Pages, Numbers and Keynote get overhaul for OS X

Pages, Numbers and Keynote get overhaul for OS X

Summary: Apple released the first major update to iWork in almost four years. Here's a look at what's new in Apple's revamped productivity suite.

TOPICS: Apple, Software
Here's what's new in iWork for OS X (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) - Jason O'Grady

As a long-suffering user of Apple's productivity suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) it's been a rough few years. 

In December 2012 I asked if iWork was on life support because it hadn't received a significant update in almost four years. Then in February 2013 I wrote that business users were losing faith in iWork because it wasn't being updated at the expense of iOS development. 

All that changed this week when Apple released significant updates to its office apps at Tuesday's fall event in San Francisco (CNET live blog, ZDNET Apple coverage). 

It's been a while since Pages, Numbers and Keynote were bundled together and Apple appears to have made a clean break from the "iWork" branding. They're individual downloads from the Mac App Store and are now referred to as Creative Apps on

Update: According to Apple's Up-to-Date program, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free on the Mac App Store for qualifying Mac computers purchased on or after October 1, 2013. OS X Mavericks and an Apple ID is required. I had iWork '09 installed on my Mac and the updated apps appeared (for free) under the Purchases tab in the Mac App Store. Full eligibility instructions and steps on how to get the apps are available here.

All of the new Apple apps include a new user interface, templates, toolbar, format panel, iCloud syncing, cross-platform editing at, sharing via Mail, Messages, Twitter or Facebook and the ability to import, edit and save Microsoft Office files. 

Here's what else is new. 

Pages 5.0 (product page, Mac App Store)

  • Reviewing tools and multiple author support (change tracking, highlights and comments)
  • Interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • New preset styles
  • Easy setup for headers, footers and document body
  • 2D bubble charts
  • Enhanced conditional highlighting

Numbers 3.0 (product page, Mac App Store)

  • New tab navigation
  • Free-form canvas. Place multiple tables, charts and images anywhere on the page
  • Smart cell view with live formula results, error checking, exact value and cell format
  • Built-in help and autocomplete help with formulas
  • Quick calculations to save favorite functions
  • Interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • 2D bubble charts
  • Enhanced conditional highlighting
  • New filter panel
  • New star ratings cell format

Keynote 6.0 (product page, Mac App Store)

  • New themes with coordinated fonts, colors, textures and backgrounds
  • New animations with cinema-quality transitions and effects
  • Updated Magic Move animations
  • New Emphasis Build animations
  • Centered canvas for greater layout control
  • Interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • 2D bubble charts

Many people will make the argument that we live in a world dominated by Microsoft Office, but Apple's productivity apps can open and save Office documents and free beats renting your software by the month any day. 

Topics: Apple, Software

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  • Free vs Renting

    "free beats renting your software by the month any day. "

    That's true if your needs are light. But iWorks is to weak for business and enterprises. Google Apps and MS Office / Office 365 are far ahead and that's the reason they pay for it.

    BTW, does Apple admitted that iWorks / OS X are a failure since are giving them away for free?
    • Does it mean Android is a failure because Google is giving it away free?

      Makes as much sense as your question regarding OS X above!
      • There is a difference

        Android is free because the way Google works, free applications/services for your privacy. Apple and MS are different, since they sell products (hardware, applications). iWorks was cheap and now free, while MS make billions with Office / Office 365. Same as OS X and Windows. Maybe the hardware covers what Apple invests in software development, while MS is very focused in their applications, resulting in a better product (at least iWorks vs MS Office).
        • free applications/services for your privacy???

          Good comment with the exception of the privacy thing. Guaranteed that anything you create using Google's apps and stored with them is allowed to be read by prying eyes. Google built a good reputation on security and privacy while at the same time letting their rich Uncle butt slam us in the process. As far as I'm concerned, all of the Tech players from top to bottom have deceived us...only caring about our hard earned bucks that we give them without hardly a question regarding their practices. It's [your data] only safe/private when it's on your own device in your own home.
          • Google built a good reputation on security and privacy ???

            In what planet was that??

            Google has had plenty of security and privacy issues for over 10 years. Just because the media decides to ignore Google's violations does not mean they haven't violated plenty of laws and paid millions in fees in pretty much every country they provide services.
          • Targeted Ads for one...

            I love how often Google serves up an ad, or suggests a search result to me, and is RIGHT on the money, yet I have never "told" Google about those connections in my life.
            I have real concerns over Google's definition of privacy...
        • I think they realized they need to include more in...

          ...their "over-priced" hardware. Everyone else either charges you a fee or steals your privacy. Here the cost is a one time hardware purchase. As a consumer it makes more sense.
    • Office 365, yes. Google Apps? Um, in a word... no.

