Anybody else find Pages horrible?

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
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1,735
Western US
mfacey said:
I have to agree with most here that Pages didn't live up to my expectations. However, I can't agree with you that Word has been perfected. Word is complete nightmare in certain situations. Its non-intuitive and not very user friendly in many cases (especially the windows version!). I do prefer it to Pages, but its by no means the best that can be done..
Word was nearly perfect up until about version 4.0 (on the Mac), it was all downhill from there as far as I'm concerned. As for Pages, it looked pretty goofy to me as well, but the first versions of FCP, Keynote, OS X, all the iLife apps, .Mac, and pretty much anything else they're ever done were quite flakey, slow, underfeatured, and rough around the edges too. Apple just takes a long bloody time to refine their apps until they're "ready for prime time". That's fine, because once they do get an app refined, they tend to be fantastic -- I just wish they'd stop gouging us for full price each time we upgrade from their "betas" to a release-quality app. I'll check out Pages again when it gets to version 3.0.1 or so.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Word is far more productive for most people IMO because Pages just isn't a word processor. I haven't used Pages all that much and I don't own it so I suppose I can't really complain about it too much but when I have dabbled with it, it's come across as a little over-simplified. It might just be because I'm used to Office apps which are admittedly pretty bloated but nevertheless, Pages just gives the impression of being underdone and kind of useless for most people. Publisher was a horrible app and Pages is merely an Apple (much better) version albeit still kind of redundant. I realize a lot of people here use it productively but it's still a pretty niche app for now. They need to make a better GUI and add some word processing focus IMO.
 

Neuro

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2003
209
2
London
I hate the fact Pages always defaults to US English spelling. There seems to be no permanent way to switch to UK English! Arrrgh. No offence to Americans, but there are other people in the world.
 

devman

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,235
4
AU
Neuro said:
I hate the fact Pages always defaults to US English spelling. There seems to be no permanent way to switch to UK English! Arrrgh. No offence to Americans, but there are other people in the world.
Go to system preferences. Open International. Drag British English to be first in the list of languages. If it's not in the list, click the Edit button to add it.
 

weldon

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2004
642
0
Denver, CO
mad jew said:
Word is far...because Pages just isn't a word processor... Publisher was a horrible app and Pages is merely an Apple (much better) version albeit still kind of redundant.
The first week Pages was out a lot of people were crowing about a new "Word-killer" and I really felt that was offbase because the better comparison really is to Microsoft Publisher. It reminds me of a light version of Pagemaker from 10 years ago.

Still, I think that Publisher is an important program. It's a lot easier to create a newsletter with photos, columns, fancy headers, etc. in Publisher than it is in Word. I think Apple should not try and compete with Word on the Mac, but should try to create an equivalent to Publisher, only better.

When I need to create a flyer or a newsletter thing, I fire up Publisher on my Windows box because it works. I'm a teacher and sometimes that free-form page layout is the perfect thing. For handouts with pictures, I just use Word, but I'm always annoyed that I have to format the picture so that text will flow around it and I can place it anywhere on the page by drag and drop. I'd rather do stuff like that in a page layout app, but I don't need to spend the $$$$$ for Pagemaker.

Word, is a great app. I know people complain about it being bloated, but I can get everything I need done pretty quickly. I don't find that Word is slow or that it gets in my way. Of course, I've been using Word since it first came out on the Mac and Windows. I'm used to its quirks and can do things pretty easily. Today, I created a short document that has three columns of terms in the middle. I know that I have to insert a section break (continuous) and then format:columns to switch to three column, and then insert another section break (continuous) to go back to one column. Not intuitive, but easy for me.

The one thing I would like to see in Word is a reference database and auto-format for citations so I can switch to APA or MLA style as needed. My grad school professors each have their own ideas about proper style.

