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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Lifetime PC user switched to Mac and really having trouble... advice?


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kmstevenson

 
Member Since: Sep 14, 2010
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Hi All,

I'm sure there have been a lot of posts like this in the past, but I was hoping you could provide me some advice. I've had a PC forever and recently made the switch to a MacBook Pro. I'm taking grad school classes online and so far with this computer have lost a paper that I was 10 pages into because my computer froze, had a ton of formatting issues and still don't really know where anything is?! When I purchased this computer I was told the iWork software was completely compatible with Word, and I've come to find out, it is not, so now I have to purchase Windows for Mac.

Needless to say, it's been a really frustrating 3 weeks and I've been regretting my decision about buying this because I don't have time to learn where things are and have had some pretty big issues with it in the short time I've had it.

I really only use the computer for classes (Blackboard), and creating documents for my course and the Internet. I also recently found out MS Windows has a program that put documents in APA format, which I need for school but can't find anywhere that my program has that feature?

Any advise or tricks that any of you who switched from PC's to Macs used I'd really appreciate.

Also, can someone please tell me when I purchase the Windows for Mac program is it completely compatible? I'm really only going to be using Word, so that's all I'm concerned about.

Thanks in advance for any help...
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmstevenson View Post
When I purchased this computer I was told the iWork software was completely compatible with Word, and I've come to find out, it is not, so now I have to purchase Windows for Mac.

Also, can someone please tell me when I purchase the Windows for Mac program is it completely compatible?
I'm not 100% sure about iWorks compatibility with Word...but another alternative would be to purchase Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office for the Mac.

What "Windows for Mac" program are you referring to??...I'm not familiar with "Windows for Mac". I am familiar with the programs "Parallels" & "VMware Fusion".

HTH,

- Nick

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chscag

 
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Unfortunately iWork Pages is not completely compatible with MS Word although it does layout work very well. You need to purchase MS Office for the Mac which includes Word, Excel, PPoint, and Outlook in the more expensive version. There will be a new version of Office for the Mac released late next month (Office 2011) so it would be wise to wait until then. In the meantime you might consider using Open Office for the Mac. It's a free program, but fairly bloated if you only need the word processor. It does, however, provide better compatibility than iWork Pages. You can download it from here.

As for the learning curve, it's like anything else that's new and unfamiliar, you have to learn by doing. I suggest you buy a Mac beginners book at your local bookstore or from Amazon and read through it. MacWorld Magazine also has some excellent publications regarding Mac computers and the OS X operating system.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmstevenson View Post
Hi All,

I'm sure there have been a lot of posts like this in the past, but I was hoping you could provide me some advice. I've had a PC forever and recently made the switch to a MacBook Pro. I'm taking grad school classes online and so far with this computer have lost a paper that I was 10 pages into because my computer froze
Just a few tips....

1. Any time you're working on a paper of some sort, get in the habit of saving constantly. Most productivity applications have an auto-save feature, make sure it's turned on.

2. Get an external hard drive and use Time Machine. Time Machine will not only constantly backup your data, but also revisions to documents. This way, you can not only recover lost data, but also revert back to an old version should you need to. It's very easy to set up and once it's done, it basically works on its own.

3. I've never seen a Mac that didn't have a hardware problem completely freeze. My guess is that your application might have frozen. Much like with Windows, the Mac has a "Control-Alt-Delete"-like feature to kill off hung tasks. That command is Command+Option+Esc. This will bring up the "Force Quit" dialog, which will allow you to terminate the offending application. Forcibly powering off your machine is not recommended and can actually cause filesystem corruption.

Quote:
, had a ton of formatting issues and still don't really know where anything is?! When I purchased this computer I was told the iWork software was completely compatible with Word, and I've come to find out, it is not, so now I have to purchase Windows for Mac.
iWork is a great suite of productivity applications to be sure. With that said, it is not a perfect stand-in for MS Office, particularly if you often trade files with MS Office users. In an academic setting, you should qualify for the academic version of MS Office for Mac, which is lower-priced than the normal version.

My guess is that by "Windows for Mac", you mean "MS Office for Mac". In my experience, I've noticed a lot of people are under the misconception that Windows and Office are one and the same. This is not the case. Windows an operating system, while MS Office is a productivity suite. They are separate and distinct products -- both Windows and Office can work on a Mac, what you probably want is MS Office.

Just want to make that clear.

Quote:
Needless to say, it's been a really frustrating 3 weeks and I've been regretting my decision about buying this because I don't have time to learn where things are and have had some pretty big issues with it in the short time I've had it.
Most people buy a Mac because they are tired of Windows and are ready for something different. So, don't be surprised when it is indeed different. Just as it took many years for you to develop your Windows-using habits, it will take some time to get acclimated to the Mac and develop new habits.

