iWork '09: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: April 2009
Pages: 890

With iWork '09, Apple's productivity applications have come of age. Unfortunately, their user guides are stuck in infancy. That's where iWork '09: The Missing Manual comes in. This book quickly guides you through everything you need to know about the Pages word-processor, the Numbers spreadsheet, and the Keynote presentation program that Al Gore and Steve Jobs made famous.

Friendly and entertaining, iWork '09: The Missing Manual gives you crystal-clear and jargon-free explanations of iWork's capabilities, its advantages over similar programs -- and its limitations. You'll see these programs through an objective lens that shows you which features work well and which don't. With this book, you will:

  • Produce stunning documents and cinema-quality digital presentations
  • Take advantage of Mac OS X's advanced typography and graphics capabilities
  • Learn how to use the collection of themes and templates included with iWork
  • Get undocumented tips, tricks, and secrets for each program
  • Integrate with other iLife programs to use photos, audio, and video clips

Learn why iWork is the topic most requested by Missing Manual fans. One of the few sources available on Apple's incredible suite of programs, iWork '09: The Missing Manual will help you get the best performance out of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and more in no time.

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oreillyiWork '09: The Missing Manual
 
4.8

(based on 5 reviews)

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5.0

Great companion and reference!

By Newillmeister

from Cleveland, OH

About Me Designer, Educator, Maker, Sys Admin

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly iWork '09: The Missing Manual:

    The title says it all, it's the missing manual! This book is a great reference to the iWork Suite. Having the electronic versions on my Mac and iPad are awesome because searching for answers is just a click or two away. IF you use iWork even modestly, this book is well worth it!

    (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    One of the best

    By Abbott_S

    from Bend, OR

    About Me Photographer, Technologist

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly iWork '09: The Missing Manual:

      Brief introduction... I got this book as I was just starting to use iWork. I was extremely frustrated by the application and to make matters worse, I'd agreed to demo the app at a Mac User Group meeting. I was in trouble, and iWork's built-in Help didn't cut it for me. Apple has a lot of tutorials on their web site, but I learn better by sitting down with the application and having a book at hand. Having benefitted from several other "Missing Manuals", that's where I turned for help this time.

      Bottom line: this book really reveals iWork's power, and it does so gently and interestingly. Josh Clark writes very clearly and succinctly, and the book contains (for me) just enough illustrations to thoroughly communicate what's needed. Clark walks through every program element I could find and leads the reader to understand how iWork's elements and UI approach fit together. That's important. I'd highly recommend "iWork '09: The Missing Manual" to any iWork '09 user. Also, because of what this book revealed to me, I can now recommend iWork '09 to many Macintosh users who need "office" capabilities and would like a more usable software application than "some of the others" out there.

      iWork '09 can be a perplexing application. As I told the user group, all of the important functions are very accessible—almost right in front of you—but you won't see them. And each of the three component applications works the same way, but that's not necessarily obvious when you first open them. There's almost a Zen to working with iWork '09, and that's what I came to understand, thanks to The Missing Manual.

      I'm a cover-to-cover reader, and this volume is definitely readable that way. Useful information lies on each page, and by around page 150 I was convinced that Pages '09 is almost as powerful as Apple says. "iWork '09: The Missing Manual" quickly and almost effortlessly got me to where I'm producing fairly advanced documents and presentations after a very short time. And, importantly, it enabled me to introduce long-time Pages users to a number of incredibly useful features that they needed, but didn't know existed. In fact, several of them said they were heading right out to buy this book so they could see what else they've been missing.

      The only real issue I had with the book is its claim to have been completely written with Pages '09. The problem I have is that according to both the book and everything else I've read, Pages '09 is unable to create an index. Yet the book has an index. I wonder how it was created. This nit plagues me, as I've written a couple of books and would love to use Pages for the next one...if it could create an index.

      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The Manual I Would Write

      By TechWriter04

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly iWork '09: The Missing Manual:

      iWork '09 is the current update of Apple's office suite containing Pages, Keynote, and Numbers (their Excel-like program, only easier). While Pages and Keynote are pretty intuitive (is that not why we are Macaholics in the first place?), Numbers can be confusing for those who are not regular users of a number-crunching software program. For this very reason, after-market user guides come in quite handy.

      One can always count on Pogue Press to come to the rescue with its Missing Manual books; easy to read and comprehend. And, indeed, iWork '09 is the book that should have been in the box. Here's why.

      For new users to the suite, the Introduction alone is helpful. Not only does it give a brief description of what each element can do, it also compares iWork to Microsoft Office and how the user can exchange files with others who use Office. This is followed by a What's New segment for each program. As a bonus, rather than enclosing a CD with the book (which it claims saves $5.00 off the price of the book), the Missing Manual provides a Website whereby the user may access all of the Web addresses, practice files, and downloadable software mentioned in the book.

      With Pages and Keynote being quite similar in function to their Microsoft counterparts, to go into depth regarding the Missing Manual details would only belabor it for those who are regular users of the software suite. For this review, I have selected to focus on the software that gives a lot of folks the biggest headache (including this author): Numbers (i.e.; Excel).

      As the Numbers' section opening salvo states, "Numbers can juggle figures for the most demanding spreadsheet jockeys, but you can also use it to store and organize just about any kind of information." That, my friends, is so true. I am in the beginning stages of creating a spreadsheet for not only my extensive collection of DVDs, but CDs as well.

