Wednesday, August 17, 2005

OS X Pages - A warm and fuzzy feeling

Apple - Support - Pages

I fired up my free trial vesion of OS X Pages (I'm keeping my Office trial in reserve until I really need Office -- if nothing happens in 6 months I'll remove it). I've no idea if it's any good, but there are some things that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

For one, the files are Packages. I opened one and found gzipped document, I opened that and found XML I could open in a text editor. Transparent file formats. Very good.

For another, I really liked the strong styles support and the elegant templates. How refreshing after Word's utterly bodged up style sheets and exceptionately ugly templates (Microsoft is clearly unwilling to hire anyone with taste).

Ok, so the first thing I got was a missing font error message. I know it's got to be as buggy as all get out. I'm still going to give it a try.

PS. It probably helps to know that "Pages are actually sections with section breaks." In other words, pages are document components with associated styles, a template is a set of such components. Once you know Pages are really "sections" (in Word parlance) then this document fills in the rest of the pieces (sections/Pages inherit from the currently selected section/Page):
If you want different parts of a document to have different margins, headers or footers, numbers of columns, master objects, or page-numbering schemes, you can divide the document into sections by inserting a section break. Section breaks are useful when dividing a document into distinct parts, such as title pages, chapters, and indices.

When you add a section break, the new section always starts on a new page.

To insert a section break:

1. Click where you want the new section to begin.

2. Choose Insert > Section Break.

The new section has the same formatting as the previous section until you change it...

To remove a section break, click at the beginning of the line that follows the break and press the Delete key.

Tip: You can see where breaks occur in your document by showing formatting characters (also called "invisibles"). To show formatting characters, choose View > Show Invisibles.

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