Pages ’09: Export as Word fails to preserve footnote numbering option

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft, Pages
February 18th, 2011 • 10:44 am

If, like me, you quite often use Pages ’09 instead of the Holy Crappiness known as Microsoft Word, and just export your Pages documents as Word documents before sharing them with other people, there are a number of problems that you need to be aware of and that require that you edit your exported Word documents before sending them out.

I have already mentioned on this blog the problem with manual line breaks (shift-Return), which are converted into paragraph marks or disappear altogether when they appear inside table cells.

Another problem that I’ve just encountered is with footnote numbering options. Try the following:

  1. Create a new blank document in Pages ’09.
  2. Type some text, then insert an automatic footnote, which will be numbered 1.
  3. Then insert a section break, type some text, and inserted another automatic footnote. This second footnote will be numbered 2 by default.
  4. Then go to the “Document” inspector and, under the “Document” tab, select the option to have the footnote numbering restart for each section. This will cause the second footnote to be numbered 1 as well, since it’s the first footnote in a new section.
  5. Finally, export the document as a Word document and open it in Word 2011.

On my system, when I do this, in Word 2011 the second footnote is numbered 2, not 1.

In other words, it looks like the Export as Word feature in Pages ’09 fails to convert this option to the corresponding “Restart each section” option in Word, which can be accessed via the “Insert › Footnote…” menu. (Yes, in Word you have to use the “Insert” menu even when you don’t want to insert anything. The same thing goes for deleting bookmarks, for example.)

What is strange is that, if I reopen the same Word document back in Pages (i.e. reimport the exported Word document in Pages), the footnote numbering does restart for each section. So the numbering option is not entirely lost in the process of exporting in Word format. It just looks like it’s stored in a way that Word does not understand and ignores.

Unfortunately, whatever the reason for this problem is, the fact remains that, if you use this footnote numbering option in Pages ’09, it won’t be reflected in your document if you export it as a Word document. So that’s one other thing to be aware of when sharing Pages ’09 documents in Word format.

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