iWork VS Microsoft Office


DEVELOPER                              Apple Inc.                     Microsoft

YEAR OF FIRST RELEASE          2005                             1992

PREDECESSOR                        AppleWorks  Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint

LATEST VERSION                       ’09                            2010 (14.0)

OPERATING SYSTEM               Mac OS X                     Windows

COST                                       AU$130                        AU$130


.DOC, .XLS SUPPORT                   Yes                              Obviously

WINNER: iWork, because as well as support its own .pages documents, it supports Microsoft Office too. Microsoft Office does not support .pages.



GRAMMAR CHECKER            Both Pages and Word have grammar checkers, as they are the premier word processors.


CROSS-REFERENCING          Word has Cross-Referencing, but Pages doesn’t.


BIBLIOGRAPHY                        They both have bibliographies. But Pages only has these with a third-party application, EndNote X2.

WINNER: I would say that Word wins this, as it is integrated into the program, not as a third-party application.

GRAPHIC EDITING                 Both have Graphic Editing.


MAIL MERGING                      They both have mail merging.


SPELL CHECKER                     As with the Grammar Checker, it is pretty obvious that they both have Spell Checkers.


SMARTFONT                            And in a world-first, PAGES HAS SOMETHING THAT WORD DOESN’T! But, as I don’t even know specifically what SmartFont is… I                               don’t think it really matters.


MATH SUPPORT                    They both support maths.


Overall, Word won one category and so did Pages. The rest were draws. But, then again, Pages and Word are quite different. Pages has the bare minimum, and exactly what you need. Unless you use a word processor a lot, you could use Pages. Word has lots of add-ons, and most of them I never use. Even so, I still think I know who the winner is.



Numbers and Excel are both spreadsheet programs that are designed to be used in different ways. Numbers has far fewer features than Excel, although Numbers’ use of multiple tables per sheet is very good for basic tasks, like budgeting and itineraries. The problem with Excel is that it only supports one, infinitely sized table per sheet. But Excel is more suited for business, professional and academic uses, and handles the simple tasks reasonably well.

Unlike Numbers, Excel supports advanced charting. While Numbers’ charting options are limited, most would say that Numbers’ charts look much better. While charting options in Numbers are lacking, Numbers does support the same formula commands as Excel, meaning that complicated calculations are possible in Numbers.

Since there were no categories for this comparison, I cannot say the scores, since there were none. But, I know, and probably most others know, who the winner is.




First of all, theme designs make the whole look of the presentation. The theme will set the tone for the whole presentation, whether it is modern, old school, elegant or pop art. The basic theme designs offered by Keynote are just pure awesomeness, and there are 44 of them! Of course, you will never run out of themes, as there is a variety online for both PowerPoint and Keynote. Making a Keynote presentation will make you stand out, everyone else is using PowerPoint. A Keynote presentation is sure to impress everyone.


Both PowerPoint and Keynote have interesting transitions. Dissolve, wipes, stripes and 3-D are some of PowerPoints, while Keynote has Sparkle, Shimmer, Twist and Anagram. If you want a clean transition on Keynote you can use Magic Move. Nothing is more annoying than using too many effects. I won’t type more, as they are not essential to your presentation.


PowerPoint is definitely more stable and reliable. Also, more people are familiar with it. But does that mean that PowerPoint is more user-friendly than Keynote? No, it does not. If you use Keynote, it can be hard creating a PowerPoint presentation, there are too many features, and it can be easy to get lost. For a beginner, Keynote is easier to use, because it is versatile, smooth and accesible for any skill level.


When it comes to typing and graphics, Keynote is superior. It has the elegance that is just pure Apple. An extra feature of Keynote is that you can remove the background, thus making the graph or chart look like it is part of the presentation. PowerPoint is great for simple animation, but Keynote is just amazing. There is a wide range of choices when it comes to customising speed, position, size and opacity. You can build paths using straight lines and curves for animations. However, for more complicated effects you will need a separate program like Flash to simulate that.


I would like to say that PowerPoint is built for functional means, but Keynote is the more powerful application when it comes to multimedia. PowerPoint can insert photos, videos and sounds, but it is nowhere near as smooth as Keynote. PowerPoint was originally designed to support text-based presentations, so it cannot cope with a multimedia-heavy presentation. Keynote can, and spectacularly. PowerPoint needs an external application in order to support Flash.


One of the few bad things about Keynote is that it cannot be viewed on Windows, while PowerPoint can be opened on Mac. However, you can do an easy conversion from Keynote to PowerPoint, using the “export” feature. It can also be converted to a QuickTime slideshow. One of the best features of Keynote is the iPad application. This has been very popular. Using this, you can carry your presentation wherever you go. You can also use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control, so if you are presenting, you can walk around the room with your iPhone or iPad in hand, and control the slides with a touch of a button.


In conclusion, there is not really anything that PowerPoint has that Keynote does not. Keynote has 44 brilliant themes, whereas PowerPoints are boring. The transitions on Keynote are new, and very interesting, while we have seen PowerPoints all before. Obviously, most people use PowerPoint, and therefore are more familiar with it. But that doesn’t mean that it is more user friendly. Keynote is much easier to use. As all Mac applications are, Keynotes graphics are way superior to PowerPoint. PowerPoint cannot handle the multimedia side of things, but Keynote can, and extremely well. You can’t save your PowerPoint presentation in the cloud, but you can with Keynote. Overall, PowerPoint is like the bare minimum and Keynote has all the features you need, and still staying simple to use. There is an obvious winner in the program contest.



iWork has the best spreadsheet program, and the best presentation program. But, Microsoft Office has the best word processor. iWork leads 2-1, but word processors are more important. Personally, I think Pages is pretty good anyway, so I know the overall winner.



One thought on “iWork VS Microsoft Office

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