Saving as .pages versus .doc or .docx

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dotdotdot, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #1
    I have an incredibly organized School folder full of .doc and .docx files. But Microsoft Office:mac is seriously a disappointment when compared to its Windows counterpart. I really liked iWork '08, and now that iWork '09 is out I'm very tempted to buy it.

    I know I can save as .doc in Pages, but can't really do incremental saves as easily. Hitting command+s brings up a new save dialogue since Pages can't really write directly to a .doc file. I'm considering just saving my notes as .pages files. Is that a good idea?
     
  2. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #2
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you, only I keep all of my documents in OpenDocument format. I was hopeful that I would at least be able to export my documents in OpenDocument format, but for the third Pages release I've been disappointed. I guess the concept of a vendor neutral open standard isn't ready to be realized, or hasn't got the market behind it, or something.

    Anyway, this is, of course, going to be a personal decision, but in making your decision ask yourself a few questions:

    - How many .doc's do I have that I would have to convert to do a total change (note that if you decide to switch back later you'll have to re-convert or pull from an outdated backup.

    - How may .docs do you have that change very often? Of the 1500 or so OpenDocument files that I have, only 20 or so have even been opened in the last two months.

    - Ultimately, the question is, do I want to use a program that I like better/works better for me at the cost of more flexible document format, or vice versa.

    - How many documents do I need to share with people on non-OS X platforms? Would it be acceptable for these people to receive a PDF?

    - Are you okay in not keeping your data in a more ubiquitous format, versus keeping it in a format that's a little more unsteady that you're sure is going to be updated in the near to moderate future.

    More to your point, I don't think we're doing to see a native "Save" in any format other than .pages any time soon. Can you imagine the backlash when somebody edited a Word document and a pixel was out of place when opening it back up on MS Word for Windows? Apple would be accused of not playing nice, when in fact it was struggling to reverse engineer Microsoft's closed off and proprietary file format. If Apple does include native Save As into another document format, I don't think it'll be the old .doc.

    I'm still not sure about the answers to these questions as for myself. I have iWork '08 but haven't used it much since I decided to use OpenDocument files exclusively--I basically built a cause around using OpenDocument, but I won't lie, both OpenOffice and Symphony just feel unproductive and clunky compared to Pages. Truth be told, Pages is like a breath of fresh air.

    Very long story short, it comes down to what works best for you.
     
  3. dws90 macrumors regular

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    The lack of support for saving natively in a "common" format is the only thing that's holding me back from switching over to iWork entirely. As far as I know, iWork is the only application able to read those files, meaning that if you're ever need to access those files from a Windows or Linux machine and you don't have a Mac, you're screwed unless you happened to export them already. If Apple were to release a nice, free, open-source converter for the file formats, I'd switch over completely in a heartbeat.

    iWork.com may be an improvement in this respect - I haven't read too much about it. Even with that, however, it's still a very tricky situation in the long run - when Apple stops supporting those formats, any data stored in them is more or less lost.

    That said, in your case, that's probably not much of a problem. It's very unlikely that you'll want to access all of your files from school in 10 years, and if you do, you can always export them once before you turn them in. There's no need to worry about it in the short run, so feel free to use the iWork file formats.
     
  4. kepardue macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #4
    Hah, depends on how much of a packrat he is. I still have physical notebooks from Junior High stored somewhere in the attic, and I've got all the digital files from when I got my first computer in high school. Grant it they've gone through the conversion process from RTF or MS Works to MS Word to OpenDocument.
     
  5. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #5
    Yes it is...

    Yes it is.

    I keep all my documents in iWork format (.pages, .numbers, .key) and I really enjoy working on them, I feel more productive when writing on pages than I ever did in Word. I have no problem sharing the files I need to share with another team mates that use MS Office, the proper format it's just a few clicks away; I even keep track of comments and versions in documents, the annotations translate seamlessly back and forth between pages and word.

    Besides, a presentation made on Keynote is much more impressive than those made on powerpoint. Numbers, I don't like it so much, but anyhow, it comes with the package.
     
  6. dotdotdot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #6
    Alright, I think from this point forward I'm saving in .pages format. I won't go back and convert my .doc files, but the new ones will be .pages.

    I'm just hoping someone makes a way to open them in Windows soon...
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
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    Hartford, CT
    #7
    Isnt that the kind of job Automator is for?:confused:
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    This discussion pops up once in a while in different forms. I think it's kind of odd to be debating whether we should accept that Pages has its own native file format. Virtually all applications have one. If you export or Save As a non-native file format, you should be aware that some of the features of the native format may be lost. This is why this operation is an export or Save As, not a choice for default saving. So long as applications are not feature-identical, they will have different file formats for storing those unique features. There seems to be a sort of psychological barrier to accepting this fact of life in the instance of Pages, but I'm not sure I understand why.
     
  9. dws90 macrumors regular

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #9
    I think the primary difference between Pages and most other program's with their own file formats is that word processing and spreadsheet apps are used to create and store so much information, more so than than just about anything. Yes, some game I'm playing probably stores its save data in its own format that only it can read, but so what? That data won't do me much good without the game anyway. If I have a spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my finances, however, I definitely want to be able to access it at all times, even if Numbers has borked out.

    For the record, though - all programs that store real information in a way that no other program can read make me uneasy. It isn't an iWork exclusive thing.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    File format obsolescence is a universal problem. Even some older versions of Microsoft Word files won't open in current versions of Word. Easily the most stable file format over the years has been PDF. Anything you really want to be able to keep, read and print for many years to come are best saved as PDF.
     
  11. kepardue macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #11
    That's the whole point of the newer XML-based office productivity formats: to make working with office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations as ubiquitous as HTML: you can pack in any number of advanced behaviors while being relatively sure that it will display consistently no matter what software is being used to view it. We'll get there with Office documents, too, just not likely any time soon. Interoperability is a pretty reasonable thing to expect; it's scary to consider how much of the world's knowledge is locked up in closed-off, binary MS Word format.
     
  12. rainydays macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2006
    #12
    Well you should at least use PDF/A if you intend to keep it for a while. Still, I'd say that formats like ODF are better suited for archiving.
     

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