Warning for Mac Users: ExamView will NOT work on OS X Lion

I love technology and (until recently) all things Apple.  I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Apple’s new OS X Lion.  So as soon as OS X Lion came out I updated.  Now, I am seriously regretting this hasty move because I can no longer use ExamView on my Lion inflicted laptop.  If you have a Mac and use ExamView DO NOT upgrade your OS to Lion.  You will NOT be able to use ExamView, at all, even a little bit.  Instead, all you will see is this.

Why is this?  What has happened?  Well, Apple has decided to no longer support PowerPC programs.

From a Mac OS X Lion Review via http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/lion/review.html


Also gone is “Rosetta”, the brilliant little code translator that allowed existing Mac applications to keep running when Apple switched its Mac products from PowerPC to Intel processors just five years ago. Considering that many widely-used applications, such as Quicken 2007, still haven’t been ported to Intel, this is a serious problem. If you depend on PowerPC-based software of any kind — from older versions of mainstream applications sold by companies like Microsoft, FileMaker and Adobe, to Apple’s own USB modem, to PowerPC-based drivers for scanners and printers, Lion is not an option.

Worse, Apple hasn’t breathed a word about any of this to customers other than developers. Not on the marketing website, not in its support pages, not even buried in a tiny footnote somewhere. Any Mac user with older applications who upgrades to Lion may be in for a nasty shock when their tools suddenly stop working.

There are many thousands of older, specialized applications which are still critically useful to Mac owners today, even though they have not been converted by their developers to Intel-based code. Similarly, there are untold numbers of Mac documents that are readable only by software incompatible with Lion. While Apple may recognize no duty to support these older Mac technologies, it absolutely has the duty to tell its customers that its removal of an existing Mac technology will suddenly disable their software and documents. Apple’s silence on this change is unconscionable.”

You can also read “OS X Lion Drops PowerPC Support” from the Washington Post.

And, this is bigger than just uploading the new OS X Lion onto your current computer.  ALL new Mac computers have Lion on it.  So, if you buy a new Mac, it has Lion and you will NOT be able to use ExamView.  I called Apple, and they said that you cannot even buy a new Mac with Lion on it and delete Lion to install Snow Leopard onto it.  I don’t know why.  This makes no sense to me.  But I was told that there was “No way” that I could install Snow Leopard onto a brand new Lion-installed Mac.  I really don’t believe them, and am going to do more research on this.  Still, what a painful process to have to go through.

I know, I know, excitement got the best of me and I leaped before I looked.  But I am still irritated at Apple for not supporting PowerPC and at antiquated education software like ExamView (and many other book publishers software like the “One Stop” from Houghton Mifflin).  I emailed ExamView to see when I could expect the newest version and the fix, as I am sure that I’m not the only educator out there using ExamView and a Mac.  My answer?


 Thank you for contacting eInstruction Technical Support.  I am replying to your question about Examview compatibility with Mac OS 10.7.  Unfortunately, as of this time we do not have a version of Examview that will run correctly in Mac OS 10.7.  We are hoping to have an update to our latest version, Examview 7.5, that will allow it to install and run correctly on the new Mac OS but I do not have any information about when that update will be completed.

 I apologize for the inconvenience,

Max Schneiter, max.schneiter@einstruction.com

Technical Support Specialist, einstruction.com”

I was never a giant fan of ExamView in the first place.  The software is clunky and cumbersome.  But, I haven’t found a better alternative either.  If you know of one, please let me know.  If they can’t get their act together, I will find a new software that is Mac friendly.

In the meantime, I am trying to get Lion off and Snow Leopard back onto my MacBook.  I called Applecare and was told that to get Snow Leopard back onto my computer, I have to ERASE MY HARD DRIVE.  Yes, that is correct.  I have to back up my entire computer, wipe it clean, re-install Snow Leopard, and then re-install all of my files.  I guess I will do this, as otherwise I cannot use the hundreds of pre-assessments, quizzes, tests, and worksheets that I painstaking created this past year.  So much work.  It is the opposite of being productive this summer.  I just want to ask WHY?

So, how do you find out which applications on your computer are using PowerPC?  Read “How To Check if Applications are Incompatible with Mac OS X Lion”.   You can also just follow these steps on your Mac to see which programs will be null set or “tombstoned” as some are calling it.

  1. Applications
  2. Utilities
  3. System Information
  4. Software (at the bottom)
  5. Applications – wait for a minute for the list to populate, then you can sort to group all of your PowerPC applications.
Or you can
  1. Click on the apple in the upper left corner
  2. Select About This Mac
  3. More Info…
  4. System Report
  5. Software (at the bottom)
  6. Applications – wait…
Good luck, be smart, and be cautious before you upgrade.

31 thoughts on “Warning for Mac Users: ExamView will NOT work on OS X Lion

  1. There’s a new version of Examview but I haven’t been able to contact anyone at eInstruction to see if the program has been upgraded to a universal binary (will run natively on Intel machines without rosetta).

    Upgrading Examview may be a better option for you than a clean install.

    Hopefully, it all works out for you.


  2. romulus.

