Pages 3.0 or...?

Ca
Casper
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:35 am
Location: NYC

Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:24 am Post

Hi. Can anyone tell me a quick pro/con of the new Pages? (esp. compared with Nisus or Mellel, and *gasp*, MS Word? I'm sure the quickest way is to do the free download, but I'm somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to computer apps, and every time I try to figure out a new program, I die a little bit inside.

User avatar
juh
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:06 am Post

Casper wrote:every time I try to figure out a new program, I die a little bit inside.


I am very disappointed that Apple refuses to support international standards when it comes to office software. Since we have an ISO-approved document standard it is more than carelessness not to support the OpenDocument-Format.

The free and mighty OpenOffice.org and NeoOffice are a little bit clumsy when used on Mac OS X, though I see no software, which is more compatible to M$-Office including M$-Office. (I friend of mine saved a 150 slides long mission critical PowerPoint-presentation, which was broken on several M$-Office-version on Windows and Mac by loading it into Impress the presentation module of OpenOffice.org. After a while it appears on screen and he could save it again.)

Pages comes with some impressive designed layout templates. They never suited my needs. And layouting from scratch is painful, but if you want to do some low level DTP-work you really should try Pages. Some things are really easy with Pages: colored boxes with text, floating and nonfloating pictures, nice tables and nice diagrams

Pages '08 surprised me with a function, which must have been part of the version before, but which I never tried: proofreading. It gave me some nice hints. But I did not thoroughly tested it.

In real life I always end up using NeoOffice, because either I have to share my documents with clients who are using Word or with geeks, who frequently use OpenOffice.org.

BTW: I would die not to try out new programmes. ;-)

User avatar
Gareth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 1:31 am
Platform: Mac
Location: NZ
Contact:

Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:02 am Post

I'm just about to pay (shudder) for iWork '08, partly because Numbers is all I need in a spreadsheet, and Keynote is/remains excellent. Pages swung the deal because it now tracks changes - and tracks Word changes. Given that Pages can read/save .doc files, then I can finally get rid of Word. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time.
Now available: The Aviator - a speculative fiction involving airships, AIs, and the elixir of life (which is cheese), set in a world being hammered by climate change - The Burning World. "Brilliant and wickedly satirical" - Sonny Whitelaw.

ha
hallogallo
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:50 am
Location: Umeå, Sweden

Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:18 am Post

Wow, the track changes function looks really great. Damnit. Maybe I have to buy this.

User avatar
Typo
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:18 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:30 am Post

Gareth wrote:Given that Pages can read/save .doc files, then I can finally get rid of Word. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time.


Me, too. But remember that Pages only imports and exports Word docs - you don't edit them directly. The files you edit are always .pages.

But it's definately a nice program and a good deal when you look at the whole bundle. I've bought it.

sp
spinningdoc
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:18 am

Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:51 pm Post

I like Pages and Numbers looks less clunky to use than Excel. And of course it's very very compatible with Word.

I've only ever really used Pages 06 for a bit of light layout stuff, for which it's very good. I tried using Pages 08 for normal WP, and on my G41.2 iBook, with 768mg RAM, it's noticeably slow. I'm not a fast typist (45wpm on a good day) and it was having problems keeping up. I have an old copy of MS Office knocking about which I'll continue to use when clients make it necessary, because much as I love the idea of NeoOffice, it too is too slow.

For the moment, I'm doing longer projects in Scriv, finishing off in the gorgeous Mellel, and using Bean for pure text stuff, and I think it'll stay that way.

Ro
RobertB
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:36 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:33 pm Post

spinningdoc:

That is what I plan on doing as well. Scrivener for long projects and formatted in Mellel (when needed) and Bean for simple writing. I do plan to use Pages for Stationary purposes though. My resume designed in Pages just got me a new job (well, obviously my skills and experience helped) but I was complimented on the appearance as well. I think this is where Pages shines. As a simple design and layout program.

bo
bodsham
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:58 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:58 pm Post

I can tell you one thing that can be problematic in the new Pages - comment tracking on a book length manuscript. I've just had my new book back from the editor as a Word file. I thought I'd deal with the comment tracked edits in Pages. The thing fell over five times in five minutes. Whether it's because of the length or what I don't know. But it all worked fine in Word, even on an Intel Mac - and is much faster.

It did work fine in Pages when I reimported the file and saved it again in Pages format. But it still made me a bit nervous.... If Word is more reliable then...

Mr
MrLucky
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:22 am
Location: Bellingham, USA
Contact:

Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:29 pm Post

Gareth wrote:Given that Pages can read/save .doc files, then I can finally get rid of Word. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time.


I was thinking the same thing. Then I tried it and found out that, since Pages sucks at reading .rtf docs, and Scrivener is really exporting word files in .rtf, not .doc, Scrivener's page breaks will not show up if you just open the exported file in Pages. (They work fine in TextEdit, weirdly.)

So, if you want to see your page breaks in Pages, you first have to open the exported document in MS Word, save it as a word document, then open it in Pages.

User avatar
valente.mac
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Algarve, Portugal

Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:30 pm Post

I'm not using Pages as a word editor per se. Word or Mellel (or even Bean for more simple jobs) are better on that. (Maybe Nisus too, but I haven't tested it in full.)

