Keynote and Pages


in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Writing

Tempted by the reduced prices on Apple’s new App Store, I picked up Pages and Keynote, Apple’s answers to Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

While it is annoying to have to learn the ins and outs of new software, it cannot be denied that Apple’s offerings produce beautiful output rather easily. In particular, the software comes with templates and typefaces that make it simple to produce documents and presentations that look rather hip and professional.

I have already produced a fellowship application and a job application using Pages (and the attractive Didot serif font). I am also in the process of producing a guest lecture using Keynote and am quite happy with the visual results I am getting.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel February 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Pages and Keynote don’t even compare to Word and PowerPoint for ease of use. I’m not qualified to compare Excel and Numbers because I don’t use them in a very in-depth way, but man, oh man, Pages and Keynote are so wonderful.

I bought my MacBook Pro in June and I can’t believe what a die-hard Mac fan I’ve turned in to since then. I’m not even that much of a computer nerd. Apple pisses me off at times when they try and tell me that my way is wrong and their way (and only their way) is best, but usually someone on the internet has come up with a way to get around whatever silliness Apple is insisting upon.

Milan February 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

When you already know how to do things in Word and Powerpoint, switching to Pages and Keynote can be frustrating.

Also, while both pieces of software do include the ability to export Word and Powerpoint files, they may not look exactly the same on a work PC as they do on your home Mac.

Rachel February 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I know, I always have to convert back and forth from my Mac to Langara’s PCs. I usually save a document in the equivalent Office format and then check it over on a campus PC before sending it off (if it’s being submitted electronically).

Milan February 14, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Keynote also does PDF output quite nicely (like Apple software generally).

In any event, if anyone is interested, here is the current draft of the presentation I am working on in Keynote: The business of climate change: The science, the economics, and what needs to be done.

I will upload the final version once I am done with it.

EK February 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

I find Pages and Keynote very difficult to use. I laboured away with them after purchasing my macbook, but a few months later I downloaded MS Word and love it. Even though there are bothers associated with the copy I have (not-so-legal), such as disconnecting from the internet while using it, it’s still much easier than Pages. I just find a total lack of intuitive use – strange for mac products.

R.K. February 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

One reason documents from Pages and Keynote have trouble copying over well to Windows machines is because the Apple templates use pretty fonts that neither Windows nor Office include.

Replacing them with generic fonts when the documents or presentations are displayed can be ugly and cause formatting problems.

Milan February 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm


I think if you are really familiar with Word and Powerpoint, Pages and Keynote can be really frustrating, just because they are different. By contrast, if you are a complete amateur with both Apple and Microsoft’s software suites, I suspect it is easier to make professional-looking documents using Apple’s software.

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