Charts and Tables
Pages behaves a lot like TextEdit with regard to tables. Tables are inserted via the Objects toolbar button on the Insert menu. Some bits of the table can be edited within the document (for instance, fonts and column widths); others such as header row fill, stroke width, and borders are set using the Inspector palette. In terms of basic usefulness, tables in Pages are similar to tables in Word.
The same can’t be said for charts. Word is able to share data with Excel, and of course Excel is a full-featured spreadsheet program designed to process and manage numerical information. While Pages has its own built-in charting tools, they’re pretty feeble compared with those of Excel, except that they allow the user to create attractive charts. But you can’t perform calculations, import tab- or character-delimited data sets, or share data with a spreadsheet program.
The charting tools do provide lots of graphical flourishes (see Figure 5). Colors and pattern fills are available, and charts can be flipped quickly between different plotting styles and between two- and three-dimensional formats. Because you can’t import data easily, however, creating charts is a bit of a chore for anything other than the smallest data sets.
Figure 5 Pages contains simple but highly attractive charting tools, suited to small data sets that can be entered manually. There’s no scope for sharing large data sets with spreadsheets or other programs.