IT Business reviews Apple iWork ‘08 Pages: ‘Equal to or better than Microsoft Word’

Is Apple’s iWork a viable alternative to Microsoft Office? To find out, IT Business asked Jeffrey Battersby–our go-to expert on word processing programs–to use Word 2008 and Pages ’08 to create the same project, progressing from the basics (text entry and formatting) to more-advanced features. Our questions: Which program is better at each stage of the job? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Which jobs (and which users) require which tool? (And for our experts’ take on alternatives to Office and iWork, see Word Processing Alternatives.)

Battersby reports, “Microsoft Word may well be the standard for business word processing programs, but Apple’s Pages ’08 presents an excellent alternative. If you find that you’re constantly changing the way a text document looks, then Word’s document themes offer a distinct advantage over Pages. For all other types of documents, however, from basic word processing files to sophisticated page layouts, Pages is equal to or better than Word.”

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Do you really need Microsoft Office? Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’08 trial a try and find out for yourself.


  1. @MDB “Do you really need Microsoft Office?” Yep. When you’re the sole Mac hold-out in a PC workplace, you need Office.

    However, think twice before upgrading to Office 2008. Launch times are far longer than for 2004, and the component apps seem slower in operation too. And if you buy the home and student edition (you’ll save heaps doing that), you’ll still need Entourage 2004 to attach to a Windoze network. Not your finest hour, MS MBU.

  2. For a “Pro” app, the whole orfice suite sucks. The lacks of efficient UI is a big hinderence. ClarisWorks/AppleWorks was years ahead in this category. Things like controlling the size of text box or graphic is just one example of where word really irks me. As iWorks… Pages matures, it will only continue to rise above the pos that is ms word !

  3. As far as text is concerned I hate the entire Office suite. If a customer sends me resources for a web site you can bet your lucky stars they type these resources in word. You get so many awful replacement custom characters in Microsoft apps it makes them totally useless for web resource production.

    Not tried it in Pages yet. I think I will have a go. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. @HolyMackerel

    I second that. It makes perfect sense that Apple especially needs a good consumer vector drawing app. iWork rocks and can already do basic vector graphics, but something like vector designer would fit like a glove. The only other thing Pages needs now for me is cmyk mode.

    Speaking of vectors, Word o8 sill rasterizes placed vectors! WTF? Isn’t it 2008 already? You can drag vector graphics (i.e. Ai, EPS, PDF) right into Pages, Keynote, Numbers since v.1 and they look perfect and print/output the same. I was shocked to find that Word 08 still has not got that right. Same thing as IE6 with png transparency. They only recently fixed that in IE7. Pathetic.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.