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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers Apps
Recently I was working in Numbers to format some tables, and wanted them stored in Pages as a picture. In Microsoft Word, you can use the Paste Special command to force the clipboard to paste as a picture, but there is no equivalent in Pages.

The workaround I found was this:
  1. Copy the table in Numbers.
  2. Open Preview and press command-N to paste the table as a new PDF.
  3. Copy the table, now a PDF, from Preview and paste it into pages.
[robg adds: As an alternative, I tried using Shift-Command-Control-4 (capture region to clipboard) to capture the table in Numbers, then pasting into Pages. While this works, there's a very noticeable quality difference compared to the above method -- using Preview results in a much higher quality image. This was true regardless of which image format I used for the screen capture (using this hint to change the format).]
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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers
Authored by: rhowell on May 12, '09 09:08:16AM
Rob, doesn't using Preview result in an infinitely higher quality "image". I don't have iWork, but I'm guessing that the pasted object is vector-based. Can confirm by zooming in repeatedly.

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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers
Authored by: boxcarl on May 12, '09 04:12:13PM

I can confirm that the Preview.app version is an "infinitely" zoomable PDF.



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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers
Authored by: joerick on May 12, '09 10:23:31AM

One thing I really miss switching from Word to Pages is Paste Special. Wish Apple would implement it.



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Clipboard contains two versions of Numbers clipping
Authored by: billclinton on May 12, '09 02:20:04PM

Hmm.... This situation is slightly weird. It seems that when cutting from Numbers, the clipboard retains both a PDF version and a "table" version of what you cut. If you paste into e.g. TextEdit or Pages, you get the table version with editable entries and cell adjustments. When going through Preview, it sees the PDF version on the clipboard and upon Command-N makes a new PDF document. Preview does not do the conversion—it can't know, from merely the "table" version, how the table looked in Numbers (with, e.g., background colors). If you select, say, some random text and open Preview, the "New from Clipboard" is disabled.

Also, iClip reports the Numbers clipping as a PDF, so it doesn't even see the "table" version. (Although it does not interfere with the pasting behavior I described above.)



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Clipboard contains two versions of Numbers clipping
Authored by: gopes on May 12, '09 08:35:31PM
When going through Preview, it sees the PDF version on the clipboard and upon Command-N makes a new PDF document. Preview does not do the conversion—it can't know, from merely the "table" version, how the table looked in Numbers (with, e.g., background colors). If you select, say, some random text and open Preview, the "New from Clipboard" is disabled.
Preview will make a new PDF from a text box copied to the clipboard. I really have no idea, but Preview doesn't seem to be copying the pixels from the rasterized version for display (a screenshot).

In any case, the clipboard is pretty clever; my other favorite feature is that it copies an actual web page out of (at least) WebKit apps. That is, if you select from "Post Mode" below this entry box down to below the 'Preview' button and pasting into, for example, an email in Mail, you'll have copied not just the formatting and the buttons, but background blocks as well (i.e. I can 'close' the 'Important Stuff' section by clicking it and clicking the close button).

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Clipboard contains two versions of Numbers clipping
Authored by: beepotato on May 13, '09 02:52:42AM
This situation is actually not weird at all.
It was an innovation of the Macintosh clipboard to be able to store multiple representations of the same data, as can be read in the last paragraph of this story: http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=The_Grand_Unified_Model.txt.

Ideally, an application in which the user cuts (or copies) some data should put on the clipboard as many representations of the data as it can. The application in which the user pastes the data will then pick the type (of the ones it can handle) best suited to the situation.
This is what allows an application that handles only plain text to paste formatted text that the user copied from somewhere else: the application does not have to go through the formatted text data in the clipboard and remove formatting itself. There is already a plain text representation of the same data available on the clipboard.

Here, when a table is copied in Numbers, the application puts the table data (understandable only by iWorks applications) on the clipboard, but also graphical representations of the table in PDF, TIFF and PICT, as well as RTF and plain text representations. When pasting, Pages will use the iWorks table data, as it is the representation with the most information and it can handle it. But Preview, only able to handle graphics, will pick the best graphical representation, i.e. the PDF.

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Clipboard contains two versions of Numbers clipping
Authored by: billclinton on May 13, '09 03:46:39PM
It was an innovation of the Macintosh clipboard to be able to store multiple representations of the same data, as can be read in the last paragraph of this story: http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=The_Grand_Unified_Model.txt.
Well, that's certainly an interesting link. I've known of the styled/plain text example but for some reason, seeing this obvious clipboard behavior explained from 1981 strikes me as more than a little interesting. Thanks.

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Paste as PDF into Pages from Numbers
Authored by: pbeyersdorf on May 13, '09 07:50:55AM

This also works from Keynote. Often time I have a drawing in Keynote made from a collection of objects with some text as well. Grouping the items and rescaling scales the drawing objects but not the text, so if I am willing to give up the ability to edit the item, I copy the group, paste it into Preview using command-n, copy the resulting preview using command-c and then paste it back into Keynote as a pdf that scales as expected.



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