions creates a peaceful environment for productivity and makes the iWork suite as easy to use as anything else on a Mac.
At the top of the Pages window, for example, are buttons Insert , Table , Planned , text , appearance , modes , AndSuspension. That’s basically all you need for word processing. Numbers and Keynote apps are built on the same principle.
Looking at the side-by-side comparisons of Apple iWork with Microsoft Office, it’s astounding how big the difference is. iWork is cleaner and more pleasing to look at. What’s more, many of the same settings are still available in iWork, but they remain out of sight in the format sidebar.
3. Sync iCloud and Handoff to other devices
Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud have a lot of similarities. Both allow you to sync your Office or iWork documents so that the latest versions are always available online. You can then access it using any device or across the web. But iCloud has the advantage of being deeply integrated into every Apple product, from apps to devices.
Not only can you keep all your Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files in iCloud, but you can also hand your documents from one Apple device to another. This means you can hand the document from your iPhone to your Mac, and then to your iPad without having to skip a beat. You don’t even need to click save.
This seamless integration is more difficult for Microsoft to replicate because there is no limitation on which devices it can use or attempt to transfer.
Many of us work across different devices these days, so having the ability to effortlessly switch documents between them is important. It’s just one of the reasons iWork is a much easier-to-use productivity suite than Microsoft Office.
Both options offer real-time collaboration, so you can work on a document with other people remotely. When it comes to Apple iWork compared to Microsoft Office, it’s hard to say which app comes out on top because the features are pretty much the same.
In any of the productivity suite, click the button “to shareor “cooperationFrom the user interface to send an invitation to edit the document to one of your contacts. That person can then make changes in real time to your document, which appears on your screen.
This is a valuable feature and it’s helpful to know that you won’t sacrifice it by moving to iWork. However, the person you want to work with needs to use the same app that you are. You can’t collaborate from iWork to Office, for example.
Since iWork is available for free on any Apple product, it can actually make it easier to find people to collaborate with.
iWork has plenty of other sharing features built in as well. The Share menu allows you to create iCloud links, send the document via Messages, or transfer it to another device using AirDrop. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but if you work with a lot of people who use macOS devices, you will definitely use it.
5. Compatibility with Microsoft Office
Using any applications other than Microsoft Office always comes with the concern of compatibility issues. Everyone else will likely continue to use Office, so how will your app handle files
.docx? This was my reason for not using iWork from Apple.
But not anymore.
iWork apps have come a long way in their compatibility. These days, it can open, edit, and save files in standard Office formats. By default, it still uses iWork file formats (
.numbers), but you can also save files in . formats
.pptx , as well as a few other formats like
While you’ll still experience some missing fonts or formatting discrepancies, you’re not likely to encounter any major issues. You can even use Pages to add comments to a document
.docx , which Word users can still read in Microsoft Office.
The big advantage that iWork has in this regard is that unlike Office, it also has the option to save files in iWork format. This means you can always share your files in the most convenient format for whoever you’re sending them to.
Are you going to switch?
If you haven’t used iWork before – or if you haven’t used it in a while – you should definitely apply to our premium productivity suite soon. It’s cleaner, more compatible, and easier to use across multiple devices than what Office offers. And unless you are a true power user, you will not miss out on any features.
There are a lot of hidden features in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. If you decide to make the switch from Microsoft Office, be sure to learn our top tips for using Apple iWork instead.