Running Microsoft Office for Windows on MAC

Tonixity's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 268

I've searched for all topics related to this issue but nobody is clearly straight forwarded on an unique solution.

I have the late-2013 MBPr Retina 13" with 8go and SSD 256 and I know there are some issues using Excel VBA macros or Powerpoint fonts on Office for Mac.

What do you guys think, better to run Parallel, Vmware or Bootcamp ? And which version of Office do you use (2007, 2011, 2013...) ?

Thanks

Comments (65)

Feb 5, 2014

Bootcamp is best, but the issue you might have is that the keyboard layout on a mac is different, so not sure all the shortcuts match up! So you would potentially need an external windows keyboard to go along with your bootcamp.

Feb 5, 2014

Thanks for your answer.
I'm sure there are some keyboard macro softwares that can assign cmd(Mac) to ctrl(PC) etc. or maybe it is already implemented on Excel. Might not be easy but a way much better than Mac Office which can barely handle Virtual basic.

My first utilization will be to train on excel and VBA but I except future professional usage.

As you said I'll use bootcamp, less ergonomic than a virtual machine but at least there will be less bugs.

Feb 5, 2014

Built in to bootcamp is a settings menu that you can set up to have your mac keyboard act the same as a windows keyboard so there is no problem there.

I run office on my mac because I'm too lazy to bootcamp it and I just ran through a presentation I was doing for work and when I changed the excel data for a chart, the chart stays the same size in windows, but on my mac, everything was different sizes. It was quite annoying.

Also, Don't forget to give your bootcamp partition at least 80GB of ram. Windows is a very non hard drive friendly OS that takes up a ton of space just on the install, and then you'll need some space for office, and then you don't want it to be full and run really slow while using it.

Feb 5, 2014

@GMG @tonixity

You don't need a macro or a different keyboard. You can set the commands in bootcamp.

Feb 5, 2014

@yeahright
Thanks for the information

@Skinnayyy
So you advise me to go for Bootcamp instead of a virtual machine such as Parallel ? Because I would prefer using Mac applications/musics while emulating Windows and office for Windows, and secondarily saving 80GB of internal memory.

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Feb 5, 2014

I've used both Parallels, VMware, and Bootcamp. If you plan on just running office, Parallels or VMware will do just fine. If you plan on doing other things that require more processor like games or video/photo editing programs, bootcamp will be better. You do NOT need 80 GB of HD space though for the bootcamp partition, the standard is 32 GB and will be plenty for running office.

In addition to reply to the comment below, Parallels uses automatic synchronization now for mac to windows keyboard layouts. You should not have to set anything.

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Feb 5, 2014

I haven't used Parallels in a while so I don't know if they have all the keyboard short cuts switched like they do in Bootcamp.

Feb 7, 2014

Use Parallels. It allows you to run Windows/Mac simultaneously and switch between your work- you can use Windows for the programs not available on mac like excel packs/VBA/visio/etc and then work on whatever you normally do on mac...which is what I'm assuming you also want to do. And being able to run Windows as a virtual program is SO much more convenient because you can save work to your hard-drive and open it up right away in Mac.

The only downside is that Parallels lags like crazy and your Mac will start overheating if you try to run too many programs at once - and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you get a faster machine...which you can't for the macbooks. But it'll be fine if you don't run too many programs (especially media) and constantly save your work - sometimes it freezes and you risk loosing work.

It's a pretty shitty deal but that's what you get for using a Mac and I don't think Microsoft is coming out with compatible software for Macs anytime soon. I've considered getting a Lenovo Thinkpad just to make doing work easier, but that would be such a downgrade.

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Feb 7, 2014
pinkclouds:

Use Parallels. It allows you to run Windows/Mac simultaneously and switch between your work- you can use Windows for the programs not available on mac like excel packs/VBA/visio/etc and then work on whatever you normally do on mac...which is what I'm assuming you also want to do. And being able to run Windows as a virtual program is SO much more convenient because you can save work to your hard-drive and open it up right away in Mac.

The only downside is that Parallels lags like crazy and your Mac will start overheating if you try to run too many programs at once - and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you get a faster machine...which you can't for the macbooks. But it'll be fine if you don't run too many programs (especially media) and constantly save your work - sometimes it freezes and you risk loosing work.

