Monday, June 30, 2008

'Blue Stickies'? Don't panic!

New features in iWork/Pages 2008 greatly enhance the programme, but sometimes they pop-up quite unexpectedly and may confuse those who are used to working in a previous version of this programme...

Just as we were rushing to meet deadlines for the July issue of the Rendezvous magazine, there was a moment of panic when Pages threw up clusters of BLUE STICKIES on my partner's computer demanding that she rejects or accepts the changes made in the document. I myself had the same mild shock last month when I first saw how Tracking Changes works, so I already knew what to do.

Under Edit menu go down to Turn off tracking
or click Stop Tracking in the tool Bar

Tracking Changes feature is useful when several people work on a project created in Pages. A journalist writes copy, editor edits it before it is put into a page, designer puts text and graphics together and sub-editor makes changes necessary from the lay-out point of view etc. Or a business proposal is prepared and goes from one department to another, or minutes of a meeting are prepared and moved for checking and approval from one committee member to another. Or costings are calculated and recalculated with charts and graphs added...

Click on Cross button to reject the change,
or click on Tick button to accept it.
This closes the blue stickie.

At each stage there is a possibility of a typo, an error or a disagreement within the team. With tracking each member of the team can see what and where was changed. It is also very useful for proofing. From my correspondence and from discussions on the internet forums I know that smooth teamwork is considered to be essential when deciding whether to use iWork/Pages as the main working software in an organisation. And where a team works tracking changes and commenting on the document is necessary.

However, in many cases, when you work on your own, you don't need tracking and it could be distracting. That's when you may want to switch tracking off.

Tracking works in a similar way to Comments feature with yellow stickies where you just comment on a part of the document without actually changing anything.

Another example of Pages panic is here
and an overview of various methods of sharing and teamwork with Pages,
including local networks and mailing, is here.

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