Pages Vs. MS WORD ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Robert4, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Robert4 macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Giving serious thought to switching from MS WORD to Pages.

    Before I start playing with it seriously, would like to ask:

    a. Is it "fully" compatible with all my old WORD documents I've created ? Any caveats ?

    b. Not too sharp with this 'stuff," but one of the nice things about WORD is that, I'm told, it will
    work just fine with documents created e.g., on a Mac and read in W10.

    Is this true ? Limitations, etc.

    **If so, same with Pages ? (created on a Mac but readable on W10) via, I imagine WORD on the pc ?

    b. How do you like it ?

    c. Anything i should be asking, but haven't re Pages usage, etc. ?

  2. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I'm a heavy user of both MS Word and Pages, and a BIG fan of Pages.

    The biggest hurdle you'll experience in switching over to Pages is the stark differences in user interfaces. Even though Pages has significantly fewer features, you'll find that you can do quite a bit more than you might initially think possible, and that features and document settings are in different places. That results in people easily getting frustrated and giving up on Pages (or think it is more limited than it actually is).

    Pages is able to READ all of my Word docs but how well formatting is preserved depends upon the availability of any custom fonts, and what type of Word-specific features (like WordArt) were used.

    There is no Windows version of Pages so creating documents with Pages would require exporting to Word and then edited in Word on Windows. I don't recommend that except for very, very simply documents.

    How often will you need to work on documents in Windows and macOS? If cross-platform capabilities are important, there are other options that might work better for you.
  3. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Thanks for thoughts.

    So, I just created a test document using Pages.
    Saved it to the Desktop.

    Went to MS WORD to see if i could open it up.

    it appears in the pull down choices that are on the Desktop, but it is greyed out.

    How would one therefore open it up using WORD ?
    What am i doing wrong, or missing, as usual ?

  4. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    When you say "saved it to the desktop", did you save it as a Pages document or did you File -> Export to -> Word...

    You'll need to export it to Word in order for MS Word to read it.
  5. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Also just to throw this out there, you don't necessarily have to switch entirely.

    If it's not too confusing or irritating, you could use Pages for some things, and then use Word for other documents if you know you're working on something that has Word-specific features or that you know you're gonna have to send to someone on a PC.
  6. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Yes, that was the problem. Fine when Exported To WORD.
    I should have realized.

    Much thanks,
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I think the choice depends on whether you need to exchange documents with others. If you regularly have to send documents to others, Word is probably best. I've used Word on both Mac and Windows (simultaneously in some cases) and there are issues, especially on formatting. Fonts and styles are a major contributor to this.
  8. willentrekin macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2013
    I think it depends a lot on what you want to do, and the documents you're working with.

    I prefer Pages for just writing novels. Long documents, pushing 200 pages. Just words and paragraphs with chapter breaks. I'm not formatting anything, just writing it down. I don't like Scrivener or Omm or the other apps I've used for writing; Pages just gets out of my way so I can keep writing one damn long document.

    But if I want to edit or review that long document? Then over to Word with the track changes function enabled. My day job is in writing, and we use Word so we can track changes and follow edits over time.

    I'm also a publisher, and I get a lot of manuscripts I clean up in Word before laying out in Vellum. But that's specialized and probably more than you need.

    So far as Word to Pages, I just copied and pasted all my old documents in the former into the latter. I've found Pages easier to work with persistently, across platforms and devices, via iCloud. I can as easily keep writing on my desktop as on my iPad or iPhone in Pages -- Apple makes that super easy. And I can sign in to iCloud in a browser if I need to on a Windows machine.
  9. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    If I was only creating documents for me, I use Pages. When I need to share them as editable documents and not PDFs then I use Word. If the documents are create are extremely basic, I would consider using Pages.
  10. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Pages is much nicer when used as a page layout app.

    It depends who you share with. I find that I can usually edit a Word document in Pages, export to Word and send that back. There are so many issues with different versions of Word and Windows most people just put up up with the differences. If I’m publishing a paper to a conference then I grit my teeth and use Word. It drives me around the bend trying to format things in Word. Sometimes I hit undo and it doesn’t undo and I have to jump through hoops to fix it.
  11. Tajhad macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2017
    If you want to use Pages on a windows machine don’t forget iCloud. On the windows machine - go to a web browser and sign into Apple iCloud. You can use the online version of Pages ( and Keynote / Numbers if you wish).
    As others have already stated - if you want to open a Pages doc in Word ( whether it’s the win version or Mac ) you need to export as a Word doc.
  12. jwolf6589 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2010
    Pages runs faster on a HDD if you have one as I do. It seems to be fully compatible with all Word 2016 files I have on my Mac. Not sure about earlier versions.
  13. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    It depends upon what one requires for "compatibility".

    If one simply creates a document, changes the font attributes manually to create headers and changing paragraph appearances, and otherwise use default settings for linespacing, character spacing, etc. and standard fonts then things go pretty well.

    If one uses character styles and paragraph styles to more easily maintain a consistent appearance in the document, and modifies the default settings mentioned above, then things get a bit more unpredictable.

    If a Pages document contains linked text boxes then all bets are off.

    I heavily use Pages 7.3, Pages 4.3 (iWork '09), MS Word, Google Docs, and LibreOffice. I've learned more about what things are compatible among them than I ever wanted to know. :)
  14. jwolf6589 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2010
    Quite correct. Well I said one thing that was true in that Pages runs much faster on a HDD over Word 2016.
  15. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012
    Hi All,

    Just another thanks.
    Great Forum, and folks.

    Just the info. I needed.


    QUOTE="jwolf6589, post: 26913468, member: 521532"]Quite correct. Well I said one thing that was true in that Pages runs much faster on a HDD over Word 2016.[/QUOTE]
  16. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    I avoid Word as much as possible.
    However, for larger documents such as essays, thesis', and things like that, the clunky ToC and styles are better done in Word.

    For shorter documents, I don't bother with Word, and if I don't need to collab with anyone, I also don't bother.

    I also save all iWork docs in iCloud so I can easily call them up with iPad.
  17. adrianlondon macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2013
    I do similar. I use Pages/Numbers for documents that are just for my use but switch to Word/Excel when I'm working on documents that other people will need to edit. There are more features in the MS Office products but usually I don't need them.

    I do get irritated with some of the omissions in Pages/Numbers though, especially as googling usually tells me exactly how to do it only to find it was a feature that's been stripped from the later versions. At some point, if Apple keeps stripping features I'll just move back to MS Office completely.
  18. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    I don't like word processors and dont do that much writing, so, with that in mind:

    LIbreOffice all the way. Nothing to export or change, and exactly the same on all platforms. Very close interface to pre-ribbon Word, so not much of a learning curve for old school Word users.

    Pages is a close second...but that export thing is a PITA if one is constantly updating a doc shared with Office users.

    Anybody use FreeOffice? Have not tried it yet.
  19. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I work in a Windows environment, still working hard on converting the masses. My job requires iOS and OS work, so I'm one of the few, lucky forced to work with Mac OS X and iOS. I converted solely Apple's office software about 10 years ago? (Wow, time flies ).

    @sracer did a great job pointing out the changeover.

    I use Numbers for spreadsheets, Pages for documents. I use reveal.js for presentations ( I would use reveal in any environment for presentations ).

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