Pages for university?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by AdamMT, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. AdamMT macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hi, I did a search and some research on other sites to see if I could find some opinions on this but I was unable to. I was wondering how well Pages works for university as I will be going into my first year this fall. What I'm mostly wondering about is the compatibility issue of converting to a .doc file and then if i email it to someone such as my professors, that the formatting my change enough that it wouldn't fit some guidelines, as I here some profs can be pretty strict about that kind of stuff. I do have Word for my mac so it is possible for me to do it on there, I just have grown to like Pages a lot more and would like to keep using it a lot more.
    Any personal experiences would be really appreciated
  2. gks, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2011

    gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    I always sent PDF files to professors, they never seemed to mind. If you're just doing basic word processing and no tables or images or anything then odds are everything will look fine. The more complex the layout, the more likely there will be formatting errors.
  3. MisterMe, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2011

    MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This is not about Pages, this is about file conversions in general and conversions to Word in particular. The purpose of a file conversion is to give the user the opportunity to tweak the converted documented for final presentation. You should never submit a document that has not been reviewed in the native application of the converted format. This is particularly true of Word. Word files produced by different versions of Word are problematic with each other. Word documents from non-Word sources are gotchas waiting to happen.

    For various reasons, gks's suggestion that you submit PDF versions of your Pages documents is a good one. You should accept it.
  4. dizzy130 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    My professors like to give feedback as track changes in Word, something they obviously can't do in a PDF. I've also had problems with footnote and bibliography compatibility between Pagaes and Word.

    I don't have any love for Word, but it's really best.
  5. 100Teraflops, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2011

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    If you can submit a paper copy, then no worry. If you write research papers, then word will serve you well, as footnote and endnote citations are very convenient. That is one of the negative aspects of Pages. I think one can buy endnote for Mac, but it's like 50 bucks, give and take a 20 spot.

    EDIT: I own and use both, but I slightly prefer Pages over Word.
  6. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    +1 about the Footnotes/Endnotes stuff. Use Word if you'll be writing large research papers.
  7. dizzydot, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011

    dizzydot macrumors member


    Mar 24, 2010
    Personally I would suggest sticking with Word for university papers/essays.

    My professors also like to track changes so submitting it as a PDF was a no-no.

    I tried pages as I wanted to go "all mac" but there were compatibility issues so I just stuck with Office (Word) for Mac. I have to say I really quite like the new 2011 version.

    One of the 1st things we learnt from the profs and senior students was, if you make your professors lives hard by making them have to faff about with compatibility issues and formatting problems they will not be impressed and go harder on you. In my experience it seems lecturers are a bit more "old school" and stick to PC based programs.

    HTH. :)
  8. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
  9. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    Here's a better option if you're worried about it.

    Call your universities ITS department or the bookstore. See if they sell student copies of Office. I was able to get the latest version of Office for mac for about $50 through them.
  10. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    I'd recommend Office in addition to Pages. For better or for worse, many class projects are collaborative. It's a pain in the neck to convert back and forth and worry about formatting. If you can buy Office at a reasonable price your life will be easier.
  11. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    There, fixed that for you
  12. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    It depends on what subject you are doing. An essay which is just text will convert to .doc no problem! However, include footnotes/data/graphs/diagrams and you will have a problem.

    I read chemistry and used Pages for my 60 page thesis (not the same as a research paper) in my final year, EndNote works well with Pages now. It was ok, produced a good looking thesis in the end. However, my supervisor always got us to print out our drafts for him to look at as he preferred to annotate by hand, so conversion was not an issue. In years 1-3 I didn't have to write on a computer at all (my chemistry degree was all about drawing and maths!).

    Pages may be ok, but at least you have Word to fall back on. If you end up writing proper research papers you almost certainly will need Word (or LaTeX).
  13. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    I wasn't aware it needed to be fixed. ;)
  14. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    Writing research papers in word is like going clubbing in a suit and tie. If you work for a really conservative company you might find you have to do it, and it certainly can be done, but you probably won't enjoy the experience. The end result will also look terrible, and the people you want to impress will almost certainly not take you seriously.
  15. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008

    Of course, this depends entirely on what discipline your research paper is written for.
  16. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    Writing research papers in LaTex is like going to the office in a space suit. Yes, it's impressive, but unless you work at NASA, it makes no sense and you'll probably just annoy everyone you meet.

    Seriously, unless you're majoring in math, chemistry, or physics, you shouldn't be using LaTex at all.

    And if you're majoring in a social science or liberal arts field, your advisor will probably just send you packing.

Share This Page