MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Microsoft

Sep. 14, 2009
Sep. 19, 2009
Sep. 22, 2009
Sep. 23, 2009
Nov. 2, 2009
Jan. 21, 2010
May. 1, 2010
May. 3, 2010
May. 4, 2010
May. 5, 2010
May. 6, 2010
May. 7, 2010
May. 8, 2010
Jul. 19, 2011
Jul. 20, 2011
Jul. 22, 2011
Feb. 27, 2012
Aug. 21, 2014
Sep. 14, 2009

item.100335

Daniel Smith

Microsoft Office 2000 HTML Filter!

I've paid for Microsoft Office 1998, 2001, and 2004 for the Mac, everyone of them promoted by Microsoft with weasel-worded but nevertheless clear promises of feature-parity with the Windows versions.

I have a continuing need to use portions of medium-heavily formatted Word documents, sent to me by people whose use of Word I can't control or dictate, and incorporate them within web pages formatted in clean HTML.

After struggling with this, I found that Microsoft offers a free "Microsoft Office 2000 HTML Filter" which appears to be exactly what I need.

Unfortunate, it seems this tool is not available for the Mac.

Well, no biggie, I thought, I just need it occasionally, I'll just install the tool on my wife's Windows machine and use it there. I downloaded the installer tool -- and it refused to install it, because it did not detect a copy of Office 2000 on my wife's machine!

Sep. 19, 2009

item.100776

Terry Maraccini

[Re: Daniel Smith's note:]

I have a continuing need to use portions of medium-heavily formatted Word documents, sent to me by people whose use of Word I can't control or dictate, and incorporate them within web pages formatted in clean HTML. After struggling with this, I found that Microsoft offers a free "Microsoft Office 2000 HTML Filter" which appears to be exactly what I need. Unfortunate, it seems this tool is not available for the Mac.

Get a copy of Dreamweaver and use the Word filter.

Sep. 22, 2009

item.100906

Robert Rosenberg

Daniel Smith posts

"Microsoft Office 2000 HTML Filter!

I've paid for Microsoft Office 1998, 2001, and 2004 for the Mac, everyone of them promoted by Microsoft with weasel-worded but nevertheless clear promises of feature-parity with the Windows versions.

I have a continuing need to use portions of medium-heavily formatted Word documents, sent to me by people whose use of Word I can't control or dictate, and incorporate them within web pages formatted in clean HTML."

If you still have that Office 1998, it generates PURE (ie: CSS-free) HTML. I use it when I need to turn a .doc file into HTML. If O98 has problems reading a .doc file from a newer Office Version, just filter it first by saving as a O98 format file.

With the later versions of Office (that generate CSS) you have the option to tell it to output "Good" CSS which excludes the round-trip CSS Crud that allows the HTML to be read into Office and treate it as if it were the original .doc file. The problem with that option is that it generates HTML that can not be merged into other pages due to the CSS that it contains (which can conflict with your CSS) as well as the CSS itself being bloated crud, due to poor generation (why is there is need to include a class in every use of the P tag [(e: <P class="mso-something-or-other>) and not just a .P rule and <P> tags with an override only when needed?).

Sep. 23, 2009

item.100995

Ted Burger

My solution is to open the file in AppleWorks and then save it as HTML from AppleWorks. Now you have a CLEAN HTML file.

item.101005

David Zatz

ETS (the Educational Testing Service - you know, the SAT guys) sells ebooks as Windows/Mac... and when you download them, you get Windows proprietary EXE files... instead of PDF.

item.101056

David Zatz

One addition to my comment about the ETS ebooks -- if you click on "details" at some point you get a note saying that the Mac compability assumes you'll run the software under Windows.

The ebooks are not in PDF format, but are in a proprietary format.

As far as I know the only solution to reading them on a Mac without Windows is printing to PDF if you can.

Very sleazy -- they don't even set minimum requirements of an Intel-based Mac!