However, I must say that Pages is a great application to make flyers, booklets or posters. It's also very good on exporting to PDFs since it easily keeps the hyperlinks and maintains a very good quality (there are, in fact, three levels of quality to choose from).

All iWork '08 app are great on exporting to PDF. Just for that it's worth it for me. (I'm an academic researcher.)

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:49 pm Post

Val, hiya,
I`ve just clocked your website, Is it in code?

take care
vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

bh
bhpascal
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:24 am

Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:06 pm Post

My take: Pages '08 is a phenomenally designed, incredibly powerful piece of writing software with a few horrendous gaps that makes it only useful to me about half the time.

The Good: Pages has just about the best interface of any word processor on the market. The contextual toolbar is genius, the styles support is reasonably strong, and, as has already been mentioned, it exports to PDF beautifully. You can tell it was designed by Apple: everything's available easily, the Inspector doesn't feel tacked on, and it gives you quite a lot of control over typography. And now it can handle Word's comment markup, which is AWESOME. That last feature made it worth the price of admission for me.

The Bad: Pages can't write straight to word documents, or RTF, or, well, much of anything besides .pages. You have to export, which can be a PAIN. Pages fails at importing Scrivener's footnotes/endnotes -- I'm a law student, so this is kind of a dealbreaker. It's not that it imports them improperly, it doesn't import them AT ALL. If there's a workaround that doesn't involve using MSWord as a middle man, I'd love to hear it. Pages can also do some funky things with Word's formatting tricks, like the way word does text boxes, sorting criteria, etc.

Viable Alternatives: There's a lot of love on this forum for Mellel -- I could never wrap my head around the interface. It's undeniably powerful, but it runs counter to just about every human interface guideline Apple ever wrote, from toolbar icons to strange use of brushed metal. It's not that I CAN'T learn it, it's that I don't think I should have to retrain my brain for word processing.

NeoOffice: This is a Mac'd-up version of OpenOffice, rewritten in Cocoa. It's good enough, I suppose, but I just hate the fact that it's functionally a word clone. It looks like word, operates like word, tries to be word (the toolbars, the buttons, my god the toolbars and buttons I'm drowning in a sea of clickables). But it's free, and it works. so it's a good option.

Nisus Writer Pro: This is what I use. Its style support is totally awesome -- there's a separate styles pane, where you can define styles separate from the text just by making a test sentence look how you want it to. Nisus does the rest. Moreover, it handles footnotes easily, can manage tables, and, here's the best part -- its default document format is .rtf. On the downside, its not quite as solid a program as Pages interface-wise. There are some weird graphical artifacting issues under Leopard (mostly with the ruler) that should eventually get fixed. And it just feels a little clunky at times.

LaTeX: I've used it (in a former life as a scientist), I used to love it, but the truth is, it's another layer of abstraction between the content and the finished product. Scrivener purely abstracts it enough for me, when I take it from scrivener into document processing software, I want a little more control over the output. On the other hand, if you've got a rigidly fixed final form into which you just need to plug your content, then there really is nothing better. But if you're working with page limits, or you want to do something clever with formatting, you might find yourself compiling and recompiling and recompiling just to see what it looks like. That was the stop at which I hopped off the LaTeX train.

Conclusion: If it doesn't involve footnoting or require precise control over pagination, then I use Pages without a second thought. Also, it imports word documents flawlessly, it's fast, it's pretty, it's everything I want.

I just wish there were a way to get it to work properly with footnote/endnotes. Until then, I will continue to use the (still nice, but not AS nice) Nisus Writer Pro.

User avatar
valente.mac
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Algarve, Portugal

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:36 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Val, hiya,
I`ve just clocked your website, Is it in code?

take care
vic



:shock: Uh?! You mean the widely used Portuguese?! :wink:

(Or am I missing something?)

User avatar
valente.mac
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Algarve, Portugal

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:47 pm Post

Great review, bhpascal. :)

bhpascal wrote:Nisus Writer Pro: This is what I use. Its style support is totally awesome -- there's a separate styles pane, where you can define styles separate from the text just by making a test sentence look how you want it to. Nisus does the rest. Moreover, it handles footnotes easily, can manage tables, and, here's the best part -- its default document format is .rtf. On the downside, its not quite as solid a program as Pages interface-wise. There are some weird graphical artifacting issues under Leopard (mostly with the ruler) that should eventually get fixed. And it just feels a little clunky at times.


Now I'm curious about NWP. How well does it hadle tables? Because for me, besides the steep learning curve, Mellel (the app that I use for long, complex documents) is very bad on tables. I'd also like to know how it handles long documents. I mean docs with images and tables and more than 300 pages. Is NWP stable enough?

Still on Pages -- From my experience although Table of Contents capabilities are included, I can't manage to do one. Has anyone done one on Pages?

bh
bhpascal
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:24 am

Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:24 pm Post

NWP has a pretty solid table interface from what I can tell -- I can't pretend that I've used it much, but it seems to work solidly. You can also mess with borders, shading, whatever on a cell-by-cell basis. I'm not sure how well it imports Word tables. I know it's not PERFECT, but it's workable, I think.

I've also gotten ToC's to work in both NWP and Pages -- the trick to getting it work in Pages is consistently using Pages's style features. Then you just define a level of heading to be included in the ToC, and it is. In NWP, you can actually select some text and just say "Include this in ToC," and you can also do it stylistically.