To Mac or not to Mac?
Thread poster: Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:46
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apr 26, 2013

Hello Mac people,

I have a question. How well does running memoQ inside of a Mac actually work? In fact, how well does running several Windows programs inside of a Mac work?

I have been wondering this for quite some time as I really like Macs, but rely on too many Windows-only programs and would be afraid of having to run them all inside of Parallels. However, I have been toying with the idea of getting myself a shiny new Mac with a big SSD, tons of RAM, and just running all of my Windows stuff inside Parallels. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I would like to run TO3000 (Translation Office 3000), memoQ, the old Trados, a few old Windows dictionary apps, ManicTime (great time management program), and a few other programs inside of Parallels. Oh yeah, and what do people do about AutoHotkey? Can you run it inside of Parallels but have it work system-wide? Is that a stupid question? Hmm.

Another question is about Microsoft Word. My wife has the Mac version on her Mac. However, she is having problems with it and the latest Lion. She has had instances where clients said that her Mac-created Word files were not compatible or caused problems on their Windows systems. I have heard that there are compatibility problems between the latest Mac OS and the latest Mac version of Word. Is this true? Would it be better to use an older Mac version of Word, or ... would it be smarter to run Microsoft Office inside of Parallels?

Basically, 99% of my work consists of Windows-created .docx Word files. How feasible would switching to a Mac really be?

Michael

[Edited at 2013-04-26 17:13 GMT]


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Egidijus Slepetys  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:46
German to Lithuanian
not to Apr 26, 2013

and you know it.

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Adrienne Derrier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:46
German to French
+ ...
To of course ! Apr 26, 2013

Hello,
I now work on a Mac, and it's really easy to use Windows and Windows programs with it: you already know you only have to buy a software (quite cheap) named "parallels Desktop", to install it, then to install your windows version + sot wares : then you can run MAc OS AND Windows parallel.
Since I got a Mac I have both in one, it's great and, well, everyday knows a MAc never bugs.
I work without problem with Trados, MemoQ and a few others. And I open my doc. files with MS Word for Windows, not the Mac-version.

Best regards,

A.Derrier

[Modifié le 2013-04-26 23:26 GMT]


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Ileana Fernandez Oakes  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Go for it!! Apr 26, 2013

I agree with Adrienne. It is great.

I also work in a Mac (MacBook) that is a little bit old (not even a MacBook Pro) and I run my translation software, and also I run a stenograph machine plus CaseCatalyst program Full Version, plus also running conferencing video for court reporting school, and it is fantastic to have both systems in one machine. Parallels is the best software for virtual machines.

Regarding the Hotkeys, it is just a matter of learning how it works in the Windows site. Some functions need an extra F (function) stroking, some don't. It really depends on the programs you work with. Don't bother using the Office version for Mac, just get your Windows versions, it safes you a bunch of headaches regarding compatibility.

Just make sure to have enough RAM and a fast hard drive, and it will go fine. I am still in Snow Leopard, but it is because my Mac is an oldy. As I understand Lion is great.

Besides, doing this you won't miss all the other great features you can enjoy from a Mac that no other computer can give you.


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Magdalena Balibrea Vich  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:46
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
To Apr 27, 2013

I mainly use a MacAir I can take anywhere, with Windows 7 installed thru Boot Camp and connected via VMWare. I never tried Parallel, but for me, this is an awesome configuration.

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Camila Gough
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mac with VMWare Fusion Apr 27, 2013

I too run Windows as a virtual machine inside my Mac Air using VMWare Fusion. Inside Windows I have Office, Wordfast and whatever else is Windows-only. Works perfectly for me.

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xxxtrhanslator
To virtualise or not to virtualise: that's the real question Apr 27, 2013

I have to receive and send translation projects in many different CAT tools. Nowadays I translate them all in CafeTran but the verifying and creation of return packages is still done in the native app (you see: I already speak Apple speak ).

Working in Windows I noticed that different CAT tools require software 'parts' (like a specific Java version: TagEditor) that other CAT tools don't like. Restoring and relicensing CAT tools was tedious. So I decided to virtualise everything. The question became: what do I use as host for the many guests (VMs)?

I decided that Linux was too complicated for me and I had heard good stories about how Apple hardware work together. And I liked the look of them. So I bought my first iMac. And I haven't regretted it one minute. Nowadays I do all the work in CafeTran, which isn't an OS X app but a CAT tool that requires Java, which is a small overhead for me (at least smaller than Parallels Desktop).

I also thought: when I have to choose a host I can choose OS X instead of Windows (Vista at that time!), which allows me to offer translations in Mac-only file formats too .

I still use Word 2010 (Windows) for my invoices and other purposes that require macros (I haven't adapted all macros for Word:mac). Project preparation (e.g. saving as DOCX) is done in Word:mac 2011.

I've never had clients complaining about Word DOCX files created with Word:mac that they couldn't open on Windows ... To be absolutely sure, you can use the Windows version of Word to finalise your translation. In stealth mode (Coherence/Modality mode) with the Mac look skin you don't notice that Windows is running inside OS X.


