Exploring iWork’s Capabilities as an Image Editor Tool

Exploring the capabilities of Preview.app as a basic image editor has been quite enlightening, especially for those who don’t have Photoshop at their disposal. However, Preview does have its constraints, which can be somewhat mitigated by utilizing Apple’s iWork suite. This suite, surprisingly, doubles as a competent image editing tool for those on a budget.

The trio of applications within iWork — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — each offers unique functionalities but also share common image editing features.

These include the ability to manipulate:

  • Text Boxes
  • Shapes
  • Shadows
  • Angle-based image rotation
  • Reflections
  • Opacity
  • Instant Alpha

While each application is distinct, their image editing capabilities are nearly indistinguishable. For demonstration purposes, I’ll use the Page Layout template in Pages. However, if opting for Keynote, it’s advisable to remove the default text boxes on the first slide.

Similarly, in Numbers, start with a blank spreadsheet and remove any pre-existing tables.

Here I am using the page layout view in Pages, working with a generic image of Apple’s MacBook Pro. To add text, I simply click on the Text Box button on the toolbar, or I could use the Shapes button to create text within a shape.

To enhance the image, I might add a shadow and reflection by selecting the image and enabling these effects from the toolbar. For more detailed adjustments, such as image opacity or the angle of rotation, these can be accessed through the Inspector button and selecting the Graphic Inspector pane.

Now, the image looks much better.


Brian is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he shares his insights and expertise on all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Brian covers a wide range of topics, from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the intricacies of macOS and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to all readers. Brian’s enthusiasm for Apple products shines through in every article he writes.