Information for CGS-1000 Students with Macintoshes

If you have a Mac and no Windows computer at home, you will not be able to run all the required Microsoft Office software for this course.  Even if you have Microsoft Office for Mac, it works differently than the Windows version.  Do not fret!  You have several options available.

Microsoft Office 365

As mentioned in the syllabus, students can obtain MS Office 365 Pro Plus for free; follow the instructions at MS Office 365 download instructions.View in a new window  Students will need to provide their HawkMail email address to be properly authenticated.  This online version of Office works on Macs too.

Boot Camp

Mac users can use Apple Boot Camp ( which allows them to run Windows on their Macs.  With Boot Camp running, you can boot (power-up) your Mac in either Mac OS mode or in Windows mode, and run any Windows software including the required version of Microsoft Office.  Boot Camp is available since Mac OS X version 10.5.


Boot Camp is free, but you can’t switch back and forth between Mac OS and Windows without a reboot.  Parallels ( is not free, but does allow you to switch back and forth without rebooting.  You can purchase it cheaply from HCC’s Student Discount website “OnTheHub”.  Click here to access

Parallels requires at least two gigabytes of RAM and Mac OS X 10.5.8 or it won’t run well, or perhaps not at all.


VMware Fusion is another choice.  Like Parallels, Fusion allows you to easily switch between Windows and your Mac OS.  You can also obtain this software directly from VMware, or from  (Some people prefer Fusion to Parallels.)  There may be other “virtualization” products available to you as well.

Obtaining Windows

You can install Windows with either Boot Camp, Parallels, or Fusion, but be sure to follow all install directions exactly.  Failure to do so can damage your computer!  HCC is not liable if that happens.

Neither Boot Camp, Parallels, nor Fusion include the Windows operating system.  HCC students who are currently enrolled in any computer class can install Windows for free on their Macs.  To obtain Windows, come to the HCC Dale Mabry campus, to room DTEC 416 on the fourth floor of the Technology building.  You must talk with a lab tech to get an account setup with Microsoft Imagine (formerly known as Microsoft DreamSpark).  Then you can download the Microsoft software you need directly from the Imagine website.  I suggest “Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 (if available, 10 is better)”.

Note: Since you now run Windows, you should install some virus protection software for Windows.  I generally recommend installing Microsoft Security Essentials, which works well and is updated via Windows Update (that is, automatically).

Once you've installed Windows on your Mac, you will still need to obtain and install the Windows version of Microsoft Office 2013 or newer.  This is available from Microsoft Imagine (formerly known as Microsoft DreamSpark).

If you cannot install the required software at home, then you should use the HCC Dale Mabry Open Computer Lab to complete your assignments (for example, the Microsoft Access assignments).


Written by Wayne Pollock and Rich Senker.  This page was last updated by Wayne Pollock Sept. 21 2016.