Again, Pages shouldn't grow into a competitor for Word. It should be Pagemaker for the rest of us.
 

devman

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,235
4
AU
mfacey said:
I have to agree with most here that Pages didn't live up to my expectations. However, I can't agree with you that Word has been perfected. Word is complete nightmare in certain situations. Its non-intuitive and not very user friendly in many cases (especially the windows version!). I do prefer it to Pages, but its by no means the best that can be done.

Keynote on the other hand is fantastic, and considerably easier to use and prettier than Powerpoint.
Great post and very well said. Being forced to use Word to write a technical book several years ago was one of the worst experiences of my life.

Anyway, back to Apple, Mellel is a very good word processor for OS X. Interestingly though, I find myself using Pages more and more often.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
for any complex formatting Word is definitly the way to sad to say, its not that bad of an app, although it is filled with bloat....

Pages is stong because of its templates, but its not good for making documents from scratch, if it improved in this area i would stick to it, but the UI definitly needs some work, toolbars and palettes need to be used more effectively and perhaps a bit more customization of the two would help a bit

for now i guess ill be typing up my poetry in Word
 

vocaro

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2004
120
0
Have to add my 2 cents here...

Except for a minor cursor glitch, I haven't encountered any bugs in Pages, and it does everything I've asked of it. I especially love the way it handles graphics. Being able to drag pictures where you want them and keep them there, letting text flow around them as you type, is sooo much nicer than what I've experienced in Word, which is usually "Dammit, Word, why did you bump my picture to the next page just because I typed three letters?"

So contrary to most of the posters here, I'm quite happy with Pages. I agree that the user interface could use some remodeling, especially the tedious Inspector pane, but overall I've been impressed with the quality of this 1.0-level app that only costs $40 (so to speak). It's a great Word alternative for those who don't need Excel and don't want to shell out several hundred bucks (MS Office) just to get something better than TextEdit.
 

weldon

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2004
642
0
Denver, CO
vocaro said:
It's a great Word alternative for those who don't need Excel and don't want to shell out several hundred bucks (MS Office) just to get something better than TextEdit.
At $80 for iWork and $150 for the student/teacher edition of Office, it's a bit harder to justify. Of course, if you get an academic discount, $50 for iWork is low enough that you might just pick up both. I'm waiting for Pages to become a more capable page layout app. I'm still a little worried that Apple won't stick with it.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I used it for 20 minutes and gave up on the program. I won't revisit the program until version 3. That's how bad I think it is.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,339
399
Boston, MA
PlaceofDis said:
for any complex formatting Word is definitly the way to sad to say, its not that bad of an app, although it is filled with bloat....

Pages is stong because of its templates, but its not good for making documents from scratch, if it improved in this area i would stick to it, but the UI definitly needs some work, toolbars and palettes need to be used more effectively and perhaps a bit more customization of the two would help a bit

for now i guess ill be typing up my poetry in Word
pages is for people like me. we don't know how to make a good layout and we don't want to be bothered with that anyway. we want a few good templates, fill our text in, move some pics around. pages is great for that as long as you use it for privat/semiprofessional.
a few more templates would be great. a few more features would be nice. but all in all a great home app for $79 (and keynote 2 is included for free :D ) i like what i get with pages. of course now way that it replaces word. or mac write pro that i still miss together with mac draw pro.
regarding the speed: it puzzles me that pages feels as fast (or slow) on a mac mini as on a 2ghz dual g5. has anybody the same feeling?
 

mfacey

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2004
1,216
0
Netherlands
I think that Apple was probably aiming to make Pages into a desktop publishing program but then found halfway through that most of the features added in were pretty similar to what word has. Maybe that's why Jobs decided to put it head to head with Word?
Word is great for standard, no non-sense typing. But as soon as you start getting a long document with various pictures and a self-updating table of contents (ie proper layout and publishing stuff) it becomes more and more awful. Once you have an 40+ pages almost everytime you move an image slightly you know its going to destroy your document. It has brought me to the point that I just want to throw my computer out of the window various times. (This was a PC by the way, I always forgive my mac by just telling myself that microsoft are the people that put me in this nightmarish situation :rolleyes: ).
Lets just hope Apple implements some major improvements to Pages in the next release. I wouldn't mind having a program that can do layout AND word-processing properly!
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
1,504
2
mfacey said:
I think that Apple was probably aiming to make Pages into a desktop publishing program but then found halfway through that most of the features added in were pretty similar to what word has. Maybe that's why Jobs decided to put it head to head with Word?
Pages is a resurrected application from more than 10 years ago. It's feature set and implementation are pretty much the same, just as the reaction of both the media and users.

