Apple’s new Pages 7 for macOS offers better workflow and tools for producing digital books

“Pages 7 is the latest in a series of ongoing and gradual improvements to the 2013 ‘reboot’ of Apple’s iWork suite or productivity apps, which also includes Numbers and Keynote,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “That reboot rewrote the apps from the ground up, but also omitted features that users had relied upon for years.”

“Over time, many of these features were restored even as the apps expanded what they did in other areas,” Fleishman writes. “Pages 7 continues on this path. While it’s numbered as a major release to keep it in harmony with Pages for iOS, the iOS release has a greater number of significant additions.”

“The flagship change includes book templates for interactive EPUB ebooks, allowing an end-to-end workflow for creating rich digital documents without the compromise of starting with templates and pages designed for printer output, even after all these years,” Fleishman writes. “Pages 7 for macOS is a significant bump up for people who routinely produce documents shared digitally, whether as PDF or in EPUB ebook format.”

Much more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Note: Also check out Fleishman’s Pages 4 for iOS review here.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018

15 Comments

  1. Weak sauce. Apple adds templates to a functionally limited word processor.

    Microsoft Office for the Mac — standalone– remains the better solution for large or complex documents. You know, for people who create their own templates.

    Is Apple just focusing on the most basic freebieware consumers now? Giving away second rate software isn’t a value proposition. People will pay more for software that rocks — assuming you advertise of course.

    After all these years, 90% of my business colleagues don’t even consider Apple a player in office software, even those who do prefer Macs. Why couldn’t Apple make a Pro version of the office suite to go toe to toe with Microsoft?

    1. I don’t use pages or numbers much but about once every 3 months something I produce (and usually distribute in .pdf but sometimes it’s converted to word or excel) gets the comments like “wow, that looks great” or, when looking at complex excel data “now, looking at it that way, I understand”. 🙂

      True: pages and numbers aren’t as functional as office, but what they do, they do well.

      Just saying….

    2. I seldom used them. I tried Keynote years ago and was favorably impressed. But I have to connect the file to PPTX or PDF to share it, and converting to PPTX tended to make it less attractive.

      In the end, despite using a Mac exclusively for decades, I am stuck in a Microsoft workflow. Apple had the potential to pull me out of that mess and offer a viable alternative. But, once again, the company fell short of the critical mass needed to make iWork a viable alternative to share the corporate workspace.

      Apple does so many things right. But, when Apple does something wrong, it tends to really screw up. Businesses and pros need stability, and even regular consumers appreciate stability. So, Apple, when you come out with a complete revamp of a software package without all of the functionality of the previous version, *do not* yank the old version and expect people to be happy. Sure, then new software package might be great, but it does not do everything that it needs to do. Innovation is grand and exciting, but simple, incremental evolution has its place, too. As a very large company, you need to learn that both innovation and incremental development are important. If you are not careful, you are going to damage the company in your attempts to recapture Apple’s past magic.

      1. “a viable alternative to share the corporate workspace.”
        The problem is that the start AND end of the equation that would solve the statement above, especially since the corporate world is heavily reliant on Microsoft, is 100% MS Office compatibility. I’ve always felt that if you need Office, use Office. Not Open Office or iWork or anything else because handling the conversions or incompatibilities would drive one mad.

        If you don’t need to share files with Office users OR you don’t need to be particularly concerned about what they look like when received, then your choices open up. In that case, my friend working on her recipe book, an associate that travels doing Keynote presentations, and a student that needs to turn in a printed report, all benefit from the ease of use provided by iWork.

      2. “So, Apple, when you come out with a complete revamp of a software package without all of the functionality of the previous version, *do not* yank the old version and expect people to be happy”
        Well, actually, they didn’t yank the old version … I am still quite happily using Pages’09 with all the page layout functionallity – on High Sierra! So there is stability for you.

    3. Don’t disagree, other than to say that why stop with MS Office for Mac? It’s a fairly crippled half-forgotten step-sister compared to the real deal in the Office apps for Windows. I use Parallels and Windows solely so I can have access to Word, Excel and Outlook, which blow Apple’s apps away for feature set. Some call them bloated, but I haven’t found that. I prefer apps that do everything I need and do it well.

  2. Gee, after 5 years, Pages is almost as useful as it was before 2013! Of course all the folks who were using it in their workflows then have either moved on or simply retired, but what the heck? Maybe Apple can attract a new generation of users who rely on Pages before they yank out the carpet again.

  3. It’s still just Words until they fix linking text boxes across multiple pages allowing for page layout. Then it could legitimately be called Pages. Words, words, words…nothing more.

  4. Wake me up with in can compete with Adobe Framemaker 9 (the last version I bought before they went subscription-based). Now *that’s* a program that can handle books.

  5. I welcome these improvements. I’ve already used the book feature to compile a whole load of instructions, tips, manuals and data sheets into a book which I can instantly distribute to colleagues. It’s not perfect ( especially because of the lack of flowing text boxes ), but it’s pretty good and certainly very useful. I’ve got two other books under construction for personal and family purposes. It would be good to have smart indexing features.

    The presenter mode is great. On Saturday I was working with a TV commentator who was struggling to deliver an in-vision scripted summary of a sports event without forgetting key parts, so I got him to send me the text to my iPhone. With Pages in the presenter mode and my iPhone taped directly under the lens hood, we quickly set the text size and speed, got the recording done in one take and were able to pack up and go home without further delay ( getting home in a timely fashion is an important concept if you have a happy home life ).

    I think there’s room for improvement with presenter mode. The most important one is being able to scroll more quickly. That commentator wasn’t a particularly fast talker, but we certainly could have done with a much faster scrolling speed.

    For future development, it would be great if another iPhone could be paired with the one being used to display the script and then used as a speed controller. Instead of scrolling at a fixed speed, it would be brilliant if the speaker could move their thumb up or down the controller screen to speed up or slow down the scrolling, with the speed staying at that speed if the thumb is lifted off the screen. If the thumb were again to be pressed onto the screen, there should be no change of speed until it slides up or down.

    Come to that, if the iPhone were smart enough to listen to what’s being said ( the written text tells it what is expected, so voice recognition should be easier than when trying to understand normal speech ), then it should be possible to smartly scroll at whatever speed is needed and to pause when appropriate. That would be a hugely useful feature for public speakers.

  6. One of my favorite features before the iOS downsizing was the Outline View. I quit using Pages when it disappeared, and I won’t consider coming back until Outkine View and edit is restored. Writers of long documents and publications understand the value of effective outlining.

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