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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    Dx3me's Avatar
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    Exclamation How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    I would like to get some advise, since I'm planning to make the switch from a Windows laptop to an iMac within the next few months...
    But I have a lot of Microsoft Word, Excel files that I don't want to lose.
    Neither can I afford to lose all my emails and websites (using Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox).

    I run a company, so for me all the above files are very important to maintain.
    - Now my fear is... will OSX recognize all these files by default, or do I need to convert everything with a specific app?
    Also, normally I make weekly backups of all my files to an external harddrive, will this harddrive be recognized by OSX?

    ** I need to be absolutely sure that my files are safe, before I make the switch within the next few months.
  2. #2  
    Fausty82's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dx3me View Post
    I would like to get some advise, since I'm planning to make the switch from a Windows laptop to an iMac within the next few months...
    But I have a lot of Microsoft Word, Excel files that I don't want to lose.
    Neither can I afford to lose all my emails and websites (using Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox).

    I run a company, so for me all the above files are very important to maintain.
    - Now my fear is... will OSX recognize all these files by default, or do I need to convert everything with a specific app?
    Also, normally I make weekly backups of all my files to an external harddrive, will this harddrive be recognized by OSX?

    ** I need to be absolutely sure that my files are safe, before I make the switch within the next few months.
    There are versions of Microsoft Office for OS X... as well as Apple's own iWork suite (Pages = Word; Numbers = Excel and Keynote = Powerpoint) that read/write in Office's native formats. If you are comfortable with Microsoft Office, just pick up a copy of the suite for OS X and Bob's your uncle, as they say in England.

    As for email, Mozilla has a version of Thunderbird for OS X. There is also a version the Microsoft Office email client (Outlook) that runs in the OS X version of MS Office on OS X.

    And, of course, there is a version of Mozilla's Firefox for OS X, as well.
    Curmudgeon and Former Member/Participant
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  3. #3  
    Karenkcoulter's Avatar

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    Default How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dx3me View Post
    I would like to get some advise, since I'm planning to make the switch from a Windows laptop to an iMac within the next few months...
    But I have a lot of Microsoft Word, Excel files that I don't want to lose.
    Neither can I afford to lose all my emails and websites (using Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox).

    I run a company, so for me all the above files are very important to maintain.
    - Now my fear is... will OSX recognize all these files by default, or do I need to convert everything with a specific app?
    Also, normally I make weekly backups of all my files to an external harddrive, will this harddrive be recognized by OSX?

    ** I need to be absolutely sure that my files are safe, before I make the switch within the next few months.
    You will be able to view MS Office files by default. If you purchase iWork, it is $20 each for Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel), and Keynote (PowerPoint). These can edit Office docs and then either save in their own format or Save As .doc, .xls, etc. You can also just purchase MS Office for the Mac.

    Assuming the external hard drive is formatted as FAT, the OSX can read and write to it. If its NTFS, then I think you can only read unless you get a third party NTFS driver.

    Firefox definitely runs on the Mac. I think Thunderbird does as well, but I'm not sure. Also not sure how it works if you've downloaded mail (not in a server). But assuming Thunderbird has a Mac version, I'd guess that it wouldn't be difficult.
  4. Thread AuthorThread Author   #4  
    Dx3me's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Ok, I got some valuable info from you guys... thanks!
    I guess my best chance would be to get OSX versions of Office, to be able to fully use the Word/Excel files the way I'm used to.

    I just checked my external harddrive however, and it's a NTFS format... but it should be able to re-format it to FAT I assume.
    (will try that in a bit)
  5. #5  
    Fausty82's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dx3me View Post
    Ok, I got some valuable info from you guys... thanks!
    I guess my best chance would be to get OSX versions of Office, to be able to fully use the Word/Excel files the way I'm used to.

    I just checked my external harddrive however, and it's a NTFS format... but it should be able to re-format it to FAT I assume.
    (will try that in a bit)
    Another option for your external drive would be to connect it to your network via a router that has such a feature (All of the Apple routers do, as well as many other routers available today). By doing this, the network protocols will take care of the conversion to/from NTFS... without the need to convert your existing drive. I currently have a 2TB drive attached via my Apple Airport Extreme router and I can read/write to/from this drive on my Mac, Windows and Linux computers.
    Curmudgeon and Former Member/Participant
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  6. #6  
    Karenkcoulter's Avatar

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    Default How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Or if you are transitioning to OSX only, you could also just use the external drive as a Time Machine drive. When you select a drive for time machine , then it will format it for you and you cannot use it for anything else. If its just a backup drive and you don't need to read it on any other PC, this might be the easiest.
  7. Thread AuthorThread Author   #7  
    Dx3me's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Hmm, not sure what to do here.
    I checked the option to switch the file-system on my external harddisk from NTFS to FAT... but I only get the option to switch from NTFS to exFAT.

    Regarding compatibility with OSX, would it be a smart choice to switch to exFAT, or would I be better of, sticking to NTFS??
  8. #8  
    Karenkcoulter's Avatar

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    Default How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    I don't think OSX reads exFat. So stick with NTFS. You'd have to reformat the drive to get it into FAT format.
  9. #9  
    Ed7789's Avatar
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    Default How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Current OS X versions are able to read and write on exFAT volumes, although some restrictions may apply.


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    Karenkcoulter (12-20-2012)
  10. Thread AuthorThread Author   #10  
    Dx3me's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does OSX handle specific files originally made in Microsoft programs?

    Ok, I'm about to re-format my external harddrive to exFAT (so it's compatible with both Windows 7 and OSX).

    But when formatting, I get the option of choosing the 'allocation unit size'...
    - 32 kb
    - 64
    - 128
    - 256
    - 1024
    - 2048
    - 4096
    - 8192
    - 16384
    - 32768

    * What size do you recommend me to format?
    I take it, it has to do with the size of files you store on the harddrive?
    (I plan to store video and music files, when I switch to iMac... for video / music editing purposes and such)
    Last edited by Dx3me; 12-21-2012 at 05:15 AM.

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