Pages was never designed to be a page layout replacement. It is designed to be a step above the standard word processor layout aimed squarely at people who know nothing about page layout. This has been (in it's original form) and currently is a template driven application.

What is so amazing is that people are reacting the same way now as they did before. Always thinking that it'll become more than it currently is. This application has had more than 10 years to be rethought out and improved. If it was aiming for page layout, there was plenty of time to move it in that direction.

Pages is to page layout what painting by numbers is to art. Anyone expecting the freedom that a page layout program offers has missed what this is about. It isn't about freedom, it is about empowering people with little or no experience to produce quality documents.

The only reason Pages has been resurrected is that it was an application that Steve Jobs really liked and thought had a place even if it didn't fit into any defined category.

Steve Jobs, 1993: Pages is a stunning product, and I believe it will become a major mainstream product on NEXTSTEP.

Pages could be a good product... as soon as people start taking it for what it is rather than projecting what they want it to be onto it.

Lets look at a 1992 description of Pages from NeXTWorld:
The flip side of PasteUp's carte-blanche approach to page design is a layout program from Pages Software, which after several years in the making is close to release under the name Pages by Pages. It guides users to produce well-designed business documents by limiting their choices to a preset range provided in a companion "design model."

Pages by Pages will ship with seven design models, most aimed at corporate design (other models will be available separately from Pages and third parties). A separate program, the Pages Designer Edition, is used to create models.

Each model contains rules for typeface control, column layout, headline styling, and other elements that make up a page design. The idea is that an organization will use the product to standardize on a common look for all its documents. The constrained approach also allows users to create attractive designs easily, with a fairly flat learning curve.

The Pages user interface groups 26 page elements under six basic palettes. All elements are dragged and dropped on the page, and they interact appropriately. For example, a subhead will know that it lives in a column, so it scales to the column width.

Once users are comfortable with a design model, they have several ways to expand or change it. Every element has an inspector with controls to adjust the behavior of the element. Users may also alter a design model by overriding one or more rules, and then saving it as a style sheet. They can also create a design model from scratch with the Designer Edition.

Pages believes it has hit on a fundamentally new ap-proach to page design. It is aimed squarely at business publishing, leaving the graphic-design market to other products.
Does any of this sound familiar?

weldon said:
The first week Pages was out a lot of people were crowing about a new "Word-killer" and I really felt that was offbase because the better comparison really is to Microsoft Publisher. It reminds me of a light version of Pagemaker from 10 years ago.
Pages was compared with PageMaker during it's original run also.

PageMaker was a very powerful application 10 years ago, I should know, I have PageMaker 1.0-6.5 (and still use Aldus PageMaker 5.0a on my PowerBook 2300c today).

Trying to compare Pages to PageMaker does both a disservice. Pages wasn't attempting to be like PageMaker and PageMaker was never as limiting as Pages.

As for the comparison to Publisher... that I don't know about.

I, personally, don't have a need for Pages. TextEdit (with the help of services from other apps) does most of what I need and when I need more than that I have Create. But even though it is not a product I would want, I know people whom this product would be great for.

The best thing to do is to stop comparing it and give it a fair chance based on what it does. If it fills a need for you, great. If it doesn't, then move to what does.
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,284
38
Well then...

mad jew said:
Word is far more productive for most people IMO because Pages just isn't a word processor. I haven't used Pages all that much and I don't own it so I suppose I can't really complain about it too much but when I have dabbled with it, it's come across as a little over-simplified. It might just be because I'm used to Office apps which are admittedly pretty bloated but nevertheless, Pages just gives the impression of being underdone and kind of useless for most people.
I fail to see how it "just isn't a word processor?" I'm fairly amazed at the amount of negative responses this program has received, especially after Apple set the example with Keynote 1 and the glorious reception of version 2.

