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Beware of the Pages update

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I use Pages in a business setting, and have built my day-to-day word processing workflow around the program.  After updating to the latest version and opening existing files, I was shocked to see that the layout and functionality of documents was permanently altered.  Although Pages alerts the user that the file must be updated to work with the new version of the app, it gives no warning that the appearance of the document will be changed.

 

So, beware of this update, especially if you are working with existing files and need to export to Word (which I may need to use as my primary app now).

 

Here are the changes that have really impacted me; there may be more.

 

  • No images are allowed in the header or footer.  Instead, they are positioned as "floating" content and defined as appearing on all pages.  This breaks accessibility and treats the image (usually a logo) as on-page content.
  • Layout guides are gone (the blue ones that were manually dragged from the ruler)
  • Some table fills are removed (caused me to spend a fair amount of time adjusting)

 

I am very disappointed to see Apple "streamlining" an app like like Pages in the interest of creating parity with the iOS version.  It had never been positioned as a "word processing lite" app before, but seems to be moving in that direction.

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keda View Post
 

I am very disappointed to see Apple "streamlining" an app like like Pages in the interest of creating parity with the iOS version.  It had never been positioned as a "word processing lite" app before, but seems to be moving in that direction.

 

Nonsense. The need for parity was driven be the use of a common file format.

 

The features that were removed will most likely be back in an update.

Did we learn nothing from the Final Cut Pro X saga?

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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

"Nonsense"?  I don't think so, and I would have hoped Apple might have learned from the FCPX fiasco.  It was a misstep by the company, which they have seemingly corrected.  

 

Pages is lean and nice looking, but the latest release is a step backward.  It has removed features that people in their main user group depend on.  I suppose that you are suggesting that we take the hit now instead of later, but I don't understand why something like header images could not be added to the new iOS app.

 

In any case, I'm not posting to debate the problem.  I want to make people aware, so that they can avoid the troubles I've run into.

 

BTW...I learned that Page 4 is still in the iWork folder.  If you need any of the removed features, you can archive Pages 5 and use that instead.

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keda View Post
 

"Nonsense"?  I don't think so, and I would have hoped Apple might have learned from the FCPX fiasco.  It was a misstep by the company, which they have seemingly corrected...

 

BTW...I learned that Page 4 is still in the iWork folder.  If you need any of the removed features, you can archive Pages 5 and use that instead.

 

Yeah, they "corrected" it by updating the software over the last two and a half years.

 

Which was what they planned to do all along.

 

And during the update period, they kept the previous version in the Applications folder and encouraged people who need the missing features to use that instead.

 

Which is exactly what they've done with Pages.

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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Apple's FCP misstep was not simply slashing features, it was their disregard for user's productivity. In the end Apple was widely panned for the move, and had to release a statement about the problem (which was also a focus of criticism). This was and is not a good approach for rolling out software updates.

Although I don't believe you know anything about Apple's plans, Frank, I do expect that they'll add features to all of their software titles over time. Unfortunately, users like myself are being affected today.

As I noted, I discovered the archived Pages app, but not until I had caused myself problems by opening files via a standard double-click. Again, there was no warning that the action I've repeated thousands of times would suddenly prove destructive to my document's layout.

Very poor UX, Apple. BTW, I have submitted my thoughts to Apple on this.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keda View Post

Apple's FCP misstep was not simply slashing features, it was their disregard for user's productivity.

 

If you deliberately leave the old software in the App folder, and tell people who need certain features to use it until the new code has the equivalent features, how are you "disregarding user's productivity?"

 

It's silly. If people want to jump to the latest and greatest in the first few weeks of release that's fine - Final Cut, Mavericks, Pages etc.

 

But jumping immediately to new software has risks. It's why Mavericks isn't going on my HD until the first .1 release is out.

 

And if you leap without looking, you don't get to blame Apple. Computers aren't toys, and adults are responsible for their decisions.

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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

It is odd that you seem to be blaming me for using Apple's software.  

