Pages 3.0: Word count now includes text in tables

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft, Pages
November 30th, 2007 • 9:42 am

With all the problems in Apple’s Pages that I write abouton this site, I am pleased to report at least one piece of good news.

As of Pages 3.0, Pages’ word count feature now also includes the word count of text that is within table cells:

Word count in document inspector

Yes, I hate to break it to you, Pages 2.0 users: If you have text inside tables and rely on Pages’ word count feature (in the document inspector) to give you an accurate word count of your document, you are getting screwed. In Pages 2.0, the text is simply not counted at all. Oops.

In Pages 3.0, it now is counted properly, which means that I can actually trust Pages to give me a fairly accurate word count when I have to give estimates to my clients for their translation work—not that any of my clients send me work in Pages format, mind you! It’s just that, for a fair amount of Word or RTF or WordPerfect documents that I receive, I am actually able to work on them in Pages and then send the result of my work back to my client in his format of choice, and he does not need to know that I didn’t use Microsoft Word to do my work.

I still cannot do this for really complex Word documents with text frames, graphics, and other ugly elements generated by Microsoft Word’s so-called “advanced” features. But for fairly simple, straightforward documents, I don’t really hesitate to use Pages instead anymore. Pages does a good enough job of preserving the text and document formatting when it imports the original Word document and then when I export the result as a new Word document again. (I regularly check these Word documents created by Pages’ export feature in Word itself, just to make sure things are OK.)

Maybe one day I will really be Microsoft-free in my work, and I tell you, it will be a major relief. We’re not quite there yet, but at least we are making steps in the right direction.

Now, if only Apple would also fix the bugs and flaws in its own software a bit more aggressively…

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