Pages is a godsend for me. I'm not sure what you people are smoking but writing is not about buttons, formatting, and margins. At the heart of writing is simplicity, I believe, and it seems a lot of people become troubled and even distraught at the apparent lack of "function." Sounds a lot like the first impressions PC users get of Macs...

Writing is a craft like art. You don't hear graphic artists complain about their palettes! I'll never understand why people want toolbars; confusing, myopic icons that march on in an endless, tyrannical parade across your screen. I despise nothing more than looking for what I'm trying to do in Word. Is it hidden behind this arrow? Maybe if I right-click? Alas.

Perhaps, then, Pages is for a different kind of writer. I write a lot of poetry and fiction, personally, and the less distraction I have on my screen the better. There are times I simply cannot interact with Word on a creative level, unless I close every window and button... so I might as well be using TextEdit.

I also fail to see how Word on the Mac is any different, or better, than Word on the PC. It looks prettier and has the same ****** GUI. What of it?

Word's only saving grace is its AutoSave if you ask me.
 

rendezvouscp

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2003
1,526
0
Long Beach, California
I've had a very good experience with Pages. The first time I used it (quite literally too) I went to Applications, opened iWork, opened Pages, and looked for a nice template. I opened it, put in my information (it was a brochure for a condominium's open house) and changed some of the default styling. Bam. I literally had a nice, clean, even pretty, brochure that only took me 15 minutes to produce. 15 minutes.

Will I be using it as a word processor? No, it's horrible at that! Will I be making research reports with it? Well, I'll be making the text in Word and then copying it over to Pages :D. Pages is an awful word processor, but a beautiful layout program.
-Chase
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,584
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Well, I own iWork, and here's my .02...

Pages seems to be a cool app. The templates look really cool, and would really spice up various documents I write for school and elsewhere, where before I simply had text and nothing else. But as a pure word processor, my first impression is that Pages blows. I admit I haven't used it more than about 30 minutes, but I wasn't impressed at all.

And no, I don't even have Microsoft Office (well I had Office v.X, but it's not installed... thinking of it, I'm not sure where the CD is...). I use TextEdit, which, since it's update with Panther, serves perfectly for my word processing needs, which is extremely modest.
 

Darwin

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2003
1,082
0
round the corner
Another question is 'What do people think to it compared to using AppleWorks?'

Do people feel there is an improvement there?

In terms of Word proccessing I mean, not all the other things like Spreadsheet, Database etc

After all that is what Pages (and Keynote) are suppose to be doing, they are replacements
 

SpaceMagic

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2003
1,740
0
Cardiff, Wales
I don't actually know why Apple are bothering. MS Office is the best program on my Mac. It does everything I could possibly want.. and more.
 

Fredstar

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2004
595
0
Near London
Pages is exactly what Apple wanted it to be, a Word processing application with style. Unfortunately style is more dominant than productivity, which is a shame. It can be very slow and choppy at times and clearly needs a lot of work on Apple's front. The templates are cool and you can make some great looking brochure and leaflets but for raw word processing it is poor imo.
It has real potential of being a cheap Word alternative...but it is not there yet, at under £50 it is very affordable and gives you a great and easy to use Presentation application and a competant Word processor. But Word is definately the superior by a large margin.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
SpaceMagic said:
I don't actually know why Apple are bothering. MS Office is the best program on my Mac. It does everything I could possibly want.. and more.
Exactly. Word is great. Yes, it's bloated, but as long as you realize that you're buying Word with no intention of using 97% of the features, the 3% of the features you DO use are perfect. I even think things are perfectly laid out (on Macs, not Windows), especially on Office 2004.

