How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Molinari Your Own Question

Molinari, Computer Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4459
Experience:  A+ Certified, expert at grey areas, expert since C-64, amiga, and macs were black and white...
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Molinari is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

WHat video formats/codecs can I create on my Mac that PC users

This answer was rated:

WHat video formats/codecs can I create on my Mac that PC users can see without using QuickTime? I need to put these in a pdf file, too.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


Divx or Xvid (.avi's) will work.


I would stick with Xvid, it's free, to encode with Divx, you'd have to pay for the pro kit...

Putting them in a pdf, however, is a little trickier. You may also use use Mpeg-1, they take up more room than Xvid or Divx though....

Here's one article on putting moves into PDFs:


You might want to convert them to an SWF before inserting them into the PDF that's the way most Adobe people do it.....


Let me know if you need more help....

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Xvid .avi's don't require the PC user to download anything? Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX read up on these and see how I do:)

Nope, xvid is generic enough to play on anything, even an xbox !

Although check and see if there is just a generic avi type you can export before trying anything else... AVIs as a general rule are pretty generic. The only thing you have to think about is compression (bitrate) to keep the files smaller.




Molinari and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK, I guess that's plenty to get going with. Many thanks; led me to lots of good links.

Glad I could help!

Good luck!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, back to the drawing board on this I'm afraid. I tested an .avi that was compressed using Xvid codec on two recent PCs running Vista and it wouldn't play without downloading the Xvid codec. Once I downloaded that, the file played back at double or triple (maybe even 4x) speed with no audio. I guess I'll try swf, or just make having QuickTime a requirement. Sigh.
Try MPEG-1 format.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I can't believe there's not a more current way to do this! Mpeg-4 playback is built in to the Vista/Windows Media Player; I checked the default codecs, but maybe 2x and XP machines are different? I think I'm going to try .swf, and if THAT doesn't do it; just insist on QUICKTIME, which I KNOW works.

There are settings inside xvid you can tweak, failing that, it all depends on how universal you want itwhen a windows user looks at a video in windows media player, it automatically downloads the codec in 99% of the cases.

And if quicktime is what you are used to anyway, and is easier for you to edit, rest ssured that 99% of pcs have that codec installed as well, lots of websites demand it.

Or use flv, thats what youtube uses.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I guess the whole thing gets complicated by the fact that these need to be in a pdf, which apparently uses WMP to play non-Flash media on a PC (QT on a Mac), but it sure didn't download or offer to download the missing Xvid codec. I tried .swf; Acrobat won't load that as "legacy" media. It does OK with .flv, so that's my next thing to test; too bad I have to drive 35 min. into town to access a PC for each test! OR maybe I'll just give in and require QUICKTIME; as you say, lots of folks have it already and the others mostly won't mind getting it. I know there's a bit of a hate-QUICKTIME backlash going around, which is what I've been trying to step around…

Thanks again.

What they need are standards, it all the same inside, the formats are just how they are "wrapped". You could always try wmv.... But maybe sticking with flv or swf is the way to go since adobe owns them as well as pdf, I'm sure they make it easier to impot their own formats as opposed to apple's or microsoft's.....


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Acrobat won't let Mac users select .wmvs when embedding video! Grrr.

That made me laugh, sorry, the way these companies screw with each other like that is just crazy, I'm sure the windows version won't allow quicktime files...

I would convert them to flv or swf.....

Since it's adobe's house, it might be easier to play by their rules.....

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I just checked with my publisher and we decided the easiest thing will be to just require QuickTime, easiest way for me anyway, whew… I'm building up to a nice rant on a few forums:)

Thanks again; learned a bunch!

No charge for ranting, everyone's doing it !!!!

Good luck!