Have you ever had trouble with compatibility between your Mac and PCs? I work with Word a lot. Will I have to use Windows? I have learned that you can use it and Mac’s own operating system.
We Mac nerds have been fielding those concerns for a long time, but it wasn’t until 2006 that we could completely, confidently, and unreservedly say, not only that a Mac can now do anything a PC can do — because a Mac can become a PC — but that a Mac can do even more than a PC, because it can actually run Windows at the same time it’s being a Mac! It really opened up our digital world. And by now, it’s so smooth as to be easy and smooth for any user of any experience. I have dozens of clients using it every day, for QuickBooks and other software that doesn’t have a good analogue on the Mac.
But much, much better than that: there is very little you can’t do on the Mac itself. There’s a wealth of software out there, almost always designed better and with more care than its PC counterparts. And it’s all really easy to get to. Apple recently built an App Store into the Mac that works just like the one on the iPhone: tons and tons of apps, many very cheap or free, that install with a click. Updates are also a snap.
Finally, to address your specific need, all one need know is this: Microsoft wrote Word and Excel for the Mac long before it had versions for Windows. The Mac versions have always been able to share docs with Windows. We have not one single client running Windows on the Mac to use Office.
But I want to put a new thought in your head: Microsoft Office is history. The future is in online software such as Google Docs. If you haven’t seen it, when you are next in your Gmail, look up at the top of the page for the Documents link. Click it, and… Welcome to the Evolution. You can create word processing docs, spreadsheets, and presentations; access them from any computers; and collaborate on them with multiple other people simultaneously.
Once you start using Google Docs and its ilk, working on files that are imprisoned on your computer will start to feel limiting, and maybe even archaic. It has its own strengths and limitations — I may download a doc to my Mac to take it into Apple’s Pages or Numbers to pretty it up if that’s appropriate. But 99+% of my docs live on Google’s servers.
In case you were wondering, this is an example of what some folks now call “working in the cloud.” Fly the friendly skies!