Nov. 2, 2009

item.103613

Philip M

Not that I really care, but Microsoft Silverlight is giving me problems, on their own site. I went to check out Windows 7 update compatibility for my Vista Home Basic Bootcamp partition. Bought the family pack ($194 for three computers at Amazon, via the MacInTouch link, including updates to Windows XP, which I have on two other computers; seemed like a good deal). But www.microsoft.com crashes Safari. There are circular blue dots that look like it's loading something; it hits 100% and then crashes. Reproducible on every try. Meanwhile Firefox and Camino (latest versons: Camino not officially supported but lists the plug-in as loaded), give, on the Microsoft site "Experience this in Silverlight (Free Download)". So they don't crash, but won't load. Running Leopard 10.5.8 with all latest updates, browsers with all latest updates, and latest version of flip4mac and Silverlight installed. Is it just me? Maybe Microsoft is feeling hostile...

Jan. 21, 2010

item.108005

Doug Norton

Did you see this?
   http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2010/tc20100119_759795.htm

But did you know that if you want to list your business with bing you'll need a Windows machine with IE? Go here and click on "Local Listing Center."
  http://www.bing.com/local/

So, I guess only if you are a business that uses Windows can you be listed... Typical.

May. 1, 2010

item.113728

Jeff Ribordy

[Jeff Ribordy]

I am a pediatrician and I use a Mac Book Pro in the office but I have to run Windoze 7 in Parallels for our EHR. I was trying to access the website of the local state Immunization Registry but unfortunately it only works with IE. IE didn't appear to be installed (I seem to remember unpinning it after installation which appears to have deleted it) so I figured, no problem, I'll just download a new version. It's just a browser. After two days of fruitless searching for a Win 7 version of IE to download I contacted Microsoft online customer support.

Sorry for the length

Verel has joined this session!

Connected with Verel. Your reference number for this chat session is 2323860.
Verel: Welcome to Microsoft Customer Service Chat, Jeff.
Please give me a moment to review your question.
Please note that this chat service is available to guide you to the appropriate resources for your questions. Often this can include technical support options or a phone number to the appropriate Microsoft team.
Verel: I understand that you would like to find a link to download Internet Explorer 8.
Jeff Ribordy: Yes
Verel: Please don't worry. I will be glad to assist you with this issue.
Verel: Please give me a moment while I search for information regarding the issue.
Verel: Thank you for your patience.
Verel: Please visit the following link to obtain information on downloading Internet Explorer 8.
Verel: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/worldwide-sites.aspx
Jeff Ribordy: Been there. Where is the link for Windows 7?
Verel: I am sorry for the information provided. Please give me a moment while I check my resources for you.
Jeff Ribordy: Frustrating isn't it?
Verel: I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Jeff Ribordy: You didn't cause it
Verel: Thank you for your patience. I am still researching. One moment please.
Jeff Ribordy: So you can imagine how annoyed I have been . been trying for two days to do this. If a Microsoft employee can't even figure it out.....
Verel: Jeff, May I confirm that there is no Internet Explorer 8 installed on your computer. I did a check with my resources and found out that "Internet Explorer 8 will be included in Windows 7 so no installation is necessary".
Jeff Ribordy: There is no IE 8 on my computer. I have searched for it and nothing shows in search
Verel: To confirm can you please follow the steps: Click the Start button and in the search box type "Internet Explorer", then select Internet Explorer from the Programs section in the results list.
Jeff Ribordy: Did that multiple times - search is blank
Jeff Ribordy: "No items match your search"
Jeff Ribordy: That's why I'm talking to you
Verel: Thank you for confirming.
Verel: Please give me a couple of minutes while I search for the information regarding the issue.
Jeff Ribordy: Why is it so hard to download a browser? I can download any other browser
(and have) with ease.

The session has ended!

He just disconnected me since he couldn't find an answer! So I started a new session.

Tiffany has joined this session!
Connected with Tiffany. Your reference number for this chat session is 2323918.
Tiffany: Welcome to Microsoft Customer Service Chat, Jeff. Please note that this chat service is available to guide you to the appropriate resources for your questions. Often this can include technical support options or a phone number to the appropriate Microsoft team.
Tiffany: Please give me a moment while I review your chat Session ID: 2323860.

