I've setup a list with alternatives to Pages 5 DTP programs (No I won't call them apps :-) )
This list could probably be extended, feel free to tell me about. It's intended for those pro users who need more than just write a letter or 2 pages reports. They can use the free Bean app. Great for fast setting up a letter. My kids use it on their Mac minis.
Bean (free, development stopped this year) http://www.bean-osx.com/Bean.html
PageStream (still developped, evolved from Publishing Partner ST (Atari ST) to Pagestream on Amiga, Windows, Mac versions exists)
Very professional DTP prog, with many features not found on any other DTP prog.
I used it on my Amiga computers to publish magazines for differnts clubs.
Though the actual version works on Mavericks, but the layout of the prog is a liitle old, not really Mac like
Has mailmerge, can put text in any forme, even pictures can be cut in any form and filled with text, styles for text, graphics, text boxes etc. has a very powerfull translation function, which can move, tanslate, change transparency and resize (at once if wanted) any object (bitmap, vector gfx or text)! Text on curve function, spacing of single letters etc.
One pro function is have masterpages for every chapter, any page can be portrait or landscape or have different sizes like (A4, the other A5 or A0) all in one document. Can export GFX in any format!
Can export to professional printing offices! Has a function (don't remember the name, but used it once) so
when printing all text begins on the same place at each page, if you "bostitch" the pages as a book.
A demo is available.
Swift Publisher (http://www.belightsoft.com/products/swiftpublisher/overview.php)
Never tried it, but doesn't seem to have mail merge. Functionality seems to be much like MS Publisher.
Seems to have much more functions than Swift Publisher. Will try it later this week. Has hundreds of remplates, and much more vector gfx functions than Pages 09.
iCalamus (free, but paid version much more features)
If I'm right this was a very famous DTP prog on Atari ST, even used to publish magazines.
looks much like PageStream
available here http://www.icalamus.net/icalamus/index.php?lan=en
Open Source professional DTP prog.
many plugins for importing complete documents from other DTP progs
Best of all it's free!
About Pages 09.
What I liked most of Pages is/was the easiness with which one can create documents and switch between Wordprocessor and DTP function. And the ability to import PDF files with drap and drop! I often have to insert PDF docs exactly as they are! It works just great, without messing up the fonts!
I REALLY hope Apple will but back all the lost functions and more to Pages 5. But I think in 5 years or so, there will be no more desktop computers, just tablets, pamphlets, watches and glasses and we're supposed to share everything with everybody in a big cloud!
Hhmmm… this remembers me the good old times…my first DTP programm on the Commodore C=128 (C=64) GeoPublish (GEOS 64) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeoPublish)
It's hard to replace Pages, because of the DTP and WP. Also, it's not just Pages that has been crippled; there's also Numbers and Keynote. They make an excellent suite (sweet!).
I've tried several of the "OpenOffice" suites, most notably OpenOffice.org, NeoOffice, and LibreOffice. They actually used to have a suite program based on openoffice called Star Office and it was the best of bunch, imo. It's gone now, too.
Of the FREE openoffice suites, I like LibreOffice the most. I don't care for the buttons/toolbars in any of them. iWork is much nicer looking. But it LO functions well and has lots of ways to set it up. It even has a database component. They are still developing it and I haven't had it crash or anything like that.
Most of the powerusers of Pages, also need to replace the entire iWork suite.
I haven't tried the MS Office suite for Mac; although I know of those that must use it and usually their workflow is going well. And, it looks prettier than the free openoffice suites.
For now I am going to continue, for as long as I can, to use Pages 4. I am still using Bean for a lot of stuff, because it's quick and easy. Yes, they quit developing it, but they didn't remove big chunks of it and cripple it before they stopped!!
I tried iStudio Publisher and Swift Publisher yesterday.
Swift Publisher is nice but NO replacement for Pages 4.3.
If one doesn't need the mail merge function iStudio Publisher is a go. It has powerfull vectorgfx functions which Pages is missing. OTOH in Pages I like how objetcs are aligned with helprulers and dimensions.
It has nice templates downloadable from inside the app. With copy/paste of images and texts I was able to take over complete template inside Pages.
Today I will check Nisus Pro. According to the featurelist and the comments here, seems to be the right replacement for Pages.
BTW I still have iWork 08 and 09 on my iMac (Mavericks). iWork 08 has a function in Keynotes to copy a complete homepage. This functions is lost in 09. But copy/paste from Keynote 08 to 09 still works :-)
Pages 4.3 might be in transition. They may have left it on our computers until NewPages 1.0 is ready for primetime. Or they might break it with 10.9.1 for all we know.
I'm looking into Nisus like Cyberhusky69. The trial version crashed on launch, and since that happened last night, it is too soon for a resolution. (It could be that my 2007 iMac is the problem). What I have learned is that NIsus customer support is fast and excellent.
I'm not an early adapter. I just upgraded to Maverick and I am appalled by the new Pages 5. It is a huge step backward. Thankfully a Google Search for "I hate Pages application" quickly showed me that Pages 4.3 does not get deleted in the "upgrade". I am very disturbed that Pages, for me, is now a legacy program that will become more and more obsolete until I'm forced to switch to a new program and learn its differences.
Terrible piece of software on a true computer. Is Apple going to go the way of Microsoft with their widely criticized Windows 8 which ignores the differences between a cell phone or tablet and a computer?. Most disappointing thing I ever tried from Apple? Probably. I can't think of a worse "upgrade".
Why not add an export feature from Pages 4 to Pages 5, or build in legacy functionality into Pages 5 for non-IOS users?
rcc, I can totally relate to your comments.
I still have not "upgraded" to Mavericks. It took me forever to upgrade and adjust to Mountain Lion!
I have now abandoned using iWork as my main Office Suite. I use SwiftPublisher for my publishing type needs, Nisus Pro for my word processing, and LibreOffice for anything that falls inbetween. I find that Nisus and LibreOffice save Word files in better condition that Pages did. I absolutely love that I can customize my toolbars in Nisus and LibreOffice. I always missed a button for Save in iWork. I find that LibreOffice spreadsheets gui behaves better than the numbers files did. Both Nisus and LibreOffice have tons of ways to customize your workspace/gui. SwiftPublisher not so much, but it works really well as a layout program.
Yes, there are things I miss about iWork, but I'm missing them less each day I use these programs. If they would have improved and enhanced iWork, I would not have gone with these other programs; I was content using iWork.
If your budget shopping, try LibreOffice.