Apple Pages vs Microsoft Word: Which Word Processing Software is Better for You

Parth Shah

Every major tech company out there is offering their version of the productivity suite. Apple provides iWork suite of productivity apps. Google’s G Suite is fiercely popular. While Microsoft’s Office 365 bundle is considered as Gold standard among all.

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Cloud storage solution providers such as Dropbox and Box are providing word-processing software such as Dropbox Paper and Box Notes for seamless sharing and collaboration. Newcomers such as Notion, Coda, and Airtable are trying to change the game with modular approach, but nothing beats a native experience.

Microsoft is steadily improving Word experience with more features. Recently, Apple pushed a big update to iWork apps, including Apple Pages. Google is slow in this regard, but it’s getting there with small additions.

We have already covered a detailed comparison of Microsoft Word to Google Docs, and in this post, we will pit Microsoft Word against Apple Pages. The comparison will focus on interface, features, sharing, collaboration, price, and more. Let’s get started.

Availability

After becoming CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella laid out ‘Mobile First, Cloud First’ vision. And as a result, Microsoft Word is available everywhere. You can access the software on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, iPad, and even Web.

As its case with every Apple software, Apple Pages is limited to iOS, Mac, and iPad. The comparison below focuses on the Mac version.

Templates and User Interface

Both Microsoft and Apple offer plenty of default templates. After comparing them side by side, I found Word’s template list was richer and versatile. Apple Pages provides generic and basic ones such as Business Letter, Resume, Invoice, etc.

Pages Templates

Nevertheless, you can always use third-party templates from the web.

Word Templates

Let’s talk about User Interface for a bit. If you have used a past version of Microsoft Word before, then you will feel right at home with 2019 Word look.

Word Ui

The familiar toolbox is at the top with relevant sections. I felt Microsoft Word’s interface was a bit outdated compared to today’s standards. However, it’s understandable why Microsoft doesn't want a drastic shift from interface since millions of its enterprise customers use the same software.

Pages Ui

In comparison, Apple Pages look better. The editing options are at the right side and the ability to add table, charts, media, are at the top. It’s not cluttered like Word.

Functions That Matter

Apple Pages perfectly gets the basics. You can add images, videos, tables, integrate stats, shapes, and more.

Pages Features 2

One can set a password to access a page for extra security. The default editing options remain straightforward. I recommend you master keyboard shortcuts for Word to fly through functionalities.

Pages Features

Microsoft Word is full of features yet the media add-on remains same as Apple Pages. The company has integrated other services such as Microsoft Translate and LinkedIn Resume Assistant. The assistant will guide you to make compelling resume edits.

Word Features

There is also a researcher function which gets all the relevant information of the selected word from the web. Thesaurus features let you find the synonyms of a word to increase vocabulary.

Word Features 2

You can also add a password to document, add equations, format pages with color, border, and add watermarks.

Storing Documents

You can save a document offline on Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. But that’s the thing of past, isn’t it?

Apple Pages is tightly integrated with iCloud. Once you hit the save button, the software will save it in the default iCloud folder. You can generate a sharable link and send a link to others. With iOS 13 and the upcoming Mac Catalina update, user can send the entire folders to others.

Pages Storage

Microsoft Word is all about options. It’s not limited OneDrive only. You can save documents to Dropbox and Box too. The trick remains the same. Save a document to cloud, open it on other device, and start making edits again.

Word Storage

Sharing and Collaboration

Sharing and real-time collaboration are essential in 2019. Microsoft has had online sharing since 2013 (With the help of OneDrive). Apple was a bit late to the sharing party.

Pages Sharing

Microsoft Word gives three options for sharing. You can send a copy to others using email. Upload a file to OneDrive and generate a sharable link from there. One can also invite others to make edits. You will see the real-time changes and the author’s name along with it.

Word Sharing

Apple Pages takes advantage of Apple’s ecosystem. You can directly share a document using mail and iMessage. One can also send a document using Airdrop. It works seamlessly across Apple devices.

Of course, you can make permission changes and see the real-time edits made by others.

Export

Microsoft Word gives a few options here. You can export a doc as pdf and HTML file. The software also lets you make a basic layout of the document and export it as a template. Using default reduce file size function, one can decrease the file size by compressing added images before exporting or sending it to others.

Word Export

Similar to Microsoft Word, you can export a page as pdf, Word file, EPUB file, plain text, and rich text bearing fancy elements. Apple also allows you to share the documents to Apple Books platforms from the app.

Pages Export

As always, you can save a page as a template for quick edits. This function is useful for making letterheads and default business letter style for your company.

Price

Apple Pages is completely free to use. The documents get stored on iCloud, which only offers 5GB of storage for free. You can buy additional space for $1/month.

Microsoft’s productivity suite of apps, including Word, is free for screen size less than 9-inch. Meaning, you can use the software for free on mobiles and tablets. To use the software on a laptop, one need to purchase Office 365 Personal, which costs $5/month. You also get 1TB of OneDrive storage for free with the bundle.

Choose the Best One

As you can see from the above comparison, Apple Pages weights on simplicity and basic functions. Of course, the functionalities aren’t as rich as MS Word, but it gets the job done.

Microsoft Word is universally available, more flexible on storage options, and offers more features out of the box. But at the same time, some may find it bloated. In that case, I would advise going for Pages and if that’s not the case with you, then go with Microsoft Word.

Next up: You can also edit images using Microsoft Word software. Read the post below to find out more.

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How to Edit Images Using Microsoft Word 2016
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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

A self-described geek with a knack for writing and a passion for all technology