Questions and Answers

Your Questions About X11 Mac

July 10, 2013

David asks…

Does the iMac come with Word & Excel programs?

Does the iMac come with them or do you need to buy some add on pack?

Administrator answers:


It depends upon when you purchased your iMac.

The most recent iMacs do not have Microsoft Office on them, but until fairly recently they were shipped with a 30 day “test drive.” If you have a Microsoft Office folder in the Applications folder then yours came with it. Otherwise, it did not.

Most users qualify for the home and student version which is pretty inexpensive – under $150 US. (Link in Resources)

Personally, I think that you get a lot for your money with the Microsoft product and that it’s worth it.

If you decide to purchase Microsoft’s product run the uninstaller and remove the test drive before installing the purchased version.

But there are free alternatives to Microsoft’s offering, and they’re not bad.

For computer geeks you can download Sun Microsystem’s OpenOffice from That uses something called X11, which you may or may not already have on your Mac. It’s really not for ordinary users.

Fortunately, a group of nice people have taken Sun’s OpenOffice and made it usable for ordinary folks and it doesn’t need X11 and the complications. If you want a nice, free version use NeoOffice (also linked in resources).

Most documents made in Microsoft’s product will probably look different in the Sun product because Microsoft includes a boat-load of fonts with their office product. Your computer won’t have those fonts, so it will substitute ones you do have.

For the most part, NeoOffice is a good substitute for Microsoft Office right now.

-Jim Gordon

James asks…

Mac login screen transparency?

Hi everybody,

I’ve got a MacBook Pro 13” with Mac OS X 10.6.8. I’d like to tweak the login foreground window (not the background picture!) to resemble something like this:

perfect, except it’s a linux login window…

It seems I’m not able to find any solution to this so, does anybody have some tips for me?


Mh… great… i like OS X but the difficulties to customize anything are beginning to annoy me… thanks anyway =)

Administrator answers:

OS X doesn’t support changing that. Maybe OS X with X11 might, but even then you’d have to configure a lot of crap, and I don’t think X11 for Mac is kept up to date anyway.

Sharon asks…

Powerpoint on mac osx?

How do I get power point viewer to download on my mac?

Administrator answers:


There is no PowerPoint viewer for the Mac (unless you count the old PowerPoint 98 viewer that only runs in OS 8 & 9).

You can always purchase PowerPoint either alone or with the complete Microsoft Office suite.

A free alternative is to use OpenOffice, but don’t install it from You’ll be much better off with the modified version from NeoOffice: because it does not require an esoteric thing called X11. X11 may or may not have been installed on your computer, so use NeoOffice instead (it’s an enhanced version of OpenOffice).

-Jim Gordon

Thomas asks…

what is Photoshop exactly?

i’ve heard that Photoshop is SUPER good at editing and drawing graphics and stuff…

is it really that good or not?

i know alot of people use it so is it safe to download and stuff??

please help thank you


Administrator answers:

It’s not the tool that is good at the task that is being done. It is the person using the tool. Photoshop is the best tool for image editing, but it is not the only tool.

Corel Painter, Corel Photopaint, and Gimp and also good options. Painter is more of an art program than an image editor, however.

If you think you would like to get involved in image editing, I suggest you download a copy of Gimp (google “gimp download”) and learn how to use it. Although Gimp is not as good as Photoshop, it is a perfect option for someone on a budget who does not need the features that are not in Gimp. Someone may reply that Gimp is just as good as Photoshop, so here’s my short review of Gimp:

This is just a handful of differences between Gimp and Photoshop that I found in only a few hours of playing with Gimp. I’m sure if I wanted to continue playing with Gimp, I will find plenty more.

Gimp is a good image editor. It’s a big plus that it is free. However, don’t let yourself believe that it is as good as photoshop. It’s not even close. If you don’t want to spend $700 on Photoshop or $99 on Photoshop Elements, and you don’t need the high-end features of Photoshop, then Gimp is a great choice for you. It will handle any task that a typical amateur throws at it.

1) Gimp does not support 16 bit color. 16 bit images will be converted to 8 bit without warning the user.

2) Gimp supports 8 bit RBG, grayscale, and indexed color modes. Photoshop supports 8, 16, and 32 bit RGB, grayscale, LAB, and multichannel.

The indexed color mode that gimp supports is a means of reducing the number of colors to 256 or lower prior to saving the image at a GIF. The is much like the same option within Photoshop’s “Save For Web” feature, except Gimp does not allow the user to see the effects until after they have been applied. Additionally, if you don’t convert the image to indexed color mode prior to saving it as a GIF, Gimp uses a default setting that you may or may not like.

