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godsdice
7th September 2007, 09:47 PM
How does it compare..
Is iWork a real threat to microsoft office now ?

Huy
7th September 2007, 10:11 PM
I think it is just for the average home user. It does the simple tasks but if you want a "real" spreadsheet app then Excel is your answer (IMO).

By real I mean fully-featured with everything you can think of (advanced features).

Numbers is great though, for a 1.0 app. I use it all the time (much faster than Excel - PowerPC app) :)

rtc
7th September 2007, 11:18 PM
Although this may sound stupid the first time you read it, I have never used numbers but am confident it is not a threat

beer.coffee
7th September 2007, 11:25 PM
Its aimed at a different market. Just like iMovie and Final Cut Pro.


With Excel you can do spreadsheets with literally like a 1,000,000+ lines.

Numbers is more of a dumbed down, pretty way of going about using a spreadsheet. I havent tried to spruce up any Excel spreadies in the past, but from the limited time i had using Number it was very simple to present professional good looking data. Numbers even gives real <i>slow</i> users the formulas on the side.

mab
7th September 2007, 11:28 PM
Although this may sound stupid the first time you read it, I have never used numbers but am confident it is not a threat

Apple could make it a threat by supporting ODF and adding some features

OziMac
8th September 2007, 12:40 AM
So how many people here have actually used Numbers?

I made the same assumptions until I started using it. It shits on Excel very very heavily. There are bugs to be worked out, but for what I want to do (budgets, various calculations) there is no task that Excel could do (in a bloated fashion) that Numbers doesn't do better. And Pages has surprisingly moved into the realm of usable word processor, unlike the bit of fluff it was when it first was introduced.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm switched. I'll keep Office around, but given all the errors and the stupid Macro infestations I seem to keep getting, I think things can only get better
with iWork.

gaehl
8th September 2007, 01:06 AM
for me numbers is useless as it wont open my work timesheet which is the only reason I use a spreadsheet.

leon
8th September 2007, 03:17 AM
As a medical researcher, Numbers absolutely sucks for me as it does not do error bars. All apple need to do is add about 5 features and they would have an Excel killer. At the moment it feels like a beta release.

luke_in_tas
8th September 2007, 07:43 AM
I've moved my personal budget from Excel to Numbers, and I'm convinced Numbers is more than adequate for home and small business users. I much prefer it, especially on my Intel Mac, as it loads and runs more quickly.

iWork isn't a threat to MS Office though, not because Numbers doesn't stack up to Excel, but because iWork doesn't run on Windows. The huge majority of businesses use MS Office, and as a consequence they and everyone else keeps buying Office to stay fully compatible.

That said, I can see that there will be plenty of Mac users, who don't require absolute Office compatibility, that will switch entirely to iWork now and won't worry about buying or upgrading to the next version of Office. At this point I doubt I'll upgrade to the next version of Office, despite it being what my employer uses. I'll just use Office 04 for anything iWork can't handle (my work won't quickly adopt any new Office features that aren't compatible with Office 04).

epaell
8th September 2007, 10:22 AM
As a medical researcher, Numbers absolutely sucks for me as it does not do error bars. All apple need to do is add about 5 features and they would have an Excel killer. At the moment it feels like a beta release.

I totally agree - no error bars, only one axis can be made logarithmic (none if you do an x-y scatter plot), can't draw linear regression or polynomial fits to scatter plots, can't draw lines between points in scatter plot and no macros or scripting facilities (so it is difficult to use anything more than the rudimentary built-in functions). Perhaps It is fine for basic home stuff however if you're going to use it for budgeting why not use more suitable applications for that (Moneydance, iBank, etc). I'm particularly stumped by the chart restrictions because it almost seems like they specifically went out of their way to limit some of these functions and some of the others (error bars) would not be that hard to implement. I can see that scripting/macros would be quite a bit more effort to implement but then again, the like of NeoOffice seem to have done a pretty good job with it (although their charting facilities are also very poor). Yep, looks like a beta release :(

rtc
9th September 2007, 02:29 AM
With Excel you can do spreadsheets with literally like a 1,000,000+ lines.You'll get around 65,000 rows and 256 columns in Excel and after that you're on your own.

cgollner
9th September 2007, 06:41 AM
I like it. Its all the way there yet but very usable. Faster IMO than excel.

Kuma
9th September 2007, 08:53 AM
I love numbers
for my needs blows excel away.....

but if I needed hard core SS I would have to go back to Office... but now my mac is MS free... nice!!!

DJY
9th September 2007, 10:32 AM
I love numbers
for my needs blows excel away.....


I'm keen to start using Numbers...
have a couple of things in mind...

but any chance people can start sharing what they are doing in Numbers?
Not actual files - but just what they are doing?

