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IWork Logo.png
Original author(s)Apple
Initial releaseJanuary 11, 2005 (2005-01-11)[1]
Stable releaseiWork / November 21, 2013; 10 months ago (2013-11-21)
Written inObjective-C, C, JavaScript
Operating systemOS X, iOS[2]
ARM (A4 to A7)
PowerPC (until 2009)[2]
TypeOffice suite
Freeware (with eligible purchase) and commercial
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IWork Logo.png
Original author(s)Apple
Initial releaseJanuary 11, 2005 (2005-01-11)[1]
Stable releaseiWork / November 21, 2013; 10 months ago (2013-11-21)
Written inObjective-C, C, JavaScript
Operating systemOS X, iOS[2]
ARM (A4 to A7)
PowerPC (until 2009)[2]
TypeOffice suite
Freeware (with eligible purchase) and commercial

Apple Productivity Apps, formerly known as iWork (and still commonly called that), is an office suite of applications created by Apple Inc. for its OS X and iOS operating systems.

It is comprised of Keynote, a presentation program, the word processing and desktop publishing application Pages[1][3] and the spreadsheet application, Numbers.[4] It is generally viewed as a prosumer office suite targeted at home and small business users, with fewer features than competitors such as Microsoft's Office for Mac and the open source LibreOffice project (and indeed its own earlier versions[5]), but has a simpler user interface, strong touchscreen support and built-in links with Apple's iCloud document-hosting service and its Aperture and iPhoto image management applications. Apple's design goals in creating iWork have been to allow Mac users to easily create attractive documents and spreadsheets, making use of OS X's extensive font library, integrated spelling checker, sophisticated graphics APIs and its AppleScript automation framework.

The equivalent Microsoft Office applications to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively.[6] Although Microsoft Office applications cannot open iWork documents, iWork applications can export documents from their native formats (.pages, .numbers, .key) to Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.) as well as to PDF files.

The oldest application in iWork is Keynote, first released as a standalone application in 2003. Pages was released with the first iWork release in 2005; Numbers was added in 2007 with the release of iWork '08. The next release, iWork '09, also included access to iWork.com, a beta service that allowed users to upload and share documents,[4] now integrated into Apple's iCloud service. An iOS port was released in 2010 with the first iPad and has been regularly updated since. In 2013, Apple released a new OS X version and iWork for iCloud, a set of cross-platform web applications replicating the native software versions.

iWork was initially sold as a suite for $79, then later a la carte at $19.99 per app on OS X and $9.99 per app on iOS. Apple announced on October 22, 2013 that iOS devices purchased from September 2013 onward[7] and OS X computers purchased from October 2013 onward,[8] whether new or refurbished, are eligible for a free download of all three iWork apps. iWork for iCloud, which also incorporates a document hosting service, is free to all holders of an iCloud account.


The first version of iWork, iWork '05, was announced on January 11, 2005 at the Macworld Conference & Expo and made available on January 22 in the United States and worldwide on January 29. iWork '05 comprised two applications: Keynote 2, a presentation creation program, and Pages, a word processor. iWork '05 was sold for US$79. A 30-day trial was also made available for download on Apple's website.[1] Originally IGG Software held the rights to the name iWork.[9][10][11]

While iWork was billed by Apple as "a successor to AppleWorks",[1] it does not replicate AppleWorks's database and drawing tools.[12] However, iWork integrates with existing applications from Apple's iLife suite through the Media Browser, which allows users to drag and drop music from iTunes, movies from iMovie, and photos from iPhoto and Aperture directly into iWork documents.[1]

iWork '06 was released on January 10, 2006 and contained updated versions of both Keynote and Pages. Both programs were released as universal binaries for the first time, allowing them to run natively on both PowerPC processors and the Intel processors used in the new iMac desktop computers and MacBook Pro notebooks which had been announced on the same day as the new iWork suite.[13]

