Posts tagged with "iwork"

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote Add Scribble Support, and Other Features

Apple has updated Pages, Numbers, and Keynote with Scribble support, new editable shapes, along with a variety of app-specific updates.

Scribble is the new iPadOS 14 feature that allows you to use the Apple Pencil to handwrite text into a text field that the app then converts into text. The feature also allows you to do things like scratch out text with the Pencil to erase it.

On the iPad, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote now all support the feature using a custom version of the PencilKit markup tools found in other apps like Notes and some third-party apps. The first tool in the palette, which is marked with a capital ‘A,’ is the Scribble tool. Selecting it allows you to handwrite in any of the three iWork apps, which then convert your handwriting into text. The other tools include pens for drawing, one for creating color-filled shapes, and selecting images. Pages’ toolset includes an annotation tool too.

A particularly nice touch included in Pages that Numbers or Keynote doesn’t have is a message that appears in the body of your document explaining what the selected tool does. Also, one Scribble feature that doesn’t work in the iWork suite is the ability to create perfect shapes by pausing before lifting the Pencil after hand drawing one.

Keynote and the other iWork apps support new editable shapes.

Keynote and the other iWork apps support new editable shapes.

All three apps also come with new editable shapes and the updated iOS and iPadOS image and video picker that incorporate search functionality and album support. I’m delighted that the photo and video picker has been updated and gained new ways to find the images for which you’re looking. The picker hasn’t changed in a long time, and the latest version is light years better than before.

I'm going to use the new customizable forms in Numbers a lot.

I’m going to use the new customizable forms in Numbers a lot.

Each app also gained some features unique to it. Pages adds new report templates. Numbers has made it easier to create and customize forms, which are fast ways to enter data into a table. Keynote added the most features, gaining an outline view for quickly editing the content of slides without distraction, the ability to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos, new movie export options with more formats and frame rates, and the ability to Option-drag objects to duplicate them.

I haven’t used Scribble a lot yet, but it’s nice to see it implemented in the iWork apps. All three apps combine text with other media, so it’s only natural to use the Pencil for text input alongside drawing and other uses. If you haven’t tried Pages, Numbers, or Keynote in a while, especially on the iPad, they’re worth another look. All three apps support deep, sophisticated functionality that rivals their desktop competition.




Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for the Mac and iOS Updated with Styling, Apple Pencil, and Other Features

All three of the apps in Apple’s iWork productivity suite received a substantial update this week. Changes varied by app and across platforms, but the lion’s share of the revisions improved the apps’ flexibility, text styling, and image handling capabilities, and, on iOS, Pencil integration.

The Mac versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote and their iOS counterparts now allow text to be styled with gradients and images. There are also new outline styles. Images, shapes, and equations can be placed inline in text boxes, which allows them to move with the text box when it’s moved, and the apps use face detection when photos are added to a document to determine where they should go intelligently.

In Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS, a double-tap of the Apple Pencil toggles it between two modes: scrolling and selection, and drawing. The apps’ dictionaries can also be modified now using a new ‘Learn Spelling’ function. Altering the size and color of bullets, adding custom bullets, and changing indentation levels for bulleted lists is available in all three apps as is changing the borders of cells in tables. Finally, all three apps have new chart editing functionality for styling series, adjusting the spacing between columns, and adding trend lines, among other things.

Most of the remaining changes are to Pages and Numbers. Both iOS and Mac versions of Pages and Numbers have added the ability to link text to other pages of a Pages document or sheets in Numbers. Also, on both platforms, Pages can copy and paste pages of a document or sections of one between two different documents and reapply a master page to return a document to its default style state. There’s an English-language template for creating novels in Pages on iOS and the Mac too.

Finally, both versions of Numbers use a new, more powerful 128-bit calculation engine in its spreadsheets and add the ability to insert rows into filtered tables.

It’s great to see all versions of the iWork apps getting an update. I don’t use Pages or Keynote regularly, but Numbers has become an app that I rely on most days, and I appreciate the fact that Apple has kept the functionality of both the Mac and iOS versions close to each other even if it means maintaining two separate sets of code.


Apple Updates GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, and Keynote

As new iPad Pros are delivered worldwide today, Apple has released updates to GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, and Keynote.

GarageBand adds support for keyboard shortcuts for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and other Bluetooth keyboards. The app also adds a Wah stompbox pedal and Face Control for the Smart Guitar.

Pages can now publish straight to Apple Books from both the iOS and Mac versions of the app.

iMovie adds support for mirroring and video previewing from the new iPad Pros to external displays. The video previews added to iMovie are not surprising given the press shots published by Apple last week demonstrating the feature and can handle uncompressed 4K output. The Mac version of iMovie also removes the option to publish directly to Facebook. Instead, the app can export to a Facebook-compatible format.

Finally, Numbers and Keynote also received updates, which are described merely as ‘stability and performance improvements.’




Pages Is No iBooks Author Replacement

Stephen Hackett took the updated Pages for a spin and compared its digital book creation features to the existing iBooks Author app for Mac. As it turns out, the new functionality isn’t a replacement for what iBooks Author can do:

It cannot open my iBooks Author file for my book on the iMac G3 and history of Mac OS X. I’m not super surprised by that, but as the future of iBooks Author is unknown, I’d like a way to know I can edit this file using Pages in the future.

The options when creating a book in Pages are currently more limited than what is available in iBooks Author. There are fewer templates available, and the hierarchy of chapters and sections are nowhere to be found. iBooks Author includes tools for a Table of Contents and Glossary, and these are missing from Pages as well.

Pages also lacks iBooks Author’s widgets. These can be used to add Keynote files, pop overs, review questions, videos and even HTML content to books. This is a pretty big oversight, as these tools can add real interactivity to a book.

iMore’s Serenity Caldwell has also clarified with Apple that the eBook creation feature in Pages is not a replacement for iBooks Author, which is still “continuing development” – whatever that means, given its erratic update schedule and lack of an iPad version.

I was hoping to be able to create rich, interactive iBooks using Pages for iPad, but unfortunately this isn’t possible with today’s update. Still, I’m going to experiment with the feature to generate EPUBs for my longform reviews directly from iOS.

See also: AppleScript support for eBook creation in Pages for Mac.

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