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mac to pc word format problems


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astarkey

 
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Hi - I am a couple of days into using my new Mac, and am getting stuck on a problem with word processing.
Whichever program I use ( I am running fully functional trials of Word 2004 for Mac and Pages), every time I export as a .doc file or .rtf I have big formatting issues when I open the file on a PC.

I do a lot of work with documents that include images, text boxes, different text sizes etc, and nothing I do seems to hold the formatting. I have to send to people on PCs all the time, and was convinced to get a mac since everyone told me there were no compatibility issues with word between mac and pc, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something obvious. Please help!

Otherwise, I'm very pleased with Leopard and the capabilities for Photoshop and FCP.

Thanks
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B&O

 
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I use office 08 and I have no issues at all. Sorry I can't help but I think it is the softwares age.

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chscag

 
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I use both Office 2008 for the Mac and Office 2007 for Windows and do not have problems with transferring documents between platforms. You mentioned Word 2004 which I haven't used but it is my understanding that it's compatible with Word 97 - 2003. Word 2004 is NOT compatible with the newer DOCX file format which is used by default in Word 2007. However, Office 2007 documents can be saved in "compatibility mode" which means the older formats.

As for issues with formatting, specifically if graphics are included or text boxes, there may be times that the document will be altered when saving from one platform to the other. That's something you'll have to learn to live with. But for the most part, documents should transfer OK.

Transferring documents between iWork Pages and any version of Word is a different ball game. Pages does not export to the *.DOC format very well nor does it import Office documents without changing the formatting in most cases. So I would advise - do not mix Pages and Office if your documents are complex. Simple documents should be OK.

Regards.
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astarkey

 
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Hi B&O and chscag. Thanks so much for your replies.
It sounds like I should avoid Pages altogether since I've got complicated docs to share about.
I've been trying to create docs in word 2004 on the mac and open in word 2003 on the pc, so haven't been having the 2008 compatability issues. As you say, maybe its partly coz these programs are a little old now.

How have you found office 2008? I've been reading that people have had bad trouble with it running slow etc and so was avoiding it?

Thanks. Meantime, am just loving how everything else just WORKS! If I can solve this problem somehow I will be one happy Mac switcher!
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quicksilver

 
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You could always get Crossover and install the Windows version of Office on your Mac. Codeweavers claim to have full Office support. (Haven't tried it myself).

Oh...and only pretty girls use Macs...
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Jaygray

 
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I have used Office 2004 & 2008 without any Mac vs PC Office issues. I do use a lot of forms in Word documents. I tried Pages, but had problems with the formatting of the forms.

What format are you saving the Mac Office files in? You should be using 'Save as' and under Format selecting "Word 97-2004 Document .doc". The default .docx format that it saves them in is just about useless to most people.

Also, check Word > Preferences > Compatibility. There may be something in there that is checked/unchecked which is causing your grief.

Finally, under Word > Preferences > Save you can change the default file type to Word .doc so that you don't have to keep changing the type every time.
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louishen

 
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just in case this is the problem, what fonts are you using in the documents?

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harryb2448

 
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Just make sure you have changed the default saving format from .docx to .doc. PCs are unable to handle the .docx format.
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technologist

 
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You can never be absolutely sure what will happen when you send a Word document to someone else. Word is designed for word processing, not for laying out documents consistently.

If you're sending out documents to people, you'll have about as much luck with Word 2004 on a Mac as with any other version of Word. Every version of Word from 97 to 2004 (and even 2007 and 2008, sort of) uses the same format, but they all interpret it differently. Plus, there are font issues, page setup issues, and differences in how embedded objects are handled on each individual computer.

If you want things to be consistent, use PDFs. Otherwise, go with the flow.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technologist View Post
...If you want things to be consistent, use PDFs. Otherwise, go with the flow.
This is probably the best advice ever. It will save you from major headaches and potential problems because everyone can view a PDF.
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astarkey

 
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Cool -have just looked up crossover and find that they are doing free downloads of it for today only - will give it a go and let you know how I get on
Thanks!
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astarkey

 
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Hi Technologist and CrimsonRequiem - thanks for your advice. I will use pdfs mostly I think. Trouble is, I often need to send docs that people can add their notes to for changes - is there any way that people can add notes to a pdf? Silly question maybe?
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astarkey View Post
Hi Technologist and CrimsonRequiem - thanks for your advice. I will use pdfs mostly I think. Trouble is, I often need to send docs that people can add their notes to for changes - is there any way that people can add notes to a pdf? Silly question maybe?
They can if they open up the PDF in Illustrator, Photoshop, or Acrobat Pro to "add stuff."
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