Computerworld: Apple’s new iWork is all the productivity most people need

“Released along with macOS Sierra and iOS 10 in the last few days, Apple has also improved its iWork productivity suite (Pages, Keynote and Numbers),” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“It means that for most Mac and the 35 percent of iPhone users already migrated to iOS 10 the only reason to ever use Google Docs is because someone else makes them do so, while power users will continue using Microsoft’s Office solutions,” Evans writes. “The flagship improvement is Apple’s introduction of real time collaboration (beta)… [now] you can share documents with other people and work on them simultaneously, whether the people you are working with are on a Mac, iOS device, or connected to iWork via iCloud using Safari, Internet Explorer or Chrome browsers.”

“What’s critical – and what sets the new iWork apart from Google Docs – is interface design. ‘The concept of giving colors to the different users and integrating the edits in real time appears to be a much more elegant and natural user interface than what Google (and others) have done,’ one analyst wrote,” Evans writes. “What this means is that for most iOS and Mac users, the new iteration of the iWork suite means there should be almost no reason to use Google Docs, while those who need more sophisticated solutions will continue to use Microsoft Office.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All Apple product users should use iWork wherever possible. Send documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to family, friends, teachers, and co-workers and, if they’ve never used iWork, let them see what they’re missing!


  1. But why can’t you perform the simple and useful task of locking cells in a table or Numbers spreadsheet? I just ran into this issue yesterday as I accidentally f-ked up a whole section of cells that should have been locked. Spent an hour reconstructing the data. Frustrating.

    If you know how to do this, please share.

    1. @Thomas
      “In apps, (including NUMBERS) that have Auto Save, documents are saved automatically as you make changes.”


    2. As some have already noted, you can lock sheets, or objects like pictures or text boxes. Not single cells though. To lock in iOS, select an entire sheet by clicking the circle in the upper left corner of the sheet to select the entire sheet, then tap on the paintbrush (format icon), choose ARRANGE tab and LOCK. Like I said, works for any other objects in iWorks too.

    1. Exactly! Business, colleges, and schools use Microsoft Office. Consequently, you can’t function with any organization unless you can send your documents as Microsoft Office files. Sure, iWork can export, but things are often lost or changed in the conversion, and it’s a big pain to have to convert, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of documents. Besides, iWork makes it harder to leave Apple if you want to, which I might have to do given: 1. Proprietary Solid State Drive interface 2. Soldered Mac RAM, and 3. macOS Sierra doesn’t allow the installation of software from unidentified developers, which makes it impossible to install things like VLC, Handbrake, SuperTuxCart, LibreOffice, Mac Linux USB Loader, Calibre, Blender, OpenShot, Shotwell, GIMP and Virtualbox.

      1. “3. macOS Sierra doesn’t allow the installation of software from unidentified developers, which makes it impossible to install things like VLC, Handbrake, SuperTuxCart, LibreOffice, Mac Linux USB Loader, Calibre, Blender, OpenShot, Shotwell, GIMP and Virtualbox.”

        Actually, you can. It is hidden from the user, but power users can access it. It’s an option when you are told you can’t. Read the appropriate user FAQ.

      2. “Exactly! Business, colleges, and schools use Microsoft Office….”

        And most countries outside the USA now use opendoc format or PDF for exchange of documents, while small businesses not needing to exchange docs with big corps prefer something (anything!) much simpler to use and less costly than MS Office. (such as your local restaurant, pizzeria, yoga shop, etc needing to printing out flyers, coupons or sending ads to the local newspaper that prefers PDF, not Word. Printing shops also prefer PDF over MS Word as there is much less conversion necessary, and iWork does a very good job of creating print-ready PDF using the ‘print as pdf’ command.

          1. It’s absurd to try and claim that ALL business documents in the UK are in MS Word format. I live in the UK and have just looked through the documents that I’ve been sent in the last few years and PDF documents represent the overwhelming majority, somewhere in excess of 90%.

            Some of the businesses that I work with insist that documents must always be distributed in PDF format and specifically state that Word format is not welcome. Even government departments now use PDF and some departments use services such as Egress Switch for secure document circulation.

            My wife is German and most of the documents she gets sent from Germany are in PDF format too.

            Maybe things are different in the particular industry that you work in, but you chose to use the word “all” when it couldn’t be further from the truth.

            1. I can confirm this to be true though Word docs still are far too common sadly. As a designer I come across far too many people expecting to use Word docs to print which few serious print shops are willing to accept. The whole Office suite is a thorough pain in the ass for any work stream outside of a strict office environment not helped by Microsoft trying to convince the Office world that it is all things to all people including a serious design tool which is is not. It has its uses but its complexity and glitches has got to the point now where I seriously refuse to work with it anymore proactively and when I move up to Sierra and i suspect my current version will no longer work i will banish it from my work flow altogether except where I can open Word docs via Pages and/or other software. Its by far the worst software on my Macs.

