8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2013 6:59 PM by David Henderson7
David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

I'm rewriting a 330-page book, copying each session's output back and forth between OS 10.6.8 Snow Leopard on a MacBook Pro and 10.7.5 Lion on an iMac. I'm doing this to meet deadlines, which requires me to work in two locations. Unable to "Save As" on the iMac, I have used the Duplicate command to assign a progress number to the book before copying it to the MacBook Pro, where I perform additional work on the manuscript. From there it goes back to the iMac, and the back-and-forth process continues.


Tonight, thinking I have completed three weeks of work, I ran through the page thumbnails on the Pages siebar an discovered the 330 pages had grown to 660. Apparently a more recent version had been added atop an earlier one. Unfortunately, the same date and progress number has been assigned to both as if it were a single document. I also discovered this double-up situation goes back at least six versions. This means changes made on prior versions may not be included on later ones. The only way I can produce a finished document from this mess is by arranging side-by-side comparisons of every line on every page, six times! This looks like a full-time job that may take weeks to accomplish!


Can anyone tell me how this happened? How can I avoid it reoccurring?


(Because I'm frustrated at missing the deadline, I'm ready to trash the iMac and Lion as an unusable combination of Apple hardware and software that has disrupted my entire business. The lack of a "Save As" command and reliance on auto-saving is a widely-known disaster among Mac users, and I'm unaware of any Apple efforts to undo the damage. Moreover, the auto-save activity in Pages causes the program to freeze for a few seconds after every touch of the Return/Enter key on the iMac. It slows down my writing to the point where I've had to compose some projects with TextEdit and paste it into Pages afterwards.)

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • 1. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,620 points)

    It would probably be user error. There is nothing I know of in Pages other than a manual merge that could do this.


    If possible I suggest getting off Lion (OSX 10.7) and onto Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8) to avoid most of this and use either iCloud or DropBox to do your syncing.


    You are right to trash Lion, IMHO it was a shocker and best forgotten. Everything that was wrong with it mostly got fixed in Mountain Lion. The Save As was brought back for a start.


    I am no fan of Auto Save in general, if you must have it then use a 3rd party utility that gives you some control over how it is done.


    Sorry for your difficulties.


    I know what a pain versioning can be, a client did me over on an Annual Report in the early days of DTP and it was burnt into my memory. I was receiving corrections from 2 separate representatives of the client who were altering each others changes, ARRRRRGH! Then having ruined their own copy of the printed out changes, one "borrowed" mine leaving me with no record of the on-going disaster. Needless to say it took over 2 weeks of working round the clock to fix it all and then they got the bill shock at the end of it and didn't want to pay.



  • 2. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4 (2,115 points)

    I would suspect that at some point you accidently used Edit>Duplicate instead of File>Duplicate and doubled the content instead of creating a new file.

  • 3. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Peter, thank you for your helpful suggestions. I wasn't aware that Mountain Lion brought back the Save As command. Also, the user error possibility you suggested appears to be at least partially correct. The response following yours, from Jeff Shenk, mentions the Edit>Duplicate vs File>Duplicate functions as a probable cause, and I believe he's right. My observations are included in my reply to him.


    Regarding the Mountain Lion upgrade suggestion, I guess I'm going to have to do that. Lion 10.7 is such a pain, especially after I was "spoiled" by Leopard, which I thought was the nearly faultless and best OS ever produced by anyone (my Apple experience goes back to about 1984).


    But my more recent upgrade experiences -- from Leopard to Snow Leopard, and then to Lion -- threw me into hours, days, and even weeks of printing and security issues. This isn't the proper forum, so I'll just say I still can't print certain documents in some of my printers (lack of proper drivers), nor even alter documents created in my other computers without first going through a tedious process of establishing new user privileges.


    With deadlines facing me every day, I hesitate to "upgrade" the OS for fear of unleashing even more gremlins. But if I want "Save As" -- I guess I must.



  • 4. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Jeff, thank you for your suggestion that Edit>Duplicate -- vs. File>Duplicate -- could have caused the problem. As I found out, the Edit>Duplicate command becomes functional only if you click inside the thumbnail sidebar, and then it selects -- and duplicates -- all pages within the selection border. In my case, it was the entire book. And it adds the selection to the existing document. I wasn't aware of this danger because the Edit>Duplicate command is grayed out when working on the actual pages. I wasn't even aware it existed after using Pages for more than two years on several books.


    It's dangerous that two different processes have the same command name. My cursor apparently was in the sidebar when I looked for the Duplicate command, and I hit the wrong one because of that. Over the many nights that I edited and copied the versions between computers, I made a lot of changes, often just a different adjective in a paragraph, while other paragraphs were rewritten entirely. Many sentences were deleted, Many new sentences were added. As a result, I must do more than page-by-page or paragraph-by-paragraph comparisons of the six versions. It's going to require word-by-word comparisons -- all 75,000 of them.


    My deadline was April 1. And the April Fool joke is on me.


    This lesson should go on an Apple bulletin board : beware to all authors!


    Because there's no solution to what happened, I'm using the gold star for help to you and Peter.




  • 6. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Peter, that's a terrific surprise -- a list of links to software for comparing/merging different files.


    This could be the solution. It would be especially nice if one or more of these programs highlights the differences, then  allows me a choice of manually or automatically performing the merge. I have arranged the book's layout with fairly precise alignments, which could be thrown off-kilter if an auto-merge doesn't account for character kerning, etc. But it would be a big help just to locate the differences.


    Thank you so much for researching and providing the links. I'll return here to credit you for the solution, as soon as I affirm that.

  • 7. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Peter, I'm sure your list of software utilities for comparing different manuscript versions will be the solution I need. I've marked the problem solved. Thank you for contributing your time and effort on this question. Apple users are fortunate indeed to have resources like you and Jeff participating in these forums.


    Dave H

  • 8. Re: Duplicating Pages combines two versions into one
    David Henderson7 Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Peter, my feedback was intended to credit your list of software resouces as a solution, as well.

    The credit only went to your prior post regarding the Mountain Lion upgrade.


    Dave H