Apple iWork ‘08 is an office suite for the Mac. It was released on August 7, 2007, and is offered for $79, a price affordable to all pockets. iWork ‘08 works with an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 machine with a 500MHz or better processor, and a RAM of 512MB or higher, running OS X10.4.10.
iWork ‘08 has a number of new features that make it more acceptable to present-day applications. It has a spreadsheet application, i.e., Numbers, equivalent to Excel in Microsoft Office. The new spreadsheet is of great help to new Mac users. The older version of iWork did not have spreadsheet software, and many of Mac users had to purchase Excel.
Apple added the new features in iWork ‘08 without changing the file formats. iWork ‘08 finds its application in both home and business computing activities.
Pages is featured with a Contextual Format Bar that adds more convenience in formatting text and pictures. This tool automatically displays the editing and formatting options according to the context, such as text or an image. Another feature added to Pages is the Change Tracking, a feature that is similar to the Track changes in Microsoft Word. This feature of Pages can be integrated with Microsoft Word files.
Apart from these changes, Pages has all standard features such as a dictionary and thesaurus, table of contents, etc. Pages is capable of detecting the list entry and formatting it with bulleted points. It can integrate the charts and functions from Numbers. Pages offers a number of templates for letters, reports, resume, etc. There is a program Adobe InDesign, with which you can create complex page designs on your own. The Instant Alpha feature allows you to add and cut out backgrounds in images, a feature similar to that in Photoshop.
iWork ‘08 Numbers offers all the features that are expected from a spreadsheet for a home or normal office activity. Numbers does not offer complicated accounting features for an accountant or a mathematician. There are many templates such as travel planners, business expense sheets, and school science lab reports, etc., in Numbers. It allows saving and exporting Excel-readable files.
Numbers offers general formatting features as with Excel. However, some of the commands such as the resizing of rows and columns are done better in Numbers. The interactive Print View is another noticeable feature that makes it different from Excel. Apart from offering the 150 formulas that Excel offers, Numbers uses more user-friendly languages for using formulas.
Comparing Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and Keynote, one would not rate Keynote as a better application, but surely he will notice the difference between the two. Keynote offers 140 templates for designing your presentation. Animation controls are made easy with the New Action Builds and the Smart Builds. It is now easy to create basic point A-to-B motion animation, rotate photographs, etc. The transition between the slides is quite easier in Keynote. Similar is the case with the new voiceover recording features. It enables you to say and narrate podcasts with pictures.
To conclude, Apple iWork ‘08 can be called a competent office software suite for Mac users, especially for home and general office activities. The only drawback is the lack of a dedicated e-mail application in it.