It's a pretty shitty deal but that's what you get for using a Mac and I don't think Microsoft is coming out with compatible software for Macs anytime soon. I've considered getting a Lenovo Thinkpad just to make doing work easier, but that would be such a downgrade.

Banana point.
I agree it would be a terrible downgrade except you get it free.

I'll try Parallels as I won't use Windows for something else as microsoft office. All the other programs I'll run will be on the mac OS system.

Feb 5, 2014

Thanks for the help. I'm gonna try Parallels and how keyboard shortcuts work. I'll keep you informed about the issue.

Mar 3, 2014

I just got a Mac Book Pro. I tried Parallels and hated it. Personally I would recommend you run Windows through bootcamp. You have run Windows and OS separately, but there aren't any glitches I've found so far. With parallels, I was having problems opening programs. They would be really pixelated or just not function properly.

Mar 4, 2014

I run Windows 7 using VMWare and am pretty satisfied with it. I also have another install for Windows 8, but don't really use it. VMWare allows you to run Windows and OS X simultaneously without rebooting. VMWare allows you access to your Mac hard drives as well as all external devices. In addition, I have run the last two or three versions of Office on VMWare with no problems. Not all keyboard shortcuts will work, which is quite annoying but they are livable.

I also have Office 2011 for Mac, which has VBA. That was somewhat of a saving grace. The big problem with Excel for Mac is that the format of the columns do not translate to PC Excel, so you may send someone a file and they would think you don't know how to format your spreadsheets. Trust me, that can get embarrassing.

Mar 4, 2014

That really depends on the specs of your macbook. That being said, if its a standard macbook model you may have some slow down, (depending on age, bloatware, etc.) especially if you're running more intensive tasks such as circularity, simulations, etc.

Mar 4, 2014

It will be the 8gb ram 128gb flash storage one, 2014

Mar 4, 2014

You'll be good running excel. Its just the keyboard which'll throw you off.

Mar 4, 2014

The real issue is the keyboard. The keyboard shortcuts are different, and you'll have a hard time performing quickly on Mac keyboard.

Mar 4, 2014

is it b/c some keys are missing such as home, end, page up etc?

Mar 4, 2014

It's a total nightmare Wang

Mar 4, 2014

what about samsun ativ 9? keyboard is also missing a couple of keys

Mar 4, 2014

What do people with macs normally do for excel usage at home? I have a macbook was thinking of trying to pick up a cheap ms surface tablet and use it almost exclusively for ms office/work things. I was thinking this might be incredibly helpful/necessary for studying PE interview modeling practice among other things. The keyboard might be a bit off but it has usb to plug in a traditional keyboard. Thoughts?

Mar 4, 2014

I built my own desktop for MS office. You can also do this for the same price of a Surface Pro 3 + keyboard/mouse. Cheaper if you don't wanna go above an i5 + dedicated graphics card so you can also play games.

Mar 4, 2014

Get an external monitor and normal keyboard. I have a Macbook Air and would kill myself using that small screen.

Mar 4, 2014

bump

Mar 4, 2014

Good lord man, just get a fucking PC and stop fucking around.

Mar 4, 2014

I would rather just have one laptop without any additional things (external keyboards etc) for college. So i know mac keyboards are bad, any thoughts on the samsung ativ book 9 plus? i was thinking about getting this one instead of a mac

Mar 4, 2014

For 1.3k you are throwing money down the toilet with the 9+. The i5 in it is only 1.6ghz (overclock to 2.6), 4gb of RAM, and 128gb ssd...for that money you can get something way better. I'd take a look at Lenovo's latest Yoga 2.

Mar 4, 2014

Get a PC. Running Macintosh is a pain

Mar 4, 2014

depends on what you are doing. simple spreadsheet modeling should be fine. if you're doing heavy calcs using VBA, then you may encounter some slowdown. the keyboaard issue is bearable, but does get somewhat annoying. i've learned to live with it since making my erroneous decision to try out a Mac.

Mar 4, 2014

Looked at the yoga 2, only problem is that battery life is around 6 hours? Was hoping for a bit more

Mar 4, 2014

why would you get a surfrace pro? small screen and small keyboard, plus its very awkward to put on your lap from what i hear

Mar 4, 2014

Boot Camp is running Windows natively so it would be the same as running Excel on a PC with comparable specs. So the short answer is yes.

