I Love Pages

I’ve been busy creating books recently. As I mentioned earlier I thought it would be a really nice thing to make books from each year of this weblog as a memento and photo album for us. At first it was going to be a quick copy of the weblog but once I got into it my creative juices kicked in and I started using my desktop publishing skills to the max.

I’ve used lots of desktop publishing / Word Processing applications in the past, including the ubiquitous Word, the open-source Open Office, industry giants such as Quark and InDesign and even Photoshop or Illustrator for certain documents. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for what was the Claris suite of applications, starting with ClarisWorks, through to Apple Works and now Pages.

Right from the beginning I loved the way you could use ClarisWorks in any of its ‘applications’ (Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Database, Drawing and Graphics) and just drag new areas within that document that could contain elements from any of these applications. Working in a Word Processing document? No problem just drag an area and create a spreadsheet within it or a drawing area. This meant that a simple word processing document could become a fairly complicated desktop published document with all sorts of things in it. Once you got the hang of it you soon used certain tricks for creating quite complex layouts.

I know most Word Processing applications allow similar control these days but ClarisWorks has always done it. So, when it came to creating the books of our weblog I started with Pages. At first it looks fairly basic but once you get to know the application you can do almost everything you could within a n industry giant (and very expensive – £500) such as Adobe InDesign. I also find it to be much quicker and often easier to use.

I was however a little worried that it might start getting a little bogged down with large documents and start playing up a little. This hasn’t been the case. In fact I’ve been amazed by how well it has coped. The 2007 edition of our weblog book is 200 pages with hundreds of large images, many of them as large double -page full-bleed spreads. It looks lovely and Pages took it all in its stride. The final document is over 650Mb in size but that hasn’t been a problem for pages. It opens and saves it fairly quickly and when working in it it is fast and responsive the whole time. Drag a new image from iPhoto and in it goes, resize it, rotate it, move it and text wraps immediately, I can move from page to page without any problems at all and the whole thing is as quick as it was when there were only 1 or 2 pages. Amazing.

Best of all, it is a fraction of the price of thins such as InDesign with the whole iWork suite being around £60 and with that you not only get Pages but also Numbers (equally as elegant) and the Powerpoint killer Keynote.

Here’s a preview of the latest edition of the weblog that I’ve created using Pages.

4 Responses

  1. Trudie says:

    Well, I’ll tell you what, I absolutely love reading about what you and yours are all up to. I have a look a couple of tmes a week and even though I don’t always comment, I look at your pics, and I think it’s a fab thing to do.
    So, putting it all into a book for each year is just fantastic! I don’t pretend to understand how you’ve done it, and what exactly is involved, just it really is just a great keepsake of a year in your lives.

    I only wish I did enough interesting stuff to write a daily account to begin with..lol x

  2. Alan says:

    Hi Trudie,

    It’s good to hear that someone enjoys reading my ramblings. I like writing the blog as well so it’s a win win thing. You’ll be pleased to hear that I include most of the comments in the books that I’m creating so your comments will be immortalised in print soon.

    The books look really good and as you say will be an impressive looking keepsake of our lives. Photos on their own are good and as digital copies I use them as a screen saver and on digital photo frames, but the words help and putting it all into a nice hardback, glossy book is just perfect. Now all we need is a coffee table to keep them on!

    Al.

  3. Lesley says:

    Loving the books Al. They look really professional. I see my pic in there from Craig Ddu. Will never forget that mud!

  4. Alan says:

    Thanks Lesley – Although I don’t remember it being that muddy! 🙂

    The books will certainly be a nice keepsake and it will be good to pass them on to Morgan as well.

    Al.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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