How to Run Microsoft Project on Mac

ProjectManager.com

You’re probably here because you’re looking for Microsoft Project for Mac. Unfortunately Microsoft Project, also known as MS Project, wasn’t designed for Mac computers, so it won’t work on any version of Mac OS. But there is a workaround that can solve your problem.

It’s not complicated, and in fact, it’s easier to use than the MSP interface. Best of all, it’s free (well, for 30 days, but after that you’ll be convinced of its value).

If you’re forced to use MS Project, and you don’t want to stop using your Mac, there are workarounds that make ProjectManager.com the perfect solution. With ProjectManager.com, you can import Microsoft Project Plan (MPP) files and work on them in a more user-friendly platform.

How to Get Your Mac Working with MS Project Files

ProjectManager.com is free for 30 days, so you can test out the software and determine for yourself if it’s a good fit for you. Viewing and editing MPP files online on your Mac is simple. Just follow these steps.

Sign Up for a Free Trial

In order to use ProjectManager.com and edit MS Project files on your Mac, you must first sign up for a free trial. Visit the pricing page and choose your plan. All plans provide compatibility with Microsoft Project. Once you choose a plan, ProjectManager.com is free for 30 days, no strings attached!

an image depicting what it looks like to import an MPP file into ProjectManager.com so it can run on a Mac computer

Import MPP Files into ProjectManager.com

Once you’ve created your account and started your first project, switch to the Gantt view. From here, it’s easy to import your Microsoft Project files so that you can manage them on your Mac computer. Below is a step-by-step walkthrough showing you exactly how to run MS Project on your Mac.

1. Use the Import Button on the Gantt Chart

Start your MPP file import with one click. Go to the Gantt chart view. You’ll find the import button near the middle of the menu bar. It looks like a box with an arrow piercing it from the top.

Import arrow on our Gantt chart feature. Import MPP, CSV, Excel Files and More

2. Select Which MPP File You Want to Import

Follow the prompt on the popup window, and select the file you want to import. Then hit next. After you’ve imported your file, you can view and edit the project on your Mac.

Choose a Microsoft Project file to import into ProjectManager.com so you can manage it on your Mac

3. Choose Your Import Options

Pick from the options shown on the new popup menu, such as importing the MPP file to a new or existing project. If the latter, which one? Then decide whether to keep or replace the existing data.

Choose how you want to import your MPP data into our platform

4. Import All Data or Just the Task List

Select from the next popup menu whether to import all the data on the MPP file or just the tasks only.

An import prompt asking if you want to bring in all the data or just hte task list

5. Close the Success Prompt

See a new window that says, “Success”? That means you’ve successfully imported the MPP file. Close it, and you can now edit or work on the project.

A success window showing you that you've imported your file into your Mac properly

6. Bask in the Final Product: You’re Running Microsoft Project Files on Mac!

See the MPP file as it now appears in our tool. You can view it in the Gantt, as seen below, where dependencies can be linked, milestones set, etc., or use one of the other multiple views.

An MPP file after it's been imported into ProjectManager.com, as displayed on a Gantt chart

View & Edit MPP Files

After you import the MPP file, it opens in the online Gantt chart feature. All of your columns, tasks, resource data, etc., will remain intact and appear how it did in MS Project. Plus, the MPP file in ProjectManager.com is not view-only. You can update the tasks, deadlines and resources online, and you can invite team members to collaborate on the MPP file as well.

Use the Real-Time Dashboard

The data from your imported MPP file is instantly populated across the charts and graphs of the ProjectManager.com real-time dashboard, where you can see the project’s progress, team productivity, task status, budget, etc., in real time.

 Real-time Dashboard MS Project

Create 1-Click Project Reports

Now that your plan has been imported into ProjectManager.com, you can take advantage of our easy-to-use, yet detailed, project reports. We provide 10 different types of project reports, including expense reports, task reports, workload reports and more. Use our powerful tools to really examine the progress of your project.

project reporting simplified for mac

Export & Share

Once you’re done viewing, editing and analyzing your Microsoft Project Plan, seamlessly export your data with one click. All of your updates will be reflected on the file you export. You can then share this file with your colleagues who are using MS Project, and they’ll be able to see all the changes that you made.

