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Message saying that I can't open the application Microsoft Word because PowerPC applications are no longer supported?

3843 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2013 2:03 PM by MlchaelLAX RSS
SummerLutmer Calculating status...
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Jan 14, 2013 1:33 AM

I had just upgraded my macbook to Mountain Lion and was wondering why PowerPC applications were no longer supported. I kind of really need to use Word for school, but when I tried to open it, I got the message "You can't open the application "Microsoft Word" because PowerPC applications are no longer supported."

MacBook, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • RodneyW Level 4 Level 4 (3,030 points)

    OS X Lion and Mountain Lion do not support Power PC applications (including MS Office 2004).  The last version to support PowerPC apps is Snow Lepard.


    You can get MS Office 2011, and it will work.  Alternatively, download OpenOffice, and that will open and allow you to edit your files.





  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)

    You've a very old version of MS Office, I'm guessing. Since Lion first came out, PPC applications have no longer been supported. You really should update to MS Office 2011 for Mac in order to run Office apps under Mountain Lion (if you actually need Word).


    You might be best served, if you don't want to pony up the cash to MS, using the free LibreOffice or OpenOffice as a MS Office 'substitute'. Both will open Word documents and save as Word documents.


    Good luck,



  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)

    SummerLutmer wrote:


    I had just upgraded my macbook to Mountain Lion and was wondering why PowerPC applications were no longer supported...

    Here is a recent post I assembled for a similar question:


    Unfortunately you got caught up in the minor miracle of Rosetta.  Originally licensed by Apple when it migrated from the PowerPC CPU platform that it had used from the mid-1990's until the Intel CPU platform in 2006, Rosetta allowed Mac users to continue to use their library of PPC software transparently in emulation.


    However, Apple's license to continue to use this technology expired with new releases of OS X commencing with Lion (and now Mountain Lion).  While educational efforts have been made over the last 6 years, the fact is that Rosetta was SO successful that many users were caught unaware UNTIL they upgraded to Lion or Mountain Lion.




    1. If your Mac will support it, restore OS X Snow Leopard;


    2.  If your Mac will support it, partition your hard drive or add an external hard drive and install Snow Leopard into it and use the "dual-boot" method to choose between your PowerPC software or Lion/Mt. Lion;


    3.  Upgrade your software to Intel compatible versions if they are available, or find alternative software that will;


    3.  Install Snow Leopard (with Rosetta) into Parallels:



                                  [click on images to enlarge]


    Full Snow Leopard installation instructions here:



    NOTE: STEP ONE of the instructions must currently be completed on a Snow Leopard or Lion Mac and the resulting modified Snow Leopard.cdr install file can then be moved over to your Mountain Lion Mac for completion of the remaining steps.  A recent poster has offered a solution for Mountain Lion users that do not have access to Snow Leopard or Lion Macs.


    NOTE 2:  Computer games with complex, 3D or fast motion graphics make not work well or at all in virtualization.


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