Office for Mac or Parallels or VM Fusion - Help Please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jeddouglas, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. jeddouglas macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Inverness, UK
    I'm new to the apple/mac world and in the last couple of months have got an iPad 2nd generation, iPhone 4 and most recently a new iMac 21.5 inch 2011 (MC812) as preferred to have built in optical drive. I previously had a Windows XP PC that is about 10 years old. I have copied all my files from my old PC to the new mac manually as was having trouble with Migration Assistant recognising my external Seagate HDD. I am now unsure what to do about accessing/working on old files from my PC (mainly MS Word and Excel 2002 version I think). Should I go for Parallels or Fusion or simply opt for MS Office for Mac? I am currently leaning towards Office as I don't really think I need a windows virtual machine on my mac, but am open to advice on this. One other option I am considering is Apple's iWork instead of Office as I believe that you can save files in Office format.

    I currently have OS X Lion on my new mac and was also wondering whether it is worth upgrading to Mountain Lion. I have read a few threads saying that Bootcamp will not work with XP. Also, I should point out that I do not have the windows XP discs as my PC came with XP pre-installed.

    Finally, I have a Lexmark X1290 Printer. Will this work with the mac?

    Sorry, I know that there are a lot of questions in there but you help would be very much appreciated.
  2. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    If you will just be doing some light viewing/editing of Word files, I'd just go with the free LibreOffice.

    If you need MS Office for work, I'd go with the Office for Mac. Unless you already have a copy of Windows lying around, the VM route will cost quite a bit more. ($100 for an OEM copy of Win 7 + $50 for VM Fusion/$80 for Parallels + MS Office).

    I have no personal experience with iWork, but I have read that it's not a great alternative if you're going to be working with a lot of Office files - though it does support them.

    It is possible to install XP on a second partition without the aid of Boot Camp, but you may have a hard time finding the Boot Camp drivers since XP is no longer supported.

    Yes, your printer will work. OS X will find the drivers over the Internet when you plug it into your Mac or when you find it on the network if it's a network printer.
  3. Rileyx2 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    As for using iWork with MS Office files, it isn't the best.

    I used to use Pages for Word files (.doc and newer .docx), but occasionally the formatting would get messed up and/or font compatibility windows would pop up, and I had enough one day and bought Office for Mac.

    Granted, Pages is far cheaper than Word (and Office as it comes bundled), but if compatibility issues will be a problem for you, I'd suggest picking up Office for Mac.
  4. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Inverness, UK
    Rileyx2 and Stoobie Mcdoobie thanks for your reponse.

    I am definitely leaning towards Office now. I am assuming it will read/write to old Word and Excel files created in an old windows version of Office?

    Re the printer, I tried connecting it last night but the mac didn't appear to "see" it, but I will try again.

    Finally, any thoughts on whether it is worth the money to upgrade to Mountain Lion?

  5. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    You shouldnt face too many issues with OFM2011 but if your existing excell files have a lot of macros, some of these may not work on the mac side despite macro's & VBA added into OFM2011.

    You can download OFM2011 trial from here

    This will be your best port of call. You can see for yourself then. :)
  6. Efrem macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2009
    I'd go with Office for Mac.

    Background: I use a Mac with Office 2008 and 2011 for most of my work and teach Office 2010 for Windows at a local college, so I'm well acquainted with both sides. I run Office 2010 under Parallels on my Mac, because I have to know exactly where to find things when I prepare for a class, and the interfaces are a bit different. (Windows Office is all ribbons; Mac uses menus for several things and doesn't have the "Backstage View" concept to replace the File menu.) In terms of functionality they're 100% compatible. I have some fairly hairy VBA programs originally written for Excel 2007 (Windows); they run fine in Excel 2011 (Mac) except for some interface element size differences. There may be incompatibilities there that I happen not to have hit, I can't say, but I doubt they'll be a factor in normal use.

    No problems with the .doc, .xls and .ppt formats that were standard from Office 97/98 through Office 2003/2004. (The first number is the Windows version. The second is for Macs.) All newer releases read and write those formats in addition to the newer ones with an "x" on the end.

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