Love OS X but accept that one adamant app you can alone run on Windows? With the appropriate accoutrement and setup, you can run alone Windows apps seamlessly on your Mac desktop, as admitting they were consistently meant to be there.
Over the years, we’ve covered virtualization, basal machines—that is, active absolute operating systems central your capital OS—quite a bit. What we’re activity to detail here, however, is not so abundant the ambience up of one operating arrangement (Windows) central addition (Mac OS X), but a bureaucracy that makes active one or a scattering of must-have Windows applications on a Mac simple and seamless. It makes things abundant easier for amateurish computer users who aloof charge admission to an app that there isn’t a Mac adaptation for, and it makes the user acquaintance feel beneath aimless and cobbled together. Aback you’re done here, you should be able to run that must-have Windows app on your Mac as admitting it’s aloof addition Mac application.
We’ll highlight two methods for accomplishing this affectionate of setup. One is with Parallels, which is attainable to set up, offers abundant OS X integration, and isn’t absolutely cheap. The added is with VirtualBox, an app that’s chargeless on any platform, but requires a acceptable bit added fiddling, and doesn’t action all the just-works options of Parallels. (Skip beeline to the Parallels or VirtualBox sections.)
At about $80 for a license, Parallels (Desktop 5 for Mac, in this case) is not absolutely free, we know. Parallels is, however, a absolutely smart, attractive, and able virtualization apparatus congenital for one purpose: authoritative Windows applications attainable on a Mac. If you accept a Windows disc and authorization handy—especially Windows 7—it makes Microsoft’s operating arrangement feel like it was fabricated to fit central a Mac.
The shortlist angle for why you should accede Parallels for your Mac:
Adam had advanced abundant active Windows apps on a Mac with Parallels, but Parallels has arise a continued way aback 2006, and it’s account demography a attending at the best seamless affiliation around.
It’s additionally account acquainted that Parallels doesn’t consistently amount $80. You can try it chargeless for 15 days, advancement from earlier versions for $50, and generally acquisition promotions about the web that get you the app for less, or get you Parallels in aggregate with added software. I begin a advertisement articulation that arranged Parallels with H&R Block at Home. I didn’t absolutely charge that, but it additionally mailed me a CD archetype of Parallels (normally $6 extra) and a year’s authorization to download the software (another few dollars extra), and it all came in beneath the absolute amount of what you’d commonly pay. Shop and Google around.
I’m activity to run through the accession of WordPerfect, an appliance some engineers, lawyers, and association alive in offices with IT behavior that debris to die charge sometimes await on. I’m ambience it up on a MacBook so that the user—who may, in fact, be affiliated to me—has the easiest accessible admission to it. Aback a WordPerfect book arrives via email, double-clicking it opens up WordPerfect. WordPerfect is added to the Dock, it looks (mostly) like a Mac app aback it runs, and the basal apparatus that supports it in the accomplishments disappears aback it’s bankrupt down. Here’s how to get there.
Installing Parallels itself is adequately easy—grab the download from Parallels’ site, double-click the consistent file, and admission your Mac ambassador countersign to proceed. Aback it’s accomplished installing, if it doesn’t arise automatically, go advanced and run Parallels Desktop yourself for the aboriginal time—head to the Spotlight card in the upper-right corner, blazon in Parallels, and hit the result.
You’ll get a window that alone has one absolute option, to actualize a new basal machine. The easiest way to go through the action is use an accession DVD, admitting if you’ve got your accession disc stored as an ISO or Mac deejay image, you can go advanced and point Parallels at that, too. Advance through the Windows installation, and aback you’re done entering your authorization key, user name, time zone, and the like, and confused through the basal reboots, Parallels will be active on your desktop—a abounding Windows accession central a little window.
If you’ve got an accession disc for your application, the attainable affair is to aloof accept it. Parallels will acceptable ascertain that it’s a disc with a Windows auto-run appliance and barrage a accustomed Windows pop-up, allurement if you appetite to run “Install.exe,” “Setup.exe,” or whatever your disc offers. If not, accessible the CD from your Mac desktop, afresh double-click on any install/setup files that assume to accept two red lines, attractive like a abeyance sym, absorbed to them.
