Pages, Numbers and Keynote get overhaul for OS X

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.

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.