Again, I realize there is a lot of bloat, but I never really intended to use ALL the features anyway. I intended to use what I need, and Word does offer everything I need.

And I don't think Word is slow. No word processor is slow enough to bother me. And if you're right and it IS slow, then its not very noticeable, and so it isn't a big deal.
 

weldon

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2004
642
0
Denver, CO
RacerX said:
  • Pages could be a good product... as soon as people start taking it for what it is rather than projecting what they want it to be onto it.
  • Pages was compared with PageMaker during it's original run also.
  • PageMaker was a very powerful application 10 years ago, I should know, I have PageMaker 1.0-6.5 (and still use Aldus PageMaker 5.0a on my PowerBook 2300c today).
  • Trying to compare Pages to PageMaker does both a disservice. Pages wasn't attempting to be like PageMaker and PageMaker was never as limiting as Pages.
  • As for the comparison to Publisher... that I don't know about.
  • The best thing to do is to stop comparing it and give it a fair chance based on what it does. If it fills a need for you, great. If it doesn't, then move to what does.


  • Great post. I've heard of Pages by Pages, but I didn't think that Apple's Pages was a direct descendant. While I took programming classes in college on a NeXT box, I never used the app and thought it was more of a classic word processor.

    As for the rest of the discussion about comparing Pages to other apps...

    I think it's absolutely fair to compare Pages to what else is out there. 10-15 years ago, I used Word (or MacWrite or WordPerfect) for papers, letters, business documents, etc. I used Pagemaker for page layout, flyers, brochures, etc. Recently I've been using Microsoft Publisher on Windows because I haven't kept up with Pagemaker upgrades. Publisher is a lot simpler and includes a clip-art library (with additional clip-art available online through the application interface) which is perfect for a quick flyer, a greeting card, or a newsletter. Those two apps, Word and Publisher, meet all of my needs.

    I'm concerned that Pages might get dropped from the lineup if it doesn't define itself better. If it goes toe-to-toe with Word, it's going to lose. It could become a great consumer page layout app though. It has some great things going for it...
    • Beautiful Templates
    • iLife media browser
    • Simple layout
    • Compatability (import/export)

    I'd like to see Apple create a market for templates. Something like an online community where people can share templates and the community can vote on the quality of the template. Add an online clipart library that integrates with Pages in a similar fashion to iLife, and Pages would be an even better app.
 

bellis1

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2003
263
0
I'm back to Word

I'm back to word now and it has grown on me some because of the comments ability, simple thesaurus/dict, and is compatible with reference software. However, it is very slow (almost unbearable) on my stock 256mb ibook. And more importantly it does not handle figures and table nearly as well as Pages. Consequently I do most of my typing in word and then work with my figures and table in pages and include them as a separate PDF. I also have Mellel which is also nice if I just want to write smoothly without any distractions.

And iwork is worth the price just for keynote. However, why doesn't keynote have a way to dim bulleted lists once you have gone over an individual bullet. I am envious of powerpoint only for this feature.

Thanks
 

Zaty

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2004
1,214
0
Switzerland
In my opinion, Pages is not all that bad. It needs some tweaking and Apple has to fix some bugs. I'm sure Pages 2 will be a great app for everyone who wants to do basic wordprocessing and publishing without the limitations of TextEdit. I guess most people are disappointed with Pages because of the following two reasons:

a) Pages wasn't finished when it was released
b) Pre-MWSF rumours were talking about an MS Office replacement or killer so many people think of Pages as being a replacement for Word. But I think Pages was never intended to replace Word, it's more like iMovie vs. FCP/FCE.
 

jemeinc

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2004
771
0
South Jersey
weldon said:
The one thing I would like to see in Word is a reference database and auto-format for citations so I can switch to APA or MLA style as needed. My grad school professors each have their own ideas about proper style.
.
I couldn't agree more. There has to be a way to implement this. Though, getting the approval from APA, and MLA might be a problem. They want to sell their manuals, and this could, conceivably, cut into their sales.