1/14/229:00 am 10 Tips For Writing In Pages Before worrying about how your finished document should look, concentrate on writing first. Use zoom, fonts, highlights and other writing tools in Pages to write a good book, report, memo or other document and then format it for reading later. Want to know more about how to use Pages on your Mac?Check out this MacMost course! Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Here's some tips for writing in Pages. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So when using Pages to write we often concentrate too much on the final product. How it's going to look when distributed as a PDF or printed out. But before we even get to that point we've got to write the content of that document. It can be useful to divide things into two parts. The first part being the writing and then after that formatting things for others to read. First, you don't want the text to be too small. I think by default if the text is too small on the screen. It may be good for reading but for actually writing it and crafting the words and sentences you may want it to be a little bit bigger. Now you can change the font size but the easy thing to do is to go to Zoom right here and increase the size. Then you could see how much space you've got in the left and right here and maybe even go more than that. So here I could go to 200% and still easily fit all of the text on the screen. Now the next thing you might want to do is choose a different font. Now this is a very personal preference. Different people like different fonts for writing. But concentrate on your preference when you're writing. Worry about how you want the document to look for people to read it later on. So by default here, if I select all the text, I can look on the right side and see the default is Helvetica Neue. Now some people may like that. But there are lots of other choices. For instance, other people swear by Arial as a better font for writing. Others like other fonts. Verdana is one that is often mentioned. Also, you may want to go with a Serif font like, for instance, just using the standard Times or Times New Roman. A lot of people, myself included, like Monospaced fonts for writing. Maybe it's because I'm a coder. So using Courier, or Courier New like this or, my favorite is font Menlo. To me I can really clearly see what I'm writing now and craft things a little bit better. But I would never leave it as Menlo when I'm finished with the document. Now while writing it's important to use Styles and not to custom set the fonts everywhere. For instance, say I'm going to put a Heading right here. Now I could go and select that. Make it Bold. Make a larger font size. The problem with that is that if I use that a whole bunch of different times I have all these different places in the text where it's considered BodyText, you could see it right here it's Body, but yet it's actually a Heading. So when I'm done my fifty page document now I have to go and change all those manually. However, if I stick with using the Styles and make this say Heading like that and then every time I put a heading I use Heading and every time I'm using Body Text is use Body, I just use all of these. Now it's going to be easy to update things. So, for instance, if I have two headings here and I set this to be a heading as well and now let's say I'm finishing up the document and I want to make these something really good here. So I can select it and set the font to something else, let's set it to Times New Roman here and let's make it a little bit smaller, and maybe change the Style a little bit. Now I can go over here and hit Update and notice it updated all of the Headings, not just that one. So while writing certainly change things. Like changing the font here of this Body Text paragraph to Arial but Update and then that changes Body to be Arial. So now anytime I want to change all the Body Text I can go and select just one paragraph of Body Text, change it to something else like make it a little bit bigger, hit Update, and you could see Body Text changes everywhere. So it's important to stick to Styles and never individually set any words or paragraphs to special fonts and sizes or other things. If you like how you setup all your styles here for writing before you change everything for the finished document good for reading, save a copy. Then in that copy you could select everything, get rid of all the text but all the styles are still there. Then you could go to File, and then Save As Template. You could save this as a custom writing template in the Template Chooser so the next time you start writing a document you could start with one that has Body Text, Headings, and all the other styles set like you want for writing. So another reason it's important to use Styles for things like Headings is now you can use Table of Contents View. This is different than Table of Contents which is something you see in your document. This is a special View over here. Click this and instead of Document Only or Page Thumbnails which is what you might normally use like that, you can go to Table of Contents View. Now what Table of Contents View is going to do is show you all of your Headings. You can click one to jump to it. So if I had a Heading further down in the text, like let's say here, and I set that to Heading Style, like that, you could see it appears there. I can click in here to jump to any Heading. I could Edit. What's included in the Table of Contents here only Heading is included. But I could include Heading 2, Heading 3, if I want subheadings. So your Table of Contents View here on the left becomes a way for you to quickly jump throughout your document