      The new iCloud version of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are significantly better than the Google Docs editors... they feel like real apps.
      • I agree

        Not a big fan of the google apps.
        • Apps not great but collaboration

          The collaboration in Google docs can be really useful.

          iCloud is going after the same thing though I believe.
      • Mac Office 365 users get to pay full price for only a few of the apps

        There is a vast range of apps in the Office suite. Only a few work on a Mac, yet Mac users pay full price for the Office 365 package.
      • Keynote is the best presentation software

        Don't we all spend time trying to make a PowerPoint presentation not look like a PowerPoint presentation? Give me Keynote any day.
    • "Google Apps (is) far ahead"?

      Huh? No.
      We use Google Apps extensively/exclusively here. My kids have the Apple "iWork" suite exclusively for school. ESPECIALLY on their ios devices, the "iWork" apps are MUCH better than the Google apps.

      Try using them. You might be surprised. I was shocked.

      I'm not switching our folks off of Google Apps, but our users may migrate on their own over the next year or two as they use their own devices more and more. The next move is definitely Google's. The latest Chromebook from Acer is (finally) a step in the right direction, but I don't know if anyone will prefer that experience to their iPad.
    • ah yes Light / lightweight was the Marketing decision by MS

      Thanks for getting the MS spin in here. Wouldn't want to miss it.

      Haven't we realised yet that Fat is bad?

      On eof the problems with MS Office is that it's overloaded with features - most of which don't get used by most users. But they look good on product comparison tables.

      Multi-User change tracking was actually a necessary feature for many business environments though.

      The big reason for MS Office is that everyone uses MS Office - and the compatability argument has been falsely used to maintain MS straglehold on businesses for decades. The MS seat tax costs the economy a fortune.

      Nice to see a totally free cross platform decent Office apps suite for a change.

      Google docs is nice for it's collaboration but limited in other ways. I have recommended it in some cases for which it has been a significant advantage and made a huge difference.

      I own MS Office - but didn't install it when I updated my mac a few years ago. I have been quite happy with Pages/Numbers/keynote even when working on MS Office documents sent to me - or that I send to others.

      This was the first point at which it became possible to do so. (that's about 3 yrs ago)

      A family member has 1 issue with pages - which is the ability to place things into tables. Word has more flexibility with table cell contents than Pages. The case for this is a bit specific though.

      I will have to try the latest pages for the same limitation.

      Certainly Pages is much better for layout than Word. There is less unnecessary complexity involved in document structuring with Pages.
  • Smiles

    my business and educational needs are quite comfortably met by iWorks. I had no problem paying for the original apps, but free is a bargain.

    many users many needs many styles many stories
  • Free? Suite name?

    To quote: "It's been a while since Pages, Numbers and Keynote were bundled together and Apple appears to have made a clean break from the "iWork" branding. They're individual downloads from the Mac App Store and are now referred to as Creative Apps on They're now also free, down from $10 a pop. "

    First of all, at the link in the article, the apps are referred to as "Creativity and Productivity Apps".

    Second, when I look at the Mac App Store, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are neither free nor $10 a pop. They are priced individually at $19.99. To quote from the same page linked in the article, "Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free on the Mac App Store for qualifying Mac computers purchased on or after October 1, 2013. OS X Mavericks required. Downloading apps requires an Apple ID." I would love to be shown that I'm wrong.
    • Free if you had iWork 09

      I had a CD copy if iWork 09 installed on my iMac. Hit up the App store ad upgraded to these new versions for free.

      I guess that's what they meant.
    • Nope. You're right

      I was going to correct that, too. If you buy an ios device you get the ios versions for free (confirmed) and if you buy a new mac device you get those versions for free (also confirmed), but without a new purchase, you still have to pay (also confirmed).

      I don't know what Apple's going to do with the cloud versions of the apps (currently in beta on iCloud) as far as pricing goes, but they are very nice. They are much more polished than the Google Apps. I have been able to easily create documents in all three apps that are more advanced than what I have been able to create in Google Apps (and I pretty much live my life in Google Apps).
  • Near Perfect Office Doc Conversion too

    Has Microsoft scared.

    I threw some intensely formatted docs and spreadsheets at the new Numbers. Unlike the previous version which messed a lot of the formatting up, the new version gets the formatting darn near perfect.

    Yes, the apps are a little feature light but for the home and home/business user these are going to replace the need for MS Office. And that has to have Microsoft scared.

    All in All, a good update but Apple will need to work to add features as some from iWork 09 are missing and they do need to add more functions and stuff to Numbers. But it's a great solid foundation.
    • If you believed that

      you wouldn't have posted the make believe you just did.

      Talk about someone being scared.... ;)