All Pages, All the Time

Some time ago, I decided to say goodbye to Microsoft Office forever, and completely switch over to Pages and Keynote. It was an easy decision for me: I wasn’t a heavy Office user anyway, preferring to keep most of my documents online, and using the application primarily to open client .doc files and the occasional Power Point presentation.

Not only did this free up quite a bit of space on my hard drive, it had the added benefit of turning me into a non Office user.

Friend: Help! There’s something wrong with the icons on my toolbar in Word. What do I do?
Me: Oh, sorry- I don’t use Word anymore.
Friend: What? How do you open documents?
Me: I use Pages.

I’ve yet to meet a Word document that Pages wouldn’t open. It might strip a few styles, sure- but that, too, can be viewed as a benefit.

One thing about Pages that seems to bother a lot of my friends who try to switch over from Word is the apparent lack of downloadable templates. Word has lots, of course, allowing you to create everything from business cards to brochures to resumes in mere seconds. Pages, on the other hand, includes several built-in templates. There are zero downloadable templates on the Apple site, although some Google searching reveals a few 3rd-party sites that have some. Here are some good ones:

  • iWorkCommunity
    Some good free selections here of the more “general” type. You can request for specific templates on the forum.
  • Jumsoft Pages Templates
    A collection of 105 templates for $39. Some very nice looking ones on the samples page.
  • StockLayouts’ Pages Templates
    These are priced per template, at around $99 each. A little pricey, but the templates do look more professional than most.
  • iWork 4 School
    Free “school-related” Pages templates, with quite a few that should make some parents’ lives easier.
  • Free iWork Templates
    A blog dedicated to finding free iWork templates. Some good links here (it’s how I discovered iWork 4 School above) as well as original templates.

I’d like to know: have you completely switched over to Pages? If not, what’s stopping you?

Comments

  1. I tried to switch over completely. But a lack of complete integration with EndNote and other reference managers is a major problem. Also, exchanging drafts of journal articles or other academic papers, which have a lot of formating and imbedded images, with a Word user is a nightmare. Things don’t really translate well enough. It’s easier to write your drafts in Word to avoid the inevitable second editing you must do after converting from Pages to Word. And yes, converting to PDSF is a solution, but many people don’t like editing PDFs vs. Word documents.

  2. If Pages would open, edit, and save Word files without changing them into its own format – which Word then cannot open – I’d switch my entire company from Office to iWork in a heartbeat.

    (I know you can “Save a copy as…” to generate a MS Word document, but that’s a pain in the ass to have to constantly do)

  3. I write scientific papers and the like, so a reference manager is my friend. I also collaborate with a number of users who use Windows and MS Office. Since Pages’ support of Endnote is mediocre at this point, and it is too much of a hassle to keep changing things to and from .doc (.docx) format, I have to stick with Word at this point. I have iWork on my computer, and use Keynote exclusively. Additionally, there are times when using the superior page layout capabilities of Pages is helpful, but for now, at least, I have to stick with MS Office. OK, at least with Word and Excel.

  4. I dumped Word with the first version of Pages and never looked back. Never regretted it, never missed it. I’ve never had a client/friend/family member insist that I send them ONLY Word files, even when I used it. Plain text, RTF, PDF all work just fine. In fact, I’ve never had someone require any specific file format. They’ve just used the text I’ve sent them via email and incorporated it into whatever they were working on.

    The problem with apps like Word isn’t just M$ poor excuse for programming; It’s that they insist that a word processor also be a high end page layout app, photo editing app, drawing app, spreadsheet app, web page designer, etc., etc., etc. and that NEVER works out. The best apps throughout history have all been masters of their core purpose by ignoring unrelated feature bloat. The second some MBAnus decides to start adding unrelated stuff, disaster strikes. Anyone remember what happened to Quark Xpress when they decided to make their page layout into a web page designer? Adobe came out with InDesign and buried them.

    Don’t even get me started on the nightmare that is Excel and PowerPoint. Shudder.

  5. I’ve been a professional writer for 27 years. I started on the Mac in 1986 with Word and Pagemaker. I abandoned Word in about 2004.

    I guess I’m old fashioned. I want a word processor that takes down what I write, and doesn’t crash all the time. Since that was beyond Word, we parted ways after about 18 years.

    Pages works perfectly. It is an incredibly-powerful desktop publishing application. I’ve never used templates because to me, the content is more important than a template.

    Pages biggest problem is that it is so good that it temps me into using Pages rather than InDesign, Adobe’s professional desktop publishing application. I recently wrote a 200-page book with 100 photographs. I originally started writing it in Pages because I thought it only would be a five- or ten-page article. And Pages worked perfectly. As it got longer, I realized I was in the wrong application, and just imported my article into InDesign.

    If Pages had worked more like a Microsoft Office application, I would have realized it was inappropriate right from the start. But because Pages works so well, I was fooled.

    Pages is an absolutely great word processing/desktop publishing application that sells for a token amount of money.

  6. Alex Bortvin says:

    EndNote, EndNote, EndNote – the sole reason to keep MW around. I’ve been for years bugging Apple to create a suitable and comparable (or even better) app to no avail. The current state of the reference/citation tool in Pages is extremely poor and limited. Thus MW lives on on my Macs.

  7. I’ve had issues with converting Word files in Pages. On occasion, it messes up the formatting so much that I can’t find a way to fix it. Particularly with Word files that have heavy amounts of formatting.

    Otherwise, I like Pages and hope it gets refined and enhanced. Oh, and a version for the iPhone would be awesome!

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