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Presenting the iWork for iPad Apps

iWork is an office suite, like Microsoft Office. Office suites provide applications that are, well, office-oriented. The iWork office suite includes three applications that are similar to Microsoft Office applications:

  • Pages: A word processing application (similar to Microsoft Word)
  • Numbers: A spreadsheet application (similar to Microsoft Excel)
  • Keynote: A presentation application (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint)

On Mac OS X, all three programs are sold together in iWork or separately at the Mac App Store. On iPad, each of the programs is sold on its own for about $10 each. You can purchase the iWork for iPad apps from the App Store. Their features and integration are almost the same on both platforms.

In the following sections you take a quick look at these three iWork for iPad apps.


For many people, word processing is the core of an office suite. In fact, many people don't get beyond it. Pages for the Mac adds a big desktop publishing plus to word processing in that it also allows you to create page layout documents. These have the type of structure you see in newspapers and magazines - articles don't just flow one after the other. Instead, an article on page one may be continued on page four, while another article on the first page may be continued on page eight. Also, objects such as photos are often placed in a specific position on a page, and they don't move as text is added or deleted.

iWork provides you with a variety of sophisticated tools to create your Pages documents. These include advanced font handling, color, tables, and charts, as well as the ability to place QuickTime movies and hypertext links in your Pages documents. iWork applications also provide a variety of template options for your documents.


Numbers is a spreadsheet program, and like all spreadsheet programs it enables you to enter data in rows and columns. One of the most useful features of spreadsheets is that they perform calculations by means of formulas. For example, if you have a column listing your grocery expenditures by week, the addition of another grocery bill will cause the program to recalculate the column's total. Spreadsheets are about data (usually numbers) and fast calculation updates, but they can also help you organize data such as address lists and even generate charts to show data trends.

Spreadsheets can go beyond the common grid interface, and Numbers excels at this approach. Just take a look at the Numbers document, a Numbers document based on the Travel Planner template. A single document can have a number of sheets (like sheets in a Microsoft Excel workbook). On iPad, sheets appear as tabs.

A Numbers sheet can contain a variety of objects such as tables and charts, but it can also contain other iWork objects, such as graphics, text boxes, movies, and audio.


Call them lectures, classes, sermons, or sales pitches, but presentations are all pretty much the same: Someone stands in front of a large or small group of people and explains, teaches, entertains, or informs them. Today, a presentation often includes multimedia elements: slides of buildings in an architecture class, slides with music in a presentation about your community theater's latest musical production, and movies of good times.

Keynote was the original iWork application. Built by Apple engineers for MacWorld and Worldwide Developers Conference keynote speeches delivered by Steve Jobs, Keynote has been refined over the years to become the powerful tool it is today.

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