Marshall Adult Education



TECH TIP  -  Transfer Data from a Mac to a PC

You can transfer data from a Mac to a PC via a floppy disk.  The first consideration, however, is that the PC must have the correct application to open the data.  For instance, if you want to transfer a Microsoft Word file made on a Mac to a PC, the PC must have Microsoft Word.  Or if you want to transfer a Photoshop file made on a Mac, the PC must also have Photoshop.

 So, assuming the PC has the right application to open the file from the Mac, the procedure is quite simple. 

  1. Just insert a PC formatted disk in the Macintosh.floppy drive. 
    (NOTE:  The Macintosh can read PC formatted disks.  A Mac can also format disks in DOS (PC) format).  
  2. Copy the file from the Mac onto the PC formatted floppy disk. 
  3. That’s it – now the PC will be able to read it. 

One requirement you must do:  You must be sure the file you are transferring from the Mac to the PC has a 3 letter extension in the filename. 

Text Only Files
You can transfer a file that contains only text from any word processor on a Mac to a PC.  Any word processor on the PC will be able to open it.  (Microsoft Word, Clarisworks, Microsoft Works, Word Perfect, Nisus Writer, ThinkFree Office, Z-Write, Appleworks, - these are all Macintosh word processors).  The trick here is to save the file on the Macintosh as a text file (sometimes called an ASCII file). 

Here’s the steps

  1. Click on Save As
  2. Click on Save File As Type
  3. Click on Text File.  Be sure you add the extension .txt to the file name. 
  4. That’s it – the PC will be able to open the text file in any word processing program, including Word Pad.   

You might alternately try saving the file as an .rtf (rich text file) if you want to preserve the special formatting such as bold, underline, italics, etc. 

Mac-PC File Formats
Here are some common file formats that are compatible on both Macs and PCs.  Macs and PCs will be able to open these files assuming they have an application on their computer to do so.

Picture, movie, sound files
EPS, .GIF, .JPG, .TIF, .PNG – these are all picture files
.MOV - QuickTime Movie file
.MPG - a movie file
.MP3 - a sound file

Word processors, Spreadsheets, Desktop publishing suffixes, and other files
.DBF - dbase II, III, IV data file
.DOC - Microsoft Word for Windows
.WPD - WordPerfect
.CSK - ClarisWorks
.CWK - ClarisWorks
.RTF - Rich Text Format
.TXT - Text Format (also called ASCII text file)
.HTML or .htm - Hyper Text Markup Language file the language of the internet -  use a web browser to view the file.
.PPT - PowerPoint file
.PM - PageMaker file (the numbers following represent the Version #)
.QXD - QuarkXPress file
.XLS - Excel spreadsheet
.PDF - Acrobat Reader file
.SIT - a Stuffit Expander file

Here are some common file formats that are not compatible on Macs and PCs.  These files can be opened on either a Mac or a PC.
.BMP - a PC picture
.PCT - a Mac picture
.AVI - a PC movie file
.EXE - a PC application (executable file)
.DLL - a PC Dynamic Link Library file
.IMG - a Mac disk image file (compressed file)
.ZIP - a PC compressed file
.BIN - a Mac compressed file
.SEA - a Mac self-extracting archive file