Office productivity on mac vs windows

macOS and Mac Apps

Hi all,
I'm looking for some advice on using mac os in a home office.
I have used windows for many years, and have only in the last year or so started to use a mac laptop. I would consider myself a power user on windows, whereas I am intermediate at best on mac - realistically, more like beginner.I haven't used the mac os very much at all in that time, mostly bootcamping my macbook air with windows 10.
I have used OSX just long enough to know there a couple things I really like about it, and a couple things that might just be deal breakers.
I am setting up a home office, and will be doing a significant amount of work from home, and I am considering mac os for my work needs. I have used pages and numbers a bit, but haven't been impressed. I've also downloaded ms office and have been even less impressed with word and excel. My spreadsheet needs will be fairly light, but I would need to at least make small sheets with basic formulas.
I have done all this and more with jaws, but would really like to consolidate my computing on the mac platform if possible. I love the simplicity of having all my stuff immediately on my phone and IPad.
Any advice is really appreciated, especialy from anyone who has extensive experience on mac and windows. Should I just bite the bullet and stay with windows 10? It's got a lot going for it, especially with narrator support getting better to resolve jaws and NVDA crashes.



Submitted by Larry Thacker Jr. on Friday, September 8, 2017

In March of last year, I switched over to Mac for my home PC. I work voluntarily for some non-profit organizations. This requires that I use office applications, but not to the extent that I would if I had to do all of my work on the Mac. I love the Mac. I even find myself trying to use Voiceover commands on the Windows machine I have for work because they just come naturally to me even though most of my day is spent in Windows. Having said all of that, I am not sure I could transition to Mac for all of my office needs. It is doable I think. It may even be that with more exposure to Pages I would find it a fine replacement for Word, but I have stayed with the familiar, working with files I know everyone can use and not being concerned that converting to and from Pages might introduce errors. However, Word on the Mac has some quirks. The most annoying and actually not limited to Word is the tendancy to jump away from the part of the document you are working on if you switch away or even sometimes when using other functions in the program. I have to remember to keep cursor tracking turned off while editing word files and then remember that I need to turn it on for other functions to work as I expect. I tried setting this up to be automatic but it caused my computer to hang. Voiceover doesn't handle complex documents that well, and only reads with the cursor keys if you keep the view in print layout. Excel is a bigger problem. Maybe I just don't know how to work with it, but I finally gave up. Thankfully, Numbers works fine for the level of spreadsheet editing I need and I've not yet had any trouble exporting to Excel format when necessary. Bottom line, if I had to spend 8 hours a day working in office apps, sadly I must report that I might have to go back to Windows. However, I am not the long-time user you are seeking, so the best I can say is that you may not find the transition an easy one, but I'll concede that there may be methods for an accomplished Mac user to function well in office applications. One final note though, I never see good answers to the spreadsheet woes people have brought up since I've been paying attention.

Submitted by Unregistered User (not verified) on Friday, September 8, 2017

Thanks for your response. your experiences are pretty much exactly like mine. I've found voiceover to be jumpy when dealing with long or complex documents, as well as losing focus when command tabbing around to different apps.I have also not found any conclusive answers to the spreadsheet difficulties. I can bairly get excel to work with even simple sheets. I haven't spent much time at all in numbers, so I can only say it seems slightly better than excel, but still problematic.Sadly, I have to say that a computer that can't gracefully handle document editing tasks isn't much good to me. I love that it can send text messages through my phone, and I love handoff, " but these features are not enough to keep me on a platform that won't allow me to create a professional looking document in a reasonable amount of time.Any further advice would be helpful and I'm stibll open to suggestions about how to incorporate mac os into my work space.

Submitted by Kent on Friday, September 8, 2017

I have saved most of my documents in the Rich Text Format and they work well in both Text Edit , Pages, and Word. I save the documents in ICloud and can access them from any device. The big kicker for me in a spreadsheet in navigation. For instance, there is no "Go To" key in Numbers like there is in Excel.I can press Control G, enter a cell and press enter which moves me directly to that cell.I don't know of a way to do that in numbers.also find it much easier to change/edit formulas. I use Windows with Excel and both Word/Text Edit/Pages on the Mac.

Submitted by Tree on Friday, September 8, 2017

I was a mac power user for six years. It was the first OS I became proficient with as a blind person. I exclusively used a mac during college and during two different internships. My years of experience with the mac were characterized by bending over backwards and bashing my brains out to get the mac and voiceOver to do things that windows and NVDA do with ease. Last year I finally made the jump and learned windows. Within one month of learning the OS, I was able to do most things more efficiently then I was ever able to do on the mac, even with my crazy custom key remapping, Automator macros, and dozens of different pdf apps.

I would strongly recommend windows for pretty much any blind person. I thought I would have a hard time making windows work well with my phone after living entirely in Apple’s eco system for six years, but honestly, it has been super easy. A lot of things, like google calendars, are platform agnostic, so there is no issue at all using them with windows and IOs. As far as texting, at least with Verizon, there is an official Verizon web page I use where you can easily send and receive texts right on your desktop; you will even get a nice sound every time a new message comes in. I will say though, I message is stupid, so you will need to turn it off to use this site, that’s apple’s fault. My podcasts sink from windows ITunes to my iOS podcast app, so there are no issues there. I use Spotify and YouTube for most of my music, which work better on windows then on the mac, and obviously sink with iOS. You can even use the Cortana iOS app to sink and manage reminders across your desktop and iOS devices.

For me, at least, windows works better in every single way, when compared to the mac, and I’m not looking back.

Submitted by Kent on Saturday, September 9, 2017

I prefer my phone for banking, investments, podcasts, audiobooks, Google search, etc. I prefer windows for all Microsoft office products. my Mac mini gets very lonely.