This weekend I'll be putting together a gallery and comparison of NeoOffice, OpenOffice for the Mac, Microsoft Office 2008, and iWork. These products have been compared and debated before for their relative merits, but my concern, as with all things on my new Mac, is how easy are these applications to use from a teacher's perspective. In the same way, I'm hoping to evaluate their power and flexibility for those teachers who are more savvy. Ultimately, I'd like to factor in the cost (or lack thereof) of each piece of software and make some recommendations for educators.
Pages, in particular, is an interesting program and will serve as a preface for my full evaluation of the competing suites. Pages is the word processing component of Apple's iWork suite. At first glance, it appears incredibly spare to users of Office 2007. However, I put together a geometry test in moments as built-in layout tools allowed me to easily manipulate shapes and images, as well as imported figures from Geometer's Sketchpad.
I have more work to do to evaluate any automation capability, but I have to say that the interface was the most intuitive I have seen. My real concern is that it won't serve the needs of my minority of power users; more on that by Monday. However, first impressions are lasting impressions and my initial impression was one of effortless page layout and automation that was useful without being intrusive.
Talk back below with any impressions you have of Pages and any questions you'd like me to address in my evaluation this weekend.