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iWork vs. Office For Mac, Which One Works Better?

Feb 28, 2018 3:41:00 PM / by BaseQi

office for mac

Can’t decide whether to buy a Windows-based laptop or a MacBook? You’re not alone, as millions of users around the world encounter the same problem when deciding to buy a new computer.

So, what makes people consider Mac OS over Windows or vice versa? There are plenty of reasons, but in this article, we will be discussing only one: the differences between these operating systems’ (OS) office software suites as well as how each one functions.

Apple iWork vs. Microsoft Office

Apple’s office suite of applications is called iWork, and it has Pages, a word processing app, Keynote, used for presentations, and Numbers, which is a spreadsheet app. The equivalents of these programs on Microsoft are Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, respectively.

If you want to work with visuals that stand out, choose iWork. Its Keynote app is better than PowerPoint in giving users the tools to create unique and beautiful presentations. Feel free to take a look at our Keynote vs. Powerpoint analysis.

Even Pages, iWork’s word-processing app, allows you make your document not look so conventional. The app has all the standard text-editing options, but it also offers more variety in terms of layout editing.

Numbers, though, is iWork’s weakest link. It’s tricky to use and is not as user-friendly as other spreadsheet apps out there. If you plan on getting iWork for its Numbers app, you need to invest additional time to get used to it.

Meanwhile, if what you’re after is simplicity and accessibility, Office is for you. Although Keynote gets points for its visuals, PowerPoint also has its strong points because it is not overly complicated and allows users to create presentations without too much fluff.

Word is similar to Pages in many ways, but Word is a much more straightforward word processor. You should opt for it if you just want to edit documents and are not looking for anything else.

When it comes to spreadsheets, Excel is superior to Numbers mainly due to the fact that it’s far easier to use than its iWork counterpart. Excel makes doing complex calculations such a breeze, so if your job involves a lot of them, Excel is your go-to software.

Switching Office Suites.

What if you didn’t want to switch your entire OS and just prefer using a different office suite? The good news is that it’s possible.

  • iWork for Windows

While you can’t actually install iWork on your Windows-based PC, you can use it on your browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) via iWork for iCloud. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Go to the iCloud website and register to iCloud.

  2. Click on “Create yours now.” to set up your account.

  3. Start using iWork for iCloud by logging on to icloud.com/iwork.


If you are not familiar with iCloud, click here and learn how to access files on icloud and transfer them to your MacBook.

  • Office for Mac OS

Unlike iWork, the entire Microsoft Office Suite can be installed on Mac devices via the products page on Microsoft’s website. The download costs a one-time payment of $119.99. You can also opt for the payment plan, which costs $59.99 per year or $5.99 per year.

With both options, you get all the major apps in the Suite such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. However, there is a difference between the two. The plan includes other apps such as OneNote, OneDrive and Skype, while the one-time payment does not.

Don’t want to pay for it yet? You can try Microsoft’s free 30-day trial.


Your choice of which office suite to work with mainly depends on two things:

  1. What you want to get out of your office suite.

  2. What app or apps within the suite will you use the most.

For the first consideration, choose iWork if you want great visuals and unique aesthetics. Not only do the apps within this office suite allow for exquisite layouts and editing options, but the interface of each app looks clean and beautiful as well.

On the other hand, choose Office if you just want to do hassle-free work. All the programs in this suite have easy controls and options and a very straightforward approach to their specific functions.

Regarding the second consideration, iWork is best if you plan on making presentations on a regular basis. From the world itself, presentations are about presenting, and Keynote does a far better job with that than PowerPoint. With Keynote, you’ll be able to create visually stunning, clean-looking, and highly engaging presentations that almost look like works of art.

However, if you plan on drawing up documents and crunching numbers, Microsoft Office is your best bet because Word and Excel work excellently on their specific functions. They might not be the prettiest-looking apps out their, but they do enable you to work with absolutely no fuss. This is why Word and Excel is better for students.

Word is also your only option if you have to write Chinese text. Chinese literature such as poems are written vertically, and Word is capable of doing this. iWork does not have a feature for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text inputs.

For more helpful tips on how to use your MacBook, feel free to check out our blog.


Hi, we are team Baseqi, thank you for reading our blog. We are a technology startup founded by a team of passionate designers and Apple fanatics. Our goal is to design unique and high-quality accessories at cutting edge prices for all Apple lovers.


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Written by BaseQi

Our company officially started in 2013. Since then, we have fans purchasing our products from all over the world. Our mission is to invent stylish accessories and gadgets for fans around the world.

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