Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Pages v. Word

  1. #1
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    544

    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 07:17 PM.


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  2. #2
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,119
    What kind of professional dealings do you mean? Writing fiction? Something else?

    1. I use Pages for writing fiction. I much prefer it to Word for that much. I find it a pain in the ass to try to format anything in Word, but a breeze in Pages. That said, Word is more powerful and has more features. You might not need them, though.

    2. How extensive and elaborate was your formatting? Basic stuff transfers okay. Any formatting that would be in a basic fiction manuscript transfers fine or is easy to fix. I wouldn't want to export a scientific document or report from Pages to Word, though. Too many things to go wrong.

    3. Yes. You can see Word's track changes in Pages. I wouldn't use it for extensive exchanges. For a collaboration where you'll be trading changes a lot and everyone else is using Word, just use Word. If you just need to see them, you can see them fine in Pages.

    Installing MS Office or OpenOffice or LibreOffice (the newer version of OpenOffice, basically) won't slow down your computer. The applications themselves might be a bit slow and less snappy than Pages. But they won't slow down your computer if you're not using them and they're just installed for when you might need them.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  3. #3
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    544
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    What kind of professional dealings do you mean? Writing fiction? Something else?
    Writing fiction. Pretty much everyone I deal with--beta readers, my agent, and everyone at my publisher--expects .doc files and uses track changes.

    1. I use Pages for writing fiction. I much prefer it to Word for that much. I find it a pain in the ass to try to format anything in Word, but a breeze in Pages. That said, Word is more powerful and has more features. You might not need them, though.
    I'm fine with fewer features. I just want to be able to put words on paper! That said, I have yet to find, for example, the double-space/single-space toggle on Pages. What I eventually found was a much more complicated window that required me to type in the precise number of pixels (or something) that I wanted between lines. Seemed much more complex than Word!

    2. How extensive and elaborate was your formatting? Basic stuff transfers okay. Any formatting that would be in a basic fiction manuscript transfers fine or is easy to fix. I wouldn't want to export a scientific document or report from Pages to Word, though. Too many things to go wrong.
    Just some different (basic) fonts, bolding, and tabs to line things up. It was a little poster-like flyer. It was just disconcerting that opening the .doc in Pages looked the way I expected and then opening it elsewhere it looked different. You're right that it's not a big deal for a text-only ms. I just think it's weird that if I, say, bold my title or center a quote, I won't really know what the end result will look like on the other end.

    3. Yes. You can see Word's track changes in Pages. I wouldn't use it for extensive exchanges. For a collaboration where you'll be trading changes a lot and everyone else is using Word, just use Word. If you just need to see them, you can see them fine in Pages.
    Well that's good to hear! I will need to respond to the track changes (accept/reject), not just view them, but at least viewing them will work.

    Installing MS Office or OpenOffice or LibreOffice (the newer version of OpenOffice, basically) won't slow down your computer. The applications themselves might be a bit slow and less snappy than Pages. But they won't slow down your computer if you're not using them and they're just installed for when you might need them.
    My sweet husband is worried I'm going to eat up all my space if I install big programs again. Maybe, though, that fear is unwarranted.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts!


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  4. #4
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,119
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    I'm fine with fewer features. I just want to be able to put words on paper! That said, I have yet to find, for example, the double-space/single-space toggle on Pages. What I eventually found was a much more complicated window that required me to type in the precise number of pixels (or something) that I wanted between lines. Seemed much more complex than Word!
    Even I have no idea where you would find a way to adjust the precise number of pixels between lines... where the heck did you find that?

    It's right on the format bar:



    or here in the Inspector:



    where you can adjust the fraction of a full line you want between lines, but not the number of pixels.

    Just some different (basic) fonts, bolding, and tabs to line things up. It was a little poster-like flyer. It was just disconcerting that opening the .doc in Pages looked the way I expected and then opening it elsewhere it looked different. You're right that it's not a big deal for a text-only ms. I just think it's weird that if I, say, bold my title or center a quote, I won't really know what the end result will look like on the other end.
    Hmm, I've never had basic stuff like italics mess up for me. It's usually the more complicated stuff.

    My sweet husband is worried I'm going to eat up all my space if I install big programs again. Maybe, though, that fear is unwarranted.
    You can just watch how much space you have free on your hard drive. It's not like the space they take up will suddenly start expanding when you're not looking.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  5. #5
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    544
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    Even I have no idea where you would find a way to adjust the precise number of pixels between lines... where the heck did you find that?

    It's right on the format bar:

    or here in the Inspector:

    where you can adjust the fraction of a full line you want between lines, but not the number of pixels.
    Ah, the "inspector"! That's what I found. I was trying to change the spacing between lines in something I'd cut-and-pasted, and had to change one of those--maybe "after paragraph"?--from 17 to zero. I assumed the 17 was pixels, but who knows. Millimeters, maybe?

