iWork 12.1 update for Pages, Numbers and Keynote released
Apple has released the iWork 12.1 Update for its office suite. The Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps have all been updated for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.
What's new in the iWork 12.1 Update
The presentation app in the suite, Keynote, has some new themes that support dynamic backgrounds. These have an animation effect, they are not too fancy. The styles are quite subtle, like a wave of colors flowing gently, or shifting from side to side. The effects are also available in other themes, but you have to manually toggle the background to use the dynamic ones.
You may switch between the various backgrounds and the app will display a motion preview of the selected effect. The preview can be disabled, if you find it distracting. If you have a group of collapsed slides, you can now choose to skip or unskip all of them.
It's finally here, the Pages app now supports Mail Merge. The feature was removed when Pages 5.0 was released in 2013. (refer: Wikipedia).
It's back in Pages 12.1, and you can use the word processor to create personalized documents for multiple recipients. The app has new templates that you may pick from the New Document screen. These templates allow you to create letters, cards, envelopes, event invitations, etc. Pages will request access to your contacts list, if you choose to use one of the templates. This permission is used for adding a recipient to the document quickly.
You can edit the images and text in the themes, and replace them with your own content to give it a bit of a personal touch. There is a new Technical Certificate template that can be useful for educational institutions, tutors, etc. This template style requires some additional fonts that you will need to download.
This may seem like a trivial feature for many, but one that some might appreciate, the Pages app now allows you to export documents in the TXT format. The Pages app on macOS has supported plain text files without the formatting, but this is something new for iOS and iPadOS devices. This can be very useful for editing text in other apps, and even across platforms and non-Apple devices.
Numbers is the only app in the iWork suite that did not gain a new feature in the 12.1 Update. Instead, the new version of the spreadsheet app has gained an optimization. The performance of the app should now be improved when you insert new rows and columns in large tables. That can be important given how spreadsheets can be pretty huge.
It took a while for the updates to show up on my Macbook, but I got them today. The iWork 12.1 Update for Pages, Numbers and Keynote is available on the Mac App Store, and the iOS App Store.
Overall, the update might seem a minor one, but it brings some useful features to the table. It seems a little odd that it took so long for Apple to add a basic feature like Mail Merge to Pages.
Have you installed the updated versions of the iWork suite?Advertisement