The next version of the suite, iWork '08, was announced and released on August 7, 2007 at a special media event at Apple's campus in Cupertino, California. iWork '08, like previous updates, contained updated versions of Keynote and Pages. A new spreadsheet application, Numbers, was also introduced. Numbers differed from other spreadsheet applications, including Microsoft Excel, in that it allowed users to create documents containing multiple spreadsheets on a flexible canvas using a number of built-in templates.[4]

iWork '09, was announced on January 6, 2009 and released the same day. It contains updated versions of all three applications in the suite. iWork '09 also includes access to a beta version of the iWork.com service, which allows users to share documents online. Users of iWork '09 can upload a document directly from Pages, Keynote, or Numbers and invite others to view it online. Viewers can write notes and comments in the document, and download a copy in iWork, Microsoft Office, or PDF formats.[14] iWork '09 was also released with the Mac App Store on January 6, 2011 at $19.99 per application, and received regular updates after this point, including links to iCloud and a high-DPI version designed to match Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina Display.[15]

On January 27, 2010, Apple announced iWork for iPad, to available as three separate $9.99 applications from the App Store.[16] This version has also received regular updates including a version for pocket iPhone and iPod touch devices, and an update to take advantage of Retina Display devices and the larger screens of recent iPhones.

On October 22, 2013, Apple announced an overhaul of the iWork software for both the Mac and iOS. Both suites were made available via the respective App Stores. The update is free for current iWork owners [16] and was also made available free of charge for anyone purchasing an OS X or iOS device after October 1, 2013.[17] Any user activating the newly free iWork apps on a qualifying device can download the same apps on another iOS or OS X device logged into the same App Store account.

The new OS X versions have been criticized[18] for losing features such as multiple selection, bookmarks, 2-up page views, mail merge, searchable comments, ability to read/export RTF files, default zoom and page count, integration with AppleScript. Apple has provided a road-map for feature re-introduction, stating that it hopes to reintroduce some missing features within the next six months. As of April 1, 2014 over a dozen of these features have been reintroduced.[19]

The new iWork version for OS X is only compatible with OS X 10.9 and moves any previously installed '09 versions to an iWork 09 folder, allowing continued use of the earlier suite.


iWork versionKeynote versionPages versionNumbers versionRequired OSBinaryRelease date
iWork ' 22, 2005
iWork ' 10, 2006
iWork ' 7, 2007
iWork '09 DVD5.; 10.5.6UniversalJanuary 6, 2009
iWork 9.0.3 DVD5.; 10.5.6UniversalSeptember 28, 2009
iWork 26, 2010
iWork 20, 2011
iWork 26, 2012
iWork; 10.8IntelDecember 4, 2012
iWork 2013 update6. 22, 2013
iWork for iOS2.02.02.0iOS 7armv7/armv8October 22, 2013


Common components[edit]

Products in the iWork suite share a number of components, largely as a result of sharing underlying code from the Cocoa and similar shared application programming interfaces (APIs). Among these are the well known universal multilingual spell checker, which can also be found in products like Safari and Mail. Grammar checking, find and replace, style and color pickers are similar examples of design features found throughout the Apple application space.

Moreover, the applications in the iWork suite also share a new model of the document. In most document-based applications there is a particular data type which forms the basis of the application's view of the world, for instance, in word processors the text is the first-class citizen of the application, while in a spreadsheet it is the cells in the table. Other objects, images or charts for instance, are managed by being attached to, or referenced to, the underlying primary data type.

In iWork, all of the applications share a common underlying document format, the "canvas", a generic container type that provides layout and storage mechanisms. Each application then adds its own custom objects and places them on the canvas. Pages, for instance, conventionally opens with a single large text object on the canvas. To the user it appears to be a typical word processor, but they can grab the corner and re-size it as in a page layout application. In Numbers, one initially sees a grid of cells like any other spreadsheet, but the user is free to size it smaller than the canvas, and then add multiple grids, charts or even drawings to the same canvas.

The difference is subtle, as many of these features are also implemented in more traditional programs like Microsoft Excel. However, the difference in UI can be significant. In Excel, for instance, charts are stored as part of a sheet, and can be moved inadvertently through natural user actions. In Numbers, charts are, like everything else, part of the canvas, and changes to the sheet(s) are normally independent.

The iWork model bears some resemblance to the earlier Apple effort, OpenDoc. OpenDoc also used a single underlying document engine, along with a single on-disk format. Unlike iWork, however, OpenDoc also used a single application, in which various editors could be invoked. For instance, one could open a generic document, start a spreadsheet editor, then add a spreadsheet. iWork lacks this level of flexibility in editing terms, but maintains it in layout.