If you are running a Windows version of Excel using Boot Camp the shortcuts are the same and the only difference is the ctrl and alt keys are next to each other rather than separated by the Windows key.

It really isn't that difficult. In fact, I now prefer using a Mac Pro running Boot Camp over other Windows laptops (work provides it).

If this is all you have at home I would suggest buying 2 cheap monitors and some display adapters (plus external keyboard and mouse) for a decent setup when you're at home. I did that for a while before I built my own desktop and it worked out well. That would only cost $200-300. (Check out Dell 1909W on ebay.)

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Mar 4, 2014

would a macbook pro with 8gb ram and 128 flash storage be enough to run bootcamp? or would it be better to get the 256gb storage, 4gb ram mac book air?

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Mar 4, 2014

Thanks I'll prolly go with the air

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Mar 4, 2014

I'd really just recommend using a PC. If you want to use Excel quite a bit it just makes the whole thing easier. Macs have a lot of issues with add-ins (Solver, StatsPlus) and its overall more of a hassle dealing with modelling on a Mac. There are no real Mac advantages, especially considering you could just custom order a better spec'd PC for a similar price.

Mar 4, 2014

Nah the problem with PCs are they are ugly as fuck.
If you can find me a PC laptop with really good battery life, light weight, and good looking for 1k, then hell yea i'll buy it.
And this is my college laptop, so i don't think im going to be doing some intensive modelling.

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Mar 4, 2014

Get the 13" MBP. Jesus I had no idea this was just for your college laptop.

Don't get the Air. That is for Moms who want to organize family photos and girls who want to watch Netflix and organize their slutty photos.

A MBP with Boot Camp and Windows 10 (when its released (soon)) will be SEXY AS FUCK.

Mar 4, 2014

PCs are ugly hahaha, Get it together Wang!

Mar 4, 2014

How much Excel are you going to be doing?

Mar 4, 2014

Sorry I have no idea, but I know I won't be using it like intensely 24/7

Mar 4, 2014

Just FYI its highly unlikely a college course requiring excel will be so in depth that you couldn't get it done with excel on a Mac. If you needed windows, they'd specifically tell you about it before signing up for the course. I built my desktop once I joined my school's investment fund because we actually do a lot of modeling, but there are plenty of guys who get it done on Macs or just go to the library and use the desktops there.

Trading away the ergonomics and user friendliness of a Mac just for an easier-to-use excel on Windows for a college computer is a slappable offense.

Mar 4, 2014

Actually, my school recommends a PC lol, but I've visited the school and most of the kids had a mac, i'll definitely ask around the next time i visit before buying my laptop.
A larger concern was that when i am preparing for ib interviews, it would be annoying trying to study excel with a mac laptop since the keyboard is different but w/e i'm sure its not that bad, correct me if im wrong

Mar 4, 2014

I agree with many thoughts above, but I don't really get the Mac obsession. I have an air and I've had word crash on me twice. The file structure is a pain and chrome on Mac doesn't display websites the same as chrome on Windows does.

Either way, hardcore modeling on a laptop is a pain. I love how light my air is and I bought it for that, but I'm not in love with with the thing.

Mar 4, 2014

TNA, do you run bootcamp?

Mar 4, 2014

Not trying to be biased in favor of Macs nor unfairly bash the Air, I just sling computers to college kids part-time in retail while I'm in school and have encountered OP many times before. They always come back for macs if they go the other way when looking for a solution for college.

Mar 4, 2014

Yeah i'm def gonna get a mac then, hell i might decide to not even do finance in the future, thanks all

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Mar 4, 2014

Just bootcamp 60 gb of your hd and use it only for office suite stuff. That's what I've been doing for over a year now and I've had no problems. Just set up drop box on both partitions and your good to go sharing files across it.

Mar 4, 2014

how much total space do you have? 128gb version?

Mar 4, 2014

lmao yea, lenovos are the ugliest things i've ever laid my eyes on
thanks ibank

Mar 4, 2014

I love my X61 Lenovo. I think the Air is sleek, but nothing is sexier than black and thin.

Mar 4, 2014

Personally, i don't like how lenovos look like they are made of plastic

Mar 4, 2014
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Mar 4, 2014