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Pages works natively only with its own file format (.pages documents), but will import and export a variety of formats, including Word, Rich Text Format (RTF), and plain text. It will even export to PDF and HTML formats.

The main thing for the user to note is that Pages converts these supported document formats to its own format for reading and editing. You can’t work directly in a Word document, for instance (see Figure 2). Inevitably, importing or exporting a file runs the risk of making changes to the formatting. While that’s not much of an issue with plain text files, if you’re collaborating with others using RTF files or Word files the nuisance value may be significant.

With RTF files, for example, Pages uses graphics only if they’re included as part of an RTFD package. By contrast, Word can use graphics included in plain RTF files. Word files are handled a bit more robustly in Pages, but don’t expect the high-end features of either program to carry across to the other. Advanced typography used on a Pages document will be lost when that document is converted to the Word format, whereas things such as macros and styles set up in Word are lost when the document is imported by Pages.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Pages imports Word documents but cannot edit them directly. While it’s good enough for opening simple Word documents such as letters and articles, expect to find formatting glitches where page layout has been done in Word.

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