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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Exchanging Data with Windows PCs

Documents can take one of several roads between your Mac and a Windows machine: via disk (such as a CD), flash drive, network, email, Bluetooth, iPod, Web page, FTP download, and so on.

Preparing the Document for Transfer

The Mac is more Windows-compatible than ever. Still, before sending a document to a colleague who uses Windows, you must be able to answer “yes” to both of the questions below.

Is the document in a file format Windows understands?

Most popular programs are sold in both Mac and Windows flavors, and the documents they create are freely interchangeable. For example, documents created by recent versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FileMaker, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and many other Mac programs don’t need any conversion. The corresponding Windows versions of those programs open such documents with nary a hiccup.

Files in standard exchange formats don’t need conversion, either. These formats include JPEG and PNG (digital photos), GIF (cartoon/logo graphics on Web pages), HTML (raw Web page documents), Rich Text Format (a word-processor exchange format that maintains bold, italic, and other formatting), plain text (no formatting at all), MP3 and AAC files (for audio), MIDI files (for music synthesizers), and so on.

But what about documents made by Mac programs that don’t exist on the typical Windows PC hard drive, like Keynote or Pages? You certainly can’t count on your recipient having the application.

Do your recipients the favor ...

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