Win is Win and Mac is Mac, and never the twain shall meet: is that what you've heard? Well, maybe there's some truth to it, especially when it comes to device compatibility. While Mac users are probably justified in claiming their OS and machines are better at handling the other side's stuff, there's certainly room for improvement at both ends. TransMac from Acute Systems is Windows software that can copy and manage files and folders on Apple drives and devices, including Mac-formatted hard drives, flash drives, and other storage devices, as well as open and burn disc images and .dmg and .sparseimage files. It's shareware that you can try for free for 15 days. Recent updates include an improved open file dialog, speed enhancements, and Windows 8 compatibility.
You can install TransMac as a ZIP file or an executable file; the installed program is identical in either case. The program's installer offers several setup options, too, such as file associations. TransMac's user interface is plain but easy to use, thanks in part to what is possibly the most common and efficient design ever, the classic Explorer-style toolbar/sidebar/main window layout. TransMac offers its subtle variations on the theme, with toolbar icons that stay hidden but outlined until needed, a tree-view disk menu in the left-hand sidebar, and draggable column headings in the main file list. The Options menu includes separate PC and Mac settings, plus General Settings that include selections for one of TransMac's extras, the ability to burn discs. We always expect a decent Help file with shareware, and TransMac has one, including a Quick Start guide with plenty of screenshots and, especially useful, a Troubleshooting Guide.
We ran TransMac on a Windows 7 PC, and then attached a Mac-formatted removable hard drive as our second device. Basically, TransMac works like File Explorer. We could cut, copy, paste, drag and drop, delete, and zip or unzip Mac files and folders to and from our PC, and vice versa. There are some quirks, which is only to be expected when Mac and Win get together. But TransMac makes them play nicely for a change.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of TransMac 10.4.