If you’re attractive to install from an executable amalgamation you can download, the attainable band-aid is to accessible Internet Explorer from the Windows anatomy (or the Windows-badged binder that aloof showed up on your Dock), arch to the software’s web site, afresh download and run the installer appropriate from the web. If that doesn’t fly, you can consistently aloof bead the .exe book or accession binder assimilate a USB drive from your Mac OS, afresh un-plug it and bung it aback in. By default, Parallels should automatically aces up the accessory and action it to Windows. If it doesn’t, right-click on the aglow Windows-like figure on your dock, hover over the Devices menu, and afresh baddest the drive you’ve alone it on.
Got your appliance installed? Let’s accomplish it so it runs like any added Mac application.
See that binder that’s now sitting on the far-right ancillary of your binder bookmarks? It contains the majority of applications independent in your little independent Windows installation. Bang on it, afresh aces out the appliance you aloof installed and bang that. In about every case, you’ll attestant the baby phenomenon of a Windows appliance ablution central a Mac. It may attending a little incongruous, with its Windows appellation bar and coloring, but we’ll fix that appropriate now.
Once your basal Windows is launched, Parallels adds a Start-Menu-style Windows figure to your dock. Right-click on it. Arch up to the Appearance card that ancestor out of the Alpha on and baddest “Coherence” in the top-most section, if it’s not already selected. If you don’t see it, your Windows apparatus has already paused or suspended, but you can alpha it aback up by hitting “Resume” from the Actions menu. This sets Parallels to adumbrate abroad the aggregate of Windows—the desktop, the taskbars, about everything—so that the alone affirmation of Windows you see is the window for the appliance you’re using, alternating with one or two Berth icons. From the aforementioned right-click menu, beneath the “View” section, accept “Use MacLook.” This applies a affair to Windows that makes it a acceptable bit beneath alien aback its applications are active on your Mac screen.
Back to that appliance you’ve got active in Windows. If you’re appliance your Mac Berth to barrage applications, right-click on the figure of your Windows app and accept “Keep in Dock.” If you’re added absorbed to barrage an appliance from Spotlight or Quicksilver, you should be able to acquisition your app, aback there’s already a adjustment created central that “Windows Applications” binder on your Dock. Appetite to put the adjustment about else? Right-click on that binder abounding of Windows applications, afresh artlessly accomplish a archetype of the shortcuts you need, wherever you charge them.
We’re now activity to configure our Windows basal apparatus for a little smoother integration. Accessible up Parallels Desktop from Spotlight, hit the Basal Machines menu, and baddest “Configure.” If you’re appliance a Dock, you can additionally right-click on the aglow Windows orb and baddest “Configure.”
Hit the Shared Applications class on the left, baddest your acute Windows application, afresh bang the SmartSelect on in the consistent panel.
In the case of WordPerfect, it uses appealing specific book formats not acclimated by added applications, so you can see that Parallels has already a the Mac that if it encounters a .wpd file, it should barrage the virtualized WordPerfect and canyon that book to it. Added applications may use formats that a Mac can open, too—Word files, accurate angel files, and the like. You can get specific in this menu, ysis out, for example, basal JPG and PNG aperture to Mac’s Preview, but aperture TIFF files in that one Adobe app you alone accept a Windows archetype of. In any case, aback you see a book in your Mac that your Windows appliance will end up opening, you’ll apperceive it—the figure will be formatted for that app, and accept the audible Parallels “stripes” in the bottom-right.
Now, in the Shared Folders category, you can accept to accumulate your Mac home folder—containing Documents, Music, Pictures, and all your stuff, really—shared with Windows, which makes it adequately attainable to barter files aback and alternating to an appliance like WordPerfect. You can go one further, though, by “sharing” your Desktop or Abstracts binder with Windows. Check off the options if they’re there, or hit the on and set up the synchronization amid your Mac and Windows desktops and documents. Now, aback you’ve got an app like WordPerfect running, you don’t accept to dig into your Mac home binder to acquisition a abode to save. Save a book to what Windows considers its own Desktop, and it’ll appearance up on your Mac Desktop.
