November 19, 2009

What I would change about Pages ‘09

I know you look at my blog and you say, "That Chad W. Smith must be rollin' in it! He's bringing home the big BLOGGER money!!!" But, as hard as it may be to believe, I actually have to have a real job in order to... ya know... survive. In real life I design thing, mostly print stuff, and to do that I use a number of programs, but Pages '09 is by far the most often used app. And I've had it just about as long as it has been out, and I used Pages '08 before that.
Let me quickly state that I love Pages - as I said, I use it all the time, and I have alternatives. I have Adobe Creative Suite 4, (InDesign), MS Office 2008, (Word), MS Office 2007, (Publisher), and, etc. - but I almost aways use Pages, so it's my favorite by far - both in practice and in theory. But it is not perfect. So using my nearly a year's experience I want to share with you, (and hopefully some random Apple R&D person), how to make Pages better.
  1. Add “Outline” Style to the text options (just like it is in iMovie ‘09). It makes no sense that an included video editing program has more text options than the not-included desktop publishing, word processing, presentation software package does. In fact, make the Outline option a universal option across all Apple software, including TextEdit.
  2. Allow scrolling off the sides of the page - left and right - no matter the zoom level. Sometimes text boxes, images, etc. expand beyond the edges of a page - and to zoom it back to fit on the page, you have to grab the corners - but you can’t if they are off the page - but you can fix that unless you can grab the corners that aren’t on the page - but you can’t if they are off the page - but you can’t fix that................[see a pattern here? I do.]
  3. Allow access to all the options - not just the ones you think I want to go with my selected template. I get that you are trying to help me by limiting my choice - and I understand that too many options can be frustrating and counterproductive... However, if there are 82 included “picture frames” for images and text boxes - give me the option to see all 82, not just the 11 that “match” the theme. That option can be off by default, but allow me an easy way to see them all if I want to. Same goes for any other options you might be hiding from me. (BTW, my Frames folder - Library/Application%20Support/iWork%20%2709/Frameworks/SFRendering.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Frames/ - has 82 items in it - but I've installed a few templates, so I don't know how many actually came with iWork '09.)
  4. Make hyphenation a text box by text box option, not an entire document toggle. You can have a document-wide default, but let me override that default on whatever text box or boxes I choose.
  5. Make columns useable in Desktop Publishing mode. How crazy is it that they are not? I mean a column on a page - not a column within a text box. If you are not sure what I mean - at least makes some kind of auto-column ruler guide thingy where I say I want 4 evenly spaced columns with .25” of space between them, and the guides show up over the whole document. Having to create my own column breaks and gaps with ruler marks and do the math to try to get them as close to even as I can is crazy. Plus - how easy are those guides to accidentally move once I get them where I want them? Which leads me to...
  6. Make ruler guides lockable.
  7. Make rules guides dragged-box-selectable.
  8. Make ruler guides group-able.
  9. Make ruler guides copy-paste-able.
  10. Add “Select the item beneath this one” option, or some better worded version of that.
  11. Make shadowing able to be MUCH MUCH MUCH darker so I don’t have to “layer” duplicated text boxes to get the effect I want. (This is also my only work around for the lack of an outline option - see problem #1.)
  12. Allow me to type in the Hex code of the color I want. Again - something that should be Apple Software universal.
I hope you guys at Apple are hard at work on iWork '10 - but if you could add these to your ToDo list - that'd be great. Even better if you could make them all a Software Update for '09! Thanks!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good list.
I use Keynote for work, and it allows for a refreshing look to presentations after years and years of PowerPoint. My one big thing that I would request is the ability to scroll out your working view more easily (i.e. Ctrl + scroll wheel). Right now I have to used "Shift + Cmd + <" or "Shift + Command + >" which is kind of annoying.