MS Word Wins the Copy Paste Test


You want to grab the guts of a web page and save it for later. You don’t want the hyperlinks on the bottom, or the ads along the side. Just the important stuff right in the middle of the page. Click, drag the blue selection around the interesting part, right-click and copy to clipboard. You could paste into Word but you recall the recent install of Pages on your new Macbook Pro, the Apple equivalent of Microsoft Word. You quickly create a blank Pages document and paste but have disappointing results. Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because you wanna know which word processor would win in a Kung Fu fight between Word and Pages. I’m here to announce that Microsoft Word (as much as I LOVE Apple and Pages) puts the roundhouse on Pages in the copy/paste match. I kind of expected more from Pages, though I’e performed this test in the past with similar results.

The test goes like this. You copy some arbitrary web content, open a new document, paste the content, and hope things look similar to how they looked in your web browser. This is such a natural abuse of a word processor that MS Word almost never disappoints. The exception is the rare occasion when there is specialized Javascript and/or CSS involved that caters to a certain environment. Pages seems to get most of the formatting correct but ignores tables in copied content. Again this is not the first time I’ve attempted to copied a partial web page into Pages nor is it the only time I’ve had a disappointing outcome.

MS Word Table
Couchbase Network port table copied into Word

Pages Table
Couchbase Network port table copied into Pages

My experience with Pages vs. Word is different starting from “File New”. I don’t know why, but I feel more comfortable working with Pages. This may be why I keep trying to use it instead of Word. Apple concedes that Microsoft “knows” productivity in the latest iPad keynote and this example of how Word can simply “produce a copy of content” reinforces that sediment. Still, I am routing for the upcoming rival.

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