Xiaopangzi
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burypromote
Xiaopangzi commented on 02 Sep 2009
Is this as good as the amazing BoPoMoFo FEP that was available briefly for System 8 (Mac OS 8) a few years ago? Apple and other 3rd Party developers failed to come even remotely close to it. I don't know why that university stopped development soon afterward.
[Version 1.7.0 1B173]



burypromote
+7

Xiaopangzi reviewed on 24 Jan 2009
OBSERVATIONS:

• Pages '09 is now viable as a full-time replacement of Microsoft Word, as long as Find & Replace functionality is significantly expanded with a downloadable update in the very near future.

• Unable to search for bold, italic, underlined, subscript, superscript, or highlighted text, or text with specific fonts, colors, etc., within documents in which the original writer did not define styles (did not use a style sheet).

• Unable to use clipboard content for Replace All, such as when replacing all instances of “CO2” with the equivalent that contains the proper subscript number.

• Unable to specifically search for only one-byte or two-byte characters within a document, unlike the Japanese version of Word (or with Japanese enabled via Microsoft Language Register).

• Unable to automatically convert double-byte characters to their single-byte equivalents or vice versa.

• Unable to search upward.

• Unable to search for combinations of unspecified numbers and letters or use any other wildcard searches.

• Unable to search for unspecified uppercase letters or combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters.

• Unable to highlight text if the desired color is already selected in the Apple, Developer, Crayons, and Web Safe Colors subpalettes in the Show Colors formatting palette, so a different neighboring color has to be temporarily selected before reselecting the desired color to be applied to the current text selection.

• Difficult to identify the applied highlight color of selected text, as the System Preference's default Highlight Color is still used even for highlighted text instead of Pages using a color that directly contrasts with the applied highlight color, as is standard in Word.

• Word files with first line indentation lose most of their indentation when opened in Pages.

• Have encountered a couple of Word files that crash every time Pages attempts to open them until finally giving up.


DESIRES:

• An option in Preferences that enables certain Views-especially Show Invisibles-by default for all documents, whether newly created or imported from Word format

• Access to the Inspector via the pointer while inputting search (and replace) criteria in the fields of the Find & Replace dialog box, as most documents do not have styles defined by the original author

• Ability to search across all open documents and search upward to find the previous instance of any criteria

• Fullest possible regular expression search via the Find & Replace dialog box but preferably selectable from a pulldown menu with natural user-friendly language.

• Ability to apply the currently selected color in the Show Colors palette as highlighting for any selected text via a single click (without having to deselect the desired color first) and then have immediate visual feedback that the highlighting has been successful by displaying the text selection highlight in a color that directly contrasts with the applied highlight color.


ADDENDUM:

Cannot see which text is selected when the character background fill is the same color as the system's default highlight color for selected text.

Cannot see the punctuation even when View Final is selected during an editing session with Track Changes enabled when text has been deleted in front of a comma, semicolon, or period, as the black triangles remain and conceal that portion of the sentence. It would be preferable to hide the deletion indicator black triangles in Final View (and even in View Markup Without Deletions) similarly to how the underlined added text and strike-through deleted text appear as normal text in Final View. An alternative may be to make the black triangles a more transparent color, possibly the same as the color used for the added and deleted text.

Spacing between words becomes sporadic even with View Final selected during an editing session with Track Changes enabled, particularly with wider spaces appearing between words where text has been deleted. It is preferable for the View Final mode to display text exactly as it would appear after all changes have been accepted, such as with normalized spacing, without having to actually accept all changes first.
[Version 09]


2 Replies

burypromote
+1

+15
Xiaopangzi replied on 26 Jan 2009
It has also become apparent that there is no way to distinguish full-width (two-byte/double-byte) spaces from half-width (one-byte/single-byte) spaces or numbers, or even letters.

Full-width CJK spaces appear as boxes in MS Word to differentiate them from the dots that represent half-width Roman language spaces, but they both appear as identical dots in Pages '09 when Show Invisibles is enabled.

What's worse is that any full-width character or space that is selected in Pages 4.0 is still identified as Times New Roman in the Format Bar, which of course is impossible, as it would most likely be MS Mincho or Hiragino.