Jeff: Hello?
Jeff: ok
Tiffany: Hello Jeff
Jeff: Hell
Jeff: Have you read the last session?
Tiffany: Yes, Jeff.
Jeff: The answer couldn't be found so I was disconnected
Tiffany: I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you in the previous chat session.
Tiffany: I understand you would like to download Internet Explorer 8. Is that correct?
Jeff: Not sure it was inconvenience
Jeff: Yes
Tiffany: I would like to inform you that Internet Explorer 8 comes with Windows 7.
Jeff: So I hear
Jeff: Not on mine though
Tiffany: May I know whether Internet Explorer 8 is missing on your computer?
Jeff: Yes it is - did you read the last session

Jeff: Verel: To confirm can you please follow the steps: Click the Start button and in the search box type "Internet Explorer", then select Internet Explorer from the Programs section in the results list.
Jeff Ribordy: Did that multiple times - search is blank
Jeff Ribordy: "No items match your search"

Tiffany: I understand. I just wanted to confirm the same.
Tiffany: Thank you for the information.
Jeff: You realize I can download any other browser with ease. Why is this so hard?
Tiffany: Please do not worry. I will assist you with this issue.
Tiffany: May I know from where did you purchase Windows 7?
Jeff: Staples
Tiffany: I would strongly suggest you to contact Staples to get the issue resolved. They might replace the software. Windows 7 comes with Internet Explorer 8 and no need to download it separately.
Jeff: What?
Jeff: Are you serious?
Jeff: I
Jeff: WANT
Jeff: TO
Jeff: DOWNLOAD
Jeff: A
Jeff: BROWSER
Tiffany: Downloading Internet Explorer 8 separately is charged.
Jeff: Why is that such a difficult concept?
Jeff: You're kidding
Jeff: This is MICORSOFT software
Jeff: Last I checked Staples does not produce software
Jeff: excuse me *MICROSOFT
Tiffany: I understand, but it was sold to you by Staples.
Jeff: And produced by you.
Jeff: Staples does not have technical support
Jeff: You do
Tiffany: This is not a technical issue.
Jeff: So what you are saying is the only way to have browser is to reinstall the entire system software?
Tiffany: For further assistance with this issue, please contact our support team at (800)-936-5700.
Their hours of support are: Monday to Friday - 5 AM to 9 PM, Saturdays and Sundays, 6 AM - 3 PM Pacific Time.
Jeff: Why - so they can blow me off too?
Jeff: This is why I use Macs
Tiffany: I am sorry you feel that way.
Tiffany: Is there anything else you would like information on?

The session has ended!

Jeff: I'm definitely not sorr

She cut me off mid-sentence.

May. 3, 2010

item.113850

Richard Tench

I have to say that this is the worst possible way to get assistance. What a terrible attitude to exhibit in dealing with first line (or *any* level) technical support staff. Here are some key things to be aware of when dealing with technical support, and a few comments on this particular case:

1) The person you are dealing with has many many customers each day, which run the gamut from unsophisticated (the most common), to frustrated (common), to disrespectful (as is the case here), to abusive.
2) The person you are dealing with is not paid well. Not that we should feel free to rant at well-paid people, but it's worse when they might have taken this job -- one that subjects them to dealing with ill-mannered customers -- just to help put food on the table.
3) You are asking this person "why is it so hard to download a browser?" Why are you expecting a front-line rep to know this? Do you think by you asking this that he or she will get on the line to the product manager and fix things up for future users? By all means, come on here and rant, but don't rant to someone not in a position to change policy.
4) It would be normal behaviour for someone being disrespected to not be as helpful as they could be. Was your purpose to help yourself get IE8 back, or was it to blow off steam. Because blowing off steam does not help you get IE8 back -- quite the opposite.
5) You assumed the disconnection was because they no longer wanted to deal with you. That would not be surprising and may well be correct, but you might be completely wrong as well. You're assuming the worst and that's not a good way to be with *anyone* -- workmates, service providers, friends, etc. The second disconnection does make sense; it's pretty clear you were going to continue to be on your high horse about Microsoft and needed to get your satisfaction and definitely "the last word". Why should they stick around for that?
6) Use of all caps is shouting and rude. Using one word per sentence indicates that you believe the person at the other end is thick and you need to speak slowly. Did you think your frustration legitimizes rudeness? It doesn't.

There may or may not be a technical solution to your problem other than re-installing all of Windows 7. If you hadn't already been disrespectful, you may well have gotten there in the first chat.

