Pages (no pixels??!)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MBX, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006

    why is there no option to use pixels for custom page sizes? there are points and even picas, but no pixels?!? wtf!?

    how can i use pixels as measurement
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Wait, you're using Pages and want to specify a custom page size in pixels? Maybe I'm missing something, but that doesn't even make sense to me--a pixel as a unit of measurement only makes sense on a specific screen.

    Since you're trying to define the page size, your only options are, of course, units of physical measurement. Picas may be obscure, but they are a physical unit of length--1/6 of an inch. (There are 12 points in a pica, incidentally, so 12 pt type is 1 pica type.)

    Since 1 pixel has no conversion into units of length without an explicit dpi setting, if you say "this document is 500 pixels wide", there is absolutely no way to convert that into any non-arbitrary physical length. Photoshop can do it because you're editing images that are composed of pixels, and further it also has a dpi setting so that there is a conversion factor between pixels and length. when you go to print the image.

    Type, as in a word processing document, only has meaning in terms of physical length, hence the reason Word (and any other word processing app to my knowledge) measures sizes in terms of points, inches, or centimeters.

    So unless Pages has a dpi setting somewhere, it's going to be the same. Remember that 1 pt does NOT necessarily mean 1 pixel, even if people often think of it that way.
  3. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    so you're saying that pages is only meant for physical documents?

    what if people want to out put things for the web or pdf's, like i do?
    I'd like to specify the width to 1536pixel for example and height to 595pixel.

    why is it such a big deal for pages? And why can't they include pixel option?
  4. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Pages is a word processor... if you want to do something for the web, get you know... a web editor.

    Do you know of any other word processors that let you define a document in pixels, because I don't. Ultimately the word processor is there to make documents, and even in this digital age, people still print things and want them to conform to actual physical dimensions so that they can print them from their computer, or their co-worker's computer, or their home computer, or any freaking computer on the planet.
  5. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    Oh really. Why limit yourself? I don't get it. There's a huge market just for web out put and pdf. Sending over emails you know, not killing tree's and printing it out.

    We're in digital age.

    Why would it be so difficult to include pixels option? For people who want to export pdf's and not print physical stuff.
  6. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2004
    Nagoya, Japan
    Pages functions as a word processor and a page layout program, like InDesign. Defining documents in pixels makes no sense, since it depends on the output device. Illustrator and InDesign are the same way.
  7. FetalSage macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    There are other applications that deals with these specifics. Pages was created for Print Media, sure it has capabilities to export to PDF, but it's a Word Processor and wasn't meant to do anything with web technologies.

    If you want to go into specifics on sizes, use Photoshop or Illustrator, hell I'm sure InDesign can do the same thing.

    This is the Digital Age, it's the age where there are specific applications for specific tasks.
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Again, it's not a matter of difficulty, it's a matter of the issue that the entire idiom of Pages (and any other word processor) is for a print document. Therefore, all documents must, by definition, have a "physical" size.

    And pixels simply have no meaning unless you also specify a dpi setting, which just isn't a feature most word processors bother with, since the percentage of people using them to create physical documents (versus web pages) is EXTREMELY small.

    Apple, after all, already makes iWeb for this.

    And on the issue of PDF, it's the same thing--PDFs, at least as generated by OSX, are also measured in inches, not pixels. PDF is, after all, originally and primarily for making a consistent digital representation of a print document.

    If you want this to make more sense, think about it this way: A PDF has no "natural" size on screen--it's as big as you want it to be. An image within a PDF can be ANY resolution, regardless of the surrounding text. For example, you could have an image that was 1000 pixels high and only was the same visible height as two lines of text. It works, because the image is scaled to the correct size on screen, regardless of its pixels. This is the same way that Pages (and Word) operates.

    If you put an unscaled photo on a web page that is 1000 pixels high, it's either HUGE, or that's going to be some seriously large text.

    The point I and others are trying to make isn't that it's technologically impossible to have Pages let you specify sizes in pixels, it's that Apple would have had to set a specific dpi assumption for the app (or, alternately, let you set it), and that's just not how any modern word processor is set up.

    In fact, even the web is gradually moving away from this--as displays get progressively higher resolution, less pixel-rigid units are going to become more and more desirable (David Hyatt, Safari's main developer, has some blog entries on this). After all, if you've got an ultra-high-resolution display (say, 200dpi) and the browser actually renders "12 px" text as being 12 pixels high, that will be TINY--0.06", which is nearly unreadable.

    We're not there yet, but if display tech improves at the current rate we will be (and Apple is already most of the way to a resolution-independent MacOS interface for the same reason--the tech is there in Leopard).

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