Migrating back and forth with Microsoft Word

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by old-wiz, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #1
    My wife is still using Microsoft Word 2000 (and running under Windows 2000) on a quite old machine; a white box we had built by a small custom builder. She's happy with it and it gets her work done. The system still runs fine and almost never crashes.

    I'm trying to find a way for her to migrate to OSx. I have an iBook G4/133 with 1.25 mb ram. I'm looking into Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. I know that the forums have said there are lots of issues with Word on the mac, but I'm trying to get a sense of how bad the issues really are. The documents she works with are very simply formatted, no table of contents, no pictures, no graphs.

    So the questions would be:

    1. If she starts to use Office/Word 2008 on the iBook, will she still be able to read the files on Word 2000? She does not want to go to OpenOffice (doesn't want to learn too many new things). I know that usually something like Word 2008 can read files from Word 2000, but not the other way around.

    2. If you keep it simple like she does, would Word be reasonably stable? She has never had a crash or problem with word 2000.

    3. Would it work better if she just reformatted the documents to .rtf before trying to use them on the Mac?

    My own thought is that the compatibility problems usually come from advanced features such as tables and pictures.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Let us get this straight. The major compatibility issue with Office 2008 is that it does not support Visual BASIC for Applications. Otherwise, you should expect it to handle any file that Office 2007 can handle. Prior to Office 2007, Office:mac was generally more compatible with a wider array of Office formats than Office:win.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it would be a colossal waste of time to convert your wife's old files into .rtf. Office 2000 uses an earlier version of the same format as Office 2004. Office 2008 should handle files your wife's Office 2000 files without issue—assuming that they don't employ VBA.
     
  3. old-wiz thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    There's no VBA involved (thank god); the files are just text with formatting for font size and such.

    What would happen if she started using Word 2008 on the iBook and then wanted to go back to Word 2000 on the old machine? would Word 2000 read the file from Word 2008?
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    Only if it is saved in a format compatible with Word 2000. I don't think MS released an update to 2000 that allows it to open .docx files.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    Word 2008 allows the older .doc to be set as the default format. If your wife wife wants to exchange files with a computer that has Word 2000 installed, then she should set the older format as her default.
     
  6. old-wiz thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    Thanks for all the replies. I was just wondering now if using Pages might work as I really hate putting Microsoft stuff on my computer if I can avoid it? Pages can read and write word 2000 documents, right?
     
  7. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #7
    Pages can open Word documents, as can (I think) TextEdit. The more complex the formatting of the original Word document, the more chance of a strange translation issue. Pages can also export as .doc or .pdf for sharing with others who don't have Pages.
     
  8. coops macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #8
    Only reason i'm still using Word on my Mac is in particular one large file of mine has lots of tables and bulleted lists etc, and opens in openoffice horribly messed up.....

    BUT if as you say, there's no major formatting then first she really should try openoffice on the PC first. There's more or less no difference in use from standard word - in particular toolbars and so on will be very familiar.... maybe more so than Mac Word 2008 with the formatting palette (quite a good idea in fact). (and it's free so give it a fair go!)
    Openoffice will handle her basic .doc files fine - and can continue to save in doc or change to 'odf' - up to you.

    There's a demo period available with iWork/Pages so could try that too - that'll be a way bigger change than going to OpenOffice (or NeoOffice), although i have heard Pages is a particularly good word processor and maybe well worth the switchover....

    Coops
     

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