Running ProShow on your Mac

ProShow, ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer

ProShow Producer and ProShow Gold are designed for Windows, but can easily be run on a Mac using the Mac’s ability to run Windows software. In many cases, you can use ProShow right on your Mac’s desktop without any dual-booting.

(Photodex does have a Mac-compatible slideshow tool called ProShow Web that creates dynamic photo and video slideshows directly from any Mac or PC. Visit the ProShow Web site to try it free.)

Running ProShow Producer and ProShow Gold on your Mac just requires that you install a virtual machine, which lets you run Windows applications. The three most common methods are described below. For more information on each of these, visit the vendor’s websites.

With the right setup, you can easily run ProShow on your Mac, including:

  • Add ProShow to your Dock or Launchpad, so you can run ProShow just like any native Mac app.
  • Seamlessly switch between ProShow and other apps. ProShow appears on your Mac desktop just like any other application.
  • Easily move files between ProShow and your Mac by copying between shared folders.

Please note that Photodex can’t help you with installing or setting up these third-party tools on your Mac. Each of these three products have excellent customer service and support, and a variety of online resources to help you get up and running. Once you’ve got one of these products installed, we’re happy to help you with using ProShow on your Mac.

VMWare Fusion

VMWare Fusion is a low-cost ($50), fully integrated solution for running Windows apps on your Mac. We use VMWare here at Photodex when we test ProShow running under a virtual machine. With VMWare Fusion, you can run in Unity mode, which lets you add a ProShow icon right on your Dock or Launch Pad, so you can run ProShow right from your Mac desktop. In this mode, you don’t need to see Windows, dual boot, or switch screens.

Setting up VMWare Fusion and Windows doesn’t take long, and can usually be completed in under half an hour. Performance is typically very good, and most newer Macs will run ProShow as well as a dedicated Windows computer.

Resources

Important Notes About Using VMWare Fusion

For the best results when using ProShow under VMWare Fusion, there are a couple things you need to pay special attention to:

  • Give Windows More Memory. By default VMWare Fusion only gives Windows about 1 GB of RAM, which simply isn’t enough to run a multimedia application like ProShow. Be sure to give Windows at least 4 GB (4096 MB) of RAM, either when you set up the virtual machine, or later using the Settings > Processors & Memory window in VMWare Fusion.If your Mac doesn’t have enough memory to give Windows 4GB, you can still use ProShow, but you may notice slower performance or more frequent Out of Memory errors. Consider upgrading your memory – your Mac will thank you for it.
  • Don’t use shared folders to load content in ProShow. VMWare lets you share folders between your Mac and the Windows apps, and these shared folders are a great way to easily move data back and forth. If you use photos, videos, or music from a shared folder in ProShow, you may experience the occasional hiccup. You may have trouble importing videos, you might be prompted to copy your files, or you may find that ProShow’s wizard can’t find your files. If you experience these issues, just copy the files in Windows from the shared folder to another folder under Windows that isn’t shared.

Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels is a another low-cost ($80) option for running Windows apps on your Mac. It offers essentially the same functionality as VMWare. Parallels focuses on making the process quick and easy, and providing seamless integration between Windows and Mac.

Resources

Important Notes About Using Parallels

For the best results when using ProShow under Parallels, there are a couple things you need to pay special attention to:

  • Give Windows More Memory. Be sure to give Windows at least 4 GB (4096 MB) of RAM, either when you set up the virtual machine in Parallels.If your Mac doesn’t have enough memory to give Windows 4GB, you can still use ProShow, but you may notice slower performance or more frequent Out of Memory errors. Consider upgrading your memory – your Mac will thank you for it.
  • Be cautious using shared folders to load content in ProShow. Parallels lets you share folders between your Mac and the Windows apps, and these shared folders are a great way to easily move data back and forth. If you use photos, videos, or music from a shared folder in ProShow, you may experience the occasional hiccup. You may have trouble importing videos, you might be prompted to copy your files, or you may find that ProShow’s wizard can’t find your files. If you experience these issues, just copy the files in Windows from the shared folder to another folder under Windows that isn’t shared.

Apple Boot Camp

Apple’s Boot Camp is an all-or-nothing approach. Rather than letting your run Windows apps from your Mac desktop, Boot Camp lets you reboot your Mac and run Windows. We don’t recommend this, since it makes it difficult to easily switch back-and-forth between ProShow and your Mac applications.

Boot Camp’s advantages are going to be cost (free), and the ability to run ‘pure’ (your machine actually reboots and runs just Windows – instead of Windows inside your Mac desktop). However, we’ve found that both VMWare Fusion and Parallels work well enough that they are a better choice.

Information on installing and using Boot Camp can be found from Apple’s website.

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