Apple Addresses iWork For Mac Criticism By Pre-Announcing The Return Of Many Features

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Apple has posted a new page on its site, detailing features of iWork that it says it will be restoring over the next six months. This is likely in response to the outcry by power users of its products that it has ‘stripped’ them of many useful functions. Pre-announcing features of any product, even software, is extremely rare for Apple.

Late last month we noted that the scaling back and redesign of iWork for Mac was not without precedent. We also noted that this would likely be followed up by Apple adding back features of the software that make it attractive to heavy users. This appears to be the beginning of that process.

On the page, Apple notes that the iWork apps were rewritten from the ground up for 64-bit and to support a unified file format between iOS 7, OS X and iWork for iCloud.

“These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote,” says Apple. “In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.”

Apple had drawn ire from long-time users of iWork for Mac, with many claiming it was abandoning them in the interest of simplifying or ‘dumbing down’ the apps to look and feel like iOS. Though it’s true that they were stripped of some advanced features and functionality, Apple appears to have plans to return those to the apps over time.

Here are the features it plans to add back to each of the apps, which appear to be ‘a start’, but definitely won’t bring the apps back to full parity with the old versions, yet:

Pages

  • Customize toolbar
  • Vertical ruler
  • Improved alignment guides
  • Improved object placement
  • Import of cells with images
  • Improved word counts
  • Keyboard shortcuts for styles
  • Manage pages and sections from the thumbnail view

Numbers

  • Customize toolbar
  • Improvements to zoom and window placement
  • Multi-column and range sort
  • Auto-complete text in cells
  • Page headers and footers
  • Improvements to AppleScript support

Keynote

  • Customize toolbar
  • Restoring old transitions and builds
  • Improvements to presenter display
  • Improvements to AppleScript support

Apple also notes that the old versions of iWork for Mac remain installed on your Mac, and you’re welcome to use those for the time being. It also addresses file-format compatibility. You can revert any files that were converted to work on the new versions of the apps to ‘iWork ’09’ format for editing in those apps.

H/t Rob Pegaro