Pages 1.0.x: Exporting as Word document loses manual line breaks

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft, Pages
October 21st, 2005 • 4:16 pm

This is a warning to Pages users who regularly export their Pages documents as Word documents to share with Microsoft Word users (Mac or Windows).

If you have a Pages documents that contains manual line breaks, i.e. line breaks inserted using the shift-Return keyboard shortcut, these manual line breaks will not be preserved when exporting the document as a Word document.

Instead, Pages will replace these line breaks with regular paragraph breaks—although it will also change the paragraph formatting of the newly created paragraphs (the ones containing the words before the line break) to strip any “space after” formatting that might have been applied to the enclosing paragraph in Pages.

(In Pages, a line break does not create a new paragraph, so the text before the line break and the text after the line break form a single paragraph together, and this paragraph might have “space after” formatting applied to it. After Pages replaces the line break with a paragraph break during the conversion to Word format, it removes the “space after” formatting from the text before the line break, so that it actually still looks like a manual line break.)

This is not because manual line breaks do not exist in Word. Rather, I suspect it is because Microsoft Word uses a non-standard code for manual line breaks, whereas Pages uses the Unicode character for a manual line break, which is not supported properly in Word.

It is important to know this, because, in spite of the work-around used by Pages to make the formatted text still look like it has a manual line break in Word, the actual converted text has a paragraph break, which means that the document has a different paragraph count, and if the Word user changes the text formatting, he might reveal these pseudo “line breaks” created by Pages for what they are, i.e. paragraph breaks with no space after.

Related post: Pages: Line breaks vs. paragraph breaks

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