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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by David Pogue

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Exchanging Data with Windows PCs

It’s no surprise that the Mac is great at transferring information among Mac programs. The big news is how easy Mac OS X makes it to transfer files between Macs and Windows computers—especially in version 10.2.

Documents can take one of three roads between your Mac and a Windows machine: you can transfer it on a disk (such as a CD or Zip disk), via network, or as an attachment to an email message.

Preparing the Document for Transfer

Without special adapters, you can’t plug an American appliance into a European power outlet, play a CD on a cassette deck, or open a Macintosh file in Windows. Therefore, before sending a document to a colleague who uses Windows, you must be able to answer “yes” to both of these questions:

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, FreeHand, Illustrator, AppleWorks, 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 one of the standard exchange formats don’t need conversion, either. These formats include JPEG (the photo format used on Web pages), GIF (the cartoon/logo format used on Web pages), HTML (raw Web page documents before they’re posted on the Internet), Rich Text Format ...

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