Pages: ‘Save As’ and ‘Export’ commands using the same ‘Save As’ dialog box

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Pages
February 28th, 2005 • 6:31 am

I suspect that many Pages users will be using Pages’ ability to export documents in the Microsoft Word format on a regular basis. Maybe Apple should provide these users with the option to save in the Microsoft Word format by default. I don’t know. Obviously Apple chose not to offer this option.

If you want to share your Pages documents with Word users, you need to work on your document in the Pages file format (“.pages” suffix) and then, when your document is ready to be shared, you need to use Pages’ “Export” command to save a copy of the document in the Microsoft Word format.

I don’t know about other users, but personally I am not interested in archiving this copy in Microsoft Word format. I just want to create this copy in Word format, send it to whomever I want to share the document with, and then trash it. I only want to keep the original in Pages format in my document archives.

This means that I am not particularly interested in saving the exported version in Word format in the same location as the original in Pages format. On the contrary, I want to save the exported version in a location that is easy to access from Mail, so that I can quickly attach it to a e-mail message and send it.

The ideal location for this is the desktop. This will also ensure that the exported version stays visible to me and I will remember to trash it once it’s been sent.

And that’s where Pages is making life more difficult than necessary for me.

When you select the “Save As…” command in Pages, Pages displays the usual “Save As” dialog sheet. By default, the location in this dialog sheet is the last location used.

The problem is that, when you select the “Export…” command in Pages, Pages displays a dialog sheet where you can select your desired file format (“Word” in my case) and then opens a “Save As” dialog sheet as well. But the default location in this other “Save As” dialog sheet is the same as the last location used in the regular “Save As” dialog sheet.

And conversely, the next time I use the regular “Save As…” command, the default location will be the last one that I used in the “Save As” dialog sheet that’s part of the “Export…” command.

In other words, let’s say I compose a new Pages document and save it in location L. Then I choose “Export…“, select the “Word” format and save the exported copy on the desktop.

Then if I compose a new Pages document and want to save it, the default location in the “Save As” dialog sheet will be… the desktop, which is the last location that I used in Pages (when I used the “Export…” command).

This is rather unfortunate. It seems to me that the list of recent locations used in the regular “Save As…” command and the list of recent locations used in the “Export…” command should be two different lists, managed separately. But they are not. They are one and the same.

This means that Pages obviously doesn’t agree with my way of managing my files, and will constantly force me to readjust my location for saving files.

It’s a minor inconvenience, but a significant one nonetheless, especially for a person like me who has to share files in Microsoft Word format on a daily basis (and I am quite sure I am not the only one).

2 Responses to “Pages: ‘Save As’ and ‘Export’ commands using the same ‘Save As’ dialog box”

  1. Warren Beck says:

    Saving Pages documents by default as Word .doc files is not a good choice because a number of the page-layout features, including the placement of graphics or text frames and the associated wrapping of text from the main flow, do not directly correspond to those in Word. Simple documents can be directly saved to .doc without problems, but there have already been a number of comments about how it is not possible to export documents prepared using the Pages templates to the .doc format without suffering a number of layout problems.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    My focus here is in Pages as a word processor. I certainly wouldn’t expect a high level of compatibility with Word when it comes to the page layout features. Word’s page layout features are simply atrocious. I fully understand Apple’s unwillingness to try to ensure compatibility with that aspect of things.

    In my (admittedly limited) experience so far, regular word processing documents (the kind that most Word users are said to be creating) have not caused too many problems when exporting to Word. As long as styles are used and manual tab stops when needed, things seem to be going OK.

    But you’re right, that probably explains why saving as a Word document cannot be used as a default option — although I suppose that people who are not interested in the layout features might still have liked the option.

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