Desktop applications[edit]


Pages is a word processing application with page layout features. Many of the layout features are missing from Pages 5.1. Besides basic word processing functionality, Pages 4.3 included 140 templates designed by Apple that allow users to create various types of documents, including newsletters, invitations, stationery, and résumés, along with a number of education-themed templates (such as reports and outlines) for students and teachers.[1][4] Pages 5 includes about only about 60 Apple-designed templates and lacks many features that were present in version 4.3, including mail merge, bookmarks, the ability to place inter-document hyperlinks, linked text boxes, 2-up page view, alternating margins, headers, and footers for left and right pages, the ability to view comments while editing, the ability to print comments, and more.

Along with Keynote and Numbers, Pages integrates with Apple's iLife suite. Using the Media Browser, users can drag and drop movies, photos and music directly into documents within the Pages application.[1] A Full Screen view hides the menubar and toolbars, and an outline mode allows users to quickly create outlines which can easily be rearranged by dragging and dropping, as well as collapsed and expanded. Pages includes support for entering complex equations with MathType 6 and for reference citing using EndNote X2.[14]

The Pages application can open and edit Microsoft Word documents (including DOC and Office Open XML files),and plain text documents.[20] Pages 5 can no longer read or export rich text format documents. Pages can also export documents in the DOC, PDF, and ePub formats.[13] However it cannot read or write OpenDocument file formats.

As a word-processing application targeted towards creating attractive documents for a range of applications such as lesson plans and newsletters, Pages competes with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher (never ported to OS X), Apple's own free PDF and e-book authoring application, iBooks Author, and Adobe's much more expensive professional-market desktop publishing application InDesign.


Keynote is an application used to create and play presentations. Its features are comparable to those of Microsoft PowerPoint, though Keynote contains several unique features which differ from similar applications. Keynote, like Pages and Numbers, integrates with the iLife application suite. Users can drag and drop media from iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto and Aperture directly into Keynote presentations using the Media Browser. Keynote contains a number of templates, transitions, and effects. Magic Move allows users to apply simple transitions to automatically animate images and text that are repeated on consecutive slides.[1][4][13][14]

The Keynote Remote application lets users view slides and presenter notes and control Keynote presentations with an iPhone or iPod Touch over a Wi-Fi network.[14]

Keynote supports a number of file formats. By default, presentations are saved as .key files. Keynote can open and edit Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt) files. In addition, presentations can be exported as Microsoft PowerPoint files, QuickTime movies (which are also playable on iPod and iPhone), HTML files, and PDF files. Presentations can also be sent directly to iDVD, iTunes, GarageBand, iWeb,[13] and to YouTube.[4] The Keynote 09 file format is not backward compatible; .key files saved with Keynote '09 cannot be opened with earlier versions of Keynote.


Main article: Numbers (spreadsheet)

Numbers is a spreadsheet application that was added to the iWork suite in 2007 with the release of iWork '08. Numbers, like Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications, lets users organize data into tables, perform calculations with formulas, and create charts and graphs using data entered into the spreadsheet. Numbers, however, differs from other spreadsheet applications in that it allows users to create multiple tables in a single document on a flexible canvas. Many prebuilt templates, including ones designed for personal finance, education, and business use, are included.[4][14]

Numbers 2.0 was included with iWork '09, with several improvements. Charts that are pasted into Keynote and Pages are automatically updated across documents when they are changed in Numbers. Additionally, Numbers 2 lets users categorize data in tables by column, which can then be collapsed and summarized.[14]

Numbers 3.0, the latest version released in October 2013, adds in the ability to create interactive charts, a new user interface resembling Keynote and Pages among other things.

Web services[edit]


Main article: iWork.com

iWork.com was a free service that enabled users to share iWork '09 documents online directly from within Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Users could click the iWork.com toolbar icon and login using their Apple ID to upload a document and invite others to view it online. Viewers could leave comments and notes on the document and download a copy in iWork, Microsoft Office, or PDF formats. Document owners could track comments at the iWork.com website.