    I have the latest version of Examview on my computer. I did contact einstruction and their response is above in my blog. From their email response, none of the current versions will work, Version 7.5 is the version that they plan to make work. However, they have NO idea when it will come out. So it is either clean install or no ExamView on my computer at this time. I do not have faith that this company will have a solution in a timely manner, so I will have to do a clean install.

  3. I have 7.5 installed on Snow Leopard and it says that it is “Universal.” The installers are PowerPC, though.

    • Yes. I’ve just finished backing up my computer so I can erase my hard drive and re-install Snow Leopard. ANY program with PowerPC will not work on Lion. I just hope ExamView gets it’s act together soon so that I can use it on my new school computer (which is Lion only). 😦

  4. If the installers are PowerPC, but the application runs as Universal, shouldn’t it still run after upgrading to Lion if you installed under Snow Leopard (when PowerPC was still supported). If it is nothing but an installer issue, I’d think that would be easy to fix. I haven’t seen version 7.5 available though as a download or purchase for Mac. I get my versions with instructor textbooks and the latest they ship is 6.2.2.

    • @ProfBiglow – I downloaded the most upgraded ExamView software available onto my Mac but it still is PowerPC and thus will not work with the OS X Lion. They do have a “trial” version of 7.5 out that you can download on their website, but it is ONLY for Windows. There is no Mac version yet. I would also think that it would be easy for einstruction to fix this. But, of course they haven’t and I am worried that they will not anytime soon. I downloaded their brand new 7.5 Test Player (for Mac) and it is still PowerPC, so I doubt the 7.5 version for Mac will be any better. I am very motivated to find a better, more modern, more user friendly, test generator out there. If you know of one please let me know and I will keep you all updated. The market is ripe for ExamView competitors!

      • I’ve discovered a test generator called “Starquiz”.

        It can be found at the Mac app store.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up! I’m in the IT department for our district, so this info is incredibly helpful. We were already leery of deploying Lion on a broad scale anyway, and this just pretty much confirms it. Our special education group in particular relies heavily on older software published by independent companies that aren’t as up on the ball for updates as the big players, so upgrading would just kill our special-ed teachers.

  6. @WeirdFish – I’m so glad I could help! This is a big issue right now. I am just hoping that this will push educational software companies to get with the program. Much of the software that educators (have to) use is so archaic. It is very frustrating to be forced to stay behind the curve and off of the cutting edge of technology because of outdated educational software.

  7. @Philip Haney You had mentioned there was a universal running version of 7.5 on your computer. It isn’t out, so how can you be running it? Sorry to have you think “I Speak Math” that there was a universal bin. Haney’s post appears to be in error. Here’s what I heard from eInstruction IT today. They said the following:


    Our release brings compatibility with all eInstruction products and MAC 10.7 with the exception of ExamView 7.5. We are currently working to have ExamView 7.5 compatible with MAC 10.7 in the next 90 days. In the interim, please do not have users ( or insert customer here) upgrade to MAC 10.7 operating system.

    Sorry for the inconvenience,

    eInstruction Technical Support

    • @ProfChips – Thanks for your comment and especially for including your reply from einstruction. You must have a lot more “Klout” that I do as I did not get the 90 days message. (Not that I believe it will be fixed in anywhere close to 90 days however.)

      Yes, 7.5 is NOT out for Mac and I included the actual “there is no trial version of Mac for this time” image from the einstruction website in my subsequent post, “Killing the Lion to use ExamView” https://ispeakmath.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/mac-teachers-killing-the-lion-to-use-examview/.

      Unfortunately I had to go back to Snow Leopard just to use ExamView. I’m missing the Lion already. And I am aggressively searching for a better test making software.

  8. OMG… I wish I would have read your blog earlier!!! Ugggh!
    Thanks for the information regarding ExamView. Too late. Switched to Lion already. Ugggh!

  9. Pingback: Mac Teachers: Killing the Lion to use ExamView « I Speak Math

  10. We discovered this during our summer school session — the response from tech support was that 7.5 would be “Universal” but there was no projected release date — needless to say, some not very happy campers here.

  11. I learned at a Mac class today that you can screen share if you have a second Mac that has the software on it. Then, the Lion Mac can run ExamView remotely. What a pain! I am exploring some other web-based test makers that other people have recommended. All of my tests are ExamView though. I need the magic “import” button to get my stuff out of ExamView. PDF is not good enough.

  12. We’ve version 6.1.5, but when I asked tech support for any updates, i.e., to 6.2 the reply was “Unfortunately we do not have access to any older versions of Examview.” ??? So what is the most up-to-date version?

  13. @I Speak Math…Sorry to hear your troubles continue. Luckily I am still running SL on my MP pro from work and on my home iMac. They gave us Windows 7 using VMWare Fusion on our MPs, so I could use that too. It’s just a pain, esp. to move all my exam and Q Bank content over to the “dark side,” as it stands. I would expect the new version of Examview for Mac to be out sometime in the Fall, before the onslaught of new textbooks arrive from publishers to preview in the Spring for NEXT year. If you have Blackboard, there may be a workaround to use a different program. Import existing content banks into BB7,8 or 9.x through the “pool manager” and then re-export for use in something like Wimba’s Diploma software. Not sure if this will work, but it might be worth a try if you have that option. Also, does your school have SL running still? You could try copying your content to a flash drive and taking it there and doing the steps I mentioned above. I believe BB needs everything zipped up to import as a question or exam pool.