If it turns out that you really do need to reinstall Windows 7, find out how to give Microsoft constructive feedback in a way that product managers or senior management notice. Perhaps some of the other commenters here will know the best avenue for that.

item.113852

Ted Wise

Try this. Either bring up a Run window or the command line and type iexplore.

If that doesn't work, bring up a file explorer window and in the address bar type the web page URL.

item.113854

MacInTouch Reader

Jeff, why don't you contact Kathleen Hogan, VP in charge of Customer Service for Microsoft, at khogan@microsoft.com. Send her a copy of your chat.

item.113855

Leonard Hermens

For Jeff Ribordy:

Control Panel->Programs and Features
then click on: Turn Windows features on or off

Then check (select) the box next to Internet Explorer (7 or 8) and then click Okay.

item.113859

Steven MacDonald

"After two days of fruitless searching for a Win 7 version of IE to download I contacted Microsoft online customer support."

Very funny story but a question... Does the Vista download version not work in 7?

item.113876

David Charlap

Jeff Ribordy seems to have confused two third-world Microsoft support people by asking questions not on their script.

They are right - Windows 7 comes with IE 8 built-in, and it is not available as a separate download. Even if there is no icon anywhere on the start menu, the application should still be on your hard drive. Go look for "iexplore.exe" somewhere on your system. You can create a new Start menu icon from that.

If IE is really missing, there should be a control panel somewhere to add/remove Windows components and to repair your installation. I don't know exactly where this is on Windows 7, but you should be able to use it to reinstall IE if it is really missing. You may need to have your installation media on-hand for this.

Good luck.

item.113879

Chris Ruprecht

This IE8 story reminds me of the time, when a friend of mine bought MS Windows Server 2003 for a client. He bought the English version, the CDs clearly stated that, but when he installed it, everything was in Spanish.

And Microsoft's answer at the time were: Get support from the retailer where you bought it....

item.113887

MacInTouch Reader

Have you tried to install IE from the Win 7 install disks?

May. 4, 2010

item.113896

Jeff Ribordy

Thanks for all the helpful comments:

Steven - I could download other versions of IE 7 and 8 but they wouldn't install.

Leonard and David - Thanks you. Going into the Program area worked. Didn't even need my install disk.

Which brings me back to the original concept/frustration/reason for the post. Here are two MacInTouch readers (whom I assume are not MS employees) that could solve the problem almost immediately. If I am contacting "customer" or "technical support" should I not expect some "help"? My frustration level was already high when I contacted them, true, but the lack of any understanding of this basic problem exacerbated it. Then to be blown off, "This is not a technical issue.", when it clearly was adds to the anger and frustration. Say you don't know what the problems is but don't make an absolute statement that is false when you don't know what you are talking about.

This issue sheds light on why I use Macs - they just work, simply and easily. I don't need to waste 2 days trying to figure out how to download a browser. I just do it. Even for Windows I can download ANY OTHER browser except MS's own. (I have Safari, Firefox, and Chrome installed) Unfortunately, some websites can't program (??) correctly and are IE only.
I can access my bank, my local hospital lab and x-ray reports, my student loans, etc. all using any browser on the Mac side. Part of my frustration had been being forced to use IE in the first place.

item.113955

Roger S. Cohen

Why not download IE 8 directly from Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/worldwide-sites.aspx

May. 5, 2010

item.113984

Kenyon Kopp

Jeff Ribordy had problems with downloading IE 8 to run on Windows 7 and then wondered why a couple of readers on MacInTouch could help him resolve the issue when Microsoft's tech support wasn't able to help him.

I don't think there's much doubt the Microsoft tech support people could have (and should have) done a better job. I did notice one key difference though: On MacInTouch you mentioned that you "seem to remember unpinning it after installation" but it doesn't appear you got that same info to the Microsoft tech support people.

It's one of those funny things that can really change how someone looks at resolving a problem. You asked tech support to tell you how to download IE 8 and they locked into that in a rather narrow mindset, trying only to resolve that very specific issue.

That simple statement that you "seem to remember unpinning it" can completely change how someone looks at the problem. Suddenly it's not a matter of needing to download the program but one of needing to be able to access it.

