The de-facto standard for an Office suite on the Mac and PC is Microsoft Office. My employer uses it exclusively. This is very common in the Enterprise sector. Apple has designed an office suite called iWork which contains comparable applications to Word, Excel and Power Point.
I have used InDesign for years to do simple things such as flyer and brochures. However, I am not a designer by any means. It is a great application for designing print material. However, when I got my iMac I decided to try to go without InDesign. I did not want to upgrade it to work with my intel iMac although I may yet do so.
I decided to use Pages in it’s place. Pages has a layout mode to design flyers or other print media, but it is not InDesign by a long shot. It really isn’t supposed to be. It is supposed to be a simple design program for home and small office environments. I have used it to design a few things. It is OK, but pretty basic. I am currently designing a small flyer / handout for National Night Out, the neighborhood watch crime fighting organization. It would be simple in InDesign, but it is a bit more challenging in Pages. However, it is doable.
I do not consider myself very skilled with Pages yet, but I am learning. One of the best ways to learn on the Mac is just jump in and do it. Yes, some applications are too sophisticated to actually do that (InDesign anyone). But, Pages is fairly basic and can be learned by anyone with a moderate amount of Mac knowledge. I encourage you to do so. If you don’t need to put out several hundred dollars for Microsoft Office, then the iWork suite will probably be more than adequate for your needs.
One more note. Microsoft Office is the standard at my work, but we have many copies of the iWork suite deployed. If you are wondering why, it is Keynote. The iWork suite equivalent to Power Point is Keynote, except it is way more than an equivalent. It is becoming the de-facto standard for presentations at my place of employment. Yes, people still use Power Point, but more and more people are switching to Apple’s Keynote application, especially higher echelon executives. No, they don’t use Pages or Numbers, the other applications in the iWork suite. But, Keynote has become an enterprise trojan horse for Apple. In certain divisions at work people are actually switching to Macs because Keynote is the application of choice for high end, sophisticated presentations.
Well, just wanted to pass along some experiences of what I am doing on the Mac these days. Talk to you again soon. Until then . . . .