I’m trying to scan a number of legal documents into Pages in order to circulate them among family members for their review and comment. They all have Apple computers with iWork ’09’s Pages and would be able to use the Comment and Track Changes features to post their suggested changes. While my Epson Stylus NX415 will scan a copy of each page into my computer, the file format scans the documents into PDF, and Pages will not import them so that I can make my changes for the family to review and comment on. Is there some way to convert the PDF files so we all can use our Pages program to get consensus on these documents without having to type them into Pages first?
It’s true that Pages won’t import your PDF as an editable file. You can drag a PDF into a Pages document, but it’s added as an image, and you and your family still won’t be able to edit the text. We’ve got two workarounds that won’t cost you any money or cause you much trouble.
Preview's annotations tools let you mark up PDF files.
One is to forgo Pages and have your family open the PDF files in Preview (if they’ve all got Macs, they’ve all got Preview, after all). Preview has annotation tools that let your family make comments and even let you see who made those comments. To access them, click the Annotate button in the toolbar along the top, which launches an annotation toolbar at the bottom. Its buttons, from left to right, let you draw arrows, circles, and rectangles right on your PDFs; make text boxes to type right over the PDF; add notes and comments in the margins that are date-stamped and include the commenter’s name; and strike out, underline, or highlight text. When they save the marked-up PDF and send it back, you can see a whole list of annotations by opening Preview’s sidebar (View > Sidebar > Show Sidebar) and clicking the little pencil button at the bottom, or pressing Command-Option-4.
The second workaround: If you really, really want to use Pages, you can first open the PDF in Preview, select all the text, and copy/paste it into Pages--although most, if not all, of the formatting will be gone. This will work fine if it’s only the words that matter, but if your family needs to see what the document looks like, stick with marking up the PDFs in Preview.
Pasting the text from a PDF into Pages can do a number on its formatting.
Or if you don’t mind spending some money, PDF2Office for iWork ($59, recosoft.com) will convert your PDFs into editable files for Pages or Keynote, and it does a better job of keeping the formatting more or less intact.