The low level tech support people are likely following a series of scripts, one leading to the next. That doesn't always leave them room (or the thought process) to ask questions that would be helpful in resolving the issue. In this case a simple "Were you able to use Internet Explorer 8 previously" or "when did the problem start" might have led to more helpful information.

On the other side, it's usually helpful to remain patient even when it seems like it should be an easy answer. Give the tech any information you think might be relevant and even walk through the steps they ask, even if you've done them.

Once you've done that and not resolved the issue they may be able to escalate your case. If they don't offer, you can always ask for them to do so.

item.114027

David Charlap

Roger S. Cohen wrote:

Why not download IE 8 directly from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/worldwide-sites.aspx

The download you link to is for XP, Vista, Server-2003 and Server-2008. Not for Windows 7.

May. 6, 2010

item.114031

David Charlap

Jeff Ribordy wrote:

"Which brings me back to the original concept/frustration/reason for the post. Here are two MacInTouch readers (whom I assume are not MS employees) that could solve the problem almost immediately. If I am contacting "customer" or "technical support" should I not expect some "help"?"

Unfortunately, front-line support techs are almost never allowed to think for themselves. They typically have a corporate-approved script, and they may be disciplined for deviating from the script. The call is usually no better than the web-based questionnaire support. If you get to the end of the script without a resolution, then they may open a trouble ticket or escalate your problem to tier-two.

If you're lucky, the person handling the problem at that point will be allowed to think for himself and try to solve your problem. If not, it's another round through scripts, followed by another ticket or escalation to tier-three.

If you manage to get to tier-three support, then you almost certainly will be speaking to someone skilled and able to solve your problem. But you can't get there without going through the gauntlet of the first two tiers.

Why do all companies do this?

1: Most problems are common and can be handled by scripts

2: The company's liability (if something goes wrong) may be limited if the support tech was following the script.

3: It allows the use of cheap labor (outsourcing, college interns, and new-grads) instead of skilled engineers, who aren't cheap and will want sufficient incentive to do what is typically a thankless abuse-ridden job.

Sure, this makes for a bad customer experience when something doesn't fit the script, but how many people will be willing to pay an extra 50% (or perhaps more) for their software in order to cover the cost of putting engineers on the front-lines of phone support?

May. 7, 2010

item.114080

Jeff Phillips

Actually, the transcripts sound like bots. Are you sure you were chatting with a human?

item.114094

Robert Rosenberg

David Charlap states

Unfortunately, front-line support techs are almost never allowed to think for themselves. They typically have a corporate-approved script, and they may be disciplined for deviating from the script. The call is usually no better than the web-based questionnaire support. If you get to the end of the script without a resolution, then they may open a trouble ticket or escalate your problem to tier-two.

The fix is that once you get elevated, the tier-two or tier-three person not only fixes your problem but notes this fact and problem so the problem can then be handled by tier-one drones via adding the problem and solution to their scripts. They can also be given as FAQ type database so that the keywords of the problems can be entered and thus provide a hyper-linked script to follow (which is thus updated as needed after the some problem gets kicked up to tier-two or tier-three multiple times). This is known as the heuristic approach (where the system (ie: The script) learns new problem solutions so it can handle them).

Note: I am not suggesting that every tier-two problem gets added to the script (since some are beyond the difficulty level that a script can handle) but only that once some problem that *can* be answered by tier-one *if* it were in the script gets punted to tier-two a threshold number of times that this is an indication to add it to the script (since it not being there would be a design flaw with the selection of solutions in the current revision of the list).

item.114074

MacInTouch Reader

Re: "Why do all companies do this?"
I happen to work for one of the largest fastest growing providers of internet products and services there is (indeed, analysts say our growth is well above industry standards when 'most everyone else is going downhill except Apple).

... I'm a "first level" tech if you will, who doesn't use any scripting whatsoever, in fact our company takes great pride in allowing its techs to think for themselves, think outside the box, and specifically *not* follow any scripting. Which is part of the reason we do so well.

Sadly though, you are correct about most companies using this approach. But be aware not all do, which I suppose in a way furthers your point. I just wanted to say that it makes me uncomfortable [to hear a blanket statement].

