There are two very serious reasons why there must not be an autosave function in Pages or, indeed, in any other application. Thank goodness Apple stands fast against the numerous internet wailings of MS Word fellow travelers and even some serious reviewers.
- First, consider the following situation.You are in a breezy mood and put all sorts of light-hearted or rude comments on your bosses memo. Of course, you will delete them later and work on the document in a serious manner. But someone calls you, you walk off to get a glass of water or a colleague asks you to help... And horror: your comments are autosaved and the boss sees them, over LAN for example. You might get into real trouble.
It is much easier to train yourself to press Command+S to save as you go along. Work never goes on from start to finish without natural breaks when you pause, look at your document to see if you are satisfied so far and decide what to do with it next. This is the point when you should save your draft. Yourself, rather than letting the machine do it at set intervals.
- Second, autosaving disrupts one of the most important functions in Pages: the UNDO option.While you work on a document you can trace back all your changes by typing repeatedly Command+Z - undo. And come back to where you were again by typing Command+Shift+Z - redo (it's easy to type with a thumb, little finger and index finger). Or choose either from the Edit menu.
But, you can only bactrack to the last Save. So, autosaving breaks the UNDO chain, and in fact, takes away the possibility of going step after step after step through all the changes you've made - to find the point where you may have weered off on the wrong course or made an error (say, in table calculations). Once saved, the document won't allow you to do this. You can of course, back up previous copy - but only the one that you have saved.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Current versions of iWork/Pages allow Undo past the last save, not just up to the point when the document was last saved. Unfortunately, it made redundant my second argument against building Auto-Save option into Pages.
Send feedback to Apple's Pages team if you agree with me. This option is under Pages>Provide Pages Feedback menu.
Read more on the importance of the Undo function in this previous article:
My top Pages shortcut
and a comment on the Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg's review of iWork/Pages here.
UPDATE: there is a discussioon on the German macfix web forum. Join in if you like, or post comments here.