Scrivener and Apple Pages 5.0

I just noted that Pages 5.0 does not support RTF. I think that this is potentially very dangerous for future develop of apps like Scrivener. Or not?

That’s the major reason I won’t upgrade any time soon.
Meanwhile, Nisus Writer Pro offers excellent support of RTF.

Thank you for your answer. I know very well Nisus (and Mellel). Anyway, I think that the trend followed by Apple’s team will create some problems to Keith. Apple officially discontinued support to RTF …

Pages 5.0 is a beautiful app. Software engineers showed a great skill to minimize interface without reduce features and usability (aside the RTF support).

This doesn’t really impact us that much. Pages has never supported RTF well at all, and we’ve always recommended people use .doc/x via some means or another. In fact that was probably the main reason we pursued the whole improved converter deal in the first place, so people could get a decent .doc/x file out of Scrivener.

Apple hasn’t discontinued support of RTF. The whole rich text system is still based on it. Nothing has changed except they have removed one poorly coded converter from one word processor that could only ever handle a couple of formats to begin with. I don’t think that’s going to change much in the grand scheme of things.

I just opened my first doc in the new Pages, and behold! It’s now Services aware. I seem to recall that previous versions didn’t support Apple’s own Services, so that’s an improvement. I haven’t gotten to play with it yet at all, though; how does it compare to Pages 09?

I don’t think the current trajectory of Pages leaves it of much interest to Scrivener users. Apple seems to have gone for feature parity with the iOS version, which means stripping out a whole raft of features essential to any mid-range professional user.

Rather than duplicate the details, I’d refer you to

A big warning, though: don’t open older Pages documents in Pages iOS and be very careful opening them in Pages 5 OS X. An awful lot will be automatically screwed up and even if you then try to revert, or Export to… Pages older format, you’ve kind of had it. What Pages 5/iOS starts, AutoSave will finish.

Looking at the twinksy butterfly-and-kitten templates, and the saccharine pitching on the Apple site, this is aimed at schoolgirls who want to be cute, just as squarely as the new iMovie is aimed at first-year university lads who want to be danger dudes.

At least the iMovie pitch has a future; they can do their slo-mo on their iPhone 5s and output the “edited” version to YouTube. But Pages… I don’t know. The word processor paradigm has – with Scrivener at one end and MultiMarkdown at the other – been slowly moving away from the idea that the end product is Something Printed On Paper. Pages, on the other hand, has reaffirmed that idea. It’s very odd. Yes, it can output to ePub which has some primitive markup tools (highlight, comment/note) but essentially it’s still a print analogue and locked in tighter than Eichmann.

The greatest new feature for me is how the word count balloon obscures the text. That’s genius. I haven’t a clue what they’re thinking of, but there’s one telling detail: when you ‘upgrade’ from Pages '09, your old version is not overwritten. Still – Pages 5 lasted two hours on my Mac. I don’t want to Corrupt – sorry, “Open” – any of my existing Pages documents by accident.

TL;DR – Apple, from a software POV, isn’t interested in the professional/advanced users any more.

Am I the only one who’s starting not to kind of, y’now, like Apple any more? The URL says it all.

I’m working to get used to the new Pages, and am reserving judgement. At least officially I’m reserving judgement; unofficially it’s a piece of . Thank goodness the previous version was left on my hard disk.

If this is how Pages has fared, I’m very worried about how all my Keynote files—with their precision placements, transitions (my favourite, I’m reading, has been dumped) and carefully timed animations—will cope.

I think all this outcry misses the long term plans. Apple is trying to unify the software on all platforms/devices/OSs. They’ll roll back lots of features missing in the current upgrade. They have done this with other softwares. And, as Nom says, the older version of iWork is still on your machine. So, what’s the fuss about???

Thoroughly agree with @marcoiac. I think the new iWork is a great suite that works well across devices. The clarity of design is refreshing. I hope they restore some of the missing functionality, but for me this feels like a major step in the right direction.

We all know people who have got stuck in the past…hanging on to MS DOS, WordPerfect, AmiPro, etc.

I love change, especially when it promises long term improvements.

but there’s no guarantee that anything like the functionality which has been stripped away will return. the new pages - it’s ok, but i can’t see it doing anything it didn’t do before, and a heck of a lot less to boot, but as a long-time apple customer, as was said above, getting to kind of … you know … not like apple so much anymore.

Apple has a bad habit of abandoning useful products that don’t sell more Macs; Hypercard, The Newton, AppleWorks, iWeb/Mobile Me… I like it as a platform, and respect their recent focus on power efficiency and battery life on the Mac laptops. I love the ecosystem that provides me with tools like Scrivener, DevonAgent, OmniFocus, Alfred, and a plethora of other applications that make using a computer a pleasure, which is why I’m sticking with Apple for the foreseeable future, in spite of their missteps. But one thing I will not do is rely on them for professional-grade applications. Their design philosophy is to make beginners and dabblers happy, so when I need a good word processor, a web page designer, or a movie-editing program, I’ll look elsewhere.

