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Solved So Happy, Now So Depressed (not so much any more)

Ms.Dos

New Member
Greyfox has stated the basic issue: Digital Ink is a Windows feature. The Mac version of Office doesn't have it because the underlying technology doesn't exist in OSX.

That sucks.
 
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ManUnited

Guest
Thank you for all the kind suggestions. A couple of updates:

1) This is not a Mac v. Windows issue. This is simply Microsoft not updating 2011 Office for Mac. A few comments have suggested that the inking issue lies within the Mac OS itself, which is not the case. In fact, the inking works (and syncs) brilliantly between the SP3 and OneNote for Mac. (In addition, it works equally grand syncing to the iOS version of OneNote.)

2) All the students writing and edits must be in Word. Students are required to submit all drafts (including my comments) to a University-wide portfolio system. Word is the only acceptable submission format. PDFs are simply not an option in this case, even though I understand why so many people are suggesting it as an alternative.

3) Hopefully, this will all be moot as rumors have Microsoft updating Office for Mac in the near future. One can hope that MS will see fit to rectify this matter.

Again, thank you all for your assistance.
 

leeshor

Well-Known Member
I'm a little surprised they haven't already upgraded it. Or added the functionality by way of a service pack.
 

Bandito

Active Member
I was a regular Mac user of Office 2008 and 2011 at my last job for several years as I was able to bring my own computers, various MacBook Pros. I found that Microsoft doesn't give a whole lotta love to their Mac Office suite. Many of us (I'm referring to the Internet community) had to develop workarounds for bugs in the software that have somehow managed to survive several versions of Office along with multiple service packs.

It's not like it's a nightmare to use, don't get me wrong. For general day-to-day document creation it works quite well, but if you get into large or complex documents, you can run into quite a few issues. So, I'm not at all surprised that they don't support Ink on the Mac Office suite.

In the past, there probably simply weren't enough tablet users to justify the effort as Microsoft's initial Tablet PC initiative never gained any traction. Now, with Windows 8, there should be at least a somewhat larger percentage of users that are inking and maybe it will get more attention. Who knows?

I read yesterday that Microsoft lost another $363 million on Surface last quarter, which is it's largest quarterly loss to date. Of course the SP3 wasn't really reflected in those numbers as it came out just before the end of the period. Nonetheless, Microsoft's losses on the Surface now stand at about $1.7 billion, so it's going to take a huge sales increase in order for Microsoft to start breaking even on these things. Time for us to start seriously evangelizing to all of our coworkers, friends, and relatives! ;-)

It may not be quite as big a loss as it seems, though, because Microsoft did axe their Surface Pro Mini, or whatever it was going to be called, at the very last minute and so some of those costs are included in the last quarter's results.

It looks like there is still quite a long way to go until everyday, regular users--particularly business users--begin to make PC-based tablets the norm rather than just a niche product.
 

Tom

New Member
You might try saving to MS-Word 97-2003 format (.doc). I tried that, and LibreOffice can read the inking fine (it won't if I use the docx format). I don't have a Mac to try.

Also, LibreOffice itself might be another option for your Mac students if you use the .doc format..
 
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ManUnited

Guest
You might try saving to MS-Word 97-2003 format (.doc).

Brilliant, Tom. This deserves a pint or two.

Tom's suggestion not only works, but there is no need for Libre Office. The inking appears directly in Word (regardless of the version the student uses). Here is a quick recap:
  1. The students write the papers on their Macs using Office 2011 and submit the work.
  2. The professor uses Office365 or any other current version of Office on the SP3 and makes track changes, edits, inking, etc.
  3. Before returning the paper to the students, the professor simply chooses "Save As" and changes the formatting to MS-Word 97-2003.
  4. Students can now open the paper in their version of Office (Mac/PC, does not matter) and all the various forms of comments will appear.
  5. As a bonus — the inking even appears on the iPad version of Office.
What is key about this process (as opposed to the PDF conversion many suggested) is that the document retains its editable state. A PDF allows students to see the comments, but they would have to look at two documents (their original .docx and the PDF). Tom's suggestion allows students to see the comments and ink while making edits directly on the same file. The document also retains all the metadata and version history. These two elements are key when teaching students that writing is a process.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for this forum. I was ready to return the SP3 last night, but I think crossing this major hurdle has allowed me some more time to review the tablet for use in the classroom.

Cheers.

Eureka.jpg
 
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ManUnited

Guest
There must be a way to batch process 75+ .docx files to .doc files. I'm trying to stay clear of students having to convert files themselves. I know this is a simple process (a drop-down menu in most cases); however, research has shown that technology in the classroom is most successful when it is seamlessly integrated and operates in the background.

This is why I think the SP3, OneNote, Word, and OneDrive will change the way I teach. Everyone is in the same applications and the instruction and student work is synced across all platforms.
 

Len J

Active Member
Nice solution.

I disagree with your comment that this "isn't a Mac vs Windows" issue. Historically, Office for Mac has always been one to two generations behind Office for Windows for two fundamental reasons ( both of which are Mac vs Windows issues):

1.) competitively, Microsoft wanted Mac O/S to be at a competitive disadvantage.
2.) the Apple market share wasn't large enough to warrant the commitment of resources necessary to keep both office apps at the same development level.

It will be interesting to see if the recent changes at Microsoft (as evidenced by the release of office for IPad) translate into a change in this strategy. I suspect it will.

Len
 
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ManUnited

Guest
I disagree with your comment that this "isn't a Mac vs Windows" issue.

I think you misunderstood my point. I stated that because some comments said that the problem was within OSX. I wanted this thread to stay clear of the Mac v. PC issue. OSX has its own ink system built within the OS; however, very few users see that as an option because they don't own a Wacom or other tablet that brings this as an option.

Secondly, the solution proves that this is a Microsoft issue alone. If you go back to the link I featured in my original post, the impression from MS is that seeing ink in Word 2011 for Mac is impossible. This thread has proven that false.

In MS's defense, inking is still impossible if the user is trying to ink in Word 2011 for Mac. I think that may have caused some of the confusion. However, both my thread and the thread featured in the link I posted never asked if we could originate the ink in Word for Mac, but rather was it possible to see the ink from a SP3 in Word for Mac.
 
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Len J

Active Member
I think you misunderstood my point. I stated that because some comments said that the problem was within OSX. I wanted this thread to stay clear of the Mac v. PC issue. OSX has its own ink system built within the OS; however, very few users see that as an option because they don't own a Wacom or other tablet that brings this as an option.

Secondly, the solution proves that this is a Microsoft issue alone. If you go back to the link I featured in my original post, the impression from MS is that seeing ink in Word 2011 for Mac is impossible. This thread has proven that false.

In MS's defense, inking is still impossible if the user is trying to ink in Word 2011 for Mac. I think that may have caused some of the confusion. However, both my thread and the thread featured in the link I posted never asked if we could originate the ink in Word for Mac, but rather was it possible to see the ink from a SP3 in Word for Mac.

Got it thanks. I misunderstood your point.

Len
 

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