Convert MS Word formatting to Pages

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Reddkryten, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Reddkryten

    Reddkryten New Member

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    Hi there.

    I'm not sure if this is the right part of the forum, but it seems to be the right direction, so here goes.

    I'm trying to import a few files created on Word:Mac to Pages on my iPad and I'm having a bit of trouble. I know that each word processing program is slightly different and moving between them will almost always end up with some formatting problem, so I'm not looking for a magic wand, just a bit of advice.

    The files I am trying to import are templates I created years ago for organizing films, the formatting is relatively complex, tables, bullet points within tables etc.

    When I import them into Pages, the app adds extra paragraphs, breaks tables apart and makes a document that is one page long, spill over into two.

    Is there any way to maintain the original formatting in pages? If I save it in word using a different compatibility mode, could that help?

    I have tried to recreate the template in pages (and numbers) and while I can get fairly close, I still can't cut it down to one page, it keeps spilling over.

    I know this sounds like a really nerdy problem, obsessing over a table in a document being half a cm out of place, but these templates have helped me so much, every item is exactly where it should be.

    Is there anything I can do here? Failing that, are there any other apps that will let me read and edit these templates....should I wait for MS Office iPad edition?

    Thanks for any help, any advice at all is much appreciated.
  2. bahamutspirit

    bahamutspirit New Member

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    The iPad has really limited table support and even less so for bullets, so you might want to slim down your tables and contents to something that is as simple as possible. Aside from that, I can't really give you any better advice...
  3. Reddkryten

    Reddkryten New Member

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    Hi there.

    I've gotta say, when you wrote that the table support in pages is really limited, you weren't kidding!

    I created a version of the template in Pages that was as close as I could get then exported it as a .doc so I could see exactly what was going wrong and why it was not fitting within one page. I figured it was something like the font size being too big.

    The file was just a mess! for some reason the various tables were jumbled up, obscuring each other etc. Wow. Okay I know this is more of a fault with Pages ability to export to MS Word, but still, Wow.

    Erm...any other apps out there?
  4. bahamutspirit

    bahamutspirit New Member

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    There is just that thing about Microsoft Office (Word) to Apple iWork (Pages) that is kind of like a NDA between Microsoft and Apple... That they should never touch each other and just ignore each other, so you can expect Pages to Word and Word to Pages interaction to be non-existent when it comes to stuffs like formatting support... On the other hand, if you use Apple iWork then the transfer would be painless, but Pages has less features (for professional editing of long documents and books) than Word, so it really depends on what it is that you need to do.

    Anyway, I'd say you can give QuickOffice a try. I've heard that it also supports DOCX, but I've never tried it to really know what that's like...
  5. Reddkryten

    Reddkryten New Member

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    Lol, yeah word and pages ignoring each other like a recently broken up couple who walk past each other, sounds pretty accurate. (I guess that makes me the child stuck in the middle during their divorce?)

    Though I've gotta disagree with you about it being painless transferring between a document created natively in Pages (Mac) and Pages (iPad.) I tried recreating the template in pages (Mac), I was able to get close (though not 100%, pages lacks a few formatting options) then I exported it to my iPad... And it was totally garbled again. I can understand pages not being able to handle a word document, but another pages document, that's just insane. The formatting isn't THAT complex.

    QuickOffice, I've never heard of that one before, but I checked it out in the app store and it looks pretty nice. There was another app I was looking at "documents to go" but I'm a little wary of buying it without knowing if it will accept the formatting.
  6. bahamutspirit

    bahamutspirit New Member

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    Well, like I said, table and bullet support in Pages on iPad is very very very limited. I mean... you are literally down to either using a dot, a regular number, or a letter in front of your bullets, then pretty much one style of table... At least each table pane can have a background... And oh, fonts... I forgot to mention, but your regular fonts might not exist on the iPad. So if it's something other than Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman, then double check.

    So even if you make it in Pages on Mac, it won't be a pretty situation when you do something in Pages that looks "barely" right and then try to import the same thing to Pages on the iPad. But things like simple document formatting with Times New Roman and paragraph formatting would be okay...

    So bottom line, the iPad Pages app is more of something you use to write a quick essay on, not really something you use to lay out a template... Pages on Mac is in about the same situation, but a bit less simplified.

    Anyway, I am not sure if those apps would support the formatting right, either. The problem is that the formatting Microsoft does is almost completely different from the way they documented it. And the documentation for the word format specifications is really long. I mean... longer than a reference for a programming language even. Thank all those years of "adding more fat" into the bunch if you will...

    So I'd say stick with Microsoft Office all the way if you want it to work right.

    Alternatively, the office.live.com online app should work at some point, too... Microsoft Word Online can now load in the iPhone 4 but you can't edit anything.
  7. Reddkryten

    Reddkryten New Member

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    I'll see your point about Times New Roman and raise you Times New Roman PSMT. For some reason iPages didn't recognise a document I typed in TNR and had to replace it with TNR PSMT.

    Interesting point about the ms word "rulebook" so am I understanding this right, MS Office formatting is an open format but because of the complexity every other program only has 50% compatibility?
    Out of curiosity, I hope you don't mind me asking, but how did you get to know so much about the rulebook? It's just a very obscure thing to know so it's always interesting to hear about things like that.

    By mentioning the rulebook, you reminded me of something I haven't done in years, saved a word doc as a .HTML file. I'm just thinking, if word formatting is relatively unsupported, then HTML is a common and well supported markup language, could that be in anyway useful?

    I've heard about the Ms office online app and when it supports the iPad, it'll pretty much solve my problem (admittedly I'd prefer something which can work without wifi, but close enough)
  8. Reddkryten

    Reddkryten New Member

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    Sorry for the delay in responding, but thank you so much for recommending Quick Office.

    That app displays my docs almost perfectly

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    There are only two very minor bugs, it converts square bullet points to round one and I have to adjust the margins a little on my mac before importing. But despite those two little things, it is far far closer to the original formatting than what pages displayed.

    It's pretty much the closest thing you can get to MS Word on the iPad.

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