Monday, May 19, 2014

Why I Choose Pages

You're going to write a blog post about Pages? It's just a word processor, right? How boring!

Not so! Pages is one of my most frequently used computer applications. It's more than just word processing... it's beautifully-designed reports, newsletters, résumés, cards, posters, and more. It's easy-to-use graphic design and publishing capability.

Pages is, "...simple to use, easy to learn and has sharing features that should finally put an end to [your] complaints about friends who are unable to open the documents [you] send them... [Apple] has rethought its approach to the most boring of computer applications — the word processor — with some impressive results. It particularly shines in three areas: appearance, compatibility and sharing." (Shear)

Some features that make Pages my word processing software of choice are:
  • The Pages template chooser offers great designs that are easy to tailor to your own tastes and needs.
  • Menus and options are visual and easy to access using the formatting window (formerly the inspector).

Pages has, "...a contextual panel that slides out from the right. Editing text? Out pops the buttons for bold, font size and justification. Inserting a table? The panel switches to let you modify the rows and columns. Add a picture and you automatically get options for borders and shadows." (Shear)
  • Multimedia is readily available, tied to iPhoto and iTunes.
  • Automatic centering guidelines make arranging the components of projects easy.
  • Sharing and exporting options allow sharing of documents in various file formats so that you can share projects with people who use other word processing programs.
  • iCloud sharing options make your files easily accessible on various computer operating systems as well as iOS devices.
"The new version of Pages introduces an all-new sharing option, powered by the company’s iCloud service, that works remarkably well. Type in a person’s email address, click send, and that person receives a link to your document. When the link is clicked, the document opens in a web browser that looks like a fully functioning Pages application.... The recipient doesn’t have to have Pages installed or have an iCloud account. It even makes Mac-PC sharing easy. The new version runs just fine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari on a Windows PC." (Shear)

In case the templates and tools that come with Pages aren't enough, there are many online tools and apps available to enhance Pages even more:

  • The Toolbox for Pages app is available in the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store for free. Toolbox provides extra templates and graphics, some paid and some free, for creating even more Pages projects.
  • Templates Box for Pages is also available on the Mac App Store. It is a bit pricey, but also provides new templates for use in Pages, including Calendar templates.
  • There are a limited amount of free template downloads available from StockLayouts as well as paid membership options. I have found these a little more difficult to use, but it's still nice to have some freebees available.
  • iWork Community is an online community built for sharing free templates created by Mac users who love Pages.
  • And for those of you who can't live without them, here is the link to a template for Avery Labels with Address Book Merge!

For those of you who are less familiar with how to use Pages, following are several resources for learning more about the application:

Not only is Pages great for all the teacher projects you need to complete, it is also great for student projects. Check out these great examples:

  • Posters 

  • Brochures

  • Reading Responses, Notes, Storyboards

  • Reports

  • Newsletters

  • Memory Books

Pages isn't so boring after all, is it? There are many amazing things you can do in Pages, from word processing, to project creation. If you haven't ever given it a try, maybe it's time you do!

Shear, Michael D.. "Apple’s Pages, Going the Distance With Word." The New York Times 27 Nov. 2013, U.S. ed., sec. State of the Art: 1-2. Web.

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