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AppleWorks 6 is an OK word processor. It's also a mediocre spreadsheet, an obsolete database application and a fair basic presentation program. Considering the breadth and integration of the program, it's also an amazing bargain, but it can't match MS Office, either the Mac or the PC version, I'm afraid. If you need to do complex word processing or really heavy duty spreadsheet work, there is no substitute for Word and Excel. If you don't need the big guns, though, AppleWorks is good enough.

In my own case, I use AppleWorks 6 for most office-type things. If I need the feature list of Word or Excel, I just fire up my PC and use Office 2000. Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often. If Office X were selling for $200, I might be tempted, but it's just too expensive.

Apple seems to be making some preparations to challenge Microsoft in this area - Keynote is a worthy competitor for PowerPoint, and there are strong rumours of matching word processor and spreadsheet implementations.

A small sign of things to come (maybe): Panther's implementation of TextEdit will read and write to the .doc format (MS Word.)

Cheers :-> Bill
 
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