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Solved So Happy, Now So Depressed (not so much any more)



I just purchased my SP3 and for about two hours, I absolutely loved it. Opened a student's paper, made suggestions via track changes using the keyboard, but decided to add global comments at the bottom of the page using the pen. I was pleased with the pen and the accuracy made even my poor penmanship look sufficient.

I saved, then sent the document, and waited for the student's response. And then, the depression appeared.

Mac Office 2011 Can't View Ink Comments

This renders my SP3 useless as 60 percent of my students have Macs.

I have tried viewing the document on my own MacBook Pro and cannot view it the inked comments.

I realize I could send the file as a PDF, but I do not wish to treat students differently because of their OS of choice. In addition, doing so would defeat the purpose of collaborative writing. I want students to create document that I can comment on and return to them for rewriting. Introducing another file type would not be welcome.

Any ideas?



ManUnited, is there anyway that your students could save what they type in a format which will work on both a Mac and a PC? Been a long time since I messed around with a Mac, but since Microsoft writes a good deal of their software, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a program which could be edited and saved by either OS.

Just thinking...


Super Moderator
Staff member
update: It doesn't appear ink is supported in Word online versions although ink is viewable in OneNote online. Maybe in the future ...


Thanks for the advice; however, I don't want to give half of students workarounds and the other half one step less in the process. I need to keep all the instructions the same for all students. That's why the SP3 appealed to me since all the students receive Office upon enrollment.

@RugbyGuy — You're correct. It's not the SP3, but it is Microsoft's fault since it is their software on the Mac as well. Maybe MS will update this in the version, but the new iOS version of Office doesn't show the inking either.

@GreyFox7 — The University uses OneDrive for Business. The UI for the that is more difficult than the Office Online Apps, even though students could access those online apps. Sadly, when they do, this is what they will see:


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PDFs are no good. I teach writing so students need multiple drafts. The collaboration needs to be in one application (Word — again, we are a Microsoft University). I cannot demand students get Acrobat Professional to be able to edit PDFs.

In addition, Word provides wonderful collaborative tools (track changes, online versions of Office, and even integration with Skype). I had conferences with one of my writing students while she was working in Italy at the time. Everything worked brilliantly. I just wanted to add inking for both in class demonstrations and to personalize comments on students' papers.

There has been on twist. Even though the inked comments cannot be seen in Mac Office, they are there. Look at what I discovered when I selected all on an inked document. The blocked portion is exactly where my handwritten comments were — they are just invisible in the plain Word .docx format.

I was going to suggest PDFs. They don't have to use the draft you inked on, do they? They will still have the draft they saved in word. Your inking is just feedback... unless you are adding a lot of text to their document with your pen? Surely not.

Also, I guess the reason I can change pdfs into word documents is because my work macbookpro has real Adobe Acrobat?


Well-Known Member
Also, I guess the reason I can change pdfs into word documents is because my work macbookpro has real Adobe Acrobat?

That would be it. ;);) There are far less expensive solutions that work almost exactly like Acrobat.

Len J

Active Member
did you see if the handwriting works on one-note?

Perhaps they could attract the word doc in a one note folder, you could comment and then pass it back to them.

Combine it w share-point and you are golden.

Mac office will always be at least one gen behind office PC.... Or at least it always has been. MS recent launch for the iPad is a good sign of change.