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xxxtrhanslator
Keyboard macros Apr 27, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

Oh yeah, and what do people do about AutoHotkey? Can you run it inside of Parallels but have it work system-wide? Is that a stupid question? Hmm.



I was a heavy user of Macro Toolworks on Windows. The two main purposes were:

1. steno mode (wbr = With best regards, etc.)

2. more complicated macros with programming functions, e.g. to perform intelligent web searches (like IWS ).

AHK cannot be used on OS C. You have to use tools like Keyboard maestro:

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/6265/keyboard-maestro

(Macupdate is the place to look for OS X software. Please also note the alternative software programs at the bottom.)

For steno mode I use Typinator, mainly because it works well in Java apps too (TextExpander doesn't).

I now use a CAT tool that offers all features that I used to use macros for on Windows (including web searches): CafeTran.

So I only use Typinator nowadays (not even Maestro!). But technically using Maestro as an AHK alternative for OS X is very well possible. Add AppleScript or other OS X programming languages to it and you can virtually automate everything!


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Tomoyuki Kono  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:46
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Go for it Apr 27, 2013

Hi.

I would definitely recommend the switch.

I haven't got any of the software you mention except SDL Trados (mine is a 2009 version) so I'm afraid that what I write below won't address all your questions.

My machine is MacBook Pro (2011 make, 2 GHz Intel Core i7 with 8GB memory) + Windows 8 running inside Parallels. I have only been using Windows on my Mac for a few months. One consequence of this is that I could only get hold of Windows 8, which I find rather off-putting. I only run Trados Studio on Windows as I see the presence of Windows on my otherwise lovely Mac OS X setup to be a blemish or a necessary evil. Even then I sometimes find that this is enough to slow things down. The processing power seems sufficient but if your Mac comes with 8GB of memory so you might want to upgrade it to 16GB. I'm afraid I can't tell you if that is due to Windows 8 or SDL Trados Studio, but my hunch is that both are memory-hungry.

I have both Mac and Windows versions of MS Office. If you have a lot of graphics in your documents, you might want to use the Windows version as you can get different formatting results if you edit Windows-generated documents with the Mac version of Office. I also found that to be true of PowerPoint files. It's just one of those things. Microsoft has never pretended Windows-based Office and Office for Mac to be the same. By the way, if you want to use the preview option in your Windows-based CAT tools, you will need Office installed separately.

Having said all this, my Office usage is Mac-based 95% of the time. I hardly ever use the Windows counterpart.

There is just so much that Mac/OS X can offer with a huge array of amazing software that not only increases your productivity but also your quality of life! In my opinion that should be the deciding factor rather than the compatibility issues and limitations of what works and what doesn't work in VM. You can always keep your PC if something doesn't work.

Tomo


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xxxtrhanslator
Wf for Word:mac Apr 27, 2013

Camila,

Are you aware of the existence of Wordfast Classic for Word:mac?

It saves you firing up Parallels and Windows and save you battery energy (allowing you to work longer).

Hans


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
MSOffice for Mac Apr 27, 2013

I'm puzzled by the comments about compatibility problems between MSOffice files created on the MacOS and opening them in Windows. In many years of using Macs with MSOffice I've never encountered problems of any kind. I've exchanged thousands of MSOffice files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) with clients back and forth, and none of us has ever even known that I was working on the MacOS or what OS they were using. There have never been any incompatibilities.

Mind you, I don't use any translation software. I can imagine that many translation software applications aren't very friendly with the Mac version of MSOffice.

[Edited at 2013-04-27 16:43 GMT]


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Tomoyuki Kono  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:46
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Clarification Apr 28, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

I'm puzzled by the comments about compatibility problems between MSOffice files created on the MacOS and opening them in Windows. In many years of using Macs with MSOffice I've never encountered problems of any kind. I've exchanged thousands of MSOffice files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) with clients back and forth, and none of us has ever even known that I was working on the MacOS or what OS they were using. There have never been any incompatibilities.


Re-reading my previous comment and Tom's comment, I should note that my experience of incompatibilities is pretty rare. I failed to stress that. Like Tom, I handle hundreds of Word files on my Mac without any issues whatsoever. But I can vaguely recall a couple of occasions last year when the formatting/layout of the documents I submitted was off when opened on my client's computer. The issue didn't have anything to do with fonts but with some non-textual/graphical element. I'm afraid I don't remember whether a CAT tool was involved.

Anyway, these instances are so rare that the issue shouldn't really be a central concern in your consideration. I wouldn't worry about it.


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xxxtrhanslator
Use PDF as a workaround Apr 28, 2013

Tomoyuki Kono wrote:

Anyway, these instances are so rare that the issue shouldn't really be a central concern in your consideration. I wouldn't worry about it.


Quite right. And in those few cases where your translation doesn't look exactly the way it does on your own computer, you can always add the PDF version of it.


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