KNOWLEDGEBASE - ARTICLE #61

Can Prism Mac and Prism Windows read each other's files?

Last modified January 1, 2009

Prism Mac and Windows share the same file format, so each can open the other's files.  Note these minor differences between the WIndows and Mac versions of Prism 5.

With modern computers and current Prism versions, tranfering files present no special problem. With older versions and older computer, the note below might be helpful. 

If you are transferring from PC to Mac 

We don't know of any issues with OSX, but if you use OS8 or 9, consider: 

  • After transferring the file, the Macintosh system may not know that it is a Prism file. To open the file, launch Prism and then use "File... Open...".
  • If you transfer files frequently, run File Exchange on your Mac. Use this program to tell the Mac OS that all files that end with .pzf, .pzm, or .pzt are to be opened by Prism. Once you've done that, you can open a file by double-clicking on it. (File Exchange is run automatically by the Prism installer if you have OS 8.5 or later.)
  • When transferring the file via floppy disk, transfer it to your hard drive. This often works better, for reasons we don't understand.
  • When you email files from a Mac, the system may "stuff" the file into a compressed format or may "binhex" the file. Macs don't always use file extensions (".sit" or ".hqx"), so there is no way to know if a file has been compressed or encoded (binhexed). StuffIt Expander is free Windows software that will "unstuff" compressed Mac files and decode binhexed files. You should download it and try running your problem file through.

If you are transferring from Mac to PC

  • This works better if you add the extension to the file name, so Windows recognizes the file as a Prism file. There is an option in Prism Mac to add this extension automatically.
  • Even without the extension, you can open the file from Prism Windows. Just change the selection at the bottom of the "File... Open..." dialog to show all files.


Keywords: cross-platform

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