Apple iWork '08

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Apple iWork '08
  • Apple iWork '08
  • Apple iWork '08
  • Apple iWork '08
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Apple iWork '08's three applications have excellent comment and mark-up support; the ability to open documents saved in the native Open XML format used by Office 2007 for Windows; Page Layout mode gives consumers much of the capability of professional tools like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress at a fraction of their cost; Apple Keynote '08 gives you the ability to record a voice track for a presentation

Cons

  • We would have preferred to see Apple include some layout-only, contentless templates for Numbers and Pages in Apple iWork '08; clumsy way of creating a layout in Word Processing mode that you can make in Page Layout

Bottom Line

Users comfortable with Microsoft Office may find it takes time to get used to Apple iWork '08. Advanced Word and Excel users, especially those who rely on specialised features and functions, will probably find Apple Pages '08 and Apple Numbers '08 to be limited. If you do rely on specific functions in Microsoft Excel or features in any of the Microsoft Office applications that are even slightly outside the more general types of usage, you will probably want to download the Apple iWork '08 30-day trial to ensure that the tools you need are there before buying. And, to be sure, the process of having to export files when interacting with Microsoft Office users could get old quickly if you have to do that regularly. But overall, Apple iWork '08 is beautifully designed -- a compelling product and great value for consumers and small business alike. It brings tons of innovation over previous versions of Apple iWork as well as many office suites on the market. And it turns typical office tasks and documents into creative outlets. That it offers all that it does for $99 is, frankly, hard to believe.

Would you buy this?

With iWork '08, the latest generation of its office suite, Apple has given Mac users a powerful alternative to Microsoft's Office for Mac. This new version finally offers an alternative to Excel called Numbers, a spreadsheet tool unlike any that has come before it. It also adds some great new features to iWork's other two applications -- the presentation program Keynote and the word processor Pages -- including a few that many users felt were lacking in previous releases.

For example, all the Apple iWork '08 applications now present a contextual Format Bar that displays only the controls or commands relevant to a selected item. This makes it easier to locate specific image effects, text styles or even spreadsheet functions based on what you are working with. In many cases, Apple iWork '08's Format Bar brings up commands that were always commonly needed but used to be buried somewhere in one of the tabs of the Inspector palette.

Sharing and collaboration seems to be an overall key focus in Apple iWork '08. Pages, Keynote and Numbers all offer a variety of export and sharing options that range from integration with Apple's iWeb to, in the case of Keynote, publishing directly to YouTube.

And collaboration isn't limited to just putting your material out there. Apple iWork '08's three applications have excellent comment and mark-up support, allowing multiple users to easily make suggestions, explain changes, and provide information about whole sections or single items in a document.

The Apple iWork '08 suite also offers the ability to open documents saved in the native Open XML format used by Office 2007 for Windows (though exporting files to Office still puts them in Office 2003 format). This is a major achievement for anyone who needs to exchange files with Office 2007 users, since it means that you don't need to make special requests if you're the only iWork user on a project. It also makes Apple iWork '08 a more reasonable choice in a wide range of environments.

Evident across the board is Apple's continued commitment to providing users with high-end templates to use as a starting point for projects. The design quality and visual impact of the templates in all of the Apple iWork '08 applications is superb and, unlike the templates in most office suites, these actually include sample content (and, in the case of Numbers, functions and formulas) so you truly see how to use the design. This is particularly helpful in Numbers, which includes templates for things that you might never think about using a spreadsheet for, such as planning a dinner party, a vacation itinerary or a home improvement project.

As helpful as this can be for new users, however, the sample content can become annoying after a while when you already have a clear idea of where you want to go with a new document. Apple iWork '08 allows you to create your own blank templates by deleting the sample material and saving the empty pages as a new template; and many of the templates in Apple iWork '08 have the welcome ability to add a new blank page, in addition to the content-filled pages that were always there. Still, we would have preferred to see Apple include some layout-only, contentless templates for Numbers and Pages in Apple iWork '08.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?