How to: Restore iWork for OS X Maverick's missing features

Apple has a communication problem: it knew the latest iteration of iWork was only a starting point, but when it introduced the software was heavy on the hype, leaving users disappointed. Here's what to do if you want those features back:

How to: Restore iWork for OS X Maverick's missing features

Do Nothing

Well, not too much: if you're using the new iWork and you want those missing features just take a look inside your Applications folder (Go>Applications in the Finder menu) and you'll find the old versions of your iWork applications are still installed. You can continue to use them.

This is because the latest free iWork suite is not an upgrade to your existing software but a completely new edition built from the ground up to be 64-bit, so the installation does not take place on top of your original iWork apps.

The snag is that when you open older documents in the new edition of an iWork application, the software "upgrades" the document to work in 64-bit. Once an upgraded document is saved you can no longer open it in your old iWork applications.

Missing features in iWork

Revert, Export

You have two choices: Revert or Export, commands both available in the File menu of the application you happen to be using.

  • Revert will return your document to its pre-64-bit state -- use this if you have applied no edits to your work, as any edits you have applied since the document was open will not be carried across, and the formatting changes imposed by the new iWork application version will be set in stone. Revert is for documents you've not saved.
  • Export is the option you'll have to use in the event you've made changes to your document that you want to keep.

The bad news here is that there must be a chance document elements the new iWork applications don’t' support may have been lost when the original document was upgraded to 64-bit; the good news is that you can export your document to Pages '09 format in order to continue working on the project.

Getting the message across

That's not a total fix of course: there's lots of features fallen from the new edition. Eagle-eyed Apple-watchers will already know Apple has promised to introduce many of the most missed features within future software updates across the next six months.

That's fine, but the company could -- and should -- have been more open about this from the get-go. Apple exec Eddy Cue hyped it up to the hopeful when he called iWork "groundbreaking".

"This is the biggest day for apps in Apple's history," he said. "These new versions deliver seamless experiences across devices that you can't find anywhere else...," he added.

What he should have said was:

"This is the new and seamless iWork. It's 64-bit, and works across all your Apple devices and online. We've introduced the software with a limited feature set, but we have an aggressive plan to add more tools across the next six months. We'd love some user feedback and we're very excited with this new beginning. This is just the start."

Unfortunately he didn't.

That lack of humility means Apple's scored an own goal in the PR department, which is a pity when I remain certain people inside the company knew the new suite was only the start of something new. The failure to get this message across has summoned scorn at the company's antics.

However, the scorn may be a little misplaced given that the old editions of the iWork apps remain available for use in every Mac user's Applications folder.

It will be interesting to see how swiftly Apple can build up the tools made available within iWork as it strives to deliver a strong Office challenger.

But you have to expect the attempt to take more time than the company originally suggested when it called the suite "groundbreaking".

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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