Recycled Computing

Pages and Photoshop Express on the iPad

- 2011.04.01

I have to confess that I have never used Pages on an OS X computer, so I have no idea what has been removed from the app in it's translation to iOS.

That being said, it's obvious that Pages for the iPad is not a full featured word processor. I'm trying to find a spell checker on it, and I'm not sure it exists. It will underline text that it feels is misspelled, and it has a predictive spelling feature, but thus far it will not review a document for misspelled words or poor grammar.

Of course, I always use excellent grammar and spellin - except when I don't. It will just make life more difficult for Dan Knight, our editor here at Low End Mac.

Pages does have a feature that I am sure he will like - it can export files as Microsoft Word .doc files.*

Pages has some primitive formatting features, but if all you are interested in doing is producing some text, it does that pretty well. There are some excellent tools for inserting images, charts, and what have you, but I always send any images to use in a column separately. I meets my needs, but it may not meet the needs of a writer who wants all the bells and whistles of a full-fledged word processor program.

The one thing that is superior to a PC type program is the ease in which you can put product up on the Web. It has excellent features for emailing a file, sending it to your iDisk, to Apple's new iWork file sharing site, syncing with iTunes, and copying to a WebDAV server. It seems to me that Apple has really thought out the "post-PC" universe and has made it easy to upload files to the "cloud".

I am including an image (above) that I took on an old digital point and shoot camera and edited on Adobe's Photoshop Express. Like Pages, this is a simplified version of Adobe's Mac and PC software. I like that simplicity.

I am an old film photographer and used to getting the result I want on the negative or transparency. That might sound a little arrogant, but I really don't fiddle too much with an image after I shoot. As a result, a PC photo editing program gives me too many bells and whistles. The image I am sending was sharpened a little, and I dialed up the saturation and contrast.

So far, so good. The iPad has done everything I have wanted it do with a minimum of fuss and bother. Maybe that "post-PC" thing is alright. LEM

* Editor's note: I honestly can't say how much I detest Microsoft Word. The Mac version peaked at Word 5.1a in late 1992 and has been going downhill ever since. Fortunately, that version works just fine through Mac OS 9.2.2 as well as in Classic Mode, which disappeared with OS  X 10.5 on PowerPC Macs and has never been available on Intel Macs. The only good thing I can say about Word is that its file format has become the de facto standard for word processing documents. I do have Office 2004 installed and can open Word documents in Word when necessary, although I prefer to use Bean when possible. (Bean is great for text, not for Word documents with integrated spreadsheets or images.)

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