I am always amazed that people will commit to such large projects on the faith that Pages is a simple clone of MsWord, which it is not. At the minimum a quick test of exchanging documents would be in order.
Try a much tighter clone of MsOffive: LibreOffice [free] and see if you can open the document with that. Also I'd test the file you were given on a PC with MsWord and a Mac with MsWord if they are available. Sometimes the file is not what it seems.
I guess I wasn't clear before. My editor and I have been relaying this same document back and forth for several months, each of us tracking changes in various isolated sections, without any problems.
However, when she submitted the manuscriupt with edits throughout the entire document is when the trouble started.
Maybe my expectations of Pages were unrealistic, but it doesn't come with a booklet that says, "will crash at x file size" so please pardon my naiveté.
In your opinion, would it be better for me to run out and purchase Microsoft office 2011 and use Word?
Also, I am able to open the document, and start to work with it, but it inevitably crashes after I've tried to process a few changes.
Sorry thanks for the additional clarification. Still my opinion still stands that Pages isn't really up to it on several fronts.
1. The continued cycle of exporting and reimporting
2. The length
Have you tried opening it with LibreOffice, before paying for Word for Mac which is not cheap and is also not absolutely 100% a match for Ms Office on the PC. Word for Mac will be the absolutely most compatible with the PC version, the most compatible will be the PC version, but LibreOffice might just do.
TextEdit will also open Word files but I am not sure about comments.
Thank you Peter. I love the word "free", however:
One thing that Pages does which I love and I don't think LibreOffice does is displaying the bubbles in the margins that indicate each and every edit (not just comments), and allows me to accept or reject changes on the spot by clicking on either the checkmark or the X, without having to open the "accept changes" window, which is extremely inefficient.
If I've missed this feature in LO, can you guide me how to find it?
I'm assuming MS Word has this feature. I always figured Pages copied from Word, right?
Incidentally, as a temporary workaround, my Editor had her assistant break down the master document into 100-page chunks and send it to me in 4 pieces. This seems to be holding together for now, however, I'm about to start working on another manuscript, so I'd like to iron out all my bugs moving forward. MS Word might just be worth the investment, given the many hours spent trying to resolve this thing into the wee hours last night and again this morning.
But if file size really is the issue (which it seems to be), will I not run into similar problems in MS Word. Your opinion is greatly appreciated.
Also, if it matters, I have 2.20 Gb of RAM available, more than half my full 4Gb capacity. This should be more than adequate, right?
The most critical path is the punctual Editorial roundtrip of your manuscript revisions. You cannot afford to work with tools that circumvent that goal.
There is a possibility that your manuscript has grown to where working with it in Pages randomly exhausts available system memory. If your machine has only 4GB of memory, and you are accustomed to concurrently open applications and documents while working on your manuscript-- try rebooting and use Pages exclusively. Any change?
If no improvement from the preceding paragraph, you may have simply hit the wall with Pages compatibility and would be well advised to purchase Office 2011 for Mac before April 30, 2013. If you do, you will qualify for a free download of the next (2013) version. Though both free downloads, neither Apache OpenOffice nor its descendent LibreOffice offer 100% document compatibility with MS Word. Even after 20 years of development evolution, you still have to pull down a menu to see the word count.