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Goodbye Mail Merge… and Other Features Now Removed From iWork

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This week Apple released brand new versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers together with an array of sparkling new features such as a fresh new design, better sharing options, interactive charts and improved multitouch gestures. You can also be sure that your documents now look the same regardless of whether you’re working on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or web browser.

However this comes as an expense, although compatibility is improved, a number of features which have been part of iWork ’09 have been removed. You may wish to think twice about updating to the latest versions. This page is a list of all the known difficulties found so far, and some workarounds (without having to resort of Microsoft Office – hopefully)

Issue: There is no option to customise the toolbar. – FIXED
Affects: Pages, Keynote, Numbers
Details: Being able to add additional icons to the toolbar was a great way to have shortcuts to your favourite tools.
Workaround: Fixed with latest update from the App Store. You can customise the toolbar by going to the View menu and select ‘Customise Toolbar’

Issue: There is no formatting bar.
Affects: Pages, Keynote, Numbers
Details: The format bar gives you access to common tools to allow you to change font, colour and text alignment from the top of the window. This seems to have been removed to simplify the interface.
Workaround: Although it may seam like madness that the format bar has been retired. The new formatting sidebar (on the right) does a pretty good job to switching to the ‘Text’ option everything everytime you need it.

Issue: No inline images in tables.
Affects: Pages, Keynote, Numbers
Details: If you open any older document with images residing inside table cells, they will have simply disappeared! Trying to drag a image (or pasting) into a table cell will simply no longer work.
Workaround: Fixed – with latest update from the App Store. You can now drag and drop images into table cells again. Hooray!

Issue: Mail Merge is no longer available
Affects: Pages
Details: There is no longer the option to perform a mail merge within Pages.
Workaround: No solution other than using alternative software such as Libre Office or Microsoft Office.

Issue: Table Categories are gone from Numbers
Affects: Numbers
Details: The ability to group your records of data by categories has disappeared from Numbers. A fantastic feature which made huge tables of data more user friendly.
Workaround: There’s no easy alternative apart from creating separate tables on separate worksheets

Other features removed:

  • Multi-color highlighting
  • Open recent… from Template Chooser
  • Comments listing in sidebar
  • Importing Styles
  • Capture and Manage Pages – Fixed
  • Internal hyperlinks
  • Outlining
  • RTF import and export
  • Delete/move/copy/paste page within a document – Partially fixed. You can rearrange sections in Pages, but not copy sections.
  • Linked text boxes
  • Most Applescript support
  • OpenType font support
  • Facing page view
  • Keyboard shortcuts for styles – fixed

This list is not complete and will be kept up-to-date over the next few days/weeks.

Update: Apple have responded, detailing that many missing features will be re-added to iWork within the next 6 months (details here). However, there is no mention of Mail Merge returning.

Update 2: The April 2014 update adds a number of new/returning features including:

New “view only” setting lets you share documents you want others to view but not edit
• Delete, duplicate and reorder sections using the page navigator
• Inline images and shapes in table cells are preserved on import
• Copy-paste style improvements
• Better placement of inserted and pasted objects
• Improved Instant Alpha image editing
• Media Browser improvements, including search
• Improved AppleScript support
• New Arabic and Hebrew templates
• Improved support for bi-directional text
• Word count for Hebrew
• Create custom data formats
• Control the z-order of bubble chart labels
• Show rulers as a percentage of document size
• Improved text box behaviour
• Improved EndNote support, including citations in footnotes
• Improved ePub export
• Usability improvements

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