7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2013 3:51 PM by PeterBreis0807
legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm buildng a large-ish document in Pages 09 (about 140 pages) with lots of photos and text wrapping and about 40,000 words over five sections. The issue is when proof reading through it, if I need to make any amendments or alterations to the text, it's a real trial as it's painfully slow. The problem is that if you add one character, then the entire document from that character onwards (at least until the end of a given section) reflows. Add another character and it reflows again. Make a typo and delete a character and it reflows yet again. There's a huge amount of unnecessary processing going on.


In the old days of Aldus PageMaker 4.0 (yes, I am that old!) the system was much more elegant - you could open a separate text edit window, make the changes and then close the window again, meaning any reflowing would only have to happen once.


Admittedly my machine isn't super powerful with 2 Gigabytes of RAM and a 1.25Gigahertz PowerPC processor, but PageMaker used to run well on 4 Megabytes of RAM and 32 Megahertz processor, so I can't believe a lack of processing power is the problem.


Is there an elegant fix for this?


I thought about cutting and pasting chunks of text into another Pages document, editing and re-pasting, but going in and out with chunks of text is asking for mistakes to slip through. (Part of my reason for proof reading is to ensure that I don't have occasional orphan lines from one passage flowing over to another).


Any help or advice gratefully received.

Mac OS X (10.5.8), 17" iMac PPC G4 1.25 GHz 10.5.8
  • 1. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    fruhulda Level 6 Level 6 (15,110 points)

    Large photos in MB that is will strain the memory given to Pages. Make sure you have resized the photos before adding them to Pages, because Pages will keep all data about the photo even if you make them smaller in the Pages document.

    Also Save the document often. You might need to close the document once in a while after saving so Pages will forget all the changes you've made since you opened the document.


    You could try using Track Changes. It might help your issue. Read more about it in the Pages User Guide, downlaodable from your Pages Help menu, chapter 4. I don't have a document that I can't do tests on to see if it will help. It might not help at all.

  • 2. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    victoryhat Level 3 Level 3 (665 points)

    I was thinking you could seperate each section/chapter into seperate documents, and then combine them when you are finished editing.

  • 3. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    The lack of RAM in particular is causing your Mac to write to the hard drive a lot and that is going to be slow particularly on your older and slower Mac. You may have compounded the problem by not having much space free on your hard drive. OSX likes 20% free, 10% minimum.


    Are you using a lot of special effects like frames, shadowing, reflections, transparency, rotated objects etc all with text wrap? That is asking for trouble.


    You could break each section into a separate document, setting the numbering to continue on. I am uncertain as to the actual content and structure of the book but I would have expected more sections.


    Actually writing in a completely graphical layout is a very bad idea as it leads to these issues. One that seems to be considered the norm unfortunately these days. A well designed publication should be assembled from Word Processed text and images towards the end of the design process. It keeps the tasks of writing and appearance separate as they should be.


    Pagemaker had a separate editing environment for exactly this reason.



  • 4. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks for the replies.


    I've recently upgraded the hard drive to a 250GB with 170GB still free so no issues there.


    And I take the point about effects. Though there are a couple of rotated pics and shadows, the vast majority are just straight photos, though I concede they've all been imported in full and resized.


    And I concur about word processing within the layout which is precisely why I wrote the principle copy in a separate document and 'poured' it into the layout. But I always feel the final proof read should be exactly as the final thing will be seen and that invariably means finding typos or wanting to make odd changes to words or phrases here and there.


    The same problem applies when you try to add, move or resize a photo - the text re-wraps and re-wraps around it as you move it. It just seems processor-wasteful. I've even started switching off "item causes textwrap" when moving stuff and then switching it on again after I've made the change as it's so much quicker.


    I just can't help wondering why something that worked well 20 years ago with a hundredth of the processing power of my current Mac is such a trial today. I have a hunch that Pages is putting too much effort into unnecessary or invisible bells and whistles and not enough into doing the job in hand.


