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iWork '08 - Verdict
Other changes include the ability to add a narration to a presentation, so it can be run automatically, without a presenter. There are 12 more good-looking, Apple-designed schemes for presentations, too, each with a number of standard slide templates for different types of information.
iWork can rely on the applications from iLife, as all Macs are supplied with this multimedia suite. So, all three iWork apps can take photos from iPhoto, music from iTunes or GarageBand and videos from iMovie, extending the degree of integration outside the bounds of iWork itself.
iWork is a very worthwhile upgrade to the '06 version and the introduction of the Numbers spreadsheet completes the suite and is welcome. This program's innovative design, which enables many separate tables to be drawn on the same sheet, makes it very versatile as a general document design tool for numerical data.
The improvements to Pages, particularly its dual-mode operation, position it between the normal word processing and desktop publishing markets and, while it's not a heavyweight, it can handle the majority of tasks a typical home or small-business user would ask of it.
Keynote has also been strengthened and the introduction of A to B animation, once you get the hang of it, is a useful extra. Most of the extras provided in Keynote '08, though, are just that; extra font effects, transitions and presentation schemes.
For around £50 (£15 more than in the US, by the way), you get an exceptional integrated suite for those who don't need the power nor the price of Microsoft Office. With Microsoft's new Mac Office not due until next year, there's a good window for iWork '08 to establish a larger customer base - it deserves to.
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