Let me begin with a disclaimer. The following effusive praise has not been sponsored by a company, it’s a genuine emotion that I feel—Apple’s iWork may be just the most perfect companion as I embark on my doctoral path. But this story actually began during the spring semester when, on day one million of working on my Master’s thesis a little box popped up in MS Word informing me that “they” would no longer be conducting spell-check. Really great. Thanks, Bill!
Since at that point about half of my thesis was still composed of notes and quotes in Spanish, MS Word could not keep up with my bilingual writing. That wasn’t half as annoying as MS Word shutting down all the time, since the file was getting so large. I had to keep my +20 pages of images in a separate MS Word document since having my thesis in one file would crash my computer. And forget about having both documents open at the same time along with iTunes or Firefox. Now, the blame isn’t wholly on MS Word. My iBook was almost five years old by then, so it was aching for retirement. But even after I got a new computer, MS Word was still not cooperating. I was going to upgrade to the latest version of MS Office when I realized I could defect. I had done so in 2005 when I finally gave up the PC-virus-merry-go-round and moved to Apple-land. With iWork my defection could now be complete. See ya, Bill!
I acquired the iWork suite of applications in July when I upgraded to a desktop (and finally accepted that I’m not a laptop person). But it wasn’t until I started making Keynote presentations that my life dramatically improved. As an art historian, images are an essential part of my presentations. And since I work with contemporary art I usually have to scour the internet for a not-so-great image file or make my own scans. MS Power Point likes neither of these files. Even after arranging my files nicely into a Power Point presentation, more often than naught one image wouldn’t transfer. With iWork’s Keynote not only will all my images transfer, but it helps me center the images with magical grids that appear to guide me. Now all my images and text boxes are perfectly aligned and spaced. Love it!
I just wrote my first seminar paper on iWork’s Pages and it was a glorious experience. It never crashed. It was a dream to work with—so intuitive, so smooth. Once I realized that I could export my document into an MS Word file (which you can also do with Keynote, into a Power Point file) I reached my breakthrough moment where I could finally stand up and say:
I’m over it, Bill! I’m over your viruses, the clunky way I need to maneuver Windows, your unreliable software. Stick to the philanthropy and leave the genius to Steve.