The rumored iWork updates have arrived: Apple announced updated versions of Keynote (6.0) and Pages (5.0) yesterday alongside the Mavericks rollout. Both applications require Mavericks (OS 10.9) on the desktop, while the updated iOS apps (2.0) require iOS 7. While at casual glance it looks to be a UI/feature-oriented update, the underlying unifying architectural changes are quite major, and have introduced a number of issues using themes or templates built for the ‘08/’09 applications in the newer apps.
We’ll dig a bit deeper over the coming days and use this post as a master-thread of sorts to note the issues - and there are many - as they arise. But as it stands today, based on our limited testing and incoming Support requests, we’re recommending you proceed with caution in updating either Keynote or Pages until you can confirm your particular workflow won’t be impacted by the changes introduced.
First off - we highly recommend creating a backup of your current versions of Keynote and Pages applications in an iWork ‘09 folder if you decide to install these latest versions. (*Update - the iWork installers backup the older versions up by default, so look for an iWork ‘09 folder in your Applications folder if you’re having trouble locating the older versions.)
The newer applications are billed as a “complete rewrite,” and for good reason. Beyond the single-window UI orientation changes, the apps have moved to a unified file format for desktop, web and mobile underneath. Unfortunately, web/mobile seem to be in the driver’s seat on that change, resulting in the loss of a number of features you’ve likely become accustomed to on the desktop to accommodate the simplified cloud-centric workflow.
Pages looks to be the hardest hit, with Page Layout Mode, Insert Pages/Sections and Mail Merge disappearing entirely in favor of the very simplified template approach in the iOS app. Due to the changes, our ‘08/’09 templates are no longer functional at all in Pages 5: if you’re relying on any of our templates in your daily workflow, be sure to hold onto Pages ‘09 until a way forward becomes apparent. Documents created in ‘09 will open in Pages 5 (though you’ll no longer be able to add pre-designed pages/sections once it’s opened in the new version - so treat as a mix-down document and version accordingly), but the templates themselves will only produce errors in Pages 5 - you’ll need to continue authoring in ‘09 to use any of our templates for the foreseeable future.
Likewise, the changes Keynote side present a number of issues, most notably in terms of kinetic themes and animations. Alpha-channel video support is gone, as is master-level-build support - so themes using video assets such as Brighton Motion, and our Kinetic Themes Fuse and Canto are no longer functionally presentable in Keynote 6. You’ll need to continue using Keynote 5.x for the foreseeable future for any presentation using any of those themes in their Motion/Kinetic states.
New presentations can be launched using ‘09 themes in Keynote 6, but you’ll need to add the themes to your Theme Chooser both manually and individually for them to appear persistently in the My Themes tab on the chooser (more on that shortly). ’08 themes will not open in Keynote 6 - ‘08 themes can, however, be applied to a presentation created in ‘09 and subsequently opened in 6, so fall back to ‘09 to apply any ‘08 themes, save the file, then open in 6 and proceed with caution. A host of transitions and effects have disappeared, so review your show carefully for changes even if no errors are reported when you open the presentation.
We’re still uncovering the extent of the changes and associated issues created - we’ll continue updating here over the coming days as we have more information. In the meanwhile, hold onto ‘09 lest your workflow is disrupted by the upgrades.
Updates : 11.7.13
Apple’s posted a Support Article detailing general plans for folding some of the missing features back into the new applications over the coming quarters. We’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach with regards to Pages, as it’s unclear from the language used if the plan is to re-introduce features in a way that will allow for compatibility with the older, more complex template architecture or if they’ll build toward a new paradigm - as we recommended before, stick with Pages ‘09 for the time being and we’ll actively evaluate the changes as they come.
Likewise, on the Keynote front we’ll need to see if the “Restoring old transitions and builds” applies to Master slides or not before we know what we can do to move Kinetic themes forward into the new unified architecture - stick to Keynote ‘09 for the Fuse, Canto or Brighton themes for the time being.
We’ve traditionally shifted our efforts forward into the new version en masse, but given the wait-and-see status on the new versions we’re going to treat Keynote 5.x and Keynote 6.x as separate and distinct branches and begin to tag downloadables accordingly. In the coming weeks we’ll be adding Keynote 6.x specific downloads for the active ‘08/’09 library that are more tailored to the click-to-add theme installation process introduced in 6.
If you’d like any of your current Keynote ‘09 themes to display in the Keynote 6 Theme Chooser in the meanwhile, you can do so pretty easily by navigating to the theme’s install folder as noted on the Support Page and double-clicking the specific size(s) you’d like to have running access to (that is, your standard target size for SD and standard target size(s) for HD independently - they display separately now): double clicking the .kth file should present a dialogue to add the theme to the chooser in Keynote 6. Bear in mind that themes added this way will not feature properly styled icons, etc, though they can be deleted from the chooser directly once we’ve got updated theme files to address the new chooser. ’08 themes cannot be added this way - stick to Keynote ‘09 to apply the ‘08 themes until we update the individual themes for direct installation into 6.
Updates : Feb. 4, 2014
Keynote 6 Click-Install updates are live - more information, including updated Keynote 6 compatibility information, is available here.