Can I use PPT Productivity on a Mac?

Getting Started  

PPT Productivity PowerPoint Plugin is working on a version of PPT Productivity that will be compatible with PowerPoint for Mac. But we have great news - you can already use the PC version of PPT Productivity on a Mac, if you install a virtual machine solution such as Parallels Desktop for Mac. Note that there are other virtual PC for Mac solution providers, but we have focused on Parallels Desktop for Mac in this example.

What is Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Parallels Desktop for Mac is a solution that creates a virtual machine inside your Mac (in this case, a Virtual PC machine). Once you have installed Parallels Desktop on your Mac, you then install Windows and Microsoft Office on the new Parallel virtual machine, in the same way as you would install it on a PC. Parallels have a great guide on their website but we've also included a step by step guide below.

The mere mention of a "virtual machine" might make some readers think of a slow remote experience like Citrix, but this is not the case! Parallels Desktop is creating a virtual machine inside your Mac - not a remote virtual machine. The outcome is a very fast and easy to use experience. There's no lag and no fuzziness like you might experience with some virtual machine solutions that are remotely hosted.

Students take note - Parallels offers a student discount if you register with your student email address.

How do I install PPT Productivity in Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Following is a step by step guide to installing PPT Productivity on a Mac in Parallels Desktop. Note - this guide starts with the scenario where a Mac user doesn't have Parallels installed. If you're already running Parallels Desktop for Mac with Windows and MS Office, you can skip ahead to Step 4.

Step 1: Download Parallels Desktop onto your Mac

Start by downloading and installing Parallels Desktop for Mac. You can find the installer on their website. At time of writing, Parallels Desktop for Mac costs USD$99 per year for the business version but there is also a free trial so you can test it out and determine whether Parallels meets your needs.

screenshot of Parallels desktop for Mac download page how to run powerpoint addins on Mac
Screenshot of the Parallels Desktop for Mac Download page from the Parallels website

Step 2: Install Windows 11 onto your Mac (on your Parallels virtual machine)

The new Parallel Virtual Machine you've just installed does not yet have an operating system, so you need to install Windows (at the time of writing, Windows 11 is the current version). This is very easy to do - the Parallels Desktop for Mac setup prompts you with a link to the Windows 11 installer once you complete the Parallels Desktop install.

Step 3: Install Microsoft Office onto your Parallels virtual machine

Once you have installed Windows, you need to install MS Office. Once again, Parallels makes this very easy as they include a link to the MS Office installer on their welcome page (which displays once you complete the Parallels install). An example of the Parallels screen is below.

screenshot of Parallels desktop for Mac how to install windows applications Microsoft office
Screenshot of Parallels welcome page with link to MS Office Installer

You may need the assistance of your IT team at this point, to provide the license key information for MS Office. Note that licensing arrangements vary but many organizations have a 'per user' license with Microsoft Office which enable a user to run office on multiple machines.

When you are installing MS Office, pay attention to the version of Office you are installing - it will be either 32 or 64 bit. Most users would use 32 bit, however if you often work with very large Excel files, you might prefer 64 bit. This step is important as it determines which PPT Productivity installer you require.

screenshot of Parallels desktop for Mac how to install windows applications check 32 or 64 bit
Example Screenshot of the MS Office installer page with the 32 bit version of Office selected

Step 4: Install PPT Productivity

Once you complete the install of MS Office, you're ready to download PPT Productivity! Remember to use a browser within your Parallels Desktop to run the installer (if you tried to download using safari on your Mac this step will not work as safari cannot download the installer to your virtual machine). To find the browser in your virtual CP, look at the bottom toolbar on your Mac and you should see a Windows logo. Simply open the browser (which by default will be Microsoft Edge), then navigate to either of the following:

For 32 bit Versions of MS Office: /install/setup32

For 64 bit Versions of MS Office: /setup64

Once your download is complete, you need to run the installer. If you're not familiar with how Macs display downloads (even downloads via a browser on a PC virtual machine!), it's a little different to PCs. The download will appear in the top right hand corner of your browser if you click the button with the arrow pointing downward (please refer to the screenshot below for reference - the installer file is circled in the screenshot).

Once you click on the ppt_productivity_setup.exe file, you will see a popup prompting you to install. Click the install button and the PPT Productivity installer will commence.

how to install ppt productivity powerpoint plugin
Screenshot of PPT Productivity install page and the downloaded installer

Step 5: Open PowerPoint and activate your license

Once the installer has completed, PPT Productivity will be available in PowerPoint. Simply open PowerPoint and you should be prompted with the PPT Productivity license activation / sign in.

If not, please go to File> Options from the PowerPoint ribbon. You will see an 'Add-ins' option on the menu to the left. Select Add-ins. If PPT Productivity does not appear in the list of Active Application Add-ins, make sure COM Add-ins is selected in the Manage box at the bottom of the popup then select the 'Go' button.

how to activate ppt productivity powerpoint plugin
Screenshot of PowerPoint File > Options > Add-ins popup

Once you click the Go.... button, you should see the following pop-up. PPT Productivity needs to be enabled to run, so ensure the checkbox for PPT Productivity is checked, then click ok.

PowerPoint COM Add-ins screen how to turn on PPT Productivity addon for PowerPoint
Screenshot of PowerPoint File > Options > Add-ins > Manage COM Add-Ins popup with PPT Productivity add-in selected

Once you complete this step, you should now see the PPT Productivity license activation / sign in prompt. If it is still not appearing, try closing and re-opening PowerPoint. Once the PPT Productivity license activation / sign in prompt appears, you can either sign up for a free trial, purchase a license or enter your existing license key.

If you've tried these steps and cannot get PPT Productivity running on Parallels Desktop for Mac, please contact us and one of our friendly team will help troubleshoot.

Do PPT Productivity's Extra PowerPoint Shortcut Keys work on Mac?

Yes! PPT Productivity's extra shortcut keys work on the Mac using this option. For any PowerPoint shortcut key combination that includes the Alt key, Mac users need to substitute the Mac Option key. Learn more about PPT Productivity's customizable PowerPoint shortcut keys on the feature overview page.

Do PPT Productivity's McKinsey aligned PowerPoint shortcuts work on Mac?

Yes! PPT Productivity also has an option to use shortcuts pre-mapped to McKinsey PowerPoint shortcut keys. These McKinsey aligned shortcuts also work on the Mac when using PPT Productivity on a Parallels virtual PC. Read more about the mapped McKinsey PowerPoint shortcut keys.

Want to create polished presentations faster? With PPT Productivity, boost your team's productivity with faster formatting, easier editing, collaboration tools and more! If you're not yet using PPT Productivity, download our free 30 day trial today. We offer free one-on-one training and flexible licensing to suit individuals, teams or enterprise.

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