  2. To be able to exchange documents, you need to be able to use Microsoft Office format. iWork can export documents as Microsoft Office format, but things are often lost or changed. You really need program/suite that can work with Microsoft Office documents natively. Microsoft Office is the best option, and LibreOffice is a good alternative.

    1. Not true. The preferred method worldwide is PDF, then ODF, the MS Word format. Only in the USA is MS Word the preferred format and ONLY for corporate collaboration. Even the US Gov’t is switching to PDF for posting and exchange of information, including collaborative tools. MS Word is most often used for mass mailings and extremely long documents requiring the ‘power tools’ included with MS Office (integration with Excel and PowerPoint).

      1. Believe it or not, Microsoft Office documents are among the most versatile collaboration document formats because it is XML. Editing and sharing PDF or iWork documents is more complicated and costly in the long run.

        Anyone who has actually attempted to use iWork in any collaborative work would have run into compatibility issues. The latest version of iWork can’t even open iWork ’09 documents. And of course the reverse is also true.

        Don’t even get me started on the problems Apple has exporting its iWork documents into other file formats. With the possible exception of Keynote, iWork is amateur software for people who just don’t do professional business-grade work.

        Google Docs like iWork has only attractive feature: it’s free for people who don’t want any privacy or security. Apple’s iCloud doesn’t guarantee security or privacy either? Read the user agreement. As Apple sinks to new lows chasing Google pricing, it cannot be repeated enough: if it’s free, you are the product. Now even from Apple.

        1. Well I disagree, I have opened word docs with Pages that my Word program wouldn’t so its not all one sided. Indeed even though it is mixed in some cases it has kept formatting better than when opening docs in Word too. The main problem is that Microsoft as usual has made its XML codebase less than open sours as was originally the point of it so inevitably it causes glitches in competing software dealing with it.

          Depends what software you have but as a designer/Marketing professional using pdf docs are over the horizon in terms of ease and usability as compared to word docs which are continually causing problems where Adobe products have long solved. Saved automatically pdfs are not only readable universally and hold their formatting almost 100% but can be opened as native artwork to rework as the original where the ability to manipulate them is natural and unlimited as compared to the ever depressing imposed and restrictive Word environment.

  3. If you use an iPad, you can use Office700 which is a version of the Open Office Suite for the iPad. You can’t use it on an iPhone, but if you use Libre Office on your Mac, then this might be a great solution for some of you out there. I love iWork and use it almost exclusively, but just for those times you need to
    Convert something, Office700 is there!

  4. I simply could not work in MS Word anymore after using Pages …and that was years ago. I used iWork back in my corporate consulting days. I would routinely open client MS Word files, convert them to Pages, edit, save, then export them back to MS Word and send to client. No one knew or cared. Track changes worked fine, too.

    The only critical difference between Pages and MS Word was the whole-line underline feature. In Pages, this sort of underline is a graphical element, while in Word it is a text item. I just stopped using this feature (the page width underline) as a section header and used other features to distinguish such “headers”.

    1. That is not the only thing. Pages has no support for cross referencing, table of contents, custom paragraph numbering. These things are regularly needed not only in business, all kinds of submissions to government require them.

  5. After a couple of very weak versions, Keynote is great again.

    Pages was a fabulous application early on, but has been made mostly un-usable recently. Basic features have been removed. No linking text boxes… no ability to move multiple pages to a different pace within the document…

    1. Agreed. I miss the text-box linking, plus the easy-to-use mail merge feature. But these are minor for my needs these days. Most any of the office suites (MS, Libre, Neo, etc) have these features, but I loved how you could just drag a group fro AdderssBook (now Contacts) to a Pages ’09 mail merge document and have it print to PDF or to your printer.

      BTW: iWork ’09 still works in macOS Sierra!!!!

    2. It was heart breaking that linked text boxes didn’t return with this version. I keep hoping it will show up.

      Keynote is very good but could greatly benefit from some form of layer support.

      1. I do agree don’t use Pages that much but why would they not bring back linked text boxes, its a basic function thats almost a necessity at times. Is there some technical problem with it in this new approach to iWork that Apple has initiated in recent years incorporating the Cloud? love to have it explained as surely anyone would see its usefulness.

        1. Only thing I can think of is linking text boxes (and the other missing features) are not easy to implement intuitively on an iPad (and perhaps across iCloud). In the name of keeping the platforms completely interoperable, they stripped out tricky features until one day they figure out how to do them well across all platforms.

  6. “MacDailyNews Take: All Apple product users should use iWork wherever possible. Send documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to family, friends, teachers, and co-workers and, if they’ve never used iWork, let them see what they’re missing!”

    Well, they would be missing the whole point since no one I know actually uses iWork.

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