New to Mac - file types and associations

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by snowwing, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. snowwing macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2009
    I just received my first Mac - a 13" Macbook Pro. I will get my windows XP disc today and plan on using Boot Camp & Parallels but would like to ween myself off of Windows as soon as practically possible. I use Quicken, Quickbooks, Office and Photoshop (CS3) and iTunes amongst others. I realize all my pc backups will work in Boot Camp but my question is - When I eventually get the applications for Mac will my old backed up files work in my new Mac applications? I am slightly confused - in other words are .jpg, .doc, .xl files the same in both environments and it just uses the "for Mac" software to interpret them? I have my backups on external hard drives and would like to migrate them over. Which brings up another Mac nooby question - what is the best way to use my new Mac with iTunes but not lose the content of my iPods? Thanks again for the help!
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    You are correct - for most file types, this is exactly the case. JPEG is a standard, so just about all Mac graphics applications support it. As for DOC and XLS files, since Office has a direct equivalent on the Mac, they'll open just fine with the Mac version. However, not all file types have direct Mac OS equivalents. A good example is MDB, the type used by Microsoft Access.
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Just as on PC's, you can set up and later change if need be, which program is associated with which file type (file type as determined by the extension).

    So for example, if someone sends me an xls file, as I dont have Excel, I have .xls associated with 'numbers', which is what starts up when I double click the file. If I installed Office, the install process would no doubt change that association to be Mac Office Excel and that woudl start up instead.
  4. snowwing thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. Since I posted earlier. I plugged my thumb drive into my new Mac and it will read all my .doc files - except one that was passworded. I copied the file on my PC and removed the password, added it to my thumb drive and it will now read that file! I assume I can't write to these files but how does the Mac read them? I consider it a bonus, though!
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    You can write to them, there is no Mac version of a file and a Windows version of the same file - there is only a file.
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    If you don't have the Mac version of Word, then the TextEdit app (bundled with OSX) will open and edit Word .doc files; although there probably will be formatting issues.

    Some other tips: you can generally drag a document over a Mac application's icon, and if it highlights it means that app can open that filetype.

    If you want to change the application that a given file opens with, you can do so in the Get Info window; either for an individual file, or for all files with that file extension.
  7. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    Congratulations with your mac!:D

    The most common files can be opened. Like photos and music. For office document you can use office 2008. You could research iwork, it saves in other formats but does read .doc documents, and you can save .doc files.

    I hope you get the adobe version for mac, cause the windows installers won't work. (I read somewhere you can call adobe and ask if you can swap your cd's/dvd's).

    About your ipod, I would use pod to mac ( Just open it plug your ipod in and transfer everything direct into the itunes library. Then you erase your ipod and sync it with your new made library on your mac.

    (the ipod will have a different hard drive structure when you sync it with your mac, this means windows can't read it anymore and you won't be able to use it as a hard drive. If you don't want that, you can select the option to maintain your ipod manually, you can then just drag songs to and from your ipod).

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