Convincing My Mac Users to Give Microsoft SharePoint a Try

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Here at MindActive, I’m the lone Microsoft / Windows person in an office of Mac users, so I catch some good-natured grief for being one of “those people.” With my extensive background in SharePoint administration, it makes sense for me to be more Windows focused, since Microsoft and Windows are built to work effortlessly together. However, convincing my team – a group of Mac using, Safari loving, website image and video manipulating experts - to give SharePoint a try required some major research.

Will SharePoint even work on a Mac?

Yes! That was easy. With the Firefox (version 17 or above) or Safari (version 6 or above) browsers, you can access all the critical functions within SharePoint. Consider installing Office for Mac for the Office integration features that are available on a Windows operating system.

Office Integration features? Sounds very… Microsoft.

True, but even the most rabid Mac users have to admit that sometimes OneDrive just doesn’t meet all of the document sharing and collaboration needs that a large company (one that, say, may use SharePoint) has.

So, what is SharePoint?

SharePoint is Microsoft’s highly flexible, configurable web-based platform, with all sorts of possible uses. It can be used as: a content management system; an intranet; a collaboration hub; a document repository; a blogging platform; a search center; a knowledge base; a workflow engine; even a business intelligence center. Your site administrator can enable any or all of this functionality, depending on the organization’s needs.

How do I access it?

You will need to have the URL from the site administrator and login credentials (usually your email address and a SharePoint password).

What can I do from my Mac?

You can share and collaborate on documents, task lists, calendars, discussion boards, images, blogs, wiki pages…virtually any file type or collaboration method is supported on SharePoint. You can perform site administration, since SharePoint is fully operational on Safari and Firefox. If you have the Microsoft Document Connection software installed on your Mac, you can also do bulk uploads of files – a real time saver! See a useful tutorial here. If your site uses a lot of video, consider downloading Silverlight – this allows you to both view videos in their optimal format and access SharePoint Help videos.

Ok, what can’t I do from my Mac? Any showstoppers?

Some features require Internet Explorer, such as synchronizing content to Outlook, Excel, Access; this functionality is not required, though, to collaborate on the site. InfoPath and OneNote use ActiveX, which is not Mac-compatible, so Mac users can’t manipulate InfoPath forms on the site – again, not something the average user would ever need to do. The Bulk Edit feature (datasheet view) is not enabled, but a workaround is available (enabling inline editing).

The advantage of having a Microsoft person on a team of Mac users is that we can cover every base, from creative products to MS Office and – of course - SharePoint. Are you a Windows or a Mac person with SharePoint questions? Either way, we can help!

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 18:56

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