Recent trends in iOS seem to indicate a move from “serious professional” look/feel/function (comete with RIM) to a low tech consumer focus. In the words of my 19 year old daughiter, “iOS 7 looks like it was designed for a 12 year old girl, I’m embarrassed to use it”.

If you haven’t noticed apple don’t make “gradual transitions” to new strategies. iOS 7 is the writing on the wall in my opinion. I’m still undecided if I’m sticking with them or going back to *nix.

I really like the look of iOS 7. For me, the previous iOS iterations look old-fashioned and clunky.

The “fuss” is because if you open old documents in the new Pages, you can lose data, and lose it without warning! Nowhere does Apple say the new Pages is a beta product that does not support that will strip away any information that uses that feature.

I “fuss” I can’t use my painstakingly created mail merge documents for reports. My letterhead doesn’t work. Key page layout features don’t work (e.g. images in headers) and key editing features have been removed (e.g. drag’n’drop page ordering). Even some supposedly supported features don’t work (e.g. text flow around objects - which is what has ruined my letterhead). Further, you can’t tell OS X to always open all Pages files in Pages 4.3 (aka Pages '09) - doing so changes all files to open in Pages 5 (even ones that had already been manually set top open in Pages 4.3). I manually changed all of my Pages files (luckily OS X makes it trivially easy to find them) to open with 4.3 so I don’t lose data. I shouldn’t have to do that.

I’m fine with Apple choosing to recreate from scratch. I’ll grudgingly accept their decision to remove features while they redo the code. However, I cannot understand why they wouldn’t warn people of the risk to data and/or automatically create copies to protect that data. That’s why there’s a fuss and that’s why I’m grumpy at Apple. It’s hard to view fondly an “upgrade” that removes frequently used features without warning and simultaneously silently destroys weeks (or more) of work.

I’m OK with iOS 7. Not my preferred look, but I’ll get used to it. To be more precise, I’m growing to like the flat look, but am still adjusting to the colours. :unamused:
I’m fine with the “low tech consumer focus” because that is actually most users. In my circles, I’m considered technically savvy, but I don’t understand half of you say (less when you get technical). I know enough techno-geekery to know what I don’t know (or at least that types of things I don’t know). But my ageing parents can pick up an iPhone or iPad and use it. They both use Macs now and wouldn’t go back. It seems to be a winning strategy for Apple.

I don’t see that “low tech consumer focus” is incompatible with “serious professional”. In fact, apart from technology professionals and animators, most of the professionals that I know couldn’t care less about their technology other than “How I do send email?” and “Why can’t I print?”.
Note: I just sat through a conference program today watching professionals speak to poorly constructed Powerpoint slides where about half didn’t even know how to make Powerpoint advance to the next slide (pressing spacebar is generally considered low technology). Only one person (one!) used animations to bring on bullet points one at a time. In contrast, one brought up the right click menu every slide, another clicked through to the end of their presentation and then restarted because they couldn’t go back one slide. Another ended up presenting in edit view!! I’m perhaps a little jaded about professionals’ technological capacity right now.

Reading Nom’s post about PPT presentations caused me to feel a little queasy.

Is it wrong to admit that I also laughed?


I believe we need to remember that “perspective alters definitions” (that was from some famous psycho in one of my course books but I can remember who or what book). In my world your professionals would have been lecturing to an empty room. Especially the one with animations. the “high tech” crowd isn’t as impressed by bling as by function. Sure bling is nice, but we want dependable and predictable first.

Which is why 90% of my peers are OSX users. BDS core with all *nix function we expect. Most of us use terminal more than finder. We don’t dual boot, we VM (alt OS not for games). We have multiple external drives stacked on our desk so rsync has unique backup locations. Sure we have windows laptops for office work, but they are only there for corporate email (no point in putting MS products on OSX).

Thing is we are all watching this trend, especially the pages debacle, and starting to look at going back to non-apple devices. the forward roadmap seems to be away from the folks that started telling mom and dad to buy Mac 15 years ago. If we leave the folks that “trust us” for the right compute environment are likely to go with us.

Not sure it matters to the corporate folks, but there it is.

It is interesting what you say and certainly clears up some confusion in my mind.

In my work (financial) I often see presentations of similar quality to what you describe and similar ineptness in the presenters. There has always therefore been this disconnect between what I see in the real world and what I see similar, but perhaps more “creative”, people doing in Microsoft or Adobe or Apple software/hardware adverts. I thought maybe it was just me. :unamused:

Never confuse “the real world” with the dream world of paid presenters.

I have presented at several conferences. I’m a basic “black and white” presenter. Simple but clear PPT. When it was my turn to present, what was projected looked nothing like what I provided. The corporate marketing departments had paid specialists to “fix” my presentation. Too bad they didn’t provide me notes as to when data would show up on the slides. Those transitions made the revealed data as much a surprise to me as it was to the audience. After a few runs we got in the groove and the presentations were much better than if I had used my boring slides.

And right about the time I started to get really good at it I was sent back to my corner of the basement never to present again. I still make all my slides in B&W with minimum branding and no transitions though. If I didn’t I’d be the PPT b!tch for everyone here. Self preservation.