Last modified
Monday, May 10, 2021

Description of App

From the Appstore:
Pages for Mac is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And even work effortlessly with people who use Microsoft Word.



Free or Paid


Version Of macOS App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

For most people the so called upgrade from Pages 09 to Pages 5.0 is actually a downgrade. The common one or two star ratings in the appstore show that the majority of users are disappointed with the new version and that they expected more exciting features after not getting a major update for the last four years. As several commenters on the web have pointed out the name "pages" has remained from the old version but that’s about it. Apparently the software was entirely rewritten to accomplish a better compatibility between iOS and OSX devices or - as some folks put it - pages 5.0 was written for iOS devices and then ported to the MAC.
As a result several advanced features were dropped. Pages has always been a special word processor in the sense that it allowed for page layout work as well as classical text writing. A somewhat professional text editor combined with a tiny bit of desktop publishing capabilities - and this is what many people liked about the app.
In my opinion accessibility has always been the absolute low light with Pages and the iWork suite in general. I am a cross-over user of Windows, Linux and MAC and the apple machine has always been my last choice when it came to productivity, no matter if the task was a spread sheet or a document.
The inability to work with tables, stability issues with Voice over, no headers, footers, comments or revisions being accessible ... There were just so many things which are simply no-brainers on other operating systems. Apart from iWork there are no real alternatives to solve all this. Nisus writer has received some friendly reviews but due to API shortcomings the authors were not able to – for instance – allow VO users to efficiently work with tables.
This has not just slightly changed, the new iWork suite took a flying leap in terms of accessibility support.
What does that mean?
Some key issues have been addressed opening up most parts of Pages to VO users.
* It is now possible to reach and interact with headers, footers and the main document area of a page.
* Tables can be navigated and edited.
* All the styles and formatting dialogs are generally accessible
* VO does no longer crash occasionally in pages - at least it did so on my system in the past.
I just finished a 20 page report and while it took me a bit of time to get used to the concepts most things worked just fine.
There are certainly still annoying problems with VO and the app. One thing that is rather frustrating is the fact that Apple made it even harder to assign styles to paragraphs. There was a shortcut feature in Pages 09 which let users assign the F1 through F6 keys to styles. For reasons the developers know best this has been dropped.
Starting a new section with a heading and continuing with normal text is a simple keystroke in Word or LibreOffice but in Pages it takes a couple of interactions to get this job done.
Another example for improvement potential is the export dialog. When selecting to export to PDF and navigating the first appearing dialog you may end up exporting to a different format depending on which elements you’ve navigated – to solve this just hit enter on the first dialog and then select a file name.
As you can see, the scope of accessibility moved from general problems to isolated hick-ups and this is exactly what makes the big difference.
In terms of effectiveness I don’t see Pages to be on a par with Word+NVDA on Windows or LibreOffice+Orca on Linux yet.
However, it is already a serious option for VO users.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.


1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Roland 8 years 1 month ago



Submitted by Jim Homme on Monday, May 10, 2021

Pages is free now and has been for some time.