While there are instances where some problems appear to be platform or program-specific, we do all we can to help a person with their issue if possible, before referring them back to the maker or provider they got their product from. And (as an example) incidentally I've had more issues by *far* with Apple Mail and iPhone Mail than I have with any other mail program). However, our agents don't just blindly refer people to Apple because "I don't know about Macs" as I've heard tons of support say from different companies, and we certainly don't transfer someone to a level 2 or 3 tech to get the problem solved just because it happens to be on a Mac. So please, before you include me and my associates in your box, know that not all support is created equal and some actually do it the correct way.

May. 8, 2010

item.114153

Jeff Ribordy

Yes bumping up the level of service would be nice but when you're told it's not their problem and go back to Staples....

Jul. 19, 2011

item.139250

David Miller

Being in a Microsoft-dominated enterprise environment means hugging more users of Office 2007 for Windows than Office versions for Mac (2004 through to the latest 2011). However, as RAM is now relatively cheap and most newish Macbooks/Pros can support at least 8GB of it, I decided to try running Office 2007 (including Outlook) in XP under VMWare Fusion just for a while. In Unity mode (Windows apps behaving like any Mac app), I found all Office elements launching much more quickly than their Mac equivalents and the feature sets, particularly with Powerpoint and Word, far more extensive. Why on Earth are the Mac versions (even the most recent) so limited? As both OSs cooperate with each other so seamlessly (copy/paste/app launching etc), I'm seriously wondering why I bother putting up with the hobbled Mac versions at all. The ability to keep dialogue boxes open in Excel while performing search and other functions across different spreadsheets is a major attraction on its own. I wonder whether the need to dismiss such boxes in the Mac versions is a limitation in the software or MacOS.

Jul. 20, 2011

item.139259

David Zatz

David Miller asked about running Office under Windows rather than native.

First, I'm surprised that Office 2011 is launching so slowly on his Macs; it launches fairly quickly on mine. That said, some reasons for using the native versions is to avoid the long Windows launch time, to avoid having to back up those huge Windows files, and not wanting to pay for Windows licenses for each Mac. Of course, if he has some sort of open-ended enterprise Windows license, the latter is not a concern, but it is for most of us.

Personally, I find it a little clunky to switch from Mac to Windows regardless, since the menus are in different places. Then again, I always found the "menus in the windows" system of Windows clunky regardless. But I can see that the solution he's pursuing would be superior in some cases, especially with very complex files or the need to use Access.

As to why Mac Office is hobbled, quite outside from the obvious explanation of anti-competitive behavior, the Mac Business Unit was reportedly severely understaffed for years, until the head of that unit was finally replaced. I don't know if the decision to keep Access from Mac users is strategic or simply part of the former MBU leader's lack of dedication, or for that matter whether she was the "fall guy" for a corporate policy or the cause of the problems...

LibreOffice is unfortunately still and probably always "not quite there yet." It's frustrating, like trying to replace Eudora.

item.139318

MacInTouch Reader

I have noticed that the Mac version of MS Powerpoint 2011 won't save annotations in slide shows. It is completely a show stopper in education. So maybe it is better to use a virtual Windows app to run the 2010 Powerpoint in Windows on a Mac. I really could care less, since Office 2011 priced educationally on a University campus is 7 dollars. About what it is worth actually. I've also noticed Microsoft is dumbing down Powerpoint 2010 for Windows. It use to be you could edit the timings of a show on a slide. Not any longer, as far as I can tell. Thanks Microfluffy.

item.139323

Joel M. Benisch

To David Miller, who wonders whether the modal nature of most dialogue boxes (you have to close them in order to go back to work on your document) in Office for the Mac is a limitation in Office or OSX.....

Ask yourself how many Mac applications you use that provide palettes, which float and stay open and are not modal at all.

You now have your answer.
Cheers

item.139337

Mike Retondo

Re:

"The ability to keep dialogue boxes open in Excel while performing search and other functions across different spreadsheets is a major attraction on its own. I wonder whether the need to dismiss such boxes in the Mac versions is a limitation in the software or MacOS."

There called modeless dialog boxes, and they have been around for as long as the Mac has been around. Actually, even before as they came from Xerox PARC. The Mac actually invented the modal dialog box and the need for them. But it's up to the application designers to decide when they want to use one or the other.

