The iPad is mostly viewed as a content-consumption device, but Apple has released an iPad-optimised version of its iWork suite, on sale from the App Store for only $9.99 (estimated £5.99 UK) for each program.

These applications look and feel quite different than their Mac counterparts, but most of the features you would expect are present and accounted for. The one glaring omission is a word and character count tool, which makes the iPad needlessly more complicated for professional writers to use. Hopefully, Apple’s engineers will fix that soon.

We’ll start with Pages, and see where all the features you’re used to are hiding.

1. Getting started  Tap on the Pages icon to launch the program. If this is the first time you’ve ever opened it, you’ll be faced with the My Documents section, represented by a grey background. Only one document exists here at the moment, which is designed to introduce you to the application. At the bottom of the screen are three icons. Tap the middle one and choose New Document from the popover menu.


2. The template chooser  This will take you to the template section. Rather than choosing one of them, opt for the Blank page instead. Make sure you’re in portrait mode. At the top of the screen are a few usual commands like bold, italics and underline as well as buttons to justify your text any way you feel. Above it and to the left are a few other control buttons which we’ll look at shortly.


3. Basic control  You can tap on a font style and start writing in bold or italic for instance, or double-tap on a word to select it and then tap on the style to change its appearance. This is pretty standard and it works very well. But what do you do if you want to change the font, its size or perhaps its colour? That feature is not immediately apparent.


4. Text options  Tap on the Info button at the top right of the screen (the button looks like an ‘i’). The pop-over menu has three tabs: Style, List and Layout, with Style being selected by default. Scroll down that particular section to see a menu called Text Options. Tap on it to reveal the current size, colour and font, which you can change by tapping on their respective buttons.