  14. Here’s the latest update I got from iInstruction today regarding Examview:

    Dear Educator,

    eInstruction is excited to announce our Summer 2011 Software Release. Download the latest software to improve the performance and compatibility of your eInstruction® technology with Microsoft Office Windows 2010, Mac OS 10.7 (Lion), and third-party applications such as virus scanners, firewalls, and USB drivers.

    Download the latest software for CPS™, Workspace™, and Response to ensure you and your students have the best experience in the classroom.

    Prior to installing software and deployment, please talk to your IT department and local eInstruction Sales Agent.
    If you have any questions, please contact technical support.

    With the new release you will experience enhancements such as:

    Microsoft Office Windows 2010 compatibility
    Microsoft Office: Mac 2011 compatibility in Response
    Mac OS 10.7 (Lion) compatibility with CPS™, CPS™ PPT, Response, Response PPT and Workspace™
    Improved compatibility with third-party applications such as virus scanners, firewalls, and USB drivers
    If you have a third-party solution integrated with your eInstruction® products, please check with your solution provider to ensure you have the right version of their product to correspond with your eInstruction® software. Also, within the release notes, you can check the compatibility chart in the appendix for your versions of MS Office and Mac OS with our latest software versions.

    Please Note: This release brings compatibility with all eInstruction® products and MAC 10.7 with the exception of ExamView® v7.5. We are currently working to have ExamView® v7.5 compatible with MAC 10.7 in the next 90 days. In the interim, please do not upgrade to MAC 10.7 operating system. Additionally, this release for CPS™ PPT is not compatible with the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office 2010.

    Thank you for your continued business,
    eInstruction® Educator Support Team

  15. I know that this is not a “solution” but, I have VMWare fusion and Windows 7 installed on my MAC and I have had to use this side of my machine to use ExamView. So, you can use your Mac but it needs to run windows for now to run ExamView. Not fun, but it is a potential short term fix until this update is released.

  16. You can install Snow Leo on an external drive (or a huge USB memory stick) and boot from that.

    I removed the DVD from my laptop and put in a second hard drive which I keep Snow Leopard on… it is also great for fixing things when the other drive has problems

  17. Pingback: FINALLY – ExamView works on Lion OS X | I Speak Math

  18. Pingback: FINALLY – ExamView works on Lion OS X | I Speak Math

  19. Okay.. I called eInst. today at the number provided on their website. They guy was very nice and I was on the phone for no more than 5 mins. They made sure I was an educator and all went well. The man emailed me a link that was unique me that allowed me to download the newset version on examview for mac. I am now running examview on my new macbook pro currently running lion 10.7.2.

  20. Where can I get 6.2 for Mac? I am still running Snow Leopard, but I cannot find the instal files for ExamView test generator ANYWHERE.

  21. WOW! Another teacher experiencing what I felt when I paid $40 to download Lion. My computer was running smoothly on Snow Leopard, but soon I was unable to download any new software or even unzip files. So that’s when I decided to upgrade to Lion. After upgrading, the programs I use to most would crash, and lag. The upgrade = downgrade! It was with Lion that my computer was infected with the flashshock malware. Something inconvenient happens everyday now while I am in my classroom. Very frustrating!

    Thanks for te awesome tips!

    I was never able to find a compatible Exam View Test Maker for Mac, even on Snow Leopard. 😦

  22. I just sent an email to Technical Support for eInstruction, the company that makes the ExamView Assessment Suite CD. They replied back very quickly and said that they have developed a version of ExamView that IS compatible with Lion on a Mac. He sent me a link to the download and it loaded fine on my Mac that has the Lion Operating System. I don’t know about Mountain Lion. I have not downloaded it, and I’m not sure if I am going to since I’ve only had Lion for a few months. But the GREAT news is, I can use my ExamView software on my Macbook Pro now!!! Yayyyyy!!!! Thank you to eInstruction for such a quick response and thank you for finding the fix!!! All you need to do is go to their website and click on Customer Support then email them and let them know you need the updated version of ExamView that is compatible with Lion. Good luck!!

  23. Greetings, my name is Joe Garrison and I had some time this week to upgrade my MacBook to 10.6 to access some video content. I had no idea it would freeze me out of ExamView Pro for lack of “Rosetta”. Please tell me what to do so I can get Exam View Pro back. I am still on Snow Leopard, aka 10.6 and when you reply, I am very much a novice at computer usage. Walk me through what I need to do at I will be very thankful. My e-mail address is JGarrison1309@comcast.net and I thank you in advance for your help.

  24. I went back to my installation of 10.6 and there is an optional installation choice. Rosetta is there along with iPad and additional fonts. I am back in business, but I am in no hurry to upgrade from 10.6 just so I can keep my ExamView up and running. (whew!)

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