Mac/PC Compatabilty

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by eyelight, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. eyelight macrumors member

    May 24, 2004
    My girlfriend needs a new laptop and she's thinking seriously about an iBook, but is worried about compatabilty with the PCs everyone else in her office uses. This is mainly for sending and opening Word documments and that kind of thing. I've e-mailed some Word files to her current PC laptop and she can't open them, and some of her collegues at work have trouble opening files that have come from a Mac.
    Could this be due to them using an older version of Microsoft Office ?
    (I have Office Mac for OSX)
    Without getting involved with Virtual PC, should she be able to exist working in a PC environment with a Mac ? I would have thought so.


    15" PB 1.5 Ghz
  2. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    I switched from Windows XP laptops to Mac six months ago. My job requires that I exchange Word, Powerpoint, Excel, MS Project and MS Visio files with clients. I run Project and Visio in Virtual PC, and the rest are MS Office for Mac OS X.

    I came across two "compatibility tricks" within the first couple of days, and NONE since.

    The first was to make sure that my Mac sent files as "Windows friendly attachments" (in the Mail "Attach" dialogue), and make sure that Word on the Mac was saving in the right way (there is plenty of information in Word for Mac Help).

    The second was exchange of graphics between Windows Powerpoint and Mac Powerpoint. Windows does not like some forms of graphics that you can use on the Mac, and the Mac does not like *very* large Windows metafile graphics. Keep graphics simple, or use bitmaps, and there are no problems.

    Experiment a few times between your Mac and your girlfriend's PC. You will find that the "incompatibilities" are simply preference settings within Word (also that setting within Mail Attach, at the bottom of the dialogue box, when it is asking for the file name).

    Have fun

    EDIT: try this ...
  3. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2004
    With regard to MS Office compatiblity, you shouldn't have problems if they use Office 97 or later since the .doc file format has remain unchanged since Office 97. However, as new features were added to MS Office, it's possible to run into formating issues if you exchange files with pepole running Office 2000 or earlier. Generally speaking, file exchange with the Windows world shouldn't cause any problems as the most common file formats are cross-plattform, that being said, it only works if both you and the Windows users use more or less current versions of the programms you use to create/edit those files.
  4. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I swap Office files between my PowerBook and clients' PC's on a regular basis and in the main I have no problems. Exceptions are when using PowerPoint:

    1/ If I create a presentation on the PowerBook, when it is opened on a PC sometimes a number of text boxes will be slightly mis-aligned, which invariably means I need to "touch-up" the presentation on the PC before handing it over.

    2/ I generally need to overcompensate a notch on the brightness levels of images I use otherwise they will appear darker on the PC than on my PowerBook.

    3/ You have to be careful when using some of the cool transition & transparency effects as they dont always translate to the PC environment. However in defence of Office when you do such stuff a little red box icon glows in the toolbar which, when clicked lets you know of possible compatability issues.

    I have had absolutely no problems with Excel, Word, PDF files etc. As long as you remember to save all your files with "append file extension" at all times on the Mac it should open fine on the PC.

    As an aside I really much prefer the mac version of Office now, its a really nice product.

  5. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You need to add fileextensions (.doc) for the word docs,
    without an extension windows can't see what kind of filee it is.
  6. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I agree. This is very, very important when transfering office documents from os x to windows. Try it out yourself and you'll see.
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    so true!

    failing to make sure the file extension is included as part of the file name has always been one of the main reasons that windows machines cant open files from Macs........filename.doc, filename.xls, filename.jpg, etc.

    as was pointed out previously, OSX will do this automatically if you check the box

Share This Page