I have used various word processors over the years. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. They all have similarities as well. After all, they are all word processors that are supposed to do the same things. I still have a few of these Apps on my Mac, Word, Nisus Writer, Mariner Write and of course, Apple’s Pages. But, after all this time I have decided to settle on Pages.
The Pages App has come into a lot of criticism over the years. However, I think the current version is really quite sophisticated for a Word Processor. It can do pretty much most anything I need to do with a Word Processor which includes some Page Layout documents. I know the below information may be known by some of you, but if you have rejected the Pages App in days gone by, it might be worth it to take another look. After all, Pages is FREE! Any other word processor App is going to cost you money to buy and maintain it.
Here is the general Formatting area of a typical Pages document:
The top icons all provide some functionality like inserting a Media item or a Text Box or perhaps a Shape. The right sidebar has the Format Menu. It is typical Editing stuff, more than adequate for most Word Processing needs, at least it is for me.
One really helpful feature if you do any writing is Styles:
Being able to setup different text Styles for any Word Processing document is super helpful.
In this same window you can setup your document by clicking on the Document icon, upper right menubar area:
Within the Document Settings there is also Layout:
And, if you wish to get even more granular, there are some more sophisticated typesetting preferences in the More Tab:
I haven’t even mentioned the Page Layout area of Pages. You can convert to a Page Layout document in the File Menu and back to a Word Processing document again if you wish. Granted the Page Layout features of Pages are no match for an App like Printworks, but it can still come in handy for basic Page Layout duties, especially if you are using one of Pages many Page Layout templates.
This is just an overview of the Pages App. It can Export to Word Doc, PDF and other formats. It can also open a Word document and retain its formatting pretty accurately as long as the Word Doc is not too filled with tables and images. It can do other things, but enough has been said I think.
If you need the word processing sophistication of a Microsoft Word, then you do. If you need the specialty features of say, Mellel for writing long documents, then you do. No questions asked here. However, if you are just looking for a decent, reasonably featured word processor, Pages may fit the bill. It is already on your Mac, just boot it up and give it a test drive.