Jul. 22, 2011

item.139479

Jeff Berg

Re: Slow Office (for Mac) launch

One of my clients was experiencing this recently. My initial thought (well, after RAM?) was "fonts" and indeed I found that Office 2011 had installed its fonts in a different location from Office 2008. (One of the two used a "Microsoft" folder inside of the "Fonts" folder.) This resulted in multiple active copies of several fonts. Using Fontbook to "resolve duplicates" solved the problem in this case and Office 2011 programs were much faster in starting with font conflicts resolved.

No guarantees, but this potential fix is quick, easy and non-destructive. (Bonus: my client underwrote the "discovery".) Can't hurt to give it a shot.

item.139500

John Grout

David Zatz wrote:

I don't know if the decision to keep Access from Mac users is strategic or simply part of the former MBU leader's lack of dedication...

Microsoft Access and its Jet database engine were implemented in the days when successful PC programming involved overlays, tricky x86 Assembler code and low-level DOS API calls. Even if Microsoft spent the bucks to scrub these remnants of earlier days out of Access, they can't sell it as a "database" to consumers without an accompanying DBMS.

Both Jet and the knee-capped version of SQL Server downloadable by Access users come from Microsoft's server business, not their client business. Microsoft's server business has never had the slightest interest in multi-platform anything: they've always focused on locking customers into their servers by hook (e.g., SQL Server, .NET) or by crook (e.g., non-standard Java and Kerberos implementations).

Feb. 27, 2012

item.153078

Gregory Tetrault

I recently had to use Office 2011 for a collaborative editing project. (I still was using Office 2004.) I installed the Home and Business version that includes Outlook. I had been a power user of Outlook 2003 for Windows, and I looked forward to having an integrated e-mail client, contact manager, calendar, task manager, note, and journal application. That wasn't my experience. I prefer Outlook 2011 to the Mail-iCal and Thunderbird-Lightning combinations, but I'm disappointed that the Mac version of Outlook lacks many features of the 2003 Windows version:

You cannot easily add document links to contacts, tasks, appointments, or notes. (The kludgy workaround is to get the Uniform Resource Identifier file URL for a document by dragging it to a web browser URL field and then pasting or dragging the "file:///Users/..." URL into the Outlook item.)

You can create an appointment or a task from a contact or an e-mail message, but you cannot link contacts or e-mails to existing appointments or tasks.

You cannot schedule when to send an e-mail. (The workaround is to save the e-mail and create a reminder to send it.)

Although Office 2011 has Visual Basic for Applications, Outlook doesn't support it.

Contact addresses only have one line for Street. Corporate-style addresses have to be crammed onto one line, and this causes problems when generating mailing lists or printing mailing labels. (The workaround is to insert an unusual character such as a paragraph symbol where a line break should occur and then replace each such character with a return when generating labels or mailing lists.)

Outlook 2011 lacks a Journal. Besides its standard uses of tracking time spent on various tasks, I found the Journal useful for personnel problems that required time-stamped documentation of counseling sessions, warnings, employee errors or inappropriate behaviors, etc. Notes cannot replace Journal because Notes have a modification date but not a time and there is way to insert time stamps into notes.


Office 2011 Home and Professional version costs half as much as Office 2010 Professional ($147 vs. $296 at Amazon.com), but I'd rather pay more and get complete compatibility with the Windows version including Access, Publisher, and a full-featured version of Outlook. Unfortunately, we'll probably never reach Mac-Windows parity for Microsoft Office.

Aug. 21, 2014

item.194513

David Miller

Having just completed a marathon grant proposal in Word 2011 working with a project management company using Word 2010 (or maybe 365), I've found several areas of frustrating incompatibility even with .docx files. Table formatting is often broken when sharing the same file between the two versions, although I suppose that could be because of different print settings; but it shouldn't affect smart headers, which sometimes work as intended and sometimes don't. I also took to using Word 2008 for some of the time because of its formatting palette, which is a far more effective way of altering stuff than the dreaded ribbon. I wish there was a way of re-implenting it in Word 2011!


MacInTouch Amazon link...

Talk to MacInTouch     Support  •  Find/Go