Help Needed: Pages ’08 Borks Endnotes When Exporting to Word

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I’m losing my mind. I’ve spent the last two evenings trying to get a 300-page document written in Apple’s Pages ’08 word processor to export properly to Word format.

The bulk of the document exports OK, but it screws up hundreds of endnotes: the markers jump to the wrong endnotes. I’ve tried everything I can think of — exporting to PDF (which can’t track changes) or RTF (which strips the endnote markers).

Anyone got any ideas?

UPDATE: Many thanks for all the suggestions. I eventually found a solution. There were several problems with the endnote markers in the Pages document. The most serious was a missing endnote marker right at the beginning of the 300-page document, which caused all the subsequent endnotes markers to point to the wrong records. Trouble is, the problem only manifested itself when I exported to Word. The missing marker wasn’t apparent in the Pages document — it only showed up after exporting to Word! And no matter what I tried, I could not get rid of that screwy marker. So here’s what I did:

1. Convert all the endnotes to footnotes.

2. Cut and paste the document, one chapter at a time, to separate Pages documents.

3. Export each Pages document to Word, one at a time, carefully checking that all the endnote markers work.

4. Reassemble from the separate chapters in Word.

Miraculously, it worked. Why? No idea. Note: Exporting the Pages as a PDF works better than exporting to Word for preserving endnotes. All the endnotes are present and correct, but you can no longer track changes.

Again, many thanks for the suggestions.

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  • whitebear

    had the same problem before. i learnt my lesson, to write up in word, then do the fancy layout in pages….

    would also love to hear of a solution

  • DibS

    Copy from the Pages doc and paste into the Word doc? Split it into separate docs? Just spitballing here…

  • Chris

    Did you try copying and pasting to TextEdit then into Word? probably won’t work but you never know.

  • leigh

    Did you try exporting to DocX (word 2008′s propraitary XML format) format (I know pages 08 can read DocX, I don’t know if it can write it)

    if it will, then try and open on a PC with the latest version of word (or word 2008 beta) and see if that does the trick.

  • Larry

    Actually, try just pasting directly into Word. I’ve had a similar problem when importing Excel files into Numbers, they get all borked up. But copying and pasting works just dandy.

  • Neil

    Depending on your situation, you might want to reconsider going the PDF route. You can’t track changes in the same way you can with Word…but for my document reviews (I’m a tech writer), I enable commenting, and anyone with Reader can put in their edits and send it to me. You can then roll all the review comments into one document. Not perfect, but sounds like you’re up against it.

  • Nerg

    Try down loading the latest version of Neo Office and then either import if possible or cut and paste into a new document and save as word format. Best of luck.

  • Conor

    Second vote for NeoOffice. I presume you did indeed try pasting right into Word, but if that didn’t work, try pasting into NeoOffice. You never know.

    I’m a diehard of NeoOffice, if only for ODF. Open standards man, c’mon. Make this conversation crap a thing of the past.

  • Gareth

    If none of the above works try endnotes instead. As a documenting format endnotes they are clumsy but they are widely accepted.

  • 01

    I know this probably won’t help you know (and I’m not even sure if it supports Pages) but EndNote by Thomson software (linked at bottom) is a pretty solid piece of reference software. you can maintain the references in the program, and insert into your document in several different ways. Good luck, I know what a nightmare formating issues can be.

    http://www.endnote.com/

  • 01

    …won’t help you [B]now[/B]

  • aaro

    won’t help you now, but why are you not using LaTeX for a document this big? Three hours of learning will save you a lifetime of frustration.

  • Matthew

    Just off the top of my head, why don’t you change the Inspector setting to footnotes instead of endnotes, export it to Word format, if it exports properly, change them back to endnotes in Word? May just be crazy enough to work. I don’t have Word on my Mac, so I dunno. Good luck!

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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