I am currently trying to work out whether I can get away with using Numbers for one task... or whether I really need a database to achieve what I will need.

adamjc
9th September 2007, 10:33 AM
Number is useless for me as it can't open Macros created in Microsoft Excel!

Luckily NextByte allowed me to receive a refund within 7 days!

epaell
9th September 2007, 11:02 AM
I am currently trying to work out whether I can get away with using Numbers for one task... or whether I really need a database to achieve what I will need.

DJY, perhaps if you indicated what you'd like to do some of the MacTalkers may be able to point you down the best path?

DJY
9th September 2007, 11:28 AM
Ok

Keep a list of "trainers" with appropriate contact details...
have a list of when these "trainers" run training workshops...

Workshops are run by at least two "trainers" sometimes three.

in order to easily determine who is current with their training, where they are, and how many training workshops have been conducted.

Then ideally be able to "sort" / "produce" reports - by certain fields within each or both lists.

Edit:
Currently 140 odd trainers who have conducted over 250 workshops - to help with the scope of things.

meinrosebud
9th September 2007, 12:26 PM
And that is why VMWare Fusion was such a great purchase for me, I am still able to use Office 2003 on my Mac mini... Excel Macros! ;)

epaell
9th September 2007, 04:21 PM
DJY, it depends on the details of the functionality you require but it sounds very much like something that could be easily done in a database. If Numbers could handle macros then I'd say without a doubt that you could also do this in Numbers - that is the beauty of macros i.e. if you are missing some functionality then it is easy to add it yourself. However, I don't know enough about the inbuilt functions in Numbers to say whether or not you could easily achieve the functionality you require. You might be able to get away with some combination of look-ups, sorts and filters but it'd depend on the details of the data and how it is arranged ... and how fancy you want to get :)

Atomac
9th September 2007, 04:42 PM
OK. So for my needs as a primary school teacher running a marks books and analysing data, and my own needs at home, such as budgeting, calulating fuel consumption etc. Numbers is so much better than Excel.

I can see how it is not the tool that Excel is and that the lack of macros could be limiting. For me this isn't an issue and Numbers is ideal.

DJY
9th September 2007, 04:48 PM
DJY, it depends on the details of the functionality you require but it sounds very much like something that could be easily done in a database. ... and how fancy you want to get :)

I was thinking I'd need a database...
but didn't want to have to pay for FileMaker Pro. Have only just started doing some research about what database apps there are on OS X.

Filemaker Pro seems to be the better reviewed / most robust...
but EDU $299
RETAIL $499

Is an expensive way of starting!

epaell
9th September 2007, 06:27 PM
Is an expensive way of starting!

I agree and to some degree it may be overkill. Have you considered trying to use NeoOffice - if you can do it there (without use of Macros) then it is fairly likely that it'll work in Numbers. Then again, since you can use macros in NeoOffice you should be able to do the whole thing there - it'll cost absolutely nada but it won't look as cool as Numbers. Anyway, I'd suggest trying the free alternatives first before making too great an investment.

DJY
9th September 2007, 06:33 PM
I had read some quite variable reviews of NeoOffice and OpenOffice...

am currently grabbing the 30 day trial of FileMaker Pro...
will have a play - and then make up my mind!

Keen to start with what is regarded as a reliable product that I know will do everything I need it to - plus more... so that even in the future I can develop hopefully a range of databases if /when needed.

Thanks for the ideas / information though...
and I am still keen to use Numbers for a range of other tasks

epaell
9th September 2007, 06:58 PM
No worries DJY - I'd be interested to hear your feedback on FileMaker Pro. If you have other uses for it in mind then it may just be the product you need and so may be worth the investment. BTW, you can also download a trial version of iWork '08 (http://www.apple.com/iwork/trial/) - so perhaps that is another thing to check out ... how's your download limit for the month? :) I'd have to say that I've found KeyNote and Pages to be quite invaluable (at least for my uses) and I find them to be infinitely better than their M$ Office counterparts ie. Powerpoint and Word.

OpenOffice/NeoOffice has its strengths and weaknesses but I found its spreadsheet abilities to be surprisingly good - the one place where it was a problem for me was in its graphing capabilities but that shouldn't affect your needs. For most people though I think it is an excellent (and free) alternative to M$ Office.

DJY
9th September 2007, 09:58 PM
No worries DJY - BTW, you can also download a trial version of iWork '08 (http://www.apple.com/iwork/trial/)

Bought a copy already!

andrew.wilson
9th September 2007, 10:06 PM
Numbers would be perfect for me especially because I hate excel. Numbers and all of iLife does far superior graphs for sure! :thumbup:

BUT...it doesn't do scatter graphs very well and it doesn't do trendlines at all..and I need all that stuff for uni work :mad:

It has a lot of potential though.... Update please Apple :D

scottgrot
9th September 2007, 10:36 PM
DJY,
Do you have a copy of Appleworks on your computer?