Related: How to Make a Gantt Chart on Mac

Why MS Project Is a Problem

MS Project is the standard project management tool for many project managers, but the expense of the software makes it an unrealistic solution for many industry professionals. The desktop license for one user is often over $1,000, and that cost only grows exponentially as you add more people.

While there is MS Project Online that gives the software more flexibility than the desktop version, it adds another steep subscription fee for access. That hit is compounded by the fact that you’re not managing your projects fully online.

Beyond the financial impact, there are hurdles to clear in terms of just learning how to use the program, which is complex and not at all intuitive. It’s also hard to share files online, even when using Microsoft’s expensive and required Sharepoint software. What’s more, there isn’t even a real-time dashboard to help you see the progress of your project.

Of course, all this is moot when you’re working on a Mac, which doesn’t work with MS Project at all. Apple products are more commonplace in some industries, such as publishing and design firms, so there’s not even an option of using a PC. With ProjectManager.com, clearing the hurdles of MS Project is easy, even more so for Mac users.

Too Many Versions of MSP

Another problem you might encounter is finding compatibility for the numerous different versions of Microsoft Project. Fortunately, ProjectManager.com is compatible with every version of Microsoft Project, including:

  • Microsoft Project 2016 (with Office 365 subscription)
  • Microsoft Project 2013
  • Microsoft Project 2010
  • Microsoft Project 2007

And, since ProjectManager.com is an online software, it’s always up to date. You never have to worry about buying the latest version because our software team is regularly releasing updates and improvements.

What Can ProjectManager.com Do that MS Project Can’t?

If you’re not wedded to an antiquated software like Microsoft Project, there are many reasons to change to ProjectManager.com. First and possibly foremost, at least to your chief financial officer, is the price tag. Because ProjectManager.com is online and subscription-based, it’s a much less expensive solution to project management.

Run Microsoft Project on Mac and Make Gantt Charts with ProjectManager.com

Real-Time Data

ProjectManager.com, being cloud-based, provides real-time data. You’re not looking at project progress from yesterday or even an hour ago, but as it happens. You can monitor and track any metric through the real-time dashboard, which translates the live data into easy-to-read charts and graphs, which can be filtered to reflect just the information you want, and then shared or printed with a keystroke.

Timesheets

Timesheets are also online, which means that team members can update their timesheets anywhere and at any time. Managers receive alerts when the timesheets are ready for approval, so that process is swift and efficient. Given the range of ProjectManager.com’s features, you’ll be able to ditch other resource management tools and keep all your project management under one roof.

Collaborative Environment

As noted, one of the biggest benefits of using ProjectManager.com over MS Project is that it fosters collaboration among team members. They can add files and comment at the task level on the online Gantt chart. Discussions are facilitated either one-on-one or at the group level, created by the team, and used either on the desktop or mobile devices.

Again, whether they’re using a PC or a Mac, ProjectManager.com allows your team to seamlessly import and export both MS Project and Excel files without losing any data.

Why Doesn’t Microsoft Project Run on Mac Computers?

As we’ve explained here, Microsoft Project doesn’t run on Mac computers by default. But why would Microsoft want to keep Apple users from running their project management software? It boils down to the fact that Microsoft wants more people using Microsoft computers and Microsoft operating systems. By keeping their software exclusively on the PC platform, Microsoft is betting that Apple users will come to the PC platform in order to use MSP.

This leaves many Mac users to seek a Microsoft Project alternative, since most “Mac people” would never switch to PC. Tools like ProjectManager.com give teams flexibility to work on project plans, regardless of computer preference.

This post was updated on August 21, 2020.

MS Project becomes so much more when it’s used in collaboration with ProjectManager.com, the cloud-based project management software for PC and Mac. But once you’ve tried out our software with this free 30-day trial, you’ll ditch MS Project if you can and use ProjectManager.com full-time. It’s less expensive, more user-friendly and keeps all your project management needs in one place for greater efficiency and productivity. Try it today!

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