I remember sitting in the computer lab in elementary school learning how to type letters and make outlines. We would sit at our iMacs and open up Clarisworks or Appleworks and start pressing keys on the keyboard.
The program was easy to use. The Appleworks suite came with painting, drawing, and spreadsheet options built right in. There were also endless choices of templates to choose from if you needed a project idea. Wizards would help a user set up an address on envelope, all by typing the information in the designated fields.
Then something happened. I can not remember when the switch was made, but I started using Microsoft Office. The Apple based program just seemed to disappear. My father and I joined the mainstream and acquired Microsoft Office for our MacCube and iBook to use. Office lacked the numerous templates to choose from, but PowerPoint gave everyone a whole new way to make a presentation.
Now a die-hard Apple user and a current college student, I received an email from Apple, ‘Introducing iWork ’09’. I had never used iWork before, so I took a quick tour on the Apple website. I was astounded by what Apple had created. Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are the Macintosh equivalent of Microsoft Office. I decided to download the trial and give it a whirl.
I opened up Pages and explored the features. It runs just like the word processor I used in elementary school. It is a smooth application with many templates that the user can use to create beautiful flyers and newsletters. My favorite feature is the ‘Full Screen’ option, which blows the document up to cover the computer screen and remove distractions like iChat and Facebook.
Then I explored Keynote. Like Pages to Word, it has many more options then PowerPoint. I love how the user can even choose the size of the slides. I also explored Numbers. I never had much use for spreadsheets, but the application looked beautiful regardless.
After exploring the features of iWork, I immediately purchased a serial number.
I believe my favorite feature of the whole iWork suite is that you can open Microsoft Office files. I will still be able to open .doc files from my professors after I delete Office from my computer. If that is not good enough, the user can also save their files as the Office equivalent. I love typing in Pages, much better than Word. I can save my Pages file as a .doc file, and send it to my professor without any hassle or problems.
If you are a Mac person who is still using Microsoft Office, I suggest you make the switch to iWork. It is a beautiful program to run on the system it was built to run on. You will be questioning whether or not Office needs that space on your hard drive.