Advice from your Unfriendly Neighborhood ICT Volunteer
People keep asking me how to deal with Excel documents on Macs or how to deal with starter MS office without having to pay for the actual full software. The answer is download Libreoffice (formerly OpenOffice), a cross platform FREE office suite that has all the functionality of MS Office. Libreoffice can open MS office files and save in MS office format (just select Save As from the ubiquitous File menu and pick a format that looks familiar. You are all very smart people, you can do this.). It's a big download, as would be any other office suite software, so do it when you are in town for a while. You can find Libreoffice here. There is also a portable version available in the repository. Now please stop asking me about this.