 

As the industry switches to a push-update model (as is seen in the app store), the expectation for companies to deliver fully functioning software increases.  Just think about iOS. 

 

I know that bugs happen, but what I'm describing is not a bug and wouldn't have changed if I delayed my update.  It is baseless to suggest with any certainty that Apple will reintroduce things like header/footer objects.  Apple intentionally removed this broadly used functionality, without warning the end user—not during the download; not when a file is opened.  They may reverse course, but I haven't seen any indication of it. 

 

While I like Pages, I am forced to move away from it for much of my professional correspondence because of the key components that were removed.  

post #8 of 21

All I'm saying is that we've seen this movie over and over again. This is how Apple rebuilds software. Deal with it.

 

Apple evidently believes in a software redevelopment process that eschews continual feature bloat and prioritizes building lean software on a rock solid platform and developing a full feature set afterward. Knowing this, you don't update your essential software until you know what's been done to it. Full reviews and user feedback are available within hours of any major software launch.

 

And again, you're not being forced to do anything. The same software that was good enough for your business needs last week is still in your Applications folder, and will remain there until you choose to delete it.

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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

All I'm saying is that we've seen this movie over and over again. This is how Apple rebuilds software. Deal with it.

The more it happens though, the less people are going to invest in anything Apple does software-wise. It shouldn't happen over and over again. I'm not really sure what they expect a customer's reaction would be after they take major features out of a piece of software. The next casualties will be Aperture and Quicktime. If they plan to put the features back, why not get the software to a point where they are back in before releasing the update? They should have a rule that says an UPdate should never be a DOWNgrade. Updates are supposed to improve software. There's no transparency in what they do either, they just put the updates out and customers assume it's business as usual and then out of the blue, the tried and tested workflow breaks with no warning. I'm sure it happens with other software providers but when have people ever asked to downgrade from the latest Office, Photoshop etc. Every version of Office is equally as bad as the previous version, there's no surprises.

For a company that prides itself on obsessing over the details and achieving great customer satisfaction, their application development process could use a little work. The current Pages version is sitting at 2/5 on the App Store with 1325 ratings down from the average 3.5/5.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

All I'm saying is that we've seen this movie over and over again. This is how Apple rebuilds software. Deal with it.

 

Apple evidently believes in a software redevelopment process that eschews continual feature bloat and prioritizes building lean software on a rock solid platform and developing a full feature set afterward. Knowing this, you don't update your essential software until you know what's been done to it. Full reviews and user feedback are available within hours of any major software launch.

 

And again, you're not being forced to do anything. The same software that was good enough for your business needs last week is still in your Applications folder, and will remain there until you choose to delete it.

 

But you are, unless you have auto updates disabled, Pages 5 will be reinstalled by App Store, even if it has been archived (possibly not if it's never been installed). If Pages 5 is available, 4.3 files will open in it if double clicked. Any file opened and saved in 5, cannot be opened in 4.3, unless reverted using "Browse all versions" (in 5) or Time Machine, as the internal file format (.iwa vs. .xml) is completely different.

 

"Change all" in File info does not work, only if done individually to each file. If you have a lot of existing documents (we have hundreds*), that may not look the same in 5, it is a pain to have to use "Open with..." to open and print them with 4.3.

    * representing hundreds of hours work.

 

When Appleworks files were opened in Pages, a new file was created. There is no warning by Pages 5 that the existing Pages 4.3 file will be overwritten, and become unreadable by 4.3.

 

This seems to be a case of their style over users' content. Pages 5 isn't very much less "bloated" than before, but it's lost features that many users had come to rely on - linked text boxes, layout guides, and a vertical ruler (and that's hardly "bloat". is it?).

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by karabuni View Post
 

 

But you are, unless you have auto updates disabled, Pages 5 will be reinstalled by App Store, even if it has been archived (possibly not if it's never been installed). If Pages 5 is available, 4.3 files will open in it if double clicked. Any file opened and saved in 5, cannot be opened in 4.3, unless reverted using "Browse all versions" (in 5) or Time Machine, as the internal file format (.iwa vs. .xml) is completely different.

