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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone use all 4 and can you make any judgments on the better of the two (or four)? Does iWorks '08 exceed MS's capabilities? What about cross-platform? Keynote and Pages exporting to PC?
 

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I think Keynote and Pages are much better at making beautiful documents, Word may still have a few more word processing features that are lacking in Pages.
I think Keynote is now superior to Powerpoint. I cant think of what Powerpoint does better, except its native to windows. The nice thing about Keynote is integrates into the other iLife apps. There is inproved cross platform in iWork 08, but it's still not great at some advanced formatting. Im told that Excell macros are not at all supporeted in Numbers. I think Numbers and Excel are very different apps.
Ithink if you are primarily a Mac user, and nostly want a Word Processing and Presentation suite then iWork is a great deal at $80 Can, I dont see how you can lose with the free demo.
 

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I also think Keynote is superior to Powerpoint. While PPT probably has more features, almost no-one uses them, and the end products are much better looking with much less time spent on Keynote.

The New Pages with it's basic "Word Processor" functionality is inching closer and closer to a nice merger between Adobe's old Pagemaker Software, and Basic MS Word functionality.

I haven't played with Numbers yet, but it seems like it will do what basic users need, without all those crazy advanced PPT features.

I feel like the iWork Suite is somewhat Office Lite with some cooler design stuff built-in.
 

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Can't speak to Keynote, but the new version of Pages seems to have much superiour Word compatibility now. The includsion of change tracking is the biggie, but comments are there too now (not sure if they were in Pages 2).

That said, Word compatibility is not perfect. If you work with fairly uncomplicated documents, Word compatibility shouldn't be a problem, but as soon as the formatting gets complex, you're bound to run into problems.

My advice to most people would be that if you are the one creating the documents in Pages that others will be opening in Word, then it will probably be less of a problem than if others are creating the documents in Word and you have to open and edit them in Pages then return them in Word format.
 

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I haven't used iWork '08 yet, but generally I keep OpenOffice.org installed for Word documents that Pages 2 can't open correctly. I've totally removed MS Office from my internal drive (I have it on an external for times when I really need it), and rely on iWork and OpenOffice.

And as mentioned, Keynote in my opinion is far superior to PowerPoint. Hands down.
 

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The combination of iLife with NeoOffice is finally a realistic MS-Office-killer.

I've been playing with Keynote '08 today - a great upgrade! The new animation possibilities alone make this worth the upgrade. One issue related to this: slides can now become very, very complicated to deal with if you are combining lots of elements with lots of actions! But for 95% of people doing presentations, that's not likely to be a huge issue.

I would also like to have seen a bit more control over the audio (narration and soundtrack) features, but this would seem to put ProfCast on the sidelines.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great replies. Thanks so much. I think I'll order a copy when I return home. Never did try out the demo version on my new MacBook. I trashed it. But now, an even better version is out.
 

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csonni, when I taught on-campus here at Memorial, I used Keynote for my presentations. Students who, in other courses, were lulled into a PP-like sleep would perk up at the transitions of my presentation.
 

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What is the difference between NeoOffice and Open Office? Do both do perfect translations of Word documents? Do both read Word documents flawlessly?
 

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I plan to run in free trial mode a while longer, but will almost certainly spring for iWork.

Unlike Word v. X (don't know about 2004), Pages opens the new Word format, .docx. Even though I've only received one .docx file so far, there will surely be many more to come. As long as formatting isn't an issue (and it rarely is for me), that feature alone makes Pages well worth buying.

There are some Pages features I've noticed and really like. One is "Copy & Paste Style". WriteNow had that back around 1987, and I've always liked it better than Word's convoluted means of handling styles.

Two things that bother me after my brief tests: there's no apparent way of saving in Word format by default (must use "Export..." every time) and the implementation of text highlighting seems needlessly roundabout, unless I'm missing something. Might have to get my feet wet with Automator for these things.

Numbers looks like a clear upgrade over Excel v. X, as I don't use advanced features of the latter.

Don't really care about Keynote. As long as it transparently opens and saves Powerpoint files, that's good enough for me.

I saw a quote from someone at Apple saying iWork is aimed mainly at those who don't need to go back-and-forth a lot with Office users. By that measure I'm not really in the target market, but I still think it's worthwhile.
 

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I've been a fan of Keynote since the last iteration of iWork ('06), and IMHO it blew away Powerpoint even back then. Of course, presentations are less likely to be collaborative documents, so it's easier to work on a presentation in an island, and I opened many of my older "stock" presentations from my Powerpoint days and took the time to polish them up for Keynote (they worked reasonably well as-is, but I wanted to take advantage of Keynote's abilities to pretty them up).

Thus far, Numbers compatibility with Excel has been just fine for anything that I do, since I don't use a lot of complex macros. All basic formulas seem to work fine. Further, since Microsoft seems to be abandoning VB support in Excel 2008 (when it gets here), there may not be much reason to stay with Excel in the future anyway, since any macros in a Windows-based world likely won't translate very well to the Mac versions.

I've always tended to prefer pages for documents that I'm creating myself, but the '06 version did not offer any kind of decent Word compatibility, and I collaborate on a lot of documents. I'm not sold on whether Pages '08 is going to cut it in this regard, but I suspect that it won't. I've been looking at NeoOffice as a possible alternative, as I'd like to get the last of the Rosetta apps off my MBP, and Office 2008 now seems way too far away to wait for.

