Wineskin vs. PlayOnMac vs. WineBottler vs. CrossOver for Microsoft Office on a Mac



Microsoft Office is a de-facto standard. The discontinued version for OS X has an appalling interface, is not very interoperable and lacks the Ribbon interface. The iWorks is not a good solution if most of the people you work with use .docx, and ppt and .xsl.

Office 2010 and 2013 are not well supported on wine (just now a preview with 2013 was shown on wine on linux). So Office 2007 is used.

My criteria: how well it works, how well it integrates, can it print directly, can it use the keyboard layout of the OS X.

All the softwares shown are wrappers of wine.

PlayOnMac (ver. 4.2.2) FREE

  • installation wasn't easy
  • when installing office, it downloads .net, fonts and stuff automatically
  • printing on an HP printer (first install the printer on the mac, then it appears AFAIK only if default drivers in windows exist) - prints, but crashes the app.
  • couldn't find a way to add new keyboard layouts
  • bad support
  • open with - no actual info, couldn't make it work
  • MS Word works pretty good
  • Excel took a while to open a 5mb file
  • Overall: works but not sufficient for me

WineBottler (ver. 1.7.11) FREE

  • straight forward interface.
  • presets available
  • most of the built-in installers (IE6, Opera, Firefox...) don't work. Some of them do.
  • Uninstaller on the Q&A page. Doesn't work. You can delete stuff manually.
  • Installing MS Office fails for some reason (Please insert volume 'OFFICE12' (needed for package 'office2007pro')). I don't have a solution:


  • Overall: I can't make it work


Wineskin Winery (ver. 1.7) FREE

  • installation is not very straight-forward
  • fails to install - most of the offices tested fail to initialize, one started  but didn't finish
  • no presets on microsoft office - probably that's why it doesn't work
  • Overall: can't make it work at all

CrossOver (ver. 13.0.1) $50

  • installation with presets
  • Has a preset for Microsoft Office 2010 that works.
  • Supports the keyboard layout of the host.
  • Sees printers installed with the host (I don't know if drivers are needed).
  • "Open with" works by default.
  • Overall: unfortunately the only one that works fine.