Apples Pages 08 is
All Grown Up"> Pages 08 now sports a style toolbar button that allows users to insert paragraph and bullet styles, and change fonts and text color. In previous versions of Pages, users had to click through tabs included in the programs Inspector table to customize documents. The applications style toolbar is reminiscent of those from Microsoft Word and other word processing applications, and it will make the program more intuitive to current Pages users and newcomers alike. However, the Inspector tool is still available to devotees of that feature. Format FoiblesFor one thing, because iWorks and OS X doesnt ship with the same set of fonts that come with Windows and Office, I encountered a handful of situations in which characters and symbols from my test documents were represented in Pages by Mac-issued replacements, leading to formatting inconsistencies. The first Word-formatted document I opened in Pages, a simple outline Id created, prompted a warning that "Paragraph borders behave differently in Pages. All borders except complete outside borders were removed." This didnt seem to affect the overall layout of the page, but I did find that Pages replaced my outlines hierarchical numbering pattern (1., 1.1, 1.1.1, and so on) with a flattened numbering scheme (1, 2, 3, 4) that derailed the organization of the rest of the document. I hit another formatting snag when I attempted to edit a sample fax cover sheet. When I changed the information in the sheets TO: and FROM: fields, Pages kept adding spaces in between lines that did not appear in the original Word file. I also tried importing several templates from Word 2003, beginning with a calendar template. The Word-formatted template was set up so that each month of the year appeared on the document in separate boxes, all fitting neatly onto one page. The imported file in Pages however, was split awkwardly between two pages, with January, February, and March occupying the top portion of the page, and the remaining nine months spilled onto the second page. I was unable to then edit the template so the months would all appear on one page. I also experienced problems when I imported a schedule template. An error popped up that said "an unsupported field wasnt reported," but this didnt seem to affect the document and I found it very easy to manipulate and edit. Id read reports of users having trouble attaching Pages documents to e-mail messages, so I tried this operation out for myself. Sure enough, when I fired up Safari and attempted to attach a document Id created in Pages to a Gmail message, the Pages-formatted messages appeared grayed-out, and I could not attach them to my message. Undaunted, I tried the same operation using Mozilla Firefox. I was able to select my Pages formatted file and hit "attach," but the process would not complete. I then tried compressing the file before attempting to attach it, and this did the trick. eWEEK Labs Technical Analyst Tiffany Maleshefski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through her blog, Desktop Confidential.
Considering that there probably isnt an organization around that doesnt at some point have to deal with Microsoft Office-formatted documents, one of the most important features I tested was Pages capacity for importing and exporting these files. The test documents I created in Office 2003 all ran into formatting issues when I attempted to open and edit these documents in Pages 08.