I have quite a few databases that I have set up for myself in Appleworks.
They are pretty easy to create and can do some complicated stuff. (I suppose complicated will depend on your own definition, but still...)

I created one to enter in payment details, calculate how much I have been paid, how much I am owed, totals of both, how many hours I've worked, and then if I need an invoice I go to that particular report and print out which page I need.

I have also made up another one for my personal fincances. It does things alot better and simpler than cha-ching or a few other apps that I trialed for the same thing.

Appleworks aside, I have found Numbers to be quite pleasing and enjoyable to use.

But for my use, Appleworks spreadsheet would still be fine. Go Appleworks!

The loan calculator ss that I converted from excel is a little slower in Numbers. Nicer to look at though.

marc
9th September 2007, 10:53 PM
I love numbers
for my needs blows excel away.....

but if I needed hard core SS I would have to go back to Office... but now my mac is MS free... nice!!!
That's exactly how I feel.

For those who are saying Numbers needs certain things: Remember how shaky Pages was in 1.0... and look at it now :)

DJY
10th September 2007, 12:00 AM
DJY,
Do you have a copy of Appleworks on your computer?


No - I wish!
My last Mac was a Powerbook, and my current one is MBP... so I never got AppleWorks!

I think they were only ever on the iBook / iMac - consumer level products which is a shame - I'd heard good things about it... then it was discontinued!

serdar
10th September 2007, 12:28 AM
I really wish Numbers had the Auto Filter as per Excel, that's the real show stopper for me.

Oh and last night, when I was working with some concatenation formulas and trying to paste them to a new sheet it was placing the concatenated value instead of the actual formula. Weird, but probably only a simple bug.

So to me it appears as though it's more to make spreadsheets look pretty rather than making them functional, imho, I really do want to like it though :)

Oh, and I also would really like it to do a Fill Series menu option, please :)

g5agogo
10th September 2007, 09:14 AM
My major use for spreadsheets has been in a scientific/engineering context. For this application Numbers is not yet up to the task, mainly for the lack of features regarding regression, analysis and curve fitting, error bars and analysis.

I've used Excel a lot and, while it is great for "medium-duty" stuff, it groans and creaks under heavy duty use and that's why there is such a good market for real statistical analysis packages. However, Excel is the dominant product because it does a lot of things well and also because of its broad coverage allows for a degree of compatibility for diverse users.

Excel is overblown bloat for the vast majority of users with far too many functions and capabilties and complications than many users need. It also fails miserably at the top end for serious statistical analysis of large and complicated data sets. However, it excels (see what I did there?) for use mid to high level complexity tasks.

I think Numbers is fine for my home finances and those that have relatively simple requirements (in fact almost a winner even in release #1). With a bit of refinement I'm sure that Numbers '10 will be able to nibble away at the medium level users too. But Excel is going to remain the tool of choice for most mid-level users because it does it really well and it has a huge installed user base.

If Numbers can add just a bit of refinement and ensure rock-solid import/export of Excel files, I think it can fill a very important niche for many users.

epaell
11th September 2007, 09:04 AM
I just remembered, after my rants on how important macros/VBA scripts were for me, that M$ is discontinuing support for Visual Basic scripting in the next version of Office for Mac :mad: That'll mean that the only way to open and edit previous versions of my Excel documents is to use Office 2004 for the rest of eternity - that's just ludicrous!

Fortunately NeoOffice can handle most of the VBA scripts I've written (there are a few functions that are missing and need to be added but this can be done through additional scripts) - I've just looked at the latest version and it looks like the graphing functions have improved quite a bit ... BTW, DJY, it seems that the new version of NeoOffice also has database/query/reporting capabilities :-) The one downside with NeoOffice is that it is not very responsive.

If the next incarnation of Office for the Mac does not include macros/VBA then I see no point in upgrading to it - I think iWorks and/or NeoOffice will be a much better alternative to such a butchered product.

Currawong
11th September 2007, 10:13 AM
You all need to seriously send your feedback to Apple, as there will be a much greater chance of what you want being included in future versions.

listohan
17th October 2007, 05:23 PM
I'm keen to start using Numbers...
have a couple of things in mind...

but any chance people can start sharing what they are doing in Numbers?
Not actual files - but just what they are doing?

I am currently trying to work out whether I can get away with using Numbers for one task... or whether I really need a database to achieve what I will need.I design database applications for the real world and usually use Excel to tidy up the data from its original source before importing it into a real database (NOT FileMaker). Omnis Studio for the record.

In an attempt to stay clear of Microsoft, today I have been working on a 4000 row 12 column table. Numbers on a 20" iMac G5 was hopeless, slow and crashing. After about three attempts I took the job to an old iMac which was too slow for SCHOOL use. Excel on that platform did the job I needed in a few minutes. I am very sad to report.