The bottom line, however, is that Pages is much better for anything that fits into the desktop publishing category (almost a good InDesign Ultra-Lite for simple projects), and Pages '08 seems to have bridged the gap to becoming a reasonable word processing app (Pages '06 still felt too much like a DTP app and not enough like a WP app, which was great for certain things, but not so good for others).
 

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I feel Keynote is far superior to PPT: ease of use through a simple, intuitive interface being the main reason.

Pages is neat, but even in '08 it lacks an autosave feature (or at least one that I could find). That's a small but significant item for me.

I played with Numbers. For most users it is not only adequate, but easier to use than Excel.

I doubt if I will buy iWork 08. My existing keynote is great and I prefer Nisus for word-processing, although all my initial copy is written in Scrivener.
 

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What is the difference between NeoOffice and Open Office? Do both do perfect translations of Word documents? Do both read Word documents flawlessly?
NeoOffice is OSX-native, and much prettier than OpenOffice.

OpenOffice requires you to install the X11 windowing environment from your original System DVDs, and must be running in order for OpenOffice to work (essentially, you're running two programs).

I haven't seen any major arguments for running OpenOffice instead of NeoOffice - the Neo crew have done an amazing job.
 

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I've never liked OpenOffice, because it's always felt like a subpar version of Office. And playing with NeoOffice leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. One thing I dislike about NeoOffice and OpenOffice for mac is the lack of cooperation with these two groups, instead of building one define OpenOffice build together, they release their own versions of the nearly the same office suite.

I haven't used Office 2004, but if it is anything like Office 2003(Windows), iWorks '08 would be a better bet. On my Vista box, I use Office 2007, and if this is any idication of how Office 2008 will turn out, I would suggest Office 2008 for word processing, the UI in pages doesn't seem to offer the flexibility that Office 2007 does. I don't have much experience with the presentation software. If you can't wait, iWorks '08 it is. One thing I don't like about iWorks '08 is the fact that the ability to save (export) to docx (xlsx) is missing.
 

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What is the difference between NeoOffice and Open Office? Do both do perfect translations of Word documents? Do both read Word documents flawlessly?
No, it has been my experience that while they are 'good', they are not perfect. I would suggest them to someone who needs to open and work on MS Office documents once and a while. Like a family whose kids share documents with other kids at school. No sense shelling out $200 bucks for MS Office when you use it 4-5 times a year.

I have had problems with password protected documents, macros, and a few other things that Office users tend to take for granted.

I may abandon MS Office all together. For the past year I've been using Pages for any documents that I create myself such as project specifications, manuals, letters, etc. I will use Word/Excel to open documents that my clients send me but that's about it, and that happens rarely these days. I've never used PowerPoint, I have started to do some presentations and they've all been done in Keynote. I've already played with the new version and I am looking forward to using it more. I've never been a big spreadsheet user, so Numbers will probably handle what I need.

There is no 'blanket' answer for whether a product will work for you or not. Each of us has our own separate needs and our own tolerance for what we will accept. For me, the tolerance level of using NeoOffice and OpenOffice was low. I didn't want to fuss with the apps to get them to work the way I needed, so I paid for something that gave me less hassles. Now that I've got a $79 solution, I don't see any need to use NeoOffice or OpenOffice.

Your needs are probably different.
 

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Hmmm. :( Found one sniggling little thing that Pages apparently can't do (easily?):
Pages: Table of contents uses Arabic numerals only

When you create a document in Pages, you can add page numbers to your pages, and even choose a numbering format (such as 1, 2, 3; A, B, C; or I, II, III). If you create a table of contents (TOC) for your document, the TOC will always display page numbers as Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3), even if you selected a different format for your page numbers (such as if you chose the letter scheme A, B, C).

If your page numbers are not Arabic numerals, your document may be difficult to navigate since the TOC and page numbers won't match. As a general rule, you should use Arabic numerals to number your pages if you plan on including a TOC so that the TOC will reference page numbers correctly.

If you've used a different numbering format, you can edit your TOC using this workaround:

Export your document as an RTF (Rich Text Format) document (from the File menu, choose Export, then select the RTF radio button in the resulting dialog).
Open the RTF in Pages (from the File menu, choose Open or drag the RTF file onto the Pages icon in the Dock).

Manually change the numbers in the Table of Contents section so that they match your page number scheme.

Please note that some of your formatting may change during this process and may need to be corrected.
Well... this won't work for me. I need a TOC that is capable of showing i, ii, iii, etc. for the frontmatter of a document, and then begin with the main body text using Roman numerals 1, 2, 3, etc.

Shoot.

M
 

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I love Pages too -- especially the new '08 Version -- but I've had some issues with getting "stuck" in a numbered list and then the software not picking up later number if I can somehow "Get out" of the list.

IE: I type 1. XXX ERDFDFGSDTASDSDF And then press enter -- it autocorrects to a numbered list. Great. I get a 2. and I Type some stuff. Now... If I want to get out of the list after this -- it's pretty hard. Pressing multiple returns just generates more numbers. Shift return does what it should, and just soft returns me to the next line, but still locks me into the numbered list.

A Little frustrating.
 

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export as Flash..

I am awaiting the truck with my order of iLife and iWork... I just heard that you can export Keynote presentations as standalone Flash files in this version... If true I am quite interested. Has anyone played with this feature???
 

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Keynote will export an SWF file for you. I've not played with this feature in Keynote '08 yet, though. I'd assume it's similar to the Quicktime export featured in the earlier versions, just in a different format.
 
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