Monday, January 16, 2012

Bloat (MS Word vs iWork/Pages)

Click on the link to see other posts about Word count in iWork Pages

I've just updated (slightly) an old post comparing iWork/Pages with MS Word. One of the early complaints about Pages was the word count. Many users – and even reviewers – found it difficult to find it. Current versions of iWork have word count displayed at the bottom of the page. Remember, to have other counting features handy, open Document Inspector and click on Info tab. I shows word, character, line and paragraph count. 

Here is a quote from the old article: 
I started working in Pages three years ago when work on the English language magazine for Normandy began. Over that period I have done a substantial amount of work in Word, including translations of two books from English into Russian and numerous articles from Russian into English. Over time I noticed that I was getting increasingly frustrated with Word, mostly because of its cluttered look, but also because I felt that somehow it took me longer to do word processing operations in Word than in Pages. Word looses to Pages in exactly this presence of too many formatting features, most of which user may not even need. In the end, when the last batch of translations came from my client in Word, I simply copy/pasted the text into Pages, did all the work, including proofing, referencing and word/character count, there and then copy/pasted the finished document back into Word to send to the client. Even though many of my co-workers and clients send me their documents in Word, my feeling is that there is less and less room for Word in what I do. In many cases I don't even open Word docs in Word, but in Pages or TextEdit.
If you do have to deliver your finished work in .doc format consider 'Save as...' option: choose from the File menu or press Command + Shift and type S. When dialogue opens, put a tick in the 'Save copy as' option and choose Word from the drop-down menu. DOC format files work with Open Office too. 


  1. Whole heartedly agree that Pages wins over Word for all my word processing needs. Couldn't get by without Pages and Keynote these days.

    My main criticism is the export option. Whenever I convert it to .doc and send it on it always seems to mess up something. Even on simple one-page documents.

    Thanks for all the great tips.

  2. yes, it's annoying, it's the difference in formatting - frames vs boxes. etc. I sometimes send PDFs instead of or alongside .docs. But it sometimes you just have to adjust formatting.


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