3) Gimp does not support adjustment layers. In photoshop, you can create an adjustment layer to apply Brightness/Contrast, Level, Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Black & White, Photo Filters, Channel Mixer, Invert, Posterize, Threshold, Gradient Maps, and Selective Color adjustments that happen within a layer instead of the image itself. This means you can change those adjustments later. These adjustments do not damage the image. In Gimp, you have to make those adjust to the image itself and cannot change or remove them. Better get it right the first time.

4) Gimp has a healing brush, but compared to Photoshop’s healing brush, it not very good. The healing brush should copy the texture without changing the color. Gimp’s healing brush shows a color shift overtime I used it.

5) Gimp does not allow the user to resize and crop an imaging in one operation using the crop tool. Photoshop has allowed this since at least version 5.0.

6) Gimp comes with a Camera Raw import plug-in that works well with the Raw images from my Canon. It has a fraction of the options that Adobe Camera Raw plug-in comes with, including about 10 that I use every time I import a Raw image.

The rest of my comments are a bit subjective. You may not see them as significant problems, but I include them because I find them annoying.

7) In Gimp, if you click to select a tool in the toolbar, clicking the image does not start using the tool. Instead, it selects that window to make it active. The second click is the one that starts working the image. This takes some getting used to if you are accustomed to Photoshop.
8) The Macintosh version of Gimp is not a native Mac application. It runs within X11, so it does not behave like a “normal” Macintosh application. One of the many advantages the Mac has over Windows and Linux is the high degree of consistency in the way applications look and behave. Gimp’s interface takes some getting used to if you are running it on a Mac.

Susan asks…

Gimp for Snowleopard 10.6.8 will not open?

I am using Snowleopard 10.6.8 operating system.

I went and downloaded the software GIMP for Snowleopard. I also downloaded X11 that it uses. I go to open gimp and it will have a dot under it and open X11 then it stops. They are both glowing with dots but nothing comes up on my screen. What is going on and how can i fix it?

Administrator answers:

Try executing it from your mac’s command line interface in verbose mode as root

all you have to do is go to your apple command shell when you see the command prompt usually something like “$” or “#” or maybe “%”

type “su” (without quotes) followed by return and enter your root password when entered.

Next navigate to your directory in which gimp is installed and look for the executable.

Type “man” (without quotes)followed by the execution command for gimp and read the directions.

That is the best and most rock solid way of mastering your issue without “”other suggestions” from end users”

I tempted eve so my wisdom is forbidden yet necessary for your curiosity. Can you see through my perspective?

Steven asks…

Mac help???

U know how windows has Microsoft Word which lets u type letters n essays n all that good stuff. so my question does mac has something like so ?? wit out having to buy iwork. of mayb i can download it from a website ?? if so pls let me know i need it for school thnx it would mean a lot
Wow i tried it… but i gave up. but thnx to u guys i found something else its really cool n i think its better than Open Office :P

Administrator answers:

Open office it is great

just sarch for openoffice for mac on the internaet, but you need x11 to run it, the openoffice site will exoain everyting

Chris asks…

Gimp, without X11?!?

Is there a version of Gimp for Macs that requires a system lower than X11?!

I don’t have X11, and I don’t want to buy it! :]

Administrator answers:

X11 is just software – its on your Mac OS X DVD if you haven’t install it already :)

Donna asks…

what mac application do i use to operate gimp?

so i needed to get an image editing software and i thought i had enough time to wait and get adobe photoshop, but it turns out i needed it asap, so i downloaded gimp. the computer i have is fairly new (to me) and im still learning on how to use it. i have mac os x 10.4 and idk what application to use to have access to gimp.

anyone know what to do?


Administrator answers:

You need X11

Maria asks…

Should I buy the Move Navigation Controller?

I’m new to gaming. I have two motion controllers. Which games will require Navigation controller?

I have 2 dual shock controllers.

Move games that I have for me and the kids: Sports Champions, Eye Pet, Shoot, Start the Party

Administrator answers:

This one is the best turtle beach headset. I like this headset very very much…
Ear Force X11 Amplified Stereo Headset with Chat

Product Features
- Large acoustically-tuned ear cups with 40mm drivers produce superior audio with deep bass for all types of games digital music and entertainment DC-coupled amplifiers provide super-wide bandwidth down to 0Hz while eliminating the distortion
- Integrated bass-boost makes explosions gun shots and other deep-bass effects more dramatic by increasing the impact of low frequency sound cues with Independent volume controls for game and voice signals to balance XBOX Live chat and stereo game sound
- A microphone monitor keeps gamers from raising their voices louder than necessary and avoids the “clogged ear” feeling that results when you can’t hear yourself speak and accurately reproduces the gamer’s voice while keeping out ambient noise
- Connects to TV or sound systems with XBOX stereo audio plugs to easily choose between speakers or headset with 16 foot cable Works with composite HDMI and VGA video connections

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