014 Help iGot A Mac – MS Office Substitutes and HTML Editors

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 28, 2008

in Help I Got A Mac

Help, iGot a Mac! – A podcast devoted to the Mac Switcher!

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Here are some things we discussed in this episode:

+ FORUM: Don Lewis asks…. How should I best go about transferring data between my Macbook Pro and Windows XP machine. Currently I've been using an external USB hard drive and/or flash memory card using a USB card reader for the Mac. All my computers share a wireless router/firewall so I have hard wired connections to everything. I noticed that the Mac has Bluetooth File Exchange. Should I go purchase a bluetooth receiver to plug into my Dell? Is there a way of directly talking to the PC via the LAN connection

o Evan Agee wrote: Actually, Macs and PCs can be networked together so you can share files between them! There are many, many tutorials on doing this online. Here's one you might try:http://www.apple.com/business/mac_pc/networking.html If that one doesn't help you can do a Google search for networking Macs and PCs.
o Don wrote Back: I have my PCs and Mac seeing each other now. I forgot that I needed to reboot all machines so the network connections would re-sync. Once everything came back up, they saw each other. Thanks for all the help. I have a new MacBook Pro and am working through the transition stage. I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future.

+ FORUM: nevrothwen wrote: I've just gotten my MacBook (woohoo) but now I am in need of something that does the same things as Word, Excel, Powerpoint,… I was wondering if I should get iWork, Microsoft Office or if there is a freeware version of these programs available. Thanks for helping.
o LinkerJPatrick wrote: iWork is really good and for the price is a good match for MS Office. Pages is like a combination of MS Publisher and MS Word, Numbers works like Excel and is lot more user friendly but it doesn't support things like macros, pivot table and other advanced features. In my opinion Keynote is a lot better than Powerpoint and if you do a lot of Powerpoint like work iWork is worth the price just for Keynote plus it can export to Powerpoint, PDF, images, etc. … If you need an Office suite that is free I recommend NeoOffice –http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/index.php It' based on the Open Office project but is optimized for OSX.
o RobJ wrote: You can download a 30 day trial of iwork from apple's website: http://www.apple.com/iwork/trial/
o EvanAgee wrote: iWork is nice, but if you're looking for something free that's pretty darn awesome I recommend Open Office.http://www.openoffice.org/
o LinkerJPatrck: NeoOffice is based on OpenOffice however it doesn't require that X11 program running in the background but uses Java instead. Also it takes advantage of stuff native to OSX. http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/features.php OpenOffice.org is however working on a port the is more official and OSX friendly but I would recommend NeoOffice for now over regular OpenOffice.

+ E-mail – Kela in WA — Hi Cliff and Chris. Just want to first say that I love the podcast and I've used Macs since 1988. I still like to hear things from a switcher's point of view and always seem to learn something.

Recently, Chris gave an awesome tip about expanding the columns in a column-view finder window. I loved this tip since mine always open so narrow, that I was constantly dragging that little icon over to expand. It's nice to know you can just double click (or Cmd-opt double click to enlarge them all!) It's so much faster than dragging each out.

But now I'm spoiled. At the risk of dragging up the whole “open dialog box” argument again . . . why don't these commands work in an “open” dialog window? Man, the window looks JUST like a finder window, so I keep thinking I can do it, but it doesn't work! It's maddening. Is it possible there's another set of key commands and clicking that will work there, or is this just some cruel trick? Love the show, keep up the great work.
# CHRIS' ANSWER: I FINALLY found a solution to this… it's called DEFAULT FOLDER X — http://www.stclairsoft.com/DefaultFolderX — it's an update to an old app from the Mac OS Classic days… it allows a whole slew of updates to the open and save dialog boxes — it's free to try, $34.95 to purchase.

+ E-mail – Tim Corrimal — Hey guys, I just found your show with a little help from Chef Mark and I wanted to ask you if you know of a good “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) HTML editing program for the Mac. I finally made the switch to all Mac a couple of weeks ago with the new 8-Core Mac Pro, which I must say that I love. And I've been able to find everything I needed from the windows side on the Mac side except for a great HTML editing program. I was using Microsoft FrontPage on the Windows side to edit HTML files before the switch. And I know that I can buy Adobe Dreamweaver for $399. But I was wondering if you have a suggestion on a freeware or shareware software package that is less expensive. I've tried a number of software packages that I downloaded from Apple/downloads and Version Tracker. But most didn't provide the WYSIWYG interface. I've downloaded and listened to all of your recent shows. You guys rock. Thanks so much for producing such a great podcast.

* CHRIS' ANSWER: There are quite a few applications that will do what you want, first lets start with the free ones:

o NVU: http://nvudev.com – this program is built off the web site editor that was built into Netscape and later Mozilla. Development has slowed down and really hasn't had a new build since the ladder part of 2005. A fork in the development happened then and has been named – Kompozer. http://www.kompozer.net — the most up-to-date build was from August of last year.

o Amaya: http://www.w3.org/Amaya — this Freeware editor has been in development from W3C since 1996 — it is completely standards based.

o SeaMonkey: http://www.seamonkey-project.org — this is an all new rebuild of Mozilla… it combines a web browser, e-mail, newsgroup, FTP, IRC, and HTML Editing — kind of like the old Netscape Communicator back in the day – though, this one is built off the Firefox builds.

* NOW THE NOT SO FREE ONES:

o Rapid Weaver: http://www.realmacsoftware.com — now, this one is a little different, it's not your traditional WYSIWYG editor, it kind of wants to use templates, but you can have blank templates, so it's pretty much a non-issue. It's kind of like iWeb, but lets to go under the hood. I've used it before, and it works real nice with your iLife apps — and it's pretty cheap: $49 and you can download a free trial.

o Freeway Express: http://www.softpress.com — this editor is probably the closest thing to a “Pro” version of FrontPage for the Mac. It's been awhile since I've used it, probably three years, but I remember thinking that this was a lot like frontpage, but of course better :) — anyway it's not cheap, $69, but you can download a trial to see if it's what you want.

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