Apple iWork Pages App – What’s new?

Using styles with iWork Pages App and working with iCloud

I might be a rabid markdown user, preferring the purity of writing with pure text, without the distraction of images or fancy formatting, but I do like the application Pages. Byword is a super app for writing in Markdown. Pages is more than a word processor and is more like a desktop publishing application. I know we don’t seem to use that phrase, DTP any more, but I come from an era when desktop publishing was very popular. The application PageMaker was the big thing and there was another one called Quark. On account of the fact that I was a big user of Coreldraw, I preferred to use it, for the documents I was creating that were only one or two pages long. The application Pages that is part of the Apple iWork suite is without a doubt, a whole lot better than anything I have used before, especially in terms of ease of use. iCloud takes it to another level of productivity.

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Putting on the style in iWork Pages

There are two modes of applying styles to your text in Pages. You have character styles, which will be applied to selected text and then you have paragraph styles. With a paragraph style you don’t have to have the text selected. Just so long as the cursor is in the paragraph you want to affect, you can apply one of the styles to that whole paragraph. You can click on a button to display the styles draw, then one click on the name of the style will format your text for you very easily.

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Styles within templates

Using iCloud Pages
There are templates that come with the Pages application and within those templates there are styles. The styles are there to suit the type of document being created. You can create your own templates just the same as you can create your own styles. Usually the best place to start off, is to take a template that you already like and to customise it to your own personal document designs.

iWork Pages Fast document design using styles

The reason for using styles and templates is for efficiency and continuity of the design within the document. By using a style to dictate how a specific header, title, or the body text will look, wherever it is being used within the document. Within iWork Pages it is even possible to select every bit of text that is using a particular style. As I show in the video, you do have to be aware that if you make changes to some text that has style applied to it, you have to remember to update the style. This is so that the changes that you have made to the style will be applied all through the document.

Mountain Lion, iCloud and Pages

It sounds a little bit like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but here we are talking about the changes that are in Pages following the release of Mountain Lion. The Save As feature which was taken away in Lion is now again available in Mountain Lion. Apple have done a bit of a turnaround with this on account of older users of computers getting confused. Poor souls! They were not able to get their heads around the new way of working which in a lots of ways is more sensible and logical. Apple have made Save As available, but it is slightly hidden. This is Apple’s way of encouraging grumpy old gits, that don’t like change, to jump into the 21st-century, while still appeasing the die hards.

Duplicate – don’t Save As !

The new way of working in Lion and in Mountain Lion, it is recommended that instead of using the Save As command, to use the duplicate command instead. Some people think that it is possible to lose data from previous versions of that document where changes have been made. It shouldn’t really be a problem though, because you can browse previous versions from the application. Not only that, but you also have Time Machine running, which will be keeping versions of your files going back in time. Basically the idea is that your computer is continuously recording what it is you are doing with your files and you always have access to go back to any previous version of your work.

Only a problem for the old farts and not for the new users

It seems that it has something to do with the fact, that instead of working on a copy of the file, you actually work directly on the file in real-time. With the old way you are making changes to a copy of the file in volatile memory and then saving it back over the top of the original still sitting in the folder. The new way is more application centric rather than files and folders centric , taking the lead from iOS. When you are making changes to a file in an application like Pages, the actual original file is being altered directly. It may seem like a small distinction, but it is in fact a completely new paradigm of working. I suspect that new users coming to computers or those migrating from iOS to using a Mac desktop computer, will not have any problems with this way of working. What are you waiting for? Go and do an Apple Pages download. BYW. it is Apple iWork Pages and not iWorks Pages when you are talking to the other Mac users.

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