How to Use Mac Files on a Windows Computer

by Contributor

If you save Mac files on a PC-formatted disk, you can open them on a PC, but you may lose some formatting. Here are tips for saving your Mac files so they transfer as well as possible.

If you can, save the file on your Mac using the same program (such as Microsoft Word or Excel, or WordPerfect) as you'll be using on the PC. Make sure to add the three-letter file extension (such as '.doc') when saving the file. You should be able to open the file on a PC just by dou-ble- clicking it, and your formatting should be retained.

If you don't have the same program in Mac and PC versions, try saving your file in a common format, such as Rich Text Format (RTF), which most word processors can read, or JPEG, if saving images. To open these, you might need to open the program you want on the PC, then use the Open command in the File menu.

If the first two options don't work, buy a conversion program for your PC to translate Mac file formats.


  • check There are Windows 95 or Windows 98 emulation applications available to make your Mac into a "virtual" PC. With an emulation application running on your Mac, you won't need to convert files when you use them on a PC.
  • check You can always save a text document as Plain Text; you'll lose all the document's formatting, but the file will always open in any word processor.

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