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Cross Platform PowerPoint - Windows, Macintosh

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created: February 10th 2006
Last Updated: June 14th 2012

...Continued from Page 3

Are You Compatible?
Similar, Yet Different
What is Missing on Each Platform?
PowerPoint 2004’s Compatibility Report

Are You Compatible?

I’m sure there are other PowerPoint compatibility issues that have not been mentioned here. A good resource for resolving a compatibility issue is any of the many Microsoft PowerPoint newsgroups sites (http://www.indezine.com/ppnews has a list of them). There are separate newsgroups for both Windows and Mac versions, but compatibility questions are more often than not discussed on the PowerPoint for Mac newsgroup.

One should not fear moving a presentation file across platforms. Working around the known compatibility issues requires some vigilance, but is not as pronounced and troublesome as it was a decade ago.

With each new version of PowerPoint, the compatibility issues seem to become less and less apparent. And this is good news for presenters everywhere.


Similar, Yet Different

While Microsoft has never released a Windows and Macintosh version of PowerPoint at the same time, that doesn’t mean certain versions have nothing in common. In fact, the Windows and Mac PowerPoint teams regularly collaborate, and many times a new feature released on the Windows side appears in the next Mac version and vice versa.

The following chart shows which versions share features. Use this handy guide when deciding which features should be used in a cross-platform presentation.

PowerPoint 97 PowerPoint 98
PowerPoint 2000 PowerPoint 98
PowerPoint 2002 PowerPoint 2001 (version X for multiple masters)
PowerPoint 2002 PowerPoint 2004 (for animations and transitions)
PowerPoint 2003 PowerPoint 2001 (version X for multiple masters)
PowerPoint 2003 PowerPoint 2004 (for animations and transitions)
PowerPoint 97 Viewer PowerPoint 98 Viewer
PowerPoint 2003 Viewer No equivalent


What is Missing on Each Platform?

PowerPoint 2003 (Windows) and PowerPoint 2004 (Mac), the latest versions, share a number of features but also differ. Contrary to popular opinion, the Mac version does not lack many features, but if you design for the latest versions, take note of the following:

Missing in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows:

- Direct QuickTime and Flash import.
- Exporting an entire presentation to a movie.
- Special photo effects.

Missing in PowerPoint 2004 for Mac:

- Updated PowerPoint Viewer for OS X.
- Integrated CD-burning.
- Photo Album.
- Image compression.
- Motion-path animation editing. Motion paths will play in slideshow mode.
- Trigger animations


PowerPoint 2004’s Compatibility Report

The Compatibility Report feature in Office 2004 for Mac is found not only in PowerPoint, but within Office 2004’s Word and Excel applications. When used in PowerPoint, this feature checks for cross-platform compatibility issues every time you open or save a file — in fact, as you edit a presentation it even prompts you about items that may cause issues. The Compatibility Report will also let you know which platform version (such as Windows 98 or 2000) will be affected.
If a compatibility issue is encountered, the Toolbox button glows, indicating that you should click on it to view the Compatibility Report. For some issues, the Toolbox can automatically fix the issue for you.
This is a great way to create Windows-compatible versions of PowerPoint presentations on a Mac as well as tailor a presentation
to play on earlier Mac versions of PowerPoint. As of now, no such feature is available on PowerPoint for Windows.


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