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Posts tagged with "iwork"

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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iWork Apps Updated with iOS 11 Features

Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, with support for iOS 11’s headlining features. There’s a commonality among the features added to each app that serves to tie them together more tightly than ever before while simultaneously making them easier to use with third-party apps. Numbers and Pages also feature a few additional revisions tailored to their specific functionality.

All three iWork apps support the new document browser, a file picker view that looks and feels just like the new Files app. Instead of being constrained to iCloud Drive or pushed into an app-specific folder, you can open Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files from any cloud service that is a file provider. All three apps were also updated to support drag and drop of text, tables, links, images, and other content between the iWork apps and to and from other apps on the iPad.

Apple also added more powerful shape manipulation features to the iWork apps. New Unite, Intersect, Subtract, and Exclude commands were added to make it easier to create custom shapes. Shapes can be broken apart into component pieces now. Apple’s support documents use the example of breaking the state of California apart from a map of the United States to use it by itself in an app. Shapes and other objects can also be arranged using new Align, Distribute, Flip Vertical, and Flip Horizontal commands.

Numbers's new date, time, and duration keyboards.

Numbers's new date, time, and duration keyboards.


Among the unique additions to the iWork apps, Numbers gained new keyboards for more efficient input including date, time, and duration keyboards and ‘smart steppers’ for making minor adjustments to those types of values. Pages also added a modest but handy gesture. Triple tapping a paragraph now selects an entire paragraph, something I wish more third-party apps supported.

I’m glad to see Apple adding iOS 11 features to the iWork suite on launch day. Adopting the latest technologies of its operating system encourages third-party adoption and serves as an example of how Apple expects those features to be implemented by third parties. It also brings new power and flexibility to each app for users, making them useful alternatives to apps like Microsoft’s Office suite.

The Pages, Numbers, and Keynote updates are available on the App Store.



Latest iWork Updates Bring Back Previously-Removed Numbers Features

Apple released updates to its iWork suite across iOS and macOS today. The changes largely consist of bug fixes and stability improvements, but a couple of notable improvements were made to Numbers.

In the last big update for Numbers, a new cell action menu was added to handle common tasks like copying/pasting, adding formulas, and more. But with the arrival of this cell menu, a couple subtractions were also made: the numeric keyboard on iPad was removed, along with the copy/paste menu that would appear when you selected a cell. Federico covered the details of those changes in his recent iPad Diaries story on Numbers. But with today's update, both of those items have now been restored to the app.

In the past when Apple has removed features from an app, those features often would never come back, or if they did it took a while. I'm thankful that Numbers users don't have to wait any longer to work in the app the way they're used to.


iWork, GarageBand, and iMovie Apps Now Free for All Users

Juli Clover of MacRumors reports on an update to the pricing of several Apple apps:

iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.

Previously, all of these apps were provided for free to customers who purchased a new Mac or iOS device, but now that purchase is not required to get the software. Many Apple customers were already likely eligible to download the software at no cost if they had made a device purchase in the last few years.

All of these apps have been available free to anyone purchasing a new iOS device since September 2013 – or 2014 in GarageBand's case – so today's updated pricing should come as no surprise. Likely the majority of devices in the world today that are modern enough to run the latest versions of these apps will have already enjoyed the privilege of free downloads. Today's change will be a welcome one to everyone with an older device though.

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iPad Diaries: Numbers, Accounting, and Currency Conversions

iPad Diaries is a regular series about using the iPad as a primary computer. You can find more installments here and subscribe to the dedicated RSS feed.

For years, I struggled to settle on an accounting workflow I truly liked.

In the past 8 years of MacStories, I've tried organizing financial records and statements with plain text files and PDF documents; I've used and then abandoned dedicated finance management apps; for a couple of years, I even tested a combination of Dropbox, Excel, and Editorial to visualize transactions and generate invoices with a Markdown template. My Italian bank doesn't support direct integrations with third-party accounting services, and my particular requirements often include converting expenses from USD to EUR on a per-receipt basis.

Eventually, I always managed to keep my records up to date and neatly sorted with the help of an accountant, but I never loved any of the workflows I had established. In the end, several factors contributed to begrudgingly assembling reports and statements with systems I didn't find flexible enough.

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Apple Releases iWork 3.1 with Touch ID Support, Greater Customization Options, and More

Apple has updated its iWork suite of productivity apps – Pages, Keynote, and Numbers – to version 3.1 today. Each app contains a number of varied improvements across iOS and macOS.

All three apps contain new options for formatting text. You can use superscript and subscript options to add text slightly below or above the usual typed line. Backgrounds can be added to text using a variety of color options. Ligatures are now supported as well. Additionally, if there are missing fonts in a given document, you can now easily replace them.

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Teddy Svoronos on Keynote’s iOS 9 Update

Teddy Svoronos on changes to Keynote for iOS 9:

When using Split View, only the “main” app can use features like the microphone, camera, and, most relevant to this post, video out. This means that if you’re using Keynote as your main app while Airplaying or using a dongle to project your iPad onto an external screen, only the Keynote presentation will be visible to your audience. This means you’re free to keep OmniOutliner (pictured), Notes, or any other Split View-enabled app on the side of your screen while presenting. As someone who prefers to have my full outline available to me rather than slide-specific Presenter Notes, this is huge.

That does sound like a welcome improvement indeed. A month in, it's clear that the biggest advantage of iOS 9 for iPad is the increased cooperation between apps. The updated iWork suite is a good example of this.

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