AMITIAE - Wednesday 26 March 2014
Some Comments about Writing on Macs - Bangkok Post, Life
By Graham K. Rogers
Redmond has managed a magnificent snake-oil trick here as Word is seen as the must-have application. Few need the power of such a fully-equipped word processor (or the rest of the Office suite come to that). I run a Microsoft-free environment and produce first-rate text output. I do not need a fully-equipped word-processing program to write a shopping list.
Early draft of this article in TextWrangler
For output like brochures and other items that need more specialised formatting (and for creating eBooks) there is Apple's Pages. This is extra useful as I can synchronise output with my Macs and iOS devices using iCloud: the files are available even if I do not have a computer with me. The same applies for Keynote (presentations) and Numbers (spreadsheets): collectively, iWork.
Also available in beta form, is iWork for iCloud. The parts of the suite (Keynote, Numbers, Pages) can be opened in a browser, even on a PC.
iCloud with iWork for iCloud beta icons
iWork for iCloud - Pages Templates
There are many apps (free and paid) that allow formatted text output, including Apple's iWork. Some apps use iCloud, others Dropbox to synchronise content. This is a lot more than a squandered opportunity of Microsoft. It may now be a closed door. An estimated 170 million iPads have been sold. Many users are working quite happily with the devices, despite the idea put around some while back that the iPad is not for productivity.
I would be first to admit that it is not as easy for me to create on my iOS devices, but that does not mean I cannot. My pork-sausage fingers do not respond well to the iPad keyboard: a female colleague can type super-fast on this. Surprise! . . . There is a solution: an external keyboard.
I have an Apple wireless keyboard that means typing is just like working on the Mac. There are some third party keyboards too and if you can find a good one, these work with the Function keys as well. For some reason, the Apple ones do not.
Poster in Pages beta for iCloud
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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