    Also "aha!" to what you circled on the format bar. I had tried that (when trying to correct that cut-and-pasted problem I was having) but it had no effect. So, I assumed it wasn't what I was looking for. Thanks for the guidance.

    Hey, didn't you used to have an avatar that was tipping the hat? I loved that one! In any case, I'd like to tip my hat to you for your help :-)


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  6. #6
    pretending to be awake onesecondglance's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,798
    I'm not generally an advocate of switching creative software unless there's a really good reason to do so. You can spend a lot more time reading the manual trying to work out how to do something than creating anything, which is rather counter-productive.

    If you're comfortable with OpenOffice, I don't really see a reason to change? I'm not sure about the "my computer got slow because of OpenOffice" thing - in my experience it's almost always a combination of dozens of things.
    Last edited by onesecondglance; 01-14-2013 at 03:52 PM.
    Λrchangel: near-future SF noir
    Bleed Through: multiverse thriller with a side of vampires. | 33,500 / 100,000 (progress! sweet, sweet progress!)

    I write music. | I gave in and joined twitter. | And I have a blog too.

  7. #7
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    544
    Any thoughts on Libre Office v. Open Office?


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  8. #8
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3,074
    Most of the old Open Office team moved to working on Libre Office after Oracle took over Open Office, so I prefer Libre Office.
    Website/Blog- Twitter

    WIP: BR0K3N TH1NGS Draft 4 (UF) {redrafting like a fiend!}
    Published: MG Fantasy "Dragon Tamers" & "Dragon Tamers 2: Digital Tempest"

  9. #9
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    An meodoheall monig dreama full
    Posts
    25,530
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    Any thoughts on Libre Office v. Open Office?
    Libre Office; it's still being actively developed.

    That said, I use Microsoft Word to respond to Track Changes queries/edits. My publisher has standardized on it with special scripts and palettes, to the point that small deviations affect work flow.

    I love Pages, and use it for magazine articles and other publishers.

    Were I you on a MacBook Air, I'd buy just MS Word, not office, and use that. Libre Office is just under 500 MB installed, and is not RAM friendly at all.

    AW Admin
    About.Me
    AWers On Twitter
    Lisa L. Spangenberg
    My opinions are my own. | Who else would want them?

  10. #10
    Took a wrong turn at the Pleiades
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    On the wrong planet. ;P
    Posts
    289
    Actually, OpenOffice is back in development under that name, too—the Apache Project took it over a year or two back. I understand that their version has wandered in a slightly different direction than the LibreOffice fork, codewise, so individuals having problems with one version may find it worthwhile to try the other.

  11. #11
    ...it's anything but. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    12,582
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    Ah, the "inspector"! That's what I found. I was trying to change the spacing between lines in something I'd cut-and-pasted, and had to change one of those--maybe "after paragraph"?--from 17 to zero. I assumed the 17 was pixels, but who knows. Millimeters, maybe?
    A bit of a tangent, but it's probably measured in points (pt), which is a typographical measurement. Hence why we have things like 12 point type.
    Stories n' Stuff:
    Close Quarter and Slow Waltz (M/M paranormal romance)
    Missing Persons (fantasy short) in Trust and Treachery
    Takeover (M/M contemporary romance)
    CTRL Me in Rules to Live By (M/M contemporary romance)

    COMING June 16th: Just Business (M/M contemporary romance)

    I have a Website! My Pen Name has a Website! I also Tweet!

  12. #12
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,119
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    Ah, the "inspector"! That's what I found. I was trying to change the spacing between lines in something I'd cut-and-pasted, and had to change one of those--maybe "after paragraph"?--from 17 to zero. I assumed the 17 was pixels, but who knows. Millimeters, maybe?
    Quote Originally Posted by amergina View Post
    A bit of a tangent, but it's probably measured in points (pt), which is a typographical measurement. Hence why we have things like 12 point type.
    By default, Pages lets you set the spacing between lines in fractions of a line, and the spacing between paragraphs in points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    Also "aha!" to what you circled on the format bar. I had tried that (when trying to correct that cut-and-pasted problem I was having) but it had no effect. So, I assumed it wasn't what I was looking for. Thanks for the guidance.
    You need to make sure you have the portion of text you want to apply the spacing to selected. It won't just assume you mean the current line or current paragraph or anything.

    Hey, didn't you used to have an avatar that was tipping the hat? I loved that one! In any case, I'd like to tip my hat to you for your help :-)
    Yes and you're welcome.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  13. #13
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    544
    I'm giving Libre a try (though I'm worried about the RAM now). Thanks, all, for the advice.

    I do like Pages as well, and will likely use it for things like newsletters and stuff. But for anything I will be sending out to my publishers, I feel like I need to be able to work on my .docs and see them as they really are.

