MS Office for Mac - is it TRUELY compatible with the Windows equivalent?

Karvel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
231
0
England
Hey

Does anyone know if MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint files saved on a Mac are truely compatible with the equivalent programmes on a Windows PC? Are there any Mac-only features that one might use unknowingly in a document that may not show up when viewed on a PC? I've seen reference on some pages I've found on the internet about the Mac version of MS Office to a 'Compatibilty Checker' or something built into Mac Excel/PowerPoint/Word ? :confused: Would I have to use that feature everytime I saved a document with the intention of it being readable (and editable) for people using MS Office on Windows PCs?

Thanks in advance.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,836
7
The one thing that you're likely to fall down on is cut and pasting graphics files, pictures etc. from non-MS Office applications. On the Mac version it's dependent on Quicktime extensions which aren't always available on a Windows PC, resulting in blank squares in your documents rather than what you intend them to look like. Some of the Windows fonts are also slightly different to the Mac ones, which can lead to page break issues, but that's rarer.
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,097
1
they are mostly fine. and the true compatibility is obtained by printed them into pdf.

I did encounter problems that my excel looks different (very tiny issue) on vista. But MOSTLY, you should be fine.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
106
Different versions of Office on Windows aren't truly compatible.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,631
3
キャンプスワ&#
Different versions of Office on Windows aren't truly compatible.
Good point.

To the OP, it depends on what features you use. As was already mentioned, there are some issues with pictures and video content.

For pictures, use jpgs and you should be okay.

For videos, the Mac and Windows versions use different containers. I usually create in Mac, then convert to a Windows video format.

Menu wise, there are some differences between the Mac and Windows versions.
 

sine-nomine

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2007
222
1
Finer stores everywhere.
I have about the same compatibility issues going from Office 2004 for Mac to Office 2003 for Windows as I do going from my old Office 97 or Office 2000 documents to Office XP, 2003, or 2007, which is to say there are sometimes page break issues, paragraphs not keeping proper indentation, some fonts not rendering exactly the same, tables looking wonky, etc.

Anywho, long story short, if you're already used to taking Office 2000 documents to Office 2003 or 2007, you know what to expect from taking an Office 2004 Mac document to Windows.

If a document you're working on is for a presentation and doesn't need to be edited by whoever you send it to, at least Office for the Mac lets you save it as a PDF, so it will look like you intended it to.
 

sananda

macrumors 68020
May 24, 2007
2,365
59
The one thing that you're likely to fall down on is cut and pasting graphics files, pictures etc. from non-MS Office applications. On the Mac version it's dependent on Quicktime extensions which aren't always available on a Windows PC, resulting in blank squares in your documents rather than what you intend them to look like. Some of the Windows fonts are also slightly different to the Mac ones, which can lead to page break issues, but that's rarer.
ah ha!! that's why a diagram that someone make for me in illustrator(which i then must have cut and paste into my word document although i can't remember what i did) did not come out when i sent off the word document to be printed. instead it said something about quicktime.

i'm not any good with word....so i would be grateful if someone would tell me how i get the illustrator diagram into my word document so that it is seen and can be printed by those using the windows version of word.

thanks.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Hey

Does anyone know if MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint files saved on a Mac are truely compatible with the equivalent programmes on a Windows PC? ...
My comments echo those expressed above. With the possible exception of Office 2007, Office 2004 is more compatible with any version of Office:win than any two versions of Office:win are with each other. That said, PowerPoint has some gotcha's. Specifically, even though PowerPoint:win and PowerPoint:mac use the same dingbat font for bulleted lists, they don't use the same encoding. The upshot is that virtually any PowerPoint presentation created on the Mac will have to be edited on Windows to restore the bullet selection or vice versa. Many users don't notice and don't care, but some do.

As for graphics, Microsoft considers such arcane formats as TIFF to be proprietary Apple formats and does not support them on Windows. So, if you embed TIFF files in your documents, QuickTime must be installed on the Windows machine for them to display properly.