Try to be patient and give it time. I'd also strongly recommend the following book:

Amazon.com: Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual (9780596153281): David Pogue: Books

It's an easy read that touches on the OS, the iLife suite and a lot more of the Mac's eccentricities. Highly recommended by both myself and many others here.

Quote:
I really only use the computer for classes (Blackboard), and creating documents for my course and the Internet. I also recently found out MS Windows has a program that put documents in APA format, which I need for school but can't find anywhere that my program has that feature?
Are you sure it's a .APA extension? I've done a bit of research and it seems to be a pretty obscure format. Can you find out what program on Windows generates that format?

Quote:
Any advise or tricks that any of you who switched from PC's to Macs used I'd really appreciate.

Also, can someone please tell me when I purchase the Windows for Mac program is it completely compatible? I'm really only going to be using Word, so that's all I'm concerned about.

Thanks in advance for any help...
You mean MS Office for Mac. Yes, it's compatible. Do bear in mind however, that Word is not a static format and even between different versions of Office for Windows, the formatting can vary slightly. If the formatting must remain absolute, I'd recommend converting the document to PDF.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Branstrator

 
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I can understand your frustration! Switching from PC to MAC cold turkey, can be a challenge for some. The freeze you experienced doesn't sound like normal behavior from a brand new Macbook Pro... Not to worry though, whether we like it or not... Anytime we play with technology, hicups from time to time are inevitable. Perhaps you just experienced one a little sooner than you expected.

If you decide to stick with word... (Which would be my choice) I would wait until the new Microsoft Office comes out. In the meantime, you can download a trial of Office 2008 here - https://store.digitalriver.com/store...=1284518314503

Hope this helps!

And have no fear my friend. Switching can be scary, but if you hang in there a little while longer, you will see that you made an excellent choice!
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wingman1

 
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I have heard so many good things about a mac, it is tempting to buy one and make the switch. But, after reading this post, it is more than I want to dare. It seems like it is an entirely new way of using computer systems. My PC is sophisticated enough for me at this time.
I will keep checking the forum and hopefully will be brave enough to make the change once convinced that it is the right thing to do.
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osxx

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingman1 View Post
I have heard so many good things about a mac, it is tempting to buy one and make the switch. But, after reading this post, it is more than I want to dare. It seems like it is an entirely new way of using computer systems. My PC is sophisticated enough for me at this time.
I will keep checking the forum and hopefully will be brave enough to make the change once convinced that it is the right thing to do.
Nothing to fear its only an OS that has a better than windows help feature and
plenty of forum members with vast knowledge of the system and besides you
can run another OS on the machine in virtual or bootcamp.
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IvanLasston

 
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I got forever save in a bundle - seems to work pretty well - especially if you don't save often. It has plenty of options to backup individual documents.
Tool Force Software | ForeverSave

One of the reasons I switched is the time machine backup feature. I've lost plenty of data in the middle of working while using windows.

Also if you've ever had windows load into safe profile mode - you'll know the terror of thinking you've lost everything.
safe profile windows - Google Search

Is this the APA style you are talking about?
APA Style Templates for Apple’s Pages
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Alwyn

 
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I note that others have pointed out differences between Windows & Office. If you are a student you may be able to get Office for Mac at a special price. Alternatively you could consider downloading Open Office which is free.

I have found it perfectly satisfactory, both for word processing and spreadsheets. It will open both Word & Excel files and, when you have modified them you have a choice between saving in Excel/Word or Calc/Writer format. The latter are the Open Office Spreadsheet/Word Processing suites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmstevenson View Post
Hi All,

I'm sure there have been a lot of posts like this in the past, but I was hoping you could provide me some advice. I've had a PC forever and recently made the switch to a MacBook Pro. I'm taking grad school classes online and so far with this computer have lost a paper that I was 10 pages into because my computer froze, had a ton of formatting issues and still don't really know where anything is?! When I purchased this computer I was told the iWork software was completely compatible with Word, and I've come to find out, it is not, so now I have to purchase Windows for Mac.

Needless to say, it's been a really frustrating 3 weeks and I've been regretting my decision about buying this because I don't have time to learn where things are and have had some pretty big issues with it in the short time I've had it.

I really only use the computer for classes (Blackboard), and creating documents for my course and the Internet. I also recently found out MS Windows has a program that put documents in APA format, which I need for school but can't find anywhere that my program has that feature?

Any advise or tricks that any of you who switched from PC's to Macs used I'd really appreciate.

Also, can someone please tell me when I purchase the Windows for Mac program is it completely compatible? I'm really only going to be using Word, so that's all I'm concerned about.

Thanks in advance for any help...
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MacInWin

 
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One other alternative to Office is NeoOffice, which is compatible with Word, Excel, etc. It's free, and it works well. It's NOT Word, so there is a learning curve, but at the price, it's worth it to at least try it.
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