 

"Change all" in File info does not work, only if done individually to each file. If you have a lot of existing documents (we have hundreds*), that may not look the same in 5, it is a pain to have to use "Open with..." to open and print them with 4.3.

    * representing hundreds of hours work.

 

When Appleworks files were opened in Pages, a new file was created. There is no warning by Pages 5 that the existing Pages 4.3 file will be overwritten, and become unreadable by 4.3.

 

This seems to be a case of their style over users' content. Pages 5 isn't very much less "bloated" than before, but it's lost features that many users had come to rely on - linked text boxes, layout guides, and a vertical ruler (and that's hardly "bloat". is it?).

 

Good point. Apple does need to fix the 'Change All' option so that users can switch back semi-permanently.

If I were affected, that's definitely where I would concentrate my criticism.

 

And I agree that those features aren't bloat and I expect that they will be added back soon.

 

Remember people, Pages is a relatively new app and the code will be modern.

I could be wrong, but I doubt think this is comparable to Apple rewriting Carbon apps into Cocoa.

 

Apple is simply in a different kind of transition - merging iOS and MacOS - and I doubt getting Pages back up to speed will take years.

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post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The more it happens though, the less people are going to invest in anything Apple does software-wise. It shouldn't happen over and over again. I'm not really sure what they expect a customer's reaction would be after they take major features out of a piece of software. The next casualties will be Aperture and Quicktime. If they plan to put the features back, why not get the software to a point where they are back in before releasing the update?

 

Likely because the pressure is on the iOS side. iCloud is a key piece of Apple's current mobile strategy, and they needed to release their entry in the office suite arena before Microsoft entered with Office and bit off a chunk of mindshare.

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post #13 of 21

Just to add a different take: I have been a heavy Pages user for several years, and after attempting to use Pages 5.0 I just gave up.  In my opinion it is mostly useless.  It is a signal from Apple that they admit failure at making Pages a popular offering in the word processing market.

 

In other words, Pages was not a profitable business, so Apple stripped away every feature they could.  They made it match the iOS version, so that it is only one product to maintain.  They made it appeal to kids writing reports in school, since they are probably the only ones interested in using Pages on an iPad, anyway.  Otherwise, MS Word is still so incredibly entrenched as the desktop word processor.  Many businesses are moving to Google Apps, but as far as desktop word processing goes, I don't know if it is possible to succeed unless you are MS Word.

 

I will keep Pages 4.3, and I expect I will gradually need to migrate to LibreOffice.  As an aside, if Apple had given Pages open-office file format -- a frequently requested feature -- it might have actually succeeded, given that Google Apps can utilize that format, and Google Apps is seeing some degree of penetration in the office docs market.  The problem of course is that OpenOffice and LibreOffice are pigs ... but at least they have the necessary features.  MS Word is also a pig, albeit a slightly less offensive pig, but I can't justify spending money on it when LO is free.

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post #14 of 21

Is there an easy way to roll back to the previous version of Pages? I had some documents get ‘interesting’ on me too.

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post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post
 

Just to add a different take: I have been a heavy Pages user for several years, and after attempting to use Pages 5.0 I just gave up.  In my opinion it is mostly useless.  It is a signal from Apple that they admit failure at making Pages a popular offering in the word processing market.

 

In other words, Pages was not a profitable business, so Apple stripped away every feature they could.  They made it match the iOS version, so that it is only one product to maintain.  They made it appeal to kids writing reports in school, since they are probably the only ones interested in using Pages on an iPad, anyway.  Otherwise, MS Word is still so incredibly entrenched as the desktop word processor.  Many businesses are moving to Google Apps, but as far as desktop word processing goes, I don't know if it is possible to succeed unless you are MS Word.

