Customer Reviews: iWork '09: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
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on May 1, 2009
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 bought the book. If you read this far, I believe you will want to buy it too.
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on May 31, 2009
Nearly all the "Missing Manuals" have been right on target; and this is one of the very best -- beats Apple's disjointed iWork manuals by leagues. Starting with Pages, Josh Clark nicely lifts the confusion of (malnamed) 'floating' versus 'inline' objects; puts the important word processing details (for instance the handy 'Outlining' feature, that got a scant one-page brushoff in Apple's manual) in perspective. He clarifies the distinction between pretty design objects and serious work, and makes it obvious that Pages has the power to become a freestanding no-nonsense 'iWord', rather than part of a Jack of all trades approach. Shortcuts, tips, and thinking outside the box abound; clearly, the author enjoys sharing his perspective with the reader, the writing is crisp and airy, the examples are handy, and tough concepts such as layers become understandable so as to exploit the full power of 'iWord'.

The Numbers chapters, likewise, are outstanding; the 3-step drilling down selection process (table, cell and text) finally helped me understand how and what to select for editing, rather than just aimlessly clicking around till you got it right. Same for the difference between Table and Print views, and proper use of the Return key. Functions, Formulas and Styles become a breeze using the keep-it-simple approach. The one thing missing (at least from the Index) was how to lock Tables and individual cells. So occasionally you may have to print a page from the on-line help. iWork09 was updated recently to version 2--we don't know what changed but crashes, or lockups trying to empty the trash have vanished.

You really can't do professional grade word processing or spreadsheeting without this in-depth, yet light-spirited, guide. Well worth the price!
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on January 18, 2010
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.
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on September 18, 2009
iWork '09: The Missing Manual is a tremendous and necessary tool in order for the novice to realize the greatest value from the programs included in this suite of software. For the novice computer user who does not understand all of the specialized language that even Computer magazines use, I have found the manual to be friendly to use in order to, much of the time, shut off the automatic things that the programs do when they come out of the box. Just today I looked up how to find the cent symbol. This feature, I found will make it unnecessary for me to purchase a program offered by one of the so called "free" dashboard items.

I am amazed that the author, who is proficient in so many areas of life could learn all of the details of an imposing array of capabilities of this reasonably priced trio of programs. I am certainly glad that I stumbled on to this book.
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on July 6, 2011
Since 2004, Apple no longer supports AppleWorks -- a serious misstep: it was in its days a most efficient, powerful and elegant piece of software, and well documented, at that.
So, being a writer and with AppleWorks now wilting, I had to either use MS Word (not a tempting option) or order the AppleWork's successor, the iWork. So I did, but what did I receive in the mail? -- just a lonely CD rattling in the cardboard box. Not one single printed page of "Getting started" or even " Basic Introduction". What an insult to a paying customer. (True, there was an "online userguide" but you can't really read such a manual and use the app at the same time.)
When trying out the CD, the iWork (and I was mainly interested in the word processor, "Pages") turned out to be a highly complex program, largely meaningless to this aging user. I just wasn't able to use it it "as is" out of the box; I finally had to give up.
To save my sanity I decided to order Josh Clark's "iWork 09" (O'Reilly, Pogue Press) via Amazon. That turned out to be just the right thing to do. This 800+ page book covers absolutely every aspect of iWorks, using a clear, useful -- and sometimes funny -- prose, explaining absolutely everything that needs to be clarified.
To me, the book transformed an incomprehensible jumble of cryptic wordprocessing/page-layout options, into a powerful, versatile, quite elegant application that I now use for my daily writing efforts.
I do recommend this book to users of Macintosh iWork (and I still consider Apple's neglect of documentation as inexcusabily shameful - I do recall the thorough, neatly printed Apple user-guides of yore).

FB in San Diego
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on April 11, 2011
It cost as much as the program did, and tripled the program's value to me in the first week. I have lost count of how many word processing etc. programs I have used, and claim to know my way around the feature block, but this book cut months off the learning curve of Pages. So much info that I need more index. Sometimes it is like looking for the car keys! (Who'd have thought of looking there?) I'm retired, so I can spend time just reading the book and "poking around" the keyboard, but there is no one next door who can show me a "neat feature". The structure of"Pages" is (to my mind) so different from others I have used. The first newsletter I did went thru 3 total restarts as I tried various features. "MM" finally told me where paragraphs were hiding, and why they reemerged where they did.

This one of several "MM" books I have bought. Haven't been sorry for one yet! I recommend the program, and if you get it get the "MM"!

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on September 16, 2012
I was greatly disappointed with "iWork 09: The Missing Manual" because it has been dumbed down to the point where some really useful information has been omitted. I attempted to print some mailing labels on Avery 8160 labels, but I could not find a way of using "Mail Merge" with a Numbers data base and merging into a Pages document. Some important information seems to be missing from "The Missing Manual". What information that existed is widely scattered throughout the Manual, so it requires flipping pages in several sections do do simple tasks. The index works only if one happens on the exact terminology for the information one is searching for.

Ultimately I gave up on using Mail Merge and by trial and error found a way of printing the labels using only Numbers. The Missing Manual was no help there, either. The authors deliberately omitted an appendix containing the details of the spreadsheet functions that I found necessary for completion of the task. This is a major omission that affects the writing of other spreadsheets as well. The Manual gave no clue as to how to not show the lines between cells on the printout. Trial and error came to the rescue. Also, there was no information on avoid printing the row and column labels (i.e., "A, B, C,..." and "1, 2, 3,..."). Once again, a solution came by trial and error.

The product may be useful to help a newbie get started, but as a serious user I feel that I wasted my money.
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on July 29, 2010
This book is an essential guide for using iWork'09. I was a PC user and a Microsoft Office user so it was very difficult for me when I changed over to a MAC and to iWork'09. I didn't know what to do and this manual cleared it all up for me. All the answers I need are right there in this book. I highly recommend it to everyone who is trying to learn iWork'09.
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on April 2, 2010
This is a great book that goes along with iWork 09. However, be alerted to the fact that you can buy the same book from iTunes for your iPhone or iPad for $4.99.
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on December 24, 2013
It is also difficult to find specific answers. I'm going to have to find a "numbers for dummys" somewhere. I used excel for twenty years and thought I could switch over without as much difficulty as I am having. It's the little things.....
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