OSX vs Windows 10 for Pre-Press...

kdw75

Well-known member
I use Windows 10 at home for Lightroom and gaming, and at work I have always used Macs for design, layout, Adobe CC, FusionPro, and Pitstop Pro.

The complaint I have is that our MIS and Mailing software are Windows only, meaning that I have to run over to a Windows machine constantly to use it. I am contemplating replacing my Mac with a Windows 10 machine that could do everything.

My only real concern is that some hidden surprises will cause things not to run as smoothly, such as font problems or PDFs not showing accurately, though I have no real reason to suspect this.

That being said, is anyone else using Windows for pre-press and if so are there any quirks or hurdles I should be wary of?
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
I won't pretend to speak for other software vendors, but the fact is that Adobe's Creative/Document Cloud software (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro) work every bit as well under Windows as they do on MacOS both in terms of features/functionality and performance.

There are only two issues of significance that you might face:

(1) Older MacOS files that do not use file suffixes. Windows requires use of those suffixes to identify file type. Although modern MacOS applications automatically supply those file suffixes now, they didn't use to and most files can be opened without them. Moving such assets to Windows requires fixing the file names.

(2) Fonts (surprise!). If you are using OpenType CFF fonts (.otf suffix), OpenType TrueType (.ttf), or Windows TrueType (.ttf) fonts, you have no problem. Those fonts are fully cross-platform compatible. On the other hand, if you have old MacOS TrueType and Type 1 fonts, you would need to obtain the Windows equivalents of such fonts since the formats are significantly different, including MacOS' use of the Mac file system's support for file resource forks (not a feature of Windows). Although there exists software that can “convert” these fonts from MacOS to Windows formats, those conversions may be somewhat lossy, especially in terms of font metrics, compared to use of the native format of the font(s) on Windows. (Remember that “font” is a four letter word beginning with an ‘f’ regardless of how much you love or hate them!)

One major advantage of Windows is that each OS release is not as disruptive in term of application programs and system functions' lack of compatibility with existing application programs.

After that, the choice is one more personal preference and religious devotion :rolleyes:

- Dov
 

pushpixels

Well-known member
typically would use windows remote desktop to access a PC that had PC only software. no need to run over anywhere.

before that we would use a KVM switch.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
Really comes down to preference, like the OP I have Mac for work and a PC at home for games/vr/and tinkering. I also have a MacBook Pro and other macs. I really like Windows 10 but would take MacOS any day of the week over it for work. I am sure part of it is I am just so used to it and the way things work it would take a while for me to be comfortable in a production environment with Windows.

I do have Windows on my Mac as well as a virtual machine for a few things that are Windows only. Works well and allows me basically 2 computers in one plus I can install new updates of MacOS to test before moving it onto my production machine knowing all my apps will work.

If you have a flash or SSD drive in your Mac Windows will load lightening fast as a virtual machine, if it is a traditional drive then things are a lot slower.
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
I think there are plenty of solutions that will give you the best of both worlds without you needing to completely change your hardware and OS. A Mac can run both MacOS and Windows.

I personally use a Windows 10 virtual machine running on Virtual Box (https://www.virtualbox.org/) on a Mac. If you've got two monitors, you can have it running on the second monitor (or just as a windowed app if you only have one), enable shared copy & paste between the two, set up a shared folder both can access for file transfer, etc. Best part is VirtualBox is free. BootCamp works too but you can't run both operating systems simultaneously which is a drag.
 

scotts

Well-known member
We are a Mac shop. We use Macs for just about everything, unless we absolutely can't. And as far as our Mailing department, they use Macs running virtual machines for their software. I am more familiar with a Mac, but I also know it is only a tool. That is why I have both on my desk. Use what makes you the best you can be. As Dov, says, fonts are the biggest and most painful issues when thinking about switching. As far as applications, it isn't as big of a deal as it once was. Sure there are a few out there that are not on both, but you should be able to find an equal out there somewhere. And sometimes better.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
Thank you all. I think I might try running virtualbox and see how that works as I already have 2 monitors. My iMac is a 2013 model with a mechanical hard drive, so it is very slow compared to our Windows machines which all have SSDs.

If virtualbox works though I will probably just get a new iMac with an SSD as it seems upgrading my current one is a bit challenging with the glued 27" screen needing to be removed.
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
We've got a local repair shop with an Apple certified tech that will swap out iMac hard drives with SSDs (that we supply) for around $130 total. You do a time machine backup before you take it in, restore from it when you're back, and boom! Can't even tell it's been opened up when it's done. Just wanted to let you know that kind of service is out there if the rest of your iMac specs seem okay to you.

On my work iMac with the VirtualBox machines, I watch the Windows 10 task manager and can definitely tell that the hard drive is the bottleneck as opposed to CPU time or RAM, so an SSD is a great idea.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
If you are planning on using Windows a fair bit I would look at Parallels. It is not free but has some nice features one being "coherence". Basically this gets rid of the standard desktop in a window and gives the appearance of Windows and Mac merged, or at least the apps.

