Office applications

Boring topic I know, but I’m a geek. :nerd_face:

I’ve always used Microsoft Office, but am wondering if I should consider switching to Google Docs/Sheets or having everything Apple and move to Pages/Numbers etc.

Google Docs/Sheets seems to be the in thing at the moment, wondering if I need to get with the times!

Would be interested to hear what everyone uses!

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If you’re used to Word and Excel then switching to Google is a much easier step than to Pages or Numbers. Google Sheets is much more powerful than Numbers, though Numbers is prettier.


Depends what you need really… at work we’ve been 100% google docs for a few years now, but we’re not huge spreadsheet users - mostly we’re importing stuff from customers for analysis (which turns up in all formats including CSV and handwritten…).


On a purely personal level, I find the Google offerings much better than Microsoft.
For me, the advantages of it being cloud based makes it much more user friendly.

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My view is there are two major factors in that decision:

  • What your workplace / industry uses. If everyone you interact and share documents with uses MS Office, then choosing a different software suite will only give you problems as you will have to convert documents before sharing and documents shared with you may not show 100% correctly.

  • What your personal views and attitudes towards software are. Do you want all your files saved locally on your devices (Google is bad for that)? Do you care about the ethics of Google / Apple / MS? Do you care about Google having access to the content of all your documents?


After getting a Chromebook a few years ago I started using Google docs. It’s really well done and does everything I need it too.
I find Microsoft Office bloated and slow, whereas Google’s suite of office apps have the functions 90% of users need in a clean interface.
Oh and cloud saving and versioning control is just *chef’s kiss", even the comparison tool between different versions is amazing.

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I tried a move between Microsoft Office and Google Docs but I never got there due to transitional issues.

Had the issue of compatibility with my old Word documents. As a teacher, I have made thousands of resources over the years. Google Docs always seemed to not like formatting when importing them, meaning I had to take time to sort out the formatting or start again. I don’t have the time to meticulously change each file so gave up. I also had the problem with adding my own fonts I had collected over the years (as a teacher I have a correctly joined handwriting fonts, dyslexic fonts etc) which you can’t add to Google Docs. You can only use or add predefined fonts.

Therefore, I was dragged back to Microsoft Office 2021 for Mac and Windows which syncs to the cloud fine and does what I need it to do. I have a perpetual licence so don’t need to worry about subscription fees. Google Docs is better than it was, but I doubt I will try again until it improves in those two areas.


Perhaps take a look at LibreOffice too.

I use Microsoft Office mainly because this is the standard suite used at work. I’m not interested in complicating my life by using something else. But if this wasn’t a factor, I’d probably consider LibreOffice or Google Docs.

Microsoft Office also has a cloud-based version.


I swore never to use anything Microsoft ever again unless it’s forced upon me, so for my personal use it’s Pages all the way.

Google is perhaps the best in terms of ease of use and compatibility, but I also prefer not to use Google stuff unless I can help it


We use Google sheets/docs/slides etc here at Monzo and honestly, give me office any day of the week.


MS also has that on the cloud versions of their Office applications. Plus the integration with OneDrive and the desktop sync app is very good, so you can choose to fully work locally and just sync your documents in the background, or fully work online and sync your documents locally for safekeeping, or a mixture of the two - compared to Google who release a new sync app every so often, not seeming able to make their minds up about how to make it work properly or what its name should be.

Most definitely!
Although (and I am a big open source advocate) I must say that every update contains the blurb “improved MS office compatibility”, and every update still has MS Office compatibility issues. They can never get it fully right, so I don’t use Libre for my work-work, purely because everyone I interact with use MS Office.
I do use (online) Libre for my personal documents, within the family and sharing for personal reasons (e.g. sharing documents with solicitors etc.), as I run a Nextcloud instance and I use Collabora (=Libre) on there; it works well in that scenario.


Office for me. I work voluntarily for a couple of forums [not fintech] and the transfer and sharing of files etc, between moderators and head chap always seems to work better in Office. Also, I have to say the support offered by MS with a 365 account has been outstanding. Worth every penny to me. R-


Previously used Office but have started to use Google’s version. Office does have more features, but the vast majority Im never going to use. Google’s are easy to use and are fast. Definitely going to continue to use Google’s in the foreseeable future.


Any tips for using LibreOffice on tablets (iPad / Android tablets)?
I’m not sure what the best options are.

Edit: Just seen that they recommend Collabra Office

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Not sure about tablets, I use Collabora through the Nextcloud app on my phone sometimes and it works well (and free, compared to OnlyOffice that needed a payment for mobile app functionality). Not sure what standalone Collabora is like though.


I literally wouldn’t have a career, if it wasn’t for Excel!

That said, for personal use (and probably most professional use!) I’d wager G Suite is all that anyone would need. Sheets is great and I personally think Docs is better than Word.

Functionality is solid and collaboration is outstanding. Having everything saved automatically in the cloud is a feature, not a bug.


We use office at work (unfortunately not cloud based), I have been known to copy details from a word/excel file into the Google equivalent, edit it accordingly and then copy them back to Microsoft.
I just find them easier to use.

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I use g suite for work and ms office for uni.

G suite is my preferred system. However for my uni work, ms office handles equation writing much better so I’m glad that’s used.

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For work we use MS Office.
For my own personal use though - I use Google Docs etc. I’m not a massive user of Office apps for personal use anyway - generally for ‘personal’ word processing it’ll be if I need to post an actual physical letter somewhere, or maybe print out a sign to stick up where I live (shared house - so ‘fridge broken/shower out of order’ sort of thing).

I tend to use Google Sheets a lot more - got my budget setup in there to track when bills have been paid, and I’ve also got various gym workout plans in there to track as well. I find the iPhone app (particular) for Google Sheets is much simpler and far easier to use than the Excel iPhone app.

I did toy with the Mac applications - but although I have an iPhone and iPad, my main actual PC is a Windows PC - so I’ll need to log into the iCloud portal and use the web versions of Pages and Numbers in there if I tried to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

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A kind note to those experimenting with Mac office apps - if you even remotely like the people you work with, and they use MS, please don’t send them Mac-converted documents for them to view on MS Office.

I don’t know if that’s improved in the last 2-3 years but last time someone sent me Mac slides file, it was over 100MB in size (mostly text and a few low res pictures) with pretty much unusable fonts (I couldn’t make edits with the same font as far as I can remember).

To be fair, converting between Libre and MS has the same fonts issues sometimes, but at least the file sizes are much smaller!

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