The Perfect Way to Share Files
Between a Macintosh and a Windows PC

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge it. Use your browser's "BACK" button to return to this review when done.
Many of today's programs have versions that run on both the PC and the Macintosh, such as Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel. These cross platform programs have increased the need to move files back and forth between the Macintosh and PC. MacOpener 4.0, created by DataViz, allows Windows users to read, write and format Mac media on the PC, including Zip, Jaz, SyQuest, HD floppies and other removable media. MacOpener's extension mapping technology allows users to double click Mac files and and open them in the same application on the PC. Price: $59.95. Upgrade Price: $29.95. MacOpener works with files that are cross platform compatible. DataViz has developed another program Conversion Plus that is useful when you are dealing with incompatible file formats across platforms or programs, e-mail file attachments or compressed files. The DataViz Web site is:
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced PC users. The program is user friendly and could be used by anyone with basic computer knowledge.
  • Support for windows 98;
  • Use Macintosh disks (HD floppy, SCSI, CD-ROM, and Macintosh hard drives) just as you would any PC disk;
  • Support for the new Mac OS disk format for large volume media, "MacOS Extended Format or HFS+";
  • Use Macintosh disks transparently in your PC;
  • Format a Macintosh disk in your PC;
  • Get information on selected files;
  • Copy files back and forth between a Macintosh disk and a PC.

Installation, User's Guide, & Help. The program is very easy to install, and it took almost no time at all. There is a small but thorough User's Guide that provides all of the information you need. There is also excellent Online Help.

Interface. I had read the information on what the program could do before I installed it, so I expected an elaborate program with various windows, toolboxes, and dialog boxes. I also thought that I would spend a large amount of time customizing the program for my system. No! Beside the usual Read Me file, Company Web site link, and Online Help, there are only two dialog boxes that you really use: MacFormat and MacOpener Driver Preferences. And the customizing time is minimal.

Copying Files to and from Macintosh Disks. With MacOpener, you can access Macintosh disks from the Windows Desktop, Explorer or any program's "Open" or "Save As" menus. You just double-click on the drive containing the Mac disk. Any Macintosh disk looks just like any Windows disk in your computer. The only difference is that you will see "(Mac)" in the title bar of the window indicating that you are using a Macintosh disk. MacOpener even retains the long file names and adds the appropriate icon and Windows extension to the file. When copying files to a Macintosh disk, MacOpener writes the correct Macintosh information to the file. This way, the Mac can recognize the file and use it properly.

Read Mac CD-ROMs on your PC. Many CD-ROMs now ship as Mac only or have both Macintosh and Windows partitions on them. Clip Art CD-ROMs are examples of this. With MacOpener, you can read files from these types of CD-ROMs.

Format Disks as Macintosh. If you need to send Windows files to Macintosh users, you can format Macintosh disks right on your PC. There are two ways. You can use the MacFormat feature from the Program Group in the Windows Start menu (above image) or you can simply right-click on the drive containing the disk you wish to format (left image). Once completed, Macintosh users will be able to use your disks without ever knowing they came from a Windows PC.

Driver Preferences. When you install MacOpener, you install the MacOpener driver that gives you access to Macintosh disks from anywhere on your PC. This driver includes a number of preferences for using Macintosh disks and copying files. The Preferences can be accessed through the Start menu of Windows or the MacOpener Program Group. There are three tabs.

  1. Extension Mapping--Every file contains information which helps identify its format, and the information is stored differently on a Macintosh than it is on a PC. When moving files between Macs and PCs, this Mac specific file information is normally lost. MacOpener will preserve this information using a technique called Extension Mapping. MacOpener ships with a database of Macintosh File Types and Creators and their corresponding PC extensions. Within the Extension Mapping Window you have the option to add, delete, and edit file formats.

  2. Dual CD-ROM--Dual CD-ROMs contain both Macintosh and PC files with only one set of files accessible at a time. In MacOpener, you can specify which part of the Dual CD-ROM you would like to view when you open it in your CD-ROM drive.

  3. Driver Settings On/Off--This preference gives you the ability to disable the MacOpener Driver.

Macintosh Properties. When you are viewing Macintosh disks and files with MacOpener, you are able to view the properties of the file or folder just as you would with PC files and folders. When you right click on the Macintosh file/folder and select Properties, you will get a tab entitled MacProperties. This will give you Macintosh specific information.

This program is great for desktop publishers, graphic artists, or anyone who uses both a Mac and a PC. You don't have to worry about finding the appropriate PC formatted disk to use with the Mac, and you don't have to worry about file names. It is also useful to have access to all those volumes of clip art and stock images that were previously unavailable to Windows applications.
Operating System: Windows 3.1, 95, 98 & NT 4.0
Hard Disk Space: 2MB
Memory: 4MB RAM

Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series
Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page
Graphics: Adobe ImageStyler 1.0