 

I will keep Pages 4.3, and I expect I will gradually need to migrate to LibreOffice.  As an aside, if Apple had given Pages open-office file format -- a frequently requested feature -- it might have actually succeeded, given that Google Apps can utilize that format, and Google Apps is seeing some degree of penetration in the office docs market.  The problem of course is that OpenOffice and LibreOffice are pigs ... but at least they have the necessary features.  MS Word is also a pig, albeit a slightly less offensive pig, but I can't justify spending money on it when LO is free.

 

Look, everybody's frustrated with Apple's nonsensical approach to software development.

 

Everything is being released incomplete these days. Numbers only got back the ability to sort a subset of rows today.

And everyone knows that releasing a spreadsheet app that can't sort a subset of rows is insane, useless work.

 

But at the same time, you guys force me to defend these dimwits, because you say things like Pages 5.0 is an admission of failure, or they focused it for kids in school, or they forced people to upgrade prematurely. None of that is true.

 

Apple's just gone back to being the old Apple of the 90's, when they did whatever they wanted. Kick out Final Cut Pro X a year before it was ready, confusing big spending professionals who don't read the Mac press daily? Fine.

 

Do the exact same thing with your productivity apps used by millions? Fine. It's okay, as long as we're moving the software forward.

 

Apple, wants to take full advantage of their 'innovator' status, which means not giving the competition a lot of time to catch up.

In software, this means they eschew the 'public beta' phase of development, so that Redmond and Seoul won't have six months to code.

 

Yes, it's a bad idea. And it's very annoying. But it's not failure or stripped-down software for children.

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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

Yes, it's a bad idea. And it's very annoying. But it's not failure or stripped-down software for children.

Well, except when it is.  The reasoning for how it happened is less important than the result, unless you are a manager in Apple trying to figure out how to avoid this next time (if indeed it was a mistake).

 

Who was the product manager?  Clearly, there was one.  I disagree with you on Apple being like Apple in the 90's.  At that time, Apple was a medium-sized company and they could get away with shenanigans.  It seems evident that Tim Cook can't micromanage the way Steve did, and this might explain how features are overlooked or the poor release of Final Cut was released as you mention, but it doesn't explain how an app can be completely rethought and redesigned.  I can promise you that hundreds of Pages 5.0 development meetings occurred.  Someone outlined his plan for Pages 5.0, and that route was the one taken.  So be it.  Can you deny that Pages 5.0 does not apply design principles consistent with those Apple promotes for iPad usage, at the cost of making it inconvenient to use with a large monitor, keyboard, and mouse?  I don't think you can.

 

At this point, we're having a discussion less about Pages and more about guessing the logic (or lack thereof) during the development of Pages 5.0, but why not...

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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrociare View Post
 

Is there an easy way to roll back to the previous version of Pages? I had some documents get ‘interesting’ on me too.

Pages 4.3 is still in your Applications folder.  Just specify it as the default app for .pages docs, or, better yet, delete Pages 5.

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post #18 of 21

Don't delete Pages 5.0 until you are sure all your documents will open in the older version.

 

Since the recent update, I'm back to work and fairly satisfied with the new iWork.

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post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

Don't delete Pages 5.0 until you are sure all your documents will open in the older version.

 

Since the recent update, I'm back to work and fairly satisfied with the new iWork.

So are you saying that many of the missing features are now in 5.0?

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post #20 of 21

Pages 5.0 was never my biggest problem, since Numbers' inability to sort rows trumped everything in my workflow. It made the product unusable.

 

I'm more of a basic word-processing user. I do my page layout with InDesign. That said, the latest update gave Pages back its vertical ruler and customizable alignment guides.

 

Those were two features that I believe were at the top of most user requests.

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post #21 of 21

Okay, thanks. I have used Pages 4 for the last three years for bulletins and Scripture readings at the church. Works very well, and have set it up so that it only takes minutes to do each bulletin and the Scripture readings.

 

I will try Pages 5 to see if it works as I intend. If not, I’ll keep it, but continue in Pages 4.

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