Although Apple has pretty much ignored Hebrew and Arabic speakers in most aspects of their software development over the decades and has been really slow with full Chinese support since System 7 was first launched, Japanese has enjoyed quite a bit of support in most Apple applications and the OS from the beginning. I'm surprised, therefore, that Apple Japan, which has commanded such a strong presence in the Japanese market, has obviously not been consulted in the development of iWork '09.

Asians produce a lot of mixed language documents, and they unfortunately almost always litter their Western language documents with full-width characters and spaces, so a Western language editor and even the original bilingual composer of the documents really needs to differentiate the two sets of characters, i.e., 4 from 4, ; from ;, 8 from 8, etc.
burypromote
+1

+15
Xiaopangzi replied on 10 Feb 2009
The highlighting (i.e., character background fills) of text in Pages cannot be removed or changed to a different color in either the Macintosh or Windows versions of Microsoft Word after a copy of a Pages file has been saved as a Word document. This applies also to files that have had text originally highlighted in Word and then opened in Pages without the editor altering any of the original Word highlighting.

This is a serious problem that will affect every user who exchanges documents in Word document format when highlighting (character background fill) is used in a file.
burypromote
+2

Xiaopangzi reviewed on 21 Jan 2009
I've been using Office ever since Word 4 at the beginning of the '90s, but Microsoft has not made an intuitive, stable, Mac-like application since the wonderful Word 5.1a.

The Mac Business Unit keeps churning out updates to Office 2008 but still hasn't made Word 12 stable, yet. It either hangs (with reports automatically sent to Apple) or crashes (with reports sometimes sent to Microsoft) at least once a day with the most basic usage. I don't do anything out of the ordinary, so I can't imagine the same thing not happening to everyone else who uses Word for editing at least eight hours a day.

Here is a simple test to show the lack of basic functionality. Place your cursor in the middle of a document, and then try to find a word appearing anywhere above the document with the default Current Document All selected in the Find and Replace dialog box. Word will find anything below the cursor and will pretend to loop from the top of the document back down to the cursor but will not actually find or especially replace any words appearing above the cursor. That is something that should have been worked out in the beta releases before the commercial launch but still has not been addressed even after multiple updates now reaching version 12.1.5, and I remember another user pointing it out a year ago with the 12.0 release.

As for stability, try the following test. Use the Replace All button in the Find and Replace dialog box to replace any word or phrase, no matter how long or short, regardless of whether there are no incidences of that word in the document or there are thousands of incidences, and regardless of whether the document is only 6 pages or 600 pages, and in doc, rtf, or docx format, with or without images and/or text boxes. The search and replace should have worked correctly (except of course for any instances above the cursor and any instances in text boxes). Then, perform another Replace All with a different word or phrase, without saving the document after the first Find and Replace operation. I guarantee any Word 2008 user that the application will crash, or sometimes just hang, as I've verified a consistent occurrence on multiple machines.

As for the stability of every version of Word from 6 to 12, if you save the document between each thought while writing or between each editing change while reading someone else's document, as I do automatically for safety reasons, Word creates dozens or even hundreds of tmp files per session and then eventually crashes as a result (probably memory related). Similarly, if you have Save AutoRecover enabled in the Preferences and happen to do a manual save at the same time that Word is attempting its automatic backup save (or vice versa), Word will hang indefinitely or will simply crash. My only workaround is to ensure that Save AutoRecover is not enabled and to make sure I save the document after every Replace All operation. Of course, I also have to move the cursor to the top of the document before every Replace All operation so that every instance is changed, after first highlighting the last edited spot in order to easily find it again after the Replace All has completed. I then have to quit and restart Word every hour for safety reasons to cause the tmp files to be cleared out and prevent unexpected crashes.

What's even more frustrating with regard to the Save AutoRecover feature is that, if Word hangs (requiring a force quit) or crashes, it will only find the AutoRecover backup version of the document instead of the more recent one or several versions that you manually saved after an AutoRecover backup. That often means that you lose as much as 10 minutes of editing, which involves a lot of changes when you are in the translation industry, struggling to meet deadlines every half hour to an hour throughout the day.

