Pros Simple interface, far more intuitive than any other office suite, extremely good templates
Cons different paradigm than MS office (you really need to spend some time getting used to how it works), not as many features as MS office, mediocre office compatibility
Summary This suite is a very good foundation for what will one day be a very strong competitor for MS Office (it's already selling better than corel wordperfect) I tend to spend less time formatting and more time writing with this suite over MS office products. It's not nearly as annoying.
Die-hard word and powerpoint users may find this suite quirky at first. But I recommend spending some time learning how the whole thing works. It's wholly different from the way Word and Powerpoint work. After that, I assure you you will start to like it more and more.
I disagree with those who say pages is not good enough for anything beyond a 10 page document. I have written several 10-50 page reports with Pages and now believe it is not only easier to use than word, but the look of the report is also far superior.
Pros Beautiful, easy end-user experience.
Cons A bit finicky in terms of robustness.
Summary I'm a Mac user about 5 years now. I'm on a 1.25ghz/1.5mb 12" G4 Powerbook.
This software is actually a bundle of 2 programs: Apple's Word processor, and Apple's equivalent of Powerpoint.
The templates in the bundle are way better-looking than what Word in Office: Mac offers. a hundred-million, light-years away.
However, when writing in one of the 2 column sections of a template in Pages, the typing becomes unuseably slow.
On the other hand, for a guy who uses graphics as much as he rents a car (oh, about 3 times a year) the controls are highly intuitive. I think generally speaking if I change the templates they start looking worse. (Of course, friends who know design say they HATE Apple's graphics, but the package is a hundred times better than what I could come up with on my own.
BTW: Words templates look like the aesthetic equivalent of typing on a **** word-processing terminal compared to WYSIWYG: Blocky, dated.
Pages says, "Oh, would you like to save this as a Word document?" and you do it, then you open it in Word, and it produces a shade of its former self: Some elements are there, but not in the way they were arranged.
I'd bet if I had a dual-processor G5 that stuff with the 2 column layout wouldn't be happening. Then again, I wouldn't expect to have that kind of problem on $80 bundled software.
Another issue with the word processing software is it doesn't always offer alternate keystroke commands... sometimes you have to go through menu levels just to change things -- at least, that's been my experience with resizing fonts. If anyone knows differently let me know.
So, overall, definitely worth a buy. Especially for Keynote.
Keynote is a beautiful presentation software program. The templates, again, are beautiful, and easy to use. It became a bit crashy after I started getting low-res photos stretched out and music playing in a kind of "video" I was making.
I'm not exactly a "power-user" so I'm not exactly thinking outside the box. But what's "inside the box" is okay enough at a very reasonable price.
Pros Powerful presentations are easy to make.
Cons Not a full suite
Summary I have both MS office 2004 and Iwork. I still tend to use I work more often as it has a frindlier interface. Also, my presentations look much more dynamic with keynote than powerpoint. Pages is very simple to use, but not as powerful as Word. I hope apple makes a full suite to rival office in the future.
"A worthy alternative to Microsoft Office, with all the simplicity and quality of Apple's work."on by jwesalo
Pros Beautiful themes, transitions and animations; Drag-and-drop interface; Alignment Guides; Great graphics, font, and footnote handling
Cons Much fewer animations than PowerPoint (albeit much more impressive ones); Exporting to Microsoft Office formats has layout issues.
Summary Apple's iWork exemplifies the ease-of-use, simplicity, and graphics handling abilities that people have come to expect from Apple. As a long-time Windows user, my frustration with Windows' annoying maintenence requirements, graphical flaws, lack of features, instability, and vulnerability pushed me away from embracing Microsoft. Apple was my way out. An enthusiastic Mac user, I was curious enough to visit the Apple store and try out iWork. Although it took a little time to adjust to using it, I quickly became an avid iWork user. My first Keynote Presentation at school (in 8th grade GT American History) blew everyone's minds. The beautiful themes, transitions, and animations of Keynote, drag-and-drop interface to insert pictures from Safari, Finder, or even Photoshop, combined with beautiful, customizable drop shadows, alignment guides, integrated graphs and tables, among other features, makes iWork a great alternative to Office. However, on the downside, Keynote has much fewer animations and transitions than PowerPoint, (albeit much more attractive), and exports to Microsoft Office sometimes result in layout changes. However, this isn't to terrible a problem; Pages' ability to export RTF's and PDF's helps, as does Keynote's ability to export QuickTime movies.
"Too original"on by kenhoshino
Pros Nice looking templates
Cons Too original interface for long-time Word users
Summary Apple-artists-designed templates are not good enough to make up the awful drawbacks.
The user interface is too original for the long-time Word user like me: inserting and aligning images, adding textbox, even changing the font size or color are absolutely different from what one does with the MS Word. It actually took for several days for me to find out the basic procedures, and yet I have to admit this still drives me crazy sometimes. Adding to this, the exported html file appears terribly different from what it does on Pages.
This originality might be what people expected Apple to do, but I have to say, this is far from productive.