In this first screen shot you see a normal view of a virtual machine. Windows is in a boxed application, which works fine but if it is something you use all the time a little more integration might be nice.
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.19.27 AM by B P, on Flickr


This second shot is with "coherence" turned on. Now the Windows applications look just like any other Mac application. No windows start bar or anything that resembles Windows. You can access all that at the top in the section where the wifi is.
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.20.21 AM by B P, on Flickr

Parallels can be annoying seems like they are greedy for cash, every big MacOS update seems to have them needing a paid upgrade. Other then that it has been stable and works very well for me.
 

mattbeals

Well-known member
I use Windows 10 at home for Lightroom and gaming, and at work I have always used Macs for design, layout, Adobe CC, FusionPro, and Pitstop Pro.

The complaint I have is that our MIS and Mailing software are Windows only, meaning that I have to run over to a Windows machine constantly to use it. I am contemplating replacing my Mac with a Windows 10 machine that could do everything.

My only real concern is that some hidden surprises will cause things not to run as smoothly, such as font problems or PDFs not showing accurately, though I have no real reason to suspect this.

That being said, is anyone else using Windows for pre-press and if so are there any quirks or hurdles I should be wary of?
Anyone telling you that color management, Adobe applications, Pitstop, etc are best done on Mac's is either ignorant or lying to you. It's all about what OS you "prefer". They're both equally capable platforms with equally capable applications. Everything else is fear, uncertainty, doubt, ignorance, or bullshrimp.
 

Tim-Ellis

Well-known member
Once upon a time I was happy on both platforms. Then along came Vista. These days I am much happier on the Mac.

I have to use two apps where we have PC only licences so I have a cheap laptop set up in the next room and I use TeamViewer to access it. I can copy and paste from one machine to the other and move documents between them easily.

If you want to switch to PC, make sure all those little apps and plug ins are available for you.

Today I use too much AppleScript and Automator to move to PC easily. I'd have to learn Visual Basic and Javascript from scratch.
 
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Keith

Well-known member
...our MIS and Mailing software are Windows only... ...Windows 10 machine that could do everything...
I was in that same position, Adobe on Mac and Morning Flight estimator on PC. Got tired of paying a premium for an iMac, then paying for Parallels, and then paying for a Windows license. Not to mention all that software updating. So I saved myself a lot of money and a little admin headaches and switched everything over to Windows after the hard drive to a crap in my iMac. It took me three hours to replace the hard drive. Took an old PC and refurbished it, hard drive took three minutes to replace. I like building my own computers so the switch was easy and fun for me. And I saved hundreds of dollars.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
Once upon a time I was happy on both platforms. Then along came Vista. These days I am much happier on the Mac.

I have to use two apps where we have PC only licences so I have a cheap laptop set up in the next room and I use TeamViewer to access it. I can copy and paste from one machine to the other and move documents between them easily.

If you want to switch to PC, make sure all those little apps and plug ins are available for you.

Today I use too much AppleScript and Automator to move to PC easily. I'd have to learn Visual Basic and Javascript from scratch.
Why not install Windows as a virtual machine and skip needing a PC at all?
 

Tim-Ellis

Well-known member
Why not install Windows as a virtual machine and skip needing a PC at all?
Good point - Two personal reasons

1) I share those apps with other users who are PC savvy.

2) They are both colour quality control apps linked to a communal spectro. The apps and settings are all running smoothly and I'd hate to upset anything by reinstalling.
 

dabob

Well-known member
I won't contest that the Mac and Windows versions of the software get you to the same place once your within the software . . . my biggest complaint is the user interface difference between the two platforms . . ( I will admit to a bit of a bias towards Macs) but just the file navigation on windows drives me battly . . . I guess I'm saying that its an "intuitive" feeling you get towards the OS . . .friendly or not . . . they both woark
 

jrsc

Well-known member
I've always been windows desktops and mac laptops so I use both together. Applications work the same on both and its easy to work between both platforms. It's personal preference for the os. mac desktops always seemed very expensive or not enough configuration. They need a regular computer tower type machine so it's cheap like a mac mini but has room for expansion. I also actually like windows better in a desktop environment. I think Mac laptops have always just worked better and the way their touchpads with the software makes a difference. Some of the new windows 10 laptops are finally getting close though since not much has changed on mac laptops in a while except to make us need adapters to plug almost anything into them.
 

gordo

Well-known member
I don’t know about Windows 10.
That being said, the area I worked in at Creo had about 3000 employees. Almost all had Windows boxes, about 1/3 had Macs in addition to their Windows boxes. At least 500 had Macs only.
There was a dedicated 10 strong team of IT folks maintaining the Windows users. There was one part time guy maintaining the Macs. I was a Mac only employee. I needed the Mac IT’s help just once in the 11 odd years I was there.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
It seems that in the last six months the iMac I use has gotten much slower and I am wondering if it has had something to do with the patches for Intel's security vulnerabilities. I am going to move my iMac to another desk as I have been putting together a new Windows box to see how things work out. Worst case I can always go back to the Mac.
 

Automatically Autonomous Automation

Automatically Autonomous Automation
Although the autonomous car is not quite ready, a lights out print operation is something you can do right now if you have a comprehensive Print MIS (Management Information System). The advantages can put money on your bottom line. So what’s your next step? Link to Article

   
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