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QotD: Pages

Question: What do you like most about Pages? Dislike most?

My Answer: It seems to export its styles in a format Word can understand. We may just be able to use it for the book after all. I wish the styles sidebar had a way of hiding unused styles. Keep them available for when I need to apply one the first time, but otherwise keep them out of my sight. I might never use some, and trying to find the 5 I use in a big long list is tedious. Can't say I've used it enough at this point to render a decision on the "dislike most" portion, but the icon could sure be better. 😉

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

4 Responses to "QotD: Pages"

  1. I like the icon, but it does seem odd that an application called "Pages" doesn't have a single piece of paper in its icon. I guess they just wanted to keep it distinct from the TextEdit icon or something.

    I love the way Pages deals with styles. The red arrow which lets you know if you've made a change, and the quick and easy "redefine style to match selection" is great. Having them survive an export to Word is great, and the conversion to CSS for HTML export is a good idea too (although other parts of HTML export are currently broken).

    I think some people will complain about the drawer, though. I have to admit, the use of a drawer wastes some space if you only have a few styles. Perhaps we'll see the option to have it use an NSPanel will show up in a future version. (like the "Detach Info" option which was added to iCal at some point.) Even better would be for Apple to allow drawers to be resized in both directions instead of just one, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    The main thing I dislike is the lack of any easy way to delete a page. An interface similar to Keynote's slide management for moving pages around would be great.

  2. I can't figure out how to redefine the built in styles for the "Blank Page". I could save a new template, but you can't save over the base one. Seems like a lot of work do something simple like change the default font.

    I would also like to move whole pages. With the way templates work, it's hard to reorganize the document buy re-organizing pages.

  3. It's not scriptable, so unless you like dealing with Raw XML, if you use pages, you can only interact outside of keynote via manual export functions.

    Whereas, thanks to Microsoft giving PowerPoint 2004 an Applescript Dictionary, if you use PPT 2004, you can get this:

    In2Power

    Giving an application a good AppleScript dictionary allows people who otherwise wouldn't use it, or not use it a lot, use it for really cool things in ways you cannot imagine. It gives a product a life of its own, and I cannot begin to comprehend why APPLE is so bad about AppleScript in its applications.

  4. The "Blank" template is at /Applications/iWork/Pages.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Templates/Traditional/Blank/Blank.template

    Replace "English" with another language if necessary, and change "Traditional" to "ISO" if you use A4 paper .. "Traditional" is US Letter size. (Note that "Traditional" is only available for Englishs.)

    I'm guessing that they wanted to include Applescript, but just didn't get it done in time. They tend to add Applescript support last, and there are a lot of things about Pages which suggest that they had to rush to get it ready in time for MacWorld SF. I'm sure we'll see it in Pages 2.0, or perhaps even in a smaller update.

    Given the huge effort they're putting into Tiger's new Automator feature, I'm sure that Apple will ship Automator actions and an Applescript dictionary for Pages at some point.


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