1. David J Ash's Avatar
    I have had it with Windows. The recent upgrade to Windows 10 broke my PC. So it's time to try an iMac. Problem is, like many people, my work requires me to use a Windows machine on a Windows network.

    So here's the question. If I buy an iMac (and it's the 27" 5K Retina I'm looking at) and install the Mac version of MS Office on it (would that be 2016 ?), will the files I create on the Mac (Word, Excel, etc) be fully compatible with the Windows-based Office suite at work, and will PC-using colleagues to whom I send documents be able to open and edit them?

    I'd be grateful for any advice from experienced users before I take the plunge.

    08-21-2015 08:57 AM
  2. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    The files you create in the Mac version of MS Office will be fully compatible with its Windows counterpart and vice-versa.
    08-21-2015 09:03 AM
  3. David J Ash's Avatar
    Thank you. Does that compatibility extend to preserving exactly the same layout if a document is opened in both Mac and Windows versions? (I am particularly interested in Word documents here).

    And, if I may, a follow-up question. Does the Mac version of Word create PDF files natively, or would I have to obtain additional software to turn Word files into PDFs?
    08-21-2015 09:14 AM
  4. garybuk's Avatar
    Most of the time the formats will be the same; unless you use a specific font only carried by the native operating system.

    The only difference I have noticed is in Outlook 365 where tabs / indentations don't show properly on Windows users machines. odd.

    OSX has PDF creation built in system wide, just hit Print, theres a PDF drop down. Voila.
    08-21-2015 12:02 PM
  5. David J Ash's Avatar
    Thank you.
    08-21-2015 12:05 PM
  6. dreamception's Avatar
    All Apple computers running OS X including iMac's are build to run windows natively using a function called bootcamp. You can run any version, XP, 7, 8, or 10. What this means for you is, when you boot the computer, you can optionally boot into windows if you need to use office.

    You can also run something called a Virtual Machine, which is basically an operating system inside a window open on your mac while booted into OSX. It uses virtualization to emulate a operating system inside another operating system. So, basically you could open your windows VM image with office loaded and work in windows while in OSX until you are done.

    I have used office for Mac and I would love to say it worked flawlessly, but it didn't. Word and Excel crash non-stop and I have had issues with compatibility of files. I have dual boot setup as well as a VM for quicker access. They have released Office 2016 I believe, or they will be in the next few weeks and that will likely improve on this issues greatly.
    08-21-2015 10:38 PM
  7. David J Ash's Avatar
    I find it astonishing that, 30 years after the launch of the Mac, there are still issues with running such a fundamental piece of software as MS Office.
    08-22-2015 07:27 AM
  8. katy's Avatar
    Another way to be sure that the document will look exactly the same way on both platforms is to use the online versions of the applications included in the MS Office suite.

    P.S. I am interested in how the Windows 10 update broke your PC. I have successfully updated my home PC and the laptop I am using at work.
    08-24-2015 11:53 AM
  9. David J Ash's Avatar
    Thanks for the tip.

    In a nutshell, Microsoft installed Windows 10 on my Windows 7 PC without my permission; that is to say, I clicked the option NOT to install it when offered and the installation went ahead. I have since discovered that this is not an isolated problem.

    To start with, it looked as if the new OS was working fine. It took several reboots to get into its stride, but eventually, after a day or so, it would boot without an error message. Time to do some work.

    I tried opening a few files and slowly discovered, to my horror, that Windows 10 had converted ALL my files to "read only". More internet research. Yep, I was not the only person this was happening to. I tried resetting the permissions on files and folders, but W10 kept setting them back again. Eventually, I found a complicated work around which enabled me, slowly, folder by folder, to reset permissions on all my files.

    And then, a day or so into the whole process, the computer just refused to boot. All I got was a black screen. Completely dead. Tried all the usual things. Safe mode was not available. The BIOS was unresponsive.

    So I pulled the emergency cord and used Acronis, my backup software, to reinstall an image of the system as it had been back in July. Success! Except that now, every three days, Microsoft is nagging me to upgrade to W10 again and it won't stop! I can't turn the upgrade countdown off, I can simply postpone it by three days. At the end of that time, a countdown window appears saying "59 minutes until we install Windows 10". If I were not to catch it in time and tell it to wait another three days (you can't tell it simply not to install), it would start the whole nightmare all over again.

    As I have researched this online, I have found many more people all over the world whose computers have been hijacked in this way by Microsoft. They don't want Windows 10 but they can't stop the juggernaut. One American I came across has been incensed enough to take it up with his congressman!

    As for me, I am teetering on the edge of a decision. I seem to have four options, and I can't decide between them at the moment. (1) Let the upgrade go ahead and see what happens with fingers firmly crossed but expecting the worst; (2) Buy a completely new PC with a fresh install of W10 and expect it to work; (3) Reinstall my Windows 7 system from disc, lose all my programs and settings and condemn myself to reinstalling everything; (4) Abandon Microsoft and buy an iMac and spend ages learning a new system.

    You see the problem?
    08-24-2015 12:17 PM
  10. kch50428's Avatar
    ...spend ages learning a new system.
    It wouldn't be "ages"... and if you're using an iPhone or iPad - even less time...
    08-24-2015 12:31 PM
  11. David J Ash's Avatar
    A reassuring thought. I have both and iPad and and iPhone.
    08-24-2015 12:35 PM
  12. David J Ash's Avatar
    Finally ... thanks to everyone here for their advice. I have taken the plunge and ordered the 21.5" iMac with as many upgraded internal bits and pieces as it would offer me.
    08-25-2015 03:42 AM

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