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iWork update enables iBooks self-publishing

Apple is giving authors a new tool that will allow them to create books in the ePub format. This will allow users to add books to Apple's iBooks store application.

Apple on Thursday released an update for its iWork suite of productivity applications, adding a new feature that enables authors to add books to its iBookstore application.

iBooks on the iPad. Apple

While all of the applications in the iWork suite were updated, the most significant change comes in Pages 4.0.4. The word-processing app now includes compatibility with the ePub format, which Apple uses for iBooks.

Apple published a document on its support site giving users tips on creating documents in the ePub format that covers everything from using paragraph styles in your Pages document to providing a downloadable template to use.

You don't need to be an author to use the ePub format--you can use iBooks to read your own material too. Anything from a manuscript to a presentation can be uploaded to your iBooks app and viewed as a book.

However, if you are an author, having an application on your Mac that will easily publish your book will be a huge help to many users.

Apple's presentation software, Keynote, has been updated, fixing issues with the slide switcher, a problem when printing handouts with rule lines, and an issue with tables. Numbers, Apple's spreadsheet application, has been updated, fixing an unspecified problem with some tables.

iWork 9.0.4 is available as a free download.