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on 17 June 2009
After many years using all the various editions of Windows and MS Office I moved over to an iMac and Apple software last year. Although the Apple software, such as iWork, is very intuitive and allows the user to just plunge in and start using it, I was aware that my inexperience with Apple products was a limitation. So when iWork was updated to the '09 version I decided to buy "The Missing Manual". I have previously bought other Missing Manuals, such as the one for Photoshop Elements and have always found them very good. I was not disappointed with the iWork '09 one and it has already increased my knowledge and abilities with the software. Yes, it can be used as a manual and just dipped into for the relevant topic but these books are written in such a readable style that it is worth going right through them. Because the Apple products are so integrated and standardised what is learned for one is often applicable across the whole range. I certainly recommend this book.
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on 16 September 2009
First of all, it has to be said that Apple do provide manuals for the three applications that make up iWork, they are supplied on the DVD and are also downloadable from the Apple web site. For this edition they are fairly comprehensive and may be all that is required.

I should also point out that this edition is a new book by a different author to the previous iWork 05 Missing Manual that was published some years ago; it's not just an update which is often the case with software user guides.

Just under half the book is concerned with Pages, the word processor and page layout program. The coverage is comprehensive of the features offered and how they can be used is well described, it's not just a list of the functions by menu. There are many illustrations although the printing could have been better; colour would have been ideal but even in monochrome they should be clearer, the paper quality may be the villain.

The rest of the book is split between Keynote and Numbers, the presentation and spreadsheet applications. I don't use these programs on a regular basis so have not referenced these sections as much as the Pages pages but they seem to also be covered in detail. For Keynote I've found the iWork manual in the Apple Training series to be useful, these take you through a project step by step but by their nature they don't cover all the program's features.

Missing Manuals have a missing CD which is a reference to a web site. In this case I was disappointed by the content. I had expected to find the documents used for the book but only found links to other sites.
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on 22 September 2010
I don't know why Apple don't supply a manual for iWork, but they don't. The Help files are pretty good, but they are not exhaustive. For example, I could not find how to jump to a specific page in Pages. This can be a bit irksome for someone like me because I am a novelist and my documents are likely to be hundreds of pages long. I bought the Missing Manual in the hope that it would fill in the gaps for me - and it did! Within five minutes of opening it, I had discovered two new ways of getting round the document, including the one that I was hoping for. All was explained clearly and succinctly and the writer managed to adopt a friendly tone without treating the reader like a moron. Thoroughly recommended for anyone who is considering switching to a Mac and iWork instead of a PC with MS Office.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 July 2009
Missing Manual works have proven to be of first class assistance in mastering new applications in the past. As an iMac owner, I cannot speak too highly of them. The iWork '09 volume is no exception to the rule. Its beautifully illustrated A-Z approach makes sophisticated Mac applications so simple. I am extremely grateful for the discounted Amazon version and I am going to take my time and enjoy getting to grips with the range of new tools provided by this application.

Treat yourself!
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on 22 July 2011
I've been producing a photographic club 'Newsletter' using 'Pages' for a couple of years.
Now I've read the Missing Manual I've got a good idea of what I'm doing and understand why I had so many problems before.
I'm now creating a Newsletter that Club members like so much more; I'm getting compliments. And people are now volunteering articles for insertion into the Newsletter!
I'm actually having fun writing, and learning more about Pages too!
The point of the book is it's so much easier to find the bit you need than on a screen and get good, clear instructions.
A 'must buy' book.
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on 30 April 2013
I am already an iWork '08 user, and I found this manual incredibly complicated - borderline impossible to use. It seems to have fallen into the same trap as iWork itself. It's easy to do complicated things. Far less easy to do simple things.

What I really wanted were some clear photos of what the different windows show WHEN YOU FIRST START with them, what each icon or menu item means, etc. Instead, we plunge into the wordprocessing system, by writing a letter for a firm, making templates (without defining 'template - for those of you old Claris users, that's 'Stationery') how to integrate with your address book, bla de bla.

What you really want to know is: what do the icons across the top of the wordprocessing menu mean? What are the options for each. How to set your margins, choose your font, etc.

I'm sure all the information you could ever possibly want is hidden somewhere in this large book, but as a quick reference to get you started ...no, it doesn't work for me. This is a good effort, but I think the authors need to focus on (even ASK?) new users what they really need from a manual like this. Instead, they just dive in and start trying to explain everything an expert can do with the programme. As I said, I'm already a user (have been since 2008) and I found this no help at all in understanding the newer version. Heaven knows what somebody new to the entire iWorks suite would do with this.

I have the old manual which came with iWorks '08, and it's much much better. I just wish Apple would update it for iWorks 'O9 - in paperback format.
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on 14 November 2014
I bought this book at the same time as I switched to Mac and bought the iWork suite. I love the software and found the transition to Mac fairly trouble-free and intuitive. I would define myself as a skilled but not expert in computing in general, fairly autonomous and self taught, and that is the context of my review.

I never use this book. I found it useless. I wanted a book that would serve as a reference to enable me to do things I couldn't figure out for myself and after many attempts at doing that with this book I gave up. I could never find the help I needed. Not sure if this is due to poor organisation, I found the indexing particularly weak, or simple the absence of the desired info. In practice, I simply google for the help I need, or use the very useful help within the software itself.

I was optimistic when this big fat book arrived but I feel that I've wasted my money on it.
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on 25 January 2014
I've bought others in the Missing Manual series in the past. I bought it because I was intending to do a presentation and thought that I would use Keynote as it came free with my free upgrade to Mac OS Mavericks. However the version of iWork I got was newer that '09 and whilst I could make a presentation in Keynote I wasn't able to insert a music track in it. Keynote '09 has a different toolbar completely from '09 so the book was no help at all. I suspect that the same applies to the other component parts of '09.

AlI I can hope is that Apple will bring out an update that will get the recent apps to work like the '09 ones.

Don't buy this book if you have Keynote 6, Pages 6 or Numbers 6 because it probably won't be of much assistance.
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on 26 March 2013
As a newbie to the Mac environment and Iworks, having been more familiar with office, I realised that I wasn't getting very far and needed help. After looking up the reviews in Amazon I elected for Iwork 09, over the more well known rival, and what a good choice its been.
I find that the book is nicely presented and perhaps more importantly an easy readable style. The information in it is relevant and feel as I'm actually getting somewhere with my spreadsheets. I haven't got Keynote, but do use pages and the help for this is just as good.
The only thing I would like to have seen in the book are more details on the spreadsheet functions, as not all the functions are covered.
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on 29 November 2014
I bought this because I needed to get up to speed with iWork for my job (having never used a Mac before), and I must say, it's been a godsend. Mr Clark should be congratulated on his ability to explain practically everything you'd ever need to know about using Pages, Numbers and Keynote in a wonderfully clear manner. His style is gently witty without being irritating - unlike some other manuals which treat you like a moron. Thoroughly recommended.
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