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Thread: Pages v. Word

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  1. #1
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Cambridge, England

    Pages v. Word

    Hi all--I could really use some help. I need to decide whether I can live with Apple Pages or if I really need Microsoft Word.

    In all my professional dealings, I have to use .doc format. Up to now, I have been using Open Office, a free imitation of Word. Open Office defaults to saving as .odt, but can save as .doc when asked to. It pretty much strives to be a copy of Word, which means it worked pretty well for my purposes, but also that it has the problems of Word: bloated, unintuitive, and too much weird automatic stuff. Still, I learned to work around it and can now control it well.

    I recently bought a new laptop. My old one, a MacBook, had served me well but had become SLOW, had shortened battery life, and little memory left for me to play with. I now have a sleek lovely Macbook Air. It has much more memory and is nice and fast. I was convinced to try the Apple word processor, Pages.

    I hate it. But, I recognise that my frustration is much because it is different. Superior, even, but the different-ness means I'm having trouble doing simple things. Once I learn how to control it, that should be fine. It does seem to be better than Word in many ways. Most of all, I'm told it is much more efficient. I'm told that one of the reasons my old laptop had become so slow was because of bloat from Open Office.

    Here is my problem with Pages: It will only save in its own format. If I want to save as .doc, I have to export and save a COPY of the ms I'm working on. This means there will be multiple versions of my ms: one that I can work on, saved in Pages format, and the .docs that I export and send to others. I'm very uncomfortable with that. But perhaps it's a paradigm shift that will be worth growing into. My husband, a programmer, uses a similar system of master and releases, with which he is well pleased.

    My questions are:

    1) Has anyone here made that change from a Word-like word processor to Pages, and are you happy you did? Have you adjusted to having a master Pages document on which you can work, and then .docs that you periodically create to send out to others?

    2) Are you happy with the way that Pages exports into .doc? I've already tried this with a one-page document, and all my bolding was lost, and the tabs were wonky. Is this something I will continue to struggle with, or is there a way to master it? It is especially concerning that when I opened the .doc in Pages, the formatting looked fine. I had to check it in another system to see that it was off. I would hate to unknowingly send out badly formatted docs.

    3) Lastly, is one able to read someone else's "track changes" from Word in Pages? I can in Open Office. I need to be able to do this.

    I don't want to resort to downloading Word or Open Office, which may just cause the same slowness that drove me to get a new computer. I may have to though. Any advice appreciated! Many thanks.
    Last edited by Emily Winslow; 01-13-2013 at 06:47 PM.

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