Word processing compatibility

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by robinduncan, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. robinduncan macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2005
    Hi, I'm just about to upgrade my OS to Jaguar. I want to be able to create and work on word processing files on my G3 iMac and then switch the files over to Microsoft Word on the Windows computers we have at university (and vice versa... via a pen drive or something). Is this possible? (excuse my ignorance...:eek: )
    Which word-processing programme would you recommend? Word for Mac? Which version? What about open office - would it do the compatibility trick?
    All answers received very gratefully,
  2. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Going across platform there are situations where the document looks slightly different on the Mac compared to on a PC. When you also change the application these situations tend to become more common.

    For the minimal number of situations where the layout changes when you cross platforms you should use Microsoft Office for Mac. The most recent version is Office 2004, but since you are on a G3 you might want to try an earlier version such as Microsoft Office X.

    Open Office will work although there are more cases where the document layout in Open Office is different from the layout in Windows for the same file. However Open Office is free so there is a balance between the potential for more problems and the cost of the software.
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    OpenOffice is an X11 application, so I can't recommend it. NeoOffice is a "real" Mac application based on OpenOffice, and it's free -- so if you're looking for a Microsoft Office clone, this is probably your best bet. Be aware, that translations between a non-Microsoft application and Word are going to be imperfect, if only because Microsoft does not open their file formats. Even sharing between versions of Word isn't going to be perfect, and between platforms, even less so. For simple sharing, RTF is a good file format. TextEdit can handle it well.
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    You worry needlessly. If Word-compatibility is what you want, then Word 2004 is the most compatible version of the app. It even includes a compatibility test. As a rule of thumb, it is less risky to transfer a document between Macs with two different versions of Word or between a Mac and Windows than between two different versions of Word:win. Also, recent versions of TextEdit can create and edit Word documents. Whenever I am concerned about how my document will transfer to a Windows-using drone, I send the document in RTF format and he is none the wiser.

    Advice: Use proper computer word processing techniques. Use standard fonts. You should have no problems.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you have a new copy of Word for Mac you won't have too many problems.

    The only time you will have a problem is transfering between a newer Word and an "hairy older" Copy.

    Sometimes the older copies won't read stuff that has XML enabled, or some other new feature.


    Otherwise you should be able to quickly find out what you need to save files as to get the best compatility if you run into problems.

    Shouldn't run into many, besides version related problems -- if any.

    Anyhow, you can set up both word copies to use the same file types anyway, as your default -- aka, Normal document.


    Since WordPerfect isn't in the mix, you shouldn't have any problems that require using AppleWorks to translate, or Dataviz's MacLinkPlus.

Share This Page