Considering a MBP but have some questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thom612, May 2, 2011.

  1. thom612 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    #1
    I'm all but decided on a Macbook Pro 15 but when I went to the Apple Store to pull the trigger they were too busy and didn't have anybody to help me. While I waited I was playing around with a demo unit and realized that there are two things that really seem to bother me:

    1. There is no page-up or page down keys. Is there any way to emulate these?

    2. In Excel I can't use the function keys like I do in the PC. (For example, pressing F2 to edit a cell or F4 to switch between relative and absolute references). Is there any way to make Excel operate on the Mac the same way as it does on a PC?

    I'm willing to change but some old habits die really hard. In the case of Excel I'm never going to be able to stop using the PC version in the immediate future.

    I can't seem to find suitable answers to these questions anywhere, but if this isn't the right forum to ask this question, I'd appreciate a polite nudge in the right direction.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #2
    1. fn + arrow up/down

    2. System Preferences > Keyboard > Check "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys"

    Are you using Office for Mac or running Windows in Boot Camp/Parallels? Office for Mac may have different KB shortcuts.
     
  3. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #3
    Well, my plan was to install MS Office for Mac, but if I couldn't use the same keyboard shortcuts that would be a definite no-go. If I used Parallels would I be able to run the PC version of Excel directly on the Mac desktop? Is there a noticeable performance hit? Does this cost extra?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #4
    fn+up arrow = page up
    fn+down arrow = page down
    Not all keyboard shortcuts will be the same. You can add custom shortcuts, if you wish, for most commands.

    Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts from Helpful Information for Any Mac User
    I wouldn't let a few differences in keyboard shortcuts prevent me from using the software I need, but that's just me. It's not that tough to learn a few new things.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes. http://www.parallels.com/
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Yes.

    If you have enough RAM, then there shouldn't be.

    You need to buy Parallels (80$) or VMWare (80$) plus Windows 7 unless you have it already.
     
  6. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    NC
    #6
    Yes, you would be able to use the windows version of office on the mac, but you would need to buy parallels, windows, and office.
     
  7. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #7
    Would the 4GB that ships with the base model be enough?
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    It should work but I have 4GB in my iMac and running a VM is not that smooth (though I have crapload of other stuff open too). You can try 4GB first and upgrade to 8GB if needed.
     
  9. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #9
    Well, I just returned from the Apple store where the salesman assured me, with utmost confidence, that this absolutely would not work. Personally, I think he was kind of an idiot, but I still ended up leaving computerless.

    I'm actually a little bewildered. The guy told me I should just learn how to use Excel for Mac and learn new shortcuts. I came in ready to drop two grand on a computer and in the face of pure incompetence I just couldn't justify it.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    That what would not work?
    Remember that "Genius" is their job title, not an indication of their education, knowledge or experience.
    You can use Excel for Windows via Parallels, VMware Fusion or Boot Camp. You can also use Excel for Mac and customize keyboard shortcuts or learn the Mac shortcuts. What more do you need?
     
  11. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #11
    I wanted to see it for myself. I pointed out what you're saying here about Parallels but he told me that it wouldn't work. He said there was absolutely no way to run Macintosh for PC on Mac hardware. I couldn't justify dealing with that crap and then giving him my money.

    What I was looking for was to have my decision to buy a mac affirmed, but they couldn't do that for me!
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #12
    He's simply wrong. Period. Talk to someone else in the store and they will confirm that he doesn't know what he's talking about.
    Wait! "to run Macintosh for PC on Mac hardware."??? What does that even mean? You run Excel for Windows on Mac hardware, using Parallels, but not "Macintosh for PC". That doesn't even make sense. There is no such thing as "Macintosh for PC". You need to talk to someone in the store who is sober, or forget the store and know that what I'm telling you is true. Many others in the forum will concur. You can search the forum for threads and posts by those who are already running MS Office for Windows on their Macs, using one of the methods I described.

    Don't take my word for it. Read what Apple says here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/compatibility/

    Print out that web page and take it to the idiot at the Apple store and see what he has to say for himself.
     
  13. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #13
    That was the problem. I'm trying to rationalize a decision to buy something, and it doesn't help instill confidence when I know more about the product than the person ostensibly trying to sell it to me!
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #14
    To be honest, you're likely to find much more trustworthy advice and knowledge about Macs in this forum than you will find with most Apple store employees, especially from forum members who have been around for a while. You never know if you're talking to a store employee who's only been on the job a few months. We have no motivation to steer you in the wrong direction.
     
  15. mharpo macrumors newbie

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #15
    There is a possibility that you didn't ask the right questions, referring to your earlier gaff/s above.

    In either case, Windows 7 runs exceptionally well with the new Mac's either under bootcamp or Parallel's 6. I'm on a 17" MBP w/8GB of RAM and my Windows Experience Indices are 6.9 and 5.9, respectively, and Office runs very well in either scenario.
     
  16. thom612 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2011
    #16
    Possibly. I'm sure I didn't. I've never owned a Mac and I've been using PCs for decades. I'm guessing I'm not alone, and that there might be others who would consider switching if only we knew what questions to ask.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    There's a wealth of information in the Helpful Information for Any Mac User link I posted in post #4. I encourage you to read through that.
     
  18. rev.b macrumors regular

    rev.b

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    Portugal
    #18
    Or just use http://www.virtualbox.org/ and save $80.
     
  19. Al Coholic, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

    Al Coholic macrumors 6502

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    #19
    GGJstudios, HellHammer (and all others) are pretty much spot on in their replies so I have nothing much to add other than to say I practically live in Excel. Also:

    1.) Long time windows user (20 years). I hate change and was hesitant like you at first.

    2.) I use both versions for PC and Mac. Parallels for the PC version of Excel runs fine. I certainly can't tell any difference. (Parallels give you lots of keyboard remapping options).

    3.) Excel 2011 for the mac is robust. I'm a keyboard fanatic and don't miss the pageup/down keys. The Fn key on the mac provides most of the equivalents. Your fingers sort of just know where to go after a while (if that makes sense). And... compatibility among Excel for either platform is excellent.

    Yes, it's true that OSX is "mouse happy" but honestly, they made the trackpad such a joy to use this is a non-issue (at least for me).

    I wouldn't hang the entire company just based on one lone idiot at an Apple store for giving you the wrong info.

    Lastly, Get a mac at B&H. $100 cheaper, free shipping, no sales tax (if you're not in NY), free copy of Parallels. (AppleCare is cheaper as well if you want it now).

    Just ordered a 2nd MBP this year for one of the kids on Monday - will Arrive Friday. Can't recommend B&H enough - been using them for years.
     

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