Apple announced that after July 31, 2012, users would be no longer able to publish new documents to iWork.com from any iWork application.[21]

With the latest versions of the iWork applications for OS X and iOS, users can now save documents to their iCloud storage.

iOS apps[edit]

On June 7, 2010 while showcasing the new iPhone 4, Apple posted a few screenshots of the device in action and inadvertently showed the possibility of opening an email attachment inside of Keynote, leading some to believe that an iPhone version of the iWork suite would soon be available in the iOS App Store.[22]

On June 28, 2010, several websites reported that in an attempt to sell AppleCare for the iPhone 4, several examples of services offered were given including one that read, "Using iWork for iPhone and other Apple-branded iPhone apps." These sites also report that it was quickly removed.[23][24]

On May 31, 2011, Apple released a press statement that iWork would be available on the iOS app store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.[25]

On September 10, 2013, Apple announced that iWork, iMovie and iPhoto would be available to download for free on new iOS devices activated since September 1.[26]

iOS app issues and missing functionality[edit]




iWork for iCloud[edit]

Main article: iWork for iCloud

During the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote speech, iWork for iCloud was announced for release at the same time as the next version of the app versions of iWork later in the year. The three apps for both iOS and OS X that form Apple's iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), will be made available on a web interface (named as Pages for iCloud, Numbers for iCloud, and Keynote for iCloud respectively), and accessed via the iCloud website under each users iCloud Apple ID login. They will also sync with the users iOS and OS X versions of the app, should they have them, again via their iCloud Apple ID.

This allows the user to edit and create documents on the web, using one of the supported browsers; currently Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. It also means that Microsoft Windows users now have access to these native –previously only Apple device– document editing tools, via the web interface. iWork for iCloud has somewhat limited functionality compared to the OS X version. For instance, the fonts available are more limited and the web version doesn't fully support printing and may display documents created with the support of external plug-ins incorrectly/improperly.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Apple Unveils iWork '05". Apple Press. January 11, 2005. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  2. ^ a b "iWork System Requirements". [dead link]
  3. ^ "Apple Unveils Keynote". Apple Press. January 7, 2003. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Apple Introduces iWork '08". Apple Press. August 7, 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  5. ^ http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/11/review-the-productivity-suite-formerly-known-as-iwork/
  6. ^ Eckel, Erik (21 July 2014). "Office vs. iWork: Which performs best in the real world?". TechRepublic. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Creativity and Productivity Apps". Apple. October 22, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Up-to-Date Program for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote". Apple. October 22, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ "IGG Software changes name of ‘iWork’ to ‘iBiz’ – clearing the way for Apple’s iWork?". MacDailyNews. January 3, 2005. 
  10. ^ Fried, Ina (January 5, 2005). "Evidence of shift by Apple / Company possibly developing own office software". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Apple to Announce 'iWork' Office Suite?". January 3, 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2009. 
  12. ^ "An Introduction to Bento, the Missing Database App iWork Should Have". 
  13. ^ a b c d "Apple Announces iWork '06". 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Apple Unveils iWork '09". 
  15. ^ Loyola, Roman. "Apple introduces iWork for iPad". Macworld. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Apple Launches iPad" (Press release). Apple. January 27, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Apple - Creativity and Productivity Apps". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Some Power Users Are Unhappy With Lost Features in the New iWork". MacRumors. October 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ "About the new iWork for Mac: Features and compatibility". Apple. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "iWork - Open, save, and email Microsoft Office files". Apple. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  21. ^ About iWork.com public beta. Support.apple.com (May 31, 2012). Retrieved on July 17, 2013.
  22. ^ "Apple confirms iWork coming to iPhone 4". Pocket-lint. June 7, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Apple's Site Again Hints at iWork for iPhone". Mac Rumors. June 28, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  24. ^ "iWork for iPhone". US-IN: FreeiWorkTemplates.com. June 28, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Press Info - Apple iWork Now Available For iPhone & iPod Touch Users". Apple. May 31, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  26. ^ Alvarez, Edgar (September 10, 2013). "Apple's iWork, iMovie and iPhoto will now be available for free on new iOS devices". Engadget. Retrieved September 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]