    A part of me is tempted to boot up from my external drive in 10.3 and use PageMaker in Classic as, even with all the extra classic conversion processing, my G4 absolutely ripped through eveything I'd ask of it in PageMaker or Claris/AppleWorks. The only reason I don't is that I want the document to work on my eventual next Mac which will have to have an Intel processor. Pages is supposed to be much better optimized for OS-X - a fact which was cited by Apple as partly justifying ditching AppleWorks - but even just opening it up, it grinds compared to AppleWorks despite (it seems to me) only having one or two features that AppleWorks didn't have and missing quite a few that it did. It also frequently stops responding for several seconds before starting up again, though many of my other applications seem to do the same.


    But I guess that's progress!


    Thanks again for the replies.


    P.S. I've tried everything to fix the 'not responding' issue, including defragging; reloading the OS from scratch; cloning the drive to a spare, initializing and cloning back; and when I recently upgraded the drive I used Time Machine to load the new drive in the hope that it might have a more sophisticated optimization process. So far nothing's worked, and since the G5 Mac I use at work often exhibits the same behaviour, I've simply had to accept it as a fact of life.

    But it never happened on my old LC! 

  • 5. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    Your old LC ran the classic Mac OS which was much smaller than OSX and used substantially less resources.


    The same with your old Pagemaker and AppleWorks which had no transparency, and none of the many effects in Pages '09.


    I take your point because I have a 14 year old iMac which has Quark Xpress 4.2 on it and yes it is amazingly fast doing what it does, but that is in large part due to its simplicity. It doesn't attempt the complexities of using large character set Unicode fonts, or complex high resolution graphics interacting with each other in the way that Pages does.


    I agree that OSX and iWork software along with much of what Apple has created in the last 14 years is bloated and often inefficient.


    Apple praises itself every opportunity it can for sophisticated design and programming, with unfortunately very little on the ground to back that up. Day to day I too get frustrated with UI that breaks Apples own rules and guidelines. You should see some of the amazingly dumb decisions in Aperture I just encountered the other day. You wouldn't believe the programmers had seen OSX and its conventions before.


    I wish Apple would get its house in order and start spending its immense wealth and resources with more purpose and vision. Certainly to fix what needs fixing in Pages and the rest of the iWork suite. They are promising something by Christmas. I hope that really is true, but reserve judgement knowing where it has been heading in the recent past has rarely been 'progress", instead introducing a more confusing and obtuse interface, a lot of which is hidden from the user adding to the confusion.


    However having said that I don't think you can compare what your older software does with what Pages does now. They are an entire generation apart in features and unfortunately the added features have put a greater burden on the hardware. Nothing much can be done by us users anyway, Apple just does what it thinks is best and disregards everyone and everything else. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope that we do get improvements soon.



  • 6. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Peter.


    It sounds like you and I are rather on the same page(s - forgive the pun, couldn't resist.)


    I confess I haven't quite recovered from the AppleWorks betrayel. I used it a great deal and all my accounts were done in an AppleWorks database in an ongoing file I created in the nineties and have refined ever since. I have had to spend a huge amount of time and effort and no small expense learning new software to get back where I was a decade ago in order to future proof my files. Not happy!


    That said, I remain a Mac fan but no longer have any sense of brand loyalty. Why should I?


    Despite its faults, Pages is a good application and I'm pleased with the end result - but I'm convinced the new features could have been built into AppleWorks at a fraction of the processing cost.


    And with the rest of the world using MS Word, I'm now left wondering how long it will be before Apple dumps Pages and causes me a load more problems. As a precaution, I now routinely create a PDF of every project once its finished as it's the only file format that I feel confident will still be supported in 10, 20, 30 years time.


    That is not the Apple experience I grew up with and is, I think, indicative of how badly Apple has let down those of us who dare to keep their products for more than six months.


    Thanks again for your thoughts. It's nice to know I'm not alone in some of these observations.

  • 7. Re: Alternative to Entire Document Reflowing with Every Keystroke?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    You have pinned one gnawing problem with Apple's behavior. How long can the .pages format be read before it too is abandoned and unuseable. Even between versions this can be a problem.


    FileMaker has recently cut loose its Bento users, in that grand Apple tradition. Imagine having taken them at their word and put all your data in Bento files!


    I highly recommend using the Open File formats, which Apple refuses to support, for this very reason.