Etc etc here's a review etc etc as good as Word 08 etc etc pro-apple steve jobs fellation etc blah. ------ Brief pages justification I just ordered iWork 09. Partially, when theres a student discount applied, £35 just cant be disagreed with. More importantly, as a student, after using the trial for a month, I dont really want to go back. Im a humanities university student (Philosophy, if you care!), so my needs are words. No presentations, although I think keynote has enough of a reputation there that anyone can expect it to outperform Powerpoint/etc. My weekly output is 2 2000 word essays, plus about 4000 words of notes. So, yeah, however many pages that is. Probably far too many. Attempting to write this by hand would, unsurprisingly, leave me with offensively calloused hot-dogs for fingers, so, word processor! Not Numbers; Im justifying my purchase of iWork off the back of Pages 09 alone. First argument; I can do everything in Pages that I can in Word.' This always strikes me as a bit weak, but here we go... Ill be honest, I struggle to articulate exactly what a high end feature of Word would be. Regardless, this is what I can do in Pages that I know Ive been doing in Word. Typing (always a good start) Changing font-sizes up and down Bullet pointing Indenting Text Bold/Italics Headers and footers Footnotes Inserting images General formatting Spellchecking Word-counting Save as .doc Can I stop now? There are other features that Pages has (Like, obv.). However, they dont affect me, and I imagine wont affect the student in my situation; that is, I write essays, and nothing else.' So, there are no tasks that I can accomplish with Word that I cannot accomplish with Pages (in my own reasonable frame of reference). Is there anything the other way around? To keep this fair, and talk strictly about academic use, not really. That is, there is nothing I can do in Pages which I cannot do in Word (again, for me) So why am I insisting on Pages? Its not ability, so what is it locking me in like this? In the end, very much a case of style over substance. Only, its substantially stylish, I think. My essays look better in Pages. Not because of a magic Improve! button (although hey, iWork 10, bring it on!), just through formatting. With a style-drawer open to the side of the page, bullet-pointing and numbering is immediately accessible. Just quicker than with Word. Accordingly, I use them more; its less of a faff to bring them in, so rather than messy listing, it looks that bit cleaner when I make my notes. Also while notemaking, the default members of the style drawer are as multi-purposed as anyone would need; Title, Heading 1, Heading 2, and then some for footnotes, headers, footers, and captions. Ive been using them roughly as Essay Title (that Im noting for), Book title (that Im currently noting), Section title (sub-topics within books). Again, this is something I could just as easily do in Word, but having it right there for me, cleanly and usefully presented, gives me an impetus to do it. As for essay writing...theres a template included, Modern Report', that I like to use. Here I start to get tingles listing all the presets; Authors name, better header and footer, better Headings 1 & 2, better Title, a setting for long quotes, a setting for citing sources...it makes an essay gorgeous. Not flashy, just very, very presentable. Of the toolbox that is iWork, theres a tool thats effectively a silver scalpel for essay-writers here. Quick analogy. Just before I started using Pages, a friend showed me his new copy of Office 2008. Cooing Look at this, he showed me an essay hed knocked up with the equivalent feature in Word. So he showed me this trashy, 80s logod, cheap looking essay. Fantastic essay; the guys a genius. Just lacking in taste it seems. Theres so much Pages isnt doing wrong. By the way, yes, Im exporting this, emailing, problem free. I like the Share > Send Via Mail > Word tree, in particular. Although, technically, there are features which Im using which really arent in Word. This is the new stuff mostly; the full screen mode is a miracle; one more weapon in the fight against Facebook. Also, the outline mode. Great for note-taking, great for playing around with planning essays, or just for showing off. In the same way that Pages is making me format more, Outline mode is making me plan more. Its a workflow thats not just more effective than what I had before; its also easier. Time is getting on; its approaching working times now. But yes. A quick review. My trial expires today, the same day my copy is due to arrive, so fingers crossed Im not left dry. If youre a student just looking to write essays and note, theres every reason to take the cheaper, slicker option. Im not saying it cant handle anything more; but day to day, Pages trumps Word hands down for me.