Copying & Pasting Between Pages, Number & Keynote

I have used several different Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Presentation software over the years. However, I have finally settled on Apples iWork Apps Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The initial offerings of these Apps were somewhat underpowered. The current versions are more full featured and plenty of App for my needs. One of the best features of these Apps is being able to copy and paste items between them.

Copy & Paste Functionality

The reason it is so easy to copy and past items from one of these Apps to the others is because a great deal of the codebase for each App is the same. In short, these Apps can talk to each other. So, let’s see how that works. Here is a Pages document:

Pages Doc

I want to include a chart from something I am working on in Numbers below that text:

Numbers Chart

All you have to do is click on the chart in Numbers to select it and do Command ⌘ “C” to copy it to the Clipboard. Then, place the cursor in the Pages document where you want the chart and select Command ⌘ “V” to paste in the chart from Numbers:

Pasted Chart

This is super easy and works like a champ. You can do the reverse with Numbers as well. 

Here is the same Numbers document with some text from Pages pasted below the chart:

Numbers Paste

But, there is more. Once you have an item pasted into another App, you can still edit that item. Just click on the item, in this case the chart, and some editing tools for charts appear in the Pages sidebar:

Editing Tools

If you need to tweak an item from Numbers in Pages you can, and if you need to tweak some text or graphics from Pages in Numbers you can. This all works very similar in the Keynote Presentation App. There is one caveat. If you have a  bunch of interactivity in, say, a Keynote document, that interactivity will not carry over into the other Apps. The cutting and pasting works with what I would call “flat” items, basic items.


For many Mac people Pages, Numbers and Keynote are more than adequate for their business productivity needs. I would say I use Pages the most of the three. They all have become quite sophisticated over the years. You may have need of Microsoft Office or another suite like that, but if you wish to move away from that kind of expense, give Apple’s Apps a try.