    Appreciate the help!


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  14. #14
    banned as an incurable tosspot
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oz aka Alabama
    Posts
    604
    If you like Open Office and Libre Office, you can try Free Office:

    http://freeoffice.com/en/features

    Is your goal to not purchase software?

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Defos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    In bed
    Posts
    899
    I had the same dilemma when first moving to pages and using the ipad for a writing machine which is a bit of a waste really. (This may go off topic a tad). I've had issues with the ipad since I bought the first incarnation. I now have the 3rd gen ipad.

    The main issue is the sheer lack of compatibility, I can't transfer anything to anywhere without itunes (which I really don't like to use).
    On other tablets you can put memory sticks in and move/alter things then place them back in to work with. The workarounds I use for the ipad are emails to and from my PC to store etc but I don't like the security issues that poses. I know you can port the pages files to PDF and attach them but I'm not sure this would be any better unless I used itunes (*pulls sickly looking face).

    I have an old version of word (2007 I think) so would I be better migrating my material to the PC and doing away with the ipad for the majority of the work?

  16. #16
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    An meodoheall monig dreama full
    Posts
    25,530
    Quote Originally Posted by Defos View Post
    The main issue is the sheer lack of compatibility, I can't transfer anything to anywhere without itunes (which I really don't like to use). ?
    Yes you can. Use DropBox. Works a treat.

    AW Admin
    About.Me
    AWers On Twitter
    Lisa L. Spangenberg
    My opinions are my own. | Who else would want them?

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Yes you can. Use DropBox. Works a treat.
    Yup. But, Defos, if you’re worried about the security of emailing, keep in mind that cloud services are not perfectly secure either.
    Currently working on: Radiant (I seriously need a better title for this)

  18. #18
    New motto: more purr, less hiss Nekko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Do you know where the middle of nowhere is? Four miles past that
    Posts
    2,138
    I have both Pages and Word for Mac on my computer. I much prefer Pages. It doesn't have a gizzillion bells and whistles - which I never use- and it does everything I want it to.

    Admittedly, I was disappointed when some 'newer' version of Pages came out (I think with Lion) that you no longer had the option to 'save as' a Word doc beyond the initial save.
    When I need to send it someone who uses Word, I wind up exporting it as a Word doc (from the top menu bar: go to 'File'. In the drop down menu you'll see "export" - this will give you the option to export it to your desktop as a Word file or you can go to "Share" - send via mail - Word is an option) It requires a few extra steps, but I find it's not that big a deal.

    Yes, once and a while there are formatting issues between the programs, but usually if you've done some fancy formatting: tables and such. Basic word processing shouldn't be a problem.

    Defos
    The main issue is the sheer lack of compatibility, I can't transfer anything to anywhere without itunes (which I really don't like to use).
    I have Pages on my iPad and then from that program I email myself. Not sure what you are sending that you worry about the 'security' of email. Paranoid much?
    You can't... start to delete a word so you can change it to a different word but then keep the first letter of the old word...
    it will eventually eat the new word's soul and turn it into an evil, undead word-zombie...

    --jjdebenedictis


    Me on FB

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Defos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    In bed
    Posts
    899
    Quote Originally Posted by Nekko View Post
    Paranoid much?
    What gave you that idea

    I've fixed machines with horrid viruses and tried to reclaimed files in the past, sometimes they are lost or too damaged to reclaim and after loosing work at university I have developed a back up paranoia that's kept me safe since.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/...n-hacking/all/

    Google features security for mobile phones to make it harder for people to get in to email accounts that is worth looking at.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=zMabEyrtPRg

    I have good practices and I'm not so paranoid to be honest but its happened and I regularly see people having these problems so I like to stay on the side of caution. (rant over )

  20. #20
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,119
    If you use Pages on both a Mac and an iPad, you don't have to transfer files. They'll stay in sync via iCloud.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  21. #21
    🌸 Friendly Flower Cella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    25,298
    This is a good thread! Thanks for the info, everyone. I have Pages on my macbook air that I got pretty recently and can't seem to get adjusted to.

    These suggestions should help things go more smoothly.

    Where you start isn't nearly as important as where you finish. - quickWit

  22. #22
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    An meodoheall monig dreama full
    Posts
    25,530
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    If you use Pages on both a Mac and an iPad, you don't have to transfer files. They'll stay in sync via iCloud.
    He's using Windows.

    AW Admin
    About.Me
    AWers On Twitter
    Lisa L. Spangenberg
    My opinions are my own. | Who else would want them?

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Defos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    In bed
    Posts
    899
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    He's using Windows.
    I do, I also have never used word and I'm reluctant to start. I learned most of 3DS max myself so why word scares me so much I dunno

    I may just stick with pages, although it keeps changing from uk to us english.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search