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I'm trying to copy stuff (including tables) from a web page and paste it into a Pages document, retaining html formatting (as much as possible). With Pages'09 this used to work using OpenOffice as intermediate pasteboard: copy html - paste in OO - copy in OO - paste in Pages. Quite silly, but at least it worked.

However, after I've upgraded to the newest iWork, this doesn't work anymore. Table cells come out as ordinary paragraphs.

Is there a way to get formatted HTML into Pages?

  • Pages in iOS or on a Mac? – Daniel Nov 24 '14 at 12:29
  • @DanielLawson Pages 09 can only be on a Mac. – Tom Gewecke Nov 24 '14 at 12:38
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You can paste the contents of a HTML table in a table in Pages, so the table has to be there already.

You can create a table with Insert -> Table -> Plain. The number of rows and columns doesn't matter. Then you have to select the first cell in the table. Make sure you don't select the whole table, and you don't select the contents of the cell (blinking cursor). If you paste, the table will be filled with the contents of the HTML table. If there are more rows or columns in the table in Pages, the extra rows/columns will stay empty. If there are not enough rows or columns, Pages will add them.

Creating the table first in Pages is an extra step. But you don't have to use OpenOffice as an intermediate anymore, so I think this will actually be easier for you.

  • This is indeed the preferred way of doing this, however the op says he is copying stuf including tables, but not just tables. Also, the styling of the table is not copied from the html. – dennismuijs Nov 24 '14 at 10:41
  • You are right, my solution only works for a single table at once, and without the formatting. It's strange Pages can't handle html, neither with import/export nor with copy/paste. – Lemming Nov 24 '14 at 10:57
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There seems to be no way to get formatted html tables into Pages, though other kinds of formatting will work. On Firefox, you're out of luck unfortunately. I just tested this now, using the latest version of Pages.

  • Firefox to Pages: unformatted
  • Firefox to TextEdit: unformatted
  • Chrome to Pages: unformatted
  • Chrome to TextEdit: formatted with tables
  • Safari to Pages: formatted, no tables
  • Safari to TextEdit: formatted with tables
  • TextEdit to Pages: formatted, no tables
  • Yosemite Safari to Pages 5 did not work for me, the table was converted to a bunch of text paras. Could you provide the url of an example that worked for you? – Tom Gewecke Nov 27 '14 at 22:58
  • Yup, seeing the same thing. I thought I was pasting tables but it was just divs. – miken32 Nov 28 '14 at 18:21
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Go back to using Pages 09. It does not get deleted when you download Pages 5, you should find it in Applications/iWork. The 2013 update is missing dozens of useful features which many users have relied upon, including the one you mention. There are good reasons why it gets very poor reviews in the App store. An alternative is of course Word or Open/LibreOffice.

  • Moreover you will get much advanced helps on Pages '09 than on Pages '11, because competent users choose Pages '09. – dan Nov 27 '14 at 11:28
  • "Use program Y" is not a good answer to the question "How can I do this in program X?" – miken32 Nov 27 '14 at 21:30
  • @miken32 It could be a critically important answer if the asker does not realize that "upgrading" Pages does not remove the earlier version with which he was very satisfied. I've have found this is quite a common situation with this particular app, whose new version is crippled in many ways. – Tom Gewecke Nov 27 '14 at 22:04
  • Indeed, amazing how brilliant Apple is at making things worse ;) – georg Nov 30 '14 at 11:05
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Apparently apple changed more than just their design for the new iwork suite, it appears pages can't handles as many file types as it used to.
You need to find out which format you can use that keeps html formatting but is paste-able in pages, see pages supported file formats for more info about this, and definitely check out this answer.

I found out that if you copy your html and export it to pdf via TextEdit.app you can import the pdf in pages and keep the formatting of html elements, the only problem is, the imported pdf wil behave as an image, so you can't change any values in it.
Not ideal I know but as far as I can see there is no other way to do it.

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Can you modify your workflow a bit? Copy HTML, paste into alternate word processor, save that file as a .doc/.docx, then open the resulting file in Pages. I just tried this (copy HTML including table to Word 2011, save as .docx, opened in Pages 5) and it worked fine for me.

It is more awkward as inserting the table into an existing document will require saving a temporary file and then the wait for it to be converted to Pages format, but it does work.

I do definitely see the issue with straight copy-paste though. It is frustrating that Pages does not even include an option to paste special and retain source formatting or structure.

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