Finally, in the Startup/Shutdown category, I acclaim the bureaucracy pictured above. Your virtualized Windows suspends itself aback annihilation is accident with any Windows application, which saves you anamnesis and array power, but makes it adequately quick to cull applications aback up aback you charge them. Ambience the startup appearance to Coherence additionally eliminates accepting to watch a glitchy Windows desktop arise and abandon as it boots up. On the Mac’s shutdown, I like to abdicate out of Parallels, so it’s a apple-pie slate aback starting up again, but you can set Parallels to append its apparatus instead aback you ability things down.
That’s how I set up WordPerfect to run on a MacBook in such a way as to be about airy as a Windows application. There are many, abounding added settings you can explore, including those that set up the keyboard adjustment equivalents amid Windows and Mac applications, but those are best apparent and configured to one’s own tastes.
Not absolutely awash on the account of Parallels over a DIY solution? Here’s how you can accomplish about the aforementioned end result, admitting with, admittedly, beneath accessibility and cohesion.
VirtualBox requires a bit added hands-on operation to get Windows 7 installed. Luckily, we’ve run bottomward those operations before. Consult our beginners adviser to creating basal machines in VirtualBox for advice accepting Windows installed. If you’d been because a Boot Camp installation, or already accept Windows installed in a Boot Camp partition, you can still account from VirtualBox. Blogger and administrator Anil Dash has accounting up a adviser to active Windows 7 beneath Mac OS X 10.6 for free, which makes your Boot Camp accession VirtualBox-friendly and afresh links the two up for the best of both worlds.
Virtual machines can assume juuuuust a bit too aberrant for best contrarily computer-friendly people.…
After you’ve got Windows 7 installed, you’ll appetite to be abiding to install VirtualBox Guest Additions, which is absolutely a two-click process—hit “Install Guest Additions” from the Devices card of VirtualBox, and afresh accept to run the installer aback aback it ancestor up. Restart your Windows accession afterwards it finishes. Blaze up a new “Seamless” advantage by selecting it from the Apparatus menu, or hitting Larboard Command L.
You’ll apprehension that Windows basically disappears—except for your toolbar/taskbar, which hovers over your Dock, or at the basal of your screen, if you don’t use a Dock. That’s, well, ugly. Right-click on the Windows taskbar, baddest Properties, and attending for the advantage to auto-hide the taskbar.
Now it’s out of the way, but what about aback you charge to get to something? VirtualBox lets you accredit a key, or key combination, on your Mac to represent the Alpha menu. It’s Ctrl Esc by default, but you can change it in your VirtualBox preferences. Given the ability of the Alpha Search affection in Windows Vista and 7, it’s attainable to barrage applications by accounting out the aboriginal few letters—kind of like Spotlight. Aback applications launch, they get a Mac-like window frame, and closing them agency Windows basically disappears.
Be abiding to arch into the settings of your Basal Apparatus for Windows and set up the Shared Folders. It’s not that abundant harder than Parallels, really, but the way they appearance up—as arrangement drives—is a bit different. You can affix your Windows and Mac desktops and certificate folders for attainable book extenuative and retrieval.
To accomplishment up authoritative your VirtualBox a bit added acceptable than aloof active a Basal Machine, apprentice the keyboard shortcuts for pausing the apparatus aback not in use (Left Command P), and be abiding to accept the “Save Apparatus State” advantage aback shutting bottomward VirtualBox. That way, aback you blaze up Windows 7 again, it will resume in its Seamless state, cat-and-mouse for you to barrage the Alpha card and get at what you need.
When WINE works, it’s a abundant thing, active applications meant for Windows on Mac or Linux, after the aerial of an absolute basal machine. Affair is, it doesn’t consistently work. Luckily, two applications that accomplish it attainable to try out an app in WINE on Mac exist: CrossOver Mac, a paid appliance that offers a balloon period, and WineBottler, a custom body of WINE that works abundant at framing baby Windows apps as built-in OS X programs. Both are account attractive into if you’ve got one or two applications you charge to run, but don’t necessarily charge admission to an absolute Windows OS.
Those are two options for active Windows applications central a Mac with minimum disruption. Got a bureaucracy that’s bigger than ours? We’re not abashed to accept our newcomer status. Tell us about it in the comments, and we’ll articulation you up and accommodate your tips in an adapted post.
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