An in-depth guide to iWork for the iPad

The iWork team has been hard at work for over a year in order to make its iWork software available on the iPad tablet. Phil Schiller says that "they have done some amazingly remarkable work." Each one of the three applications costs $9.99 in the iPad App Store.

Keynote has been designed specificially for the iPad. It runs in landscape orientation as that is the way that slides are designed on a computer and it allows you to take full advantage of the whole screen.

When you open Keynote the first thing that appears in the slide library which shows is all the presentations that you have previously created in Keynote.

Clicking 'New Presentation' on the top right hand corner allows you to create a new presentation and the screen changes so that a variety of templates are displayed. You start your presentation and the layout changes.

You have the slide navigator on the left in a column and a big slide taking up most of the screen for you to work with using your fingers. The top right of the screen has various menu items. To go to a slide on the navigation scroll to it and top on it and the big slide on the right will instantly change to your selected slide.

You can keep bullet points in your slides as you would expect and you can even create tables in the application which look just like any other tables created on the desktop version of Keynote. Charts can be created as normal.

To add photos, you click on the 'Media navigator' which is one of the menus on the top right. It looks like a small picture frame. You then drag your photos straight into Keynote and into your slides. This media navigator also is the place where you add charts, tables and shapes to your presentations.

Photos can be masked using multi touch, you can move them around and snap them to other photos, you can resize them and turn them. All using multitouch gestures.

Clicking the two-diamonds button on the menu on the top right allows you to jump into "Animation mode." This allows you to tap a slide or an object to add an animation, you can add a "build in" and a "build out" animation.

You can also click a slide on the navigator and add a transition. One of the transitions is Keynote's famous "Magic Move" which shows that this version of iWork is not stripped down but rather, totally re-designed.

The top right menu also has a big 'Play' triangle button which starts the presentation in full screen, you swipe right-to-left to go forward or just tap the screen and you can swipe left-to-right to go back. Double-tapping the screen will allow you to go back to editing mode.

Pages is a full new application for the iPad. Schiller claims it is the "most beautiful word processor you will ever see." Pages runs in vertical mode.

When you launch the app you see and edit your previously created documents or you can create a new document from a variety of templates. If you tap anywhere in the document, you get all your formatting options and a keyboard appears, turn the device horizontally and you can focus on typing and you'll have a keyboard using half the screen and the other half will be filled by the part of the document you are editing.

On the left you can see one of the most powerful features of iWork it's the automatic image wrapping feature which wraps text around any image.

Tapping the 'Info' button at the top brings down a drop-down menu where you can select the type of text, e.g. is it a title, sub-title, text or select if you want your text in column

Numbers for iPad has also been completely re-designed and apparently is even "fun and cool to use." We'll have to pass on that statement.

When you open it, as you'd expect a library of your previously created documents appears.

You can create text, tables and charts linked to tables as you can see on the right. Along the top there are tabs, these are the multiple sheets inside the spreadsheets.

You can re-arrange columns within tables and the linked charts will automatically update.

You can tap tables and then add rows or columns. Touch a specific cell and you can add functions and enter data, you can format it for currency or for dates. You can duplicate functions across multiple cells by clicking on the cell, then 'fill' and then dragging the function to all the necessary cells.

You can tap a graph and then select a different graph style. In pie charts, you can grab a chunk of it and pull it out to highlight a particular area.

With a table you can also with one tap create a form which is much easier to fill in than messing with a table.

That's our in-depth look at iWork on the iPad. Once we get our hands on one, much more will be added. Hopefully this will help you decide if the $9.99 per app outlay is worth it for you.


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