One really needs to take most of what one hears on the grapevine with a bucket of salt.

sleek881
20th October 2007, 03:59 PM
You'll get around 65,000 rows and 256 columns in Excel and after that you're on your own.

Excel has 1048576 rows and goes to column XFD...

forgie
20th October 2007, 04:08 PM
Just to re-hash what many have said - Numbers is good, in fact it's great for about 95% of SS users. For ridiculously large datasets, or database integration or whatever, Excel will be the choice for some time to come. For the rest of us, Numbers is more than adequate. I use SSs a lot for scientific, accounting and mathematical applications, and everything I've ever used Excel for, I can do in Numbers, often with greater ease (occasionally there are things that are harder, or less obvious in Numbers, but it IS a 1.0 release). I'm going to buy iWork '08 when my trial runs out.

bljpoad
20th October 2007, 09:56 PM
Excel has 1048576 rows and goes to column XFD...

So just HOW much time do you have on your hands there? ;)

I am in the same boat as Forgie, trial runs out soon, I think I will be getting iWork08 when it does
- Berwyck

rtc
21st October 2007, 03:06 PM
Excel has 1048576 rows and goes to column XFD...

You must be on a newer version - excel 2003 and '95 and everthing in between has ~65000 rows and goes to column IV (256 columns).

andrew.wilson
21st October 2007, 03:49 PM
I just finished using numbers for an 18 page benefit cost analysis, major assignment spreadsheet an it worked brilliantly. It really is a basic-medium user app and looks nicer and runs a hell of a lot better than Excel Mac...i cant stand office for mac :mad:

forgie
21st October 2007, 05:12 PM
andrew.wilson - you probably would have realised that unlike Excel, Numbers is DESIGNED to make things look nice with ease. Making things look nice (for presentation/publishing purposes) in Excel is like using a sledgehammer on a thumbtack. You can do it, but unless you've got a damn good reason, it's not worth your time.

I haven't opened Office for a few weeks now - I've changed the default "open with" for .doc and .xls files to Pages/Numbers.

andrew.wilson
21st October 2007, 05:36 PM
andrew.wilson - you probably would have realised that unlike Excel, Numbers is DESIGNED to make things look nice with ease. Making things look nice (for presentation/publishing purposes) in Excel is like using a sledgehammer on a thumbtack. You can do it, but unless you've got a damn good reason, it's not worth your time.

I haven't opened Office for a few weeks now - I've changed the default "open with" for .doc and .xls files to Pages/Numbers.

That too, but I also meant just the interface of the program...Excel and all the office for mac have a horrible interface...and not to mention they run like a dog with no legs...

gbuikstra
21st October 2007, 05:40 PM
I decided to rewrite our companies profit & loss statements for 8 departments and the balance sheet into numbers, mainly for an excersise just to see if it would work.

On a whole I'm impressed with the results. The presentation of the data is far superior, but I found that I have to do some manual copy & pastes to get the new monthy data in, where in Excel it was all done with one macro. Also I still need Excel to convert the raw data into a format that can be used by Numbers.

Will I change back to excel....No. But I have to keep Excel around until a Numbers upgrade can handle everything I need it to do.

andrew.wilson
21st October 2007, 05:45 PM
Will I change back to excel....No. But I have to keep Excel around until a Numbers upgrade can handle everything I need it to do.

I'd say that will be quite soon. It's only a version 1 app remember...and look how awesome Pages just became with the latest revision...it shits over Word and Publisher out together now! :thumbup:

forgie
21st October 2007, 05:52 PM
I'd say that will be quite soon. It's only a version 1 app remember...and look how awesome Pages just became with the latest revision...it shits over Word and Publisher out together now! :thumbup:
That's my take on it too - I know it can't do certain things with importing/copying data that Excel can do - but I very rarely (less than once a year) need those features. Numbers will improve - and given that 1.0 works as well as it does, it is sure to kick ass in 2.0.

forgie
21st October 2007, 08:26 PM
Well.... I am finding it incredibly difficult to get Numbers to do a simple scientific style chart - it won't let me choose the data series after I've made the chart, and it won't actually use the columns I've selected when I click on the chart button.

I hope this will be fixed in an update - or is there something I'm missing?

andrew.wilson
21st October 2007, 08:43 PM
Well.... I am finding it incredibly difficult to get Numbers to do a simple scientific style chart - it won't let me choose the data series after I've made the chart, and it won't actually use the columns I've selected when I click on the chart button.

I hope this will be fixed in an update - or is there something I'm missing?

As much as I hate Excel, I still use it for this purpose, well I did, but have actually been trying out 3rd party graphing apps lately.

Numbers is still too focused on pretty graphs, which do look bloody good, but they just need make it a bit more functional...

forgie
21st October 2007, 08:59 PM
Well unless I'm missing something, it's actually not useable for scientific work. Which is a real pity - since 90% of it craps all over Excel.