I have a lot more to write but will only mention this most basic lack of functionality and stability regarding the Replace All feature.
[Version 12.1.5]



burypromote
+4

Xiaopangzi reviewed on 14 Jan 2009
Observations:
• Although still not as crisp and clear as text on a Word page, antialiased text in Pages '09 is much less blurry than in previous versions of Pages, so Pages '09 is now viable as a replacement of Microsoft Word, as long as Find & Replace functionality is significantly expanded in the near future.
• Unable to search for bold, italic, underlined, subscript, superscript, or highlighted text, or text with specific fonts, colors, etc., within documents in which the original writer did not define styles (did not use a style sheet).
• Unable to use clipboard content for Replace All, such as when replacing all instances of “CO2” with the equivalent that contains the proper subscript number.
• Unable to specifically search for only one-byte or two-byte characters within a document, unlike the Japanese version of Word (or with Japanese enabled via Microsoft Language Register).
• Unable to automatically convert double-byte characters to their single-byte equivalents or vice versa.
• Unable to search upward.
• Unable to search for combinations of unspecified numbers and letters or use any other wildcard searches.
• Unable to search for unspecified uppercase letters or combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters.
• Unable to highlight text if the desired color is already selected in the Apple, Developer, Crayons, and Web Safe Colors subpalettes in the Show Colors formatting palette, so a different neighboring color has to be temporarily selected before reselecting the desired color to be applied to the current text selection.
• Difficult to identify the applied highlight color of selected text, as the System Preference's default Highlight Color is still used even for highlighted text instead of Pages using a color that directly contrasts with the applied highlight color, as is standard in Word.
• Word files with first line indentation lose most of their indentation when opened in Pages.

Desires:
• An option in Preferences that enables certain Views-especially Show Invisibles-by default for all documents, whether newly created or imported from Word format
• Access to the Inspector via the pointer while inputting search (and replace) criteria in the fields of the Find & Replace dialog box, as most documents do not have styles defined by the original author
• Ability to search across all open documents and search upward to find the previous instance of any criteria
• Fullest possible regular expression search via the Find & Replace dialog box but preferably selectable from a pulldown menu with natural user-friendly language.
• Ability to apply the currently selected color in the Show Colors palette as highlighting for any selected text via a single click (without having to deselect the desired color first) and then have immediate visual feedback that the highlighting has been successful by displaying the text selection highlight in a color that directly contrasts with the applied highlight color.
[Version 3.0.2]



burypromote
Xiaopangzi commented on 03 May 2008
Note to all users: Be careful not to scroll down when converting files-at least by clicking in the empty scrollbar space when converting WMA to AAC-as it appears to hang the application. I've tried it with various lists of files, and the moment that you try to scroll, it will immediately halt all progress for as many hours as you wish to wait, regardless of which file is being converted in the list. It doesn't act like a normal hang, though, in the sense of freezing things up, because the application doesn't need to be force-quit, but all progress does halt indefinitely as soon as you attempt to scroll, and then you have to start the process again from the previous successfully converted file just to be safe. You just need to Cancel and Clear All, and then add the files back again. It is definitely not a matter of a corrupted file, as one might expect.

Another thing I noticed is that nothing happens at all, sometimes, when converting WAV to Lossless AAC, if the Open Destination Folder box is checked, but conversion will take place if you uncheck that option in the user panel.

Anyway, I hope that the company fixes these issues soon, because it's especially hard to resist scrolling.

Nevertheless, AudialHub and VisualHub are definitely my choices for media conversion, after having tried all of the other available ones.
[Version 1.0.1]



burypromote
Xiaopangzi commented on 17 May 2007
I haven't been able to mount the disk images for b5 or b6, and I've used both the built-in BOMArchiveHelper.app and StuffIt Expander to try to decode/decompress the iShowU_1.34bx.dmg.bz2 archives each time without any success. It would help if the developer simply uploaded the noncompressed DMG file for downloading and would ensure that the image is actually mountable.
[Version 1.34b6]



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