Calculations and complicated functions can be completed at great speeds in Excel. The main difference between the two programs is ultimately not who they cater to but in their versatility. While Excel comes with versions that are both Windows and Mac compatible, Apple Numbers can only be operated on a Mac. When a comparison of functions is done between Excel and Apple Numbers, Excel offers more functions that can be used to perform convoluted financial calculations.
Also, plotting features and advanced charting which help the user in data visualization is not available with Apple Numbers, whereas Excel is known for its amazing charting and plotting features.
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Layout templates are offered in both Apple Numbers and Excel. The update of Apple Numbers increased the total number of functions available. With Apple Numbers, users get about functions spread across 10 categories.
The categories for both these programs include engineering, financial, statistical, text, time and date. In fact, the update of Excel added more accuracy in the formulas by improving the algorithms.
Both the programs, however, require parts of the formula to be updated with the numbers, data and cell addresses in the spreadsheet. I used to be an excel power user about a decade ago.
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The Mac version at the time, I believe, was pretty bad compared to the Windows version. I believe it was the Visual Basic module that it lacked, so you could't do Solver functions.
I think I resorted to running Mac Excel at the time, which I believe had it in. It's now and I'm considering a part-time job switch that will turn me into an excel power user again, that needs Solver functionality. From my limited research, it seems that the Mac Office Excel is still not as good as the Windows version. Not sure if Solver is in the Mac version or not or what features the Mac version lacks.
I'm leaning towards Windows 7 since I read Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare. I'm also leaning towards a non-subscription based version of Excel, since I dislike the Office model. Partially because it's free, and partially because I don't think I need any advanced features and it's probably lighter weight than the rest.
I'm also open to the possibility of non-Excel apps for Solver and spreadsheet function.
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I haven't played with LibreOffice in forever, nor have I done much with Numbers but I suspect they are very weak compared to Excel. Aside from the cost of Excel and I don't know if you get the Windows and Mac versions with the same purchase, but it would be nice , you can experiment with various VMs pretty easily.
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VirtualBox will likely be good enough, I only use Parallels because it has the best 3D acceleration out of all of them. Solver has apparently been included in the Mac version since Excel However, Excel has bit support, so it should be able to make use of all that RAM, and I believe the interface is more consistent with its Windows counterpart now but don't quote me on that.
To me, running Excel in a VM sounds like way too much of a hassle, but I can't speak to your specific requirements. I know you said you don't like Office , but you could sign up for the 1 month free trial, install it both on your Mac and in the VM and see for yourself how they work.
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Then, at the end of the month, just cancel the trial and buy whichever one works best for you - although you might also want to consider sticking with the subscription for a couple of months before buying: the next version of Office is scheduled for release in June. I don't know about your specific requirements but I experimented with a few highly complex Excel documents that included both just solver but also more bespoke scripting, and they basically didn't load. I don't know what precisely was missing though.
That being said, I'd probably lean towards the VM. My spreadsheet needs are very basic, but the Mac version still has some missing features - even if you find most of what you need, who knows when you might run into an odd-ball situation that has something missing. But honestly they've fixed up the Mac version enough that I rarely need to run it from Parallels. The problem with Mac Excel is that there's a general lack of shortcut keys.
You will likely be more productive in Windows Excel, if you use the keyboard to navigate. If you're running complicated workbooks with a lot of calculations, be aware Mac Excel is single-threaded, while Windows Excel isn't. Consequently, Windows Excel runs considerably faster in these types of situations.
That said, I have a complex forecast model 12MB that will cause Windows Excel bit to put up out of memory errors when I'm editing it, even though there is plenty of memory in my VM. Sign Out Sign In Register. Latest Insider.
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Check out the latest Insider stories here. More from the IDG Network. Excel cheat sheet. Review: Microsoft Office vs. Google Apps. Excel Cheat Sheet. A Solver button will appear in the Analysis section of the Data tab in every version.