Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sorting Out Word Tables and Charts


I find one thing especially irritating - importing Word tables and charts into Pages. It should be pretty straightforward, and it is - copy what you want in Word and paste it into Pages.

That is until you try and resize the chart within Pages. It just refuses to hold its proportions and wobbles and squirms all over the place. And it takes a lot of cussing and fiddling until your restore the proper proportions in the size you need.

No matter what you think of Bill Gates you have to work with MS files from time to time. A friend of mine makes Crosswords for me in Word. And it had been a constant pain until I discovered that the Print - PostScript - PDF route I've been using for finished Pages projects works fine with Word documents too.

So:

1. 'Print' (Save as... through the Print dialogue window) from Word to PostScript straight from Word. 'Printing' the whole page is ok. If you have more than one page choose 'printing' that one page.

2. Open or Create PDF... in Acrobat or Preview from your PS file.

3. Save PDF.

4. Drag and drop your PDF file onto the Pages page.

5. Mask and resize the image in the Pages as you would with any other image or box.

Note:

• Change fonts to the fonts you use in your Pages document BEFORE creating PDF. You won't be able to do it afterwards, because it is an image. Pages fonts (Palatino, Optima etc) used in Apple's own templates will make your documents stand out more than if you leave the boring Arial or Times New Roman there. Fonts are available throughout the system so there should be no problem with changing them in Word.

• If you create images of tables or graphs, but copy-paste the text part of the Word document (in my Crossword example - the Across and Down clues) be careful about formatting. Column breaks, layout breaks and section breaks will be imported into Pages from Word. A heading went missing after I'd pasted the text, and an additional section break appeared. I couldn't figure out what'd happened until I checked the pages thumbnails and saw that Section Break added two empty pages and the missing heading went into the last one.

Photo by © A.Anichkin, The Rendezvous Media

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