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Reading .ptx transcript files on your Mac (How-to)

UDPATE 5/15/15: I wrote an updated post about the .ptx viewer installation process here.

Many colleagues know I have an IT background, so I field lots of Mac-In-Law-Office (MILO) questions. I got a question today and I thought I knew the answer about PTX transcript files. Alas, I learned that Clarity Legal's online .ptx conversion tool has been shuttered.

I've been able to use the emulation program Wine to run the Windows PTX viewer from the Mac. This is a how-to guide for installing the programs necessary to run the E-Transcript Viewer. It's a little bit involved, and requires some use of the command line.

First, install XCode from the App Store. If you are running OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), open a Terminal windows (/Applications/Terminal) and run the following command:

xcode-select --install

Run the following command to agree to the XCode license:

sudo xcodebuild -license

(You'll need to be an administrator of the computer and enter your password for the sudo command). If you're running an earlier version of OS X, open the XCode application, find the "Downloads" pane, and download and install the Command Line Tools from that pane.

Next, you'll need the Macports package installation manager, available here. Choose the version that corresponds to your operating system, and install the package. When it's finished, run the following command to update Macports to the latest release:

sudo port -v selfupdate

Next, we'll use Macports to install Wine, along with a couple of packages needed to compile Wine:

sudo port install apple-gcc42 git-core wine-devel

This will likely take a while. Take an opportunity to quench the thirst all this talk about wine and port created.

The next step is to install the transcript viewer, available here. Download the file, then type the following commands into your Terminal:

cd ~/Downloads
wine E-Transcript_Bundle_Viewer-6.1.1.exe

Of course, use the version number of the file you downloaded on the last command. This will open an E-Tran installation window. Wine may need to install a few packages to make this all work; just follow the prompts to install them if so. Check the default values for installation of the E-Tran viewer, and complete the installation.

Finally, we'll need to create a shortcut to the installed E-Tran application, which is hidden. Open the TextEdit application, and click New Document. Copy and paste the following lines into the document:

wine "/Users/nathan/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/RealLegal/E-Bundle Viewer/EBundleViewer.exe"

Click Format > Make Plain Text. Save the file in the Applications Folder as "E-Transcript Viewer.command". Finally, go back to the Terminal window and enter the following commands so that the script we just created can be executed:

cd /Applications
chmod +x E-Transcript\ Viewer.command

Now, you should be able to double-click the 'E-Transcript Viewer.command' file in the Applications folder any time you need to open a .ptx file. Here's the result: