Pages for Mac: What’s New and Useful?

Pages for Mac: What's New and Useful?

Are you a Mac user? If you are, you know that OS X Mavericks is here. Apple’s iWork suite has been updated too, so let’s look at what’s new and useful in Pages.

Here’s a pleasant surprise, not only is Mavericks free, but if you own Pages et al, those updates are free too. However, Apple’s new free update policy is confusing, to say the least:

If you want your free iWork and iLife apps—on OS X Mavericks or on iOS—you have to first visit the Mac App Store to do so. When you do, however, the “Buy” button for those apps will be replaced with “Download” or “Update” (or the iCloud icon on the iOS App Store).

So if you already own Pages, open the App Store and download your free update. :-)

Oh no, where’s the status bar?

With luck, an updated app offers speed enhancements as well as new features. Unfortunately, features you rely on tend to vanish when the user interface is “improved.” I hate that.

You’ll notice that Pages’ floating panels are now part of the workspace; accessed via the Toolbar. All well and good; the full screen view’s much improved, because the document thumbnails and formatting tools are within reach.

My sole quibble’s the status bar. I’ve dug around, but I can’t find it. Why remove the status bar? I’m used to checking the bar for the word count. Now the word counter floats at the bottom of the document. Not an improvement, for me anyway. You may love it.

OK, enough with the quibbling, here’s what I like.

Useful: instant updating on all devices, via iCloud

Initially, I missed File/ Save As, but I’ve gotten used to it. I opened an older document on my computer to test Pages, and saving it to iCloud was easy. You just click the dropdown list next to the document’s name in the title bar, and choose iCloud, as you can see in the image below.

iCloud sharing

Open Pages on another device, and keep working on your document. I opened my iPad, and there the document was. You’ll need to update to iOS 7 for this to work.

Useful: easy document sharing, anywhere you choose

Document sharing’s simplicity itself in Pages now. Just click the Share icon in the Toolbar, and share a link, or share a copy of the document. Sharing options: Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook.

You can see when a document’s shared, and you can also stop sharing it. Here’s the Sharing dialog, in the image below.

a shared document

 

Brilliant! Collaborate on the Web with Pages for iCloud

Although this latest version of Pages makes document revisions easier, I’m thrilled with the new iWork for iCloud. You can work with anyone on a document, just share the link, and they can open it in any Web browser to make changes. (Click the Gear icon, and choose Share Document to get the link.)

iCloud collaboration

Pages for iCloud

If you’re as tired of juggling documents, people and document revisions as I am, Pages for iCloud will make you smile with delight.

So there you have it: a taste of what’s new and useful in Pages for Mac. Download and enjoy. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

Send to Kindle: Read Your Stuff on Your Kindle (or Kindle App)

Send to Kindle
Send to Kindle

I’m a huge Kindle fan; I spend much of my day in the Kindle app on my iPad. Either I’m reading my own material, or I’m reading something for a client, or I’m reading for entertainment.

A couple of my writing students weren’t aware that you can use your Kindle for your own documents, so here’s an explanation of how it works.

By the way — sending your own docs is free, as long as you use wifi. If you’re using Amazon’s WhisperNet services, charges apply. 

Read your stuff on your Kindle, or in a Kindle app

Important: you don’t need to own a Kindle device. You can use the Kindle app on your computer, phone or tablet – no device necessary. I own a couple of Kindle devices, but rarely use them; the apps are handier, especially when traveling. You’ve always got your phone in your pocket or bag: the Kindle app’s very readable, even on your phone.

The ability to read your own stuff on the Kindle is very useful. “Your own stuff” may be PDFs, MS Word docs, or other popular file types. Visit Amazon’s Send to Kindle page for info.

Blogging? If you’re a WordPress blogger, you can install the Send to Kindle plugin so that your visitors can read blog posts later.

I’ve got the Send to Kindle app on my computer, so I drag files across to the app’s icon upload them. The next time I open the Kindle app on my iPad, the files are there, under Docs.

You can also send files via email. Just send them to your Kindle email address. (Add the address to your contacts list.)

Wondering how you can use the Send to Kindle facility?

1. Review long documents you’re creating: “publish” them to the Kindle

When you’re creating long documents (books, reports) send them to the Kindle to review them while you’re away from your computer. I often drag documents across to the Send to Kindle app so that I can do a final read-through before I send an ebook to a client.

2. Create yet another backup

If you’re truly paranoid about losing hours of work, send important documents to your Kindle address to create another backup.

3. Catch up on your reading

Brett Kelly’s just come out with version 4 of the excellent Evernote Essentials book. (It’s a free update if you own version 3.) I dragged it straight to Send to Kindle; I’ll read it over the weekend, while relaxing.

4. Create a reference library

Every business has business reference material, everything from legal documents to price lists. You can keep these references in your Kindle library, so that you can access them anywhere.

Send to Kindle’s an excellent utility. Give it a try.
, and on Twitter: @angee