MS Office on Macs
January 26, 2005 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Do you find that MS Office for OS X runs faster than MS Office for Mac OS 9...., run on an OS X Mac in Classic mode (or, whatever it's called...)

Oh. Fast= macros in Word and Excel. I'm trying to decide if it's worth buying a new copy of Office when I buy my first OS X machine.
posted by ParisParamus to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
The stabiliity of OSX over os9 is astounding.

I don't think the speed of your macros will make any difference on the newer machines (they're all fast enough that the speed difference isn't significant.)

Things I'd worry about speed wise:
Video. Stills with hard filters (like Gaussian blurs)>

Realistically? Macros/excel/word will feel crisper in X as well as have better memory protection
posted by filmgeek at 8:08 AM on January 26, 2005

I find that it's not necessarily faster -- I don't notice any blinding speed for example, though certainly not slower -- but it's better integrated with the whole OSX universe. If you don't have an OSX machine, I can tell you this: Classic mode will work just fine to run your OS9 programs, but starting OS9 initially takes some time [like a minute? two? actual time between the time you start an OS9 application and when it's ready to use. Once OS9 is running, running other OS9 apps won't give you this lag] and it's a little clunky to go back and forth between the two of them on things like printers [you still use the chooser in OS9 to run a printer, OSX has a different printer interface, for example] and other peripherals. My feeling is that it's worth having as much of an OSX suite of software as you can afford, and you might be able to find someone who is in school or who works at Microsoft who can help you get a better deal on their software if it's cost that is keeping you back.
posted by jessamyn at 8:09 AM on January 26, 2005

Office is a mostly Carbon application, which means that the VB libraries used for running macros in Office v.X or 2004 are more than likely the very same libraries used in Office 2001 or 98.

That said, it is possible that Microsoft has optimized some of the libraries to run certain macro commands faster; the only way to know for sure is to run the Office demo that is included with all new Macs.

Since you're likely buying a faster machine, by virtue of buying a new machine, you will get speed gains from that, all else equal. See the Word macro test here to get a rough idea of the speed ratios from one machine to another.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:10 AM on January 26, 2005

Response by poster: Yes, going from a 233MHZ G3 will be faster. But just so you know, every ten days or so, I create reports which begin in Excel, and have macros that, together, take > five minutes to run (they manipulate text and columns; and in Word, that take over 2 HOURS to run. Stability is nice, but I'm satisfied with the stability I have.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:36 AM on January 26, 2005

This doesn't specifically answer your question, but on a three year old iMac, the previous version of Office (v.X) doesn't seem to run noticeably faster or slower than the classic version; mind you, I don't recall ever using macros for anything.

I would hazard to guess that the newer version of Office runs slightly slower on the same hardware, but also that the speed increases of newer hardware probably (at least) balances things out.

I really hope you enjoy the Mac experience!
posted by kimota at 9:06 AM on January 26, 2005

paris, send me the macro (with a document).

I'll run it on my 1.33 ghz g4 inside of word or excel.

You could also take this down to your local retailer to find this out.
posted by filmgeek at 9:06 AM on January 26, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, but I'll pass; it's kind of an odd, cumbersome macro; plus, it's proprietary! Plus, I need a new Mac anyway, because the screen on my Bondi blue iMac is starting to fade. Ill see what happens once I buy the thing (probably a Powerbook), transfer over Office.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:40 PM on January 26, 2005

Response by poster: The Office Demo, I believe doesn't allow Macros to run, so...
posted by ParisParamus at 2:41 PM on January 26, 2005

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