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I'm thinking about getting a word processor for my Mac. The two most popular options are probably Microsoft's Word or Apple's Pages. Before I decide to buy one I need to make sure that it will have all of the features I need. Is there feature matrix which compares Word to Pages and shows which features each application supports?

I'd like to see an exhaustive list of all the features each one supports, or something very close to it. Ideally it should be in table format so that it's very easy to read.

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Listing every single feature will probably result in a list larger than StackOverflow's various book recommendations for programming language learning. As such, this question is excessive. What SPECIFIC features do you need? –  Jason Salaz Feb 9 '11 at 0:21
    
@VxJasonxV: Well that's just it... right now there a certain set of features that I need, but in the future those requirements might change. I agree that listing every single one of them may be excessive, so maybe a comparison of the top 50 or so features in both applications would suffice. –  Senseful Feb 9 '11 at 0:34
    
Sure, but that's true of any investment you make. What are the top 50 features in a word processor? –  Jason Salaz Feb 9 '11 at 0:39
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If you're familiar with Microsoft Word, then buy Word. If you don't want to spend as much, get Pages. Feature-wise, they're pretty close (if not necessarily identical in how they do things). I have both but prefer Word for its compatibility. –  user479 Feb 9 '11 at 0:55
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@Randolph: Make your comment an answer and I will vote it up. –  Philip Regan Feb 9 '11 at 10:18
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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I was recently in a similar position because I needed something for school, and I went with Pages, pretty much on price alone. A 5-license family pack of Pages costs a whole third less than the Home & Student version of Word, so I can put Pages on both home and work laptops and still have extra for my wife's and mum-in-law's Macs.

The article linked in @mybrainishuge's response is pretty much spot on in comparing the two. Each application does the same thing just in different ways. Some good, some not so much, but then all word processor apps have their quirks. Since my needs are humble (I have easy access to InDesign for any heavy page layouts) I figured how bad could Pages be compared to the bloat and "kludginess" that is Word these days; fifteen years I've been working with Office and I can safely say I genuinely don't like Microsoft products, so Pages it was.

YMMV, so I suggest working with the demos for each (I know Pages has a demo, but I'm not sure about Word as the companies I work for always just gave it to me) and see which one meets your needs.

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Office for Mac recently got a trial page: microsoft.com/mac/trial so he can try both for a month before buying. –  Loïc Wolff Feb 9 '11 at 10:38
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Definitely concur with trying both out before committing. That will tell volumes more than just looking at feature comparison grids. –  Ryan Wersal Feb 10 '11 at 4:14
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Wikipedia is the best source for comparison tables:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_word_processors

If you have questions about features not on the table, edit your question.

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+1 for Wikipedia comparisons –  conorgriffin Feb 9 '11 at 1:04
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If you're familiar with Microsoft Word, then buy Word. If you don't want to spend as much, get Pages. Feature-wise, they're pretty close (if not necessarily identical in how they do things).

I have both but prefer Word for its compatibility.

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I've provided a link below that gives a quick comparison, but nothing in depth. A lot comes down to preferences and needs.

http://www.macworld.com/article/156292/2010/12/officeshowdownwordprocessors.html?lsrc=rss_main

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I know it's not on your list, but have you had a look at OpenOffice.org. It can import/export word files and has the basic features that all word processors need and the big bonus is it's free.

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