      While a spreadsheet of DVDs and CDs certainly does not require any fancy graphics, Numbers allows you to add photos, charts, and text in the same easy manner that you do in Pages and Keynote. And with that, you may add even more visual interest with colors, picture frames, reflections, and more. Should you feel slightly intimidated with that idea, fear not, as Numbers provides a nice selection of templates, including invoice, expense report, financials, check register, and more. And even beyond that, each Numbers templates, depending upon the function, is preloaded with the calculations necessary for that specific purpose! It doesn't get much easier for spreadsheet phobes

      Perusing the Numbers section, one will find not only helpful keystroke shortcuts, but also dark, highlighted boxes with even more helpful information, including that for "Power Users." These highlighted boxes are also kind enough to advise when the software may get bogged down (using very large tables, for example), troubleshooting issues, FAQs, and other great tidbits. For users who do not live by the spreadsheet, these can be very helpful, indeed.

      In all, I found this book easy to read, follow, and comprehend, especially the Numbers section. Not that I did not have to read over again a paragraph or two, scratch my head, say "huh?" and go over it again, but at least I did not have to throw up my hands in frustration and quit. This is yet another book that Pogue Press and O'Reilly publications can add to their list of needful things for users. It's the type of user guide I would put together (if I were an expert in each software package of the suite). This book comes highly recommended.

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      The Missing Manual that works for iWork

      By D. Robertson

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly iWork '09: The Missing Manual:

      In spite of the cover blurb, iWork '09, the Missing Manual, by Josh Clark, is actually the "book that would have NEVER been in the box." Software manuals are usually about the bells and whistles written into apps, but from the first page of the iWork '09, the Missing Manual, Clark has written about actually using the three apps included in the iWork '09 suite. He's obviously well aware of basic design techniques and the fact that software should help you do your job better... not do your job for you.

      As you would expect from any Apple product, iWork '09 is a very cleanly designed, seemingly simple suite of programs: Pages (text processer), Numbers (spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentation). The interface is neat and friendly, and it's easy to assume this is a "light" version of more powerful (and more expensive) software suites, but Clark demonstrates quickly and early in the book that iWork '09 can be as simple and easy as you want a text processor to be, or as elegant and powerful as you need for it to be.

      The book, like iWork, is divided into three parts. Clark steps the reader through the process of using each module to perform basic day-to-day tasks, while also explaining the extra functionality available.

      Pages, the word processing app included in iWork '09 is probably the section most users will dive into. Want a basic letter? No problem. There's a template for that. How about a highly stylized newsletter? There's a template for that as well. Want to design your own newsletter? The book shows how to build a document including your own artwork, photos and design elements.

      Numbers, the spreadsheet app, can balance your checkbook, but it can also be a formula filled, number crunching machine from which you can build powerful reports, not to mention pretty cool graphs and charts.

      Keynote, the presentation app, literally stands at the front of the room and tells your story like no other presentation software. There's an 800 lb. gorilla in the room (called PowerPoint), but Apple quietly designed a program that stood up to and surpassed the standards that Microsoft had established.

      iWork '09, the Missing Manual ties your word processing, number crunching documents together and explains how to use Keynote to project your story to a group with ease and elegance. Isn't that just what you want a software manual to do?

      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Much More than a Manual

      By Hartley Jackson

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly iWork '09: The Missing Manual:

      From the overall organization of iWork '09: The Missing Manual to the examples used and phrases selected, Josh Clark has written this book to show us how to do what we want to do in iWork. He has succeeded. It is much better than just a manual.

      Other iWork books are organized based upon the history of the program's development. They start with Keynote. iWork '09 The Missing Manual starts with Pages because that is what most people will use first.

      You start with writing in Pages text mode, and are soon learning how to use the new outline features to organize your small book.

      You learn that in text mode the text flows like rivers, but layout mode puts text in boxes like islands. You learn to flow your text from one island to the next.

      Other iWork books all tell you how to put a text box and a picture on a page. That is not enough when you are looking at a blank page and wondering how to design your own layout.

      Josh Clark shows you how to create a 6 column, or 5 column grid, and how to use it to align your objects to create your layout.

      He has included more interesting information and useful tips than you will find in most manuals. Here are some examples:

      Why does Pages open at 125% resolution when 100% is the "actual size?" This book has the answer.

      If you make a mistake when you ask your Macintosh to learn a new word, here you will learn how to remove it from your dictionary.

      He also tells you how to match a color in your photograph so you can use it in other objects.

      In iWork '09 The Missing Manual you will learn more than the instructions for Keynote. You will learn how to plan, make and give a Keynote presentation that will engage your audience in your story, and to not use bullet points to tell your story. You will also learn when you should and should not use the new transitions.

      The examples Josh Clark uses are suitable for most of us. To teach us to use Numbers, he uses a membership roster as an example of using a formula to transform text, and uses logic formulas to summarize our team's baseball statistics.

      You will also learn about sheets and tables as well as the new multi-row headers and footers, and freezing the header for large spreadsheets.

      As I read iWork '09 The Missing Manual I got the impression that Josh Clark really enjoyed writing this wonderful book. Because I thought he enjoyed writing it, I enjoyed reading it. After reading the online in Rough Cut, I am buying the book. If you read this far, I believe you will want to buy it too.

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