Cross Platform PowerPoint - Windows, Macintosh
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: February 10th 2006
Last Updated: June 14th 2012
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.
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 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:
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.
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