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How To Take Advantage of the New iWork App Updates

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Best-selling author and avid iPhone/iPad user Jason R. Rich explains the new features added to the most recent edition of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for the iPad and iPhone, and how they can best be used.

Three of the most powerful and versatile apps available for Apple’s iPad and iPhone are Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, which are sold separately for $9.99 each from the App Store. This trio of iWork apps is used for word processing, spreadsheet management, and for creating and presenting digital slide shows, respectively.

All three apps are fully compatible with their Mac version counterparts (sold separately from the Mac App Store), and each integrates with iCloud, so documents and files created using these apps can automatically sync with Macs and other iOS mobile devices.

In addition, Pages can import documents created using Microsoft Word on a PC or Mac, or export documents in Word format that were created from scratch within Pages. Similar compatibly also exists between Numbers and Microsoft Excel, as well as between Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Since the iWork apps were first introduced, they have undergone a series of updates, each time making them more powerful, thanks to new features and functionality being added. The most recent update to the iWork apps was released in early March 2012 by Apple, in conjunction with the launch of the new iPad and iOS 5.1. If you’re already a Pages, Numbers, and/or Keynote user, you can upgrade to version 1.6 of each app from within the App Store by tapping on the Updates command icon.

In addition to now supporting the new iPad’s Retina display to more clearly showcase graphics and photos that are incorporated into documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, all three apps now allow users to create visually impressive, three-dimensional bar, line, area, and pie charts. Plus, the three apps fully support the new iPad’s Dictation feature, and offer a redesigned user interface.

Apple has also improved how the virtual keyboard of the iPhone or iPad is utilized for text or data entry; however, all three apps support the use of an optional external keyboard. This keyboard not only improves the speed at which text or data entry is possible, but also features directional navigation arrows (used for quickly moving around within a file or document).

Get Started Using Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Pages is a full-featured word processor. The Library screen of Pages (shown in Figure 1), which is what you’ll see when the app first launches, displays thumbnails representing each document that’s stored within the iPad. The user interface and options available from this Library screen are almost identical within all three iWork apps.

Figure 1 The Library screen of Pages, Numbers, or Keynote is where you can manage app-related documents or files.

To create a new document from scratch in Pages, tap on the plus sign icon displayed in the upper-left corner of this screen. Next, tap on the Create Document icon that’s displayed, and choose from one of the 16 preinstalled templates to start working with. You can also import a document from iTunes, iDisk, or WebDAV by tapping on the plus sign icon. Another way to import a document or file into an iWork app is to receive it as an attachment via email on your iPad or iPhone.

By holding your finger on any file name that’s displayed under an icon that represents a document or file on the Library screen, you can quickly rename it. Simply type the new file name when the Rename Document screen, and a blank file name field appears.

As you can see in Figure 2, by tapping on the Edit command icon that’s displayed in the upper-right corner of the Library screen, three additional command icons (displayed near the upper-left corner of the screen) become active, as soon as you tap on one or more document thumbnails in order to select and highlight them.

Figure 2 Tap on the Edit command to access additional command icons for managing app-specific documents or files.

With one document thumbnail selected and highlighted, the Share icon becomes active. Tap on it to export and share the selected document via email, iWork.com, iTunes, iDisk, or WebDAV. Tap on the Copy icon (displayed next to the Share icon) to make a duplicate of a document with a different file name.

If you have iCloud functionality turned on when using Pages, Numbers, or Keynote, as soon as you make any changes to a document or file, those updates are uploaded to iCloud and synced with your Mac(s) and/or other iOS mobile devices that have Internet access and that are linked to the same iCloud account. So, if you want to keep the current version of a document or file as-is, but also create a revised edition of the document that will include edits or changes, make a copy of the document or file first, and edit the newly created copy. This way, the original document or file remains intact, but the revisions also become available on all of your computers and devices.

To erase a document from your iPad or iPhone (as well as from iCloud and all of the computers and devices linked to your iCloud account), highlight one or more document thumbnails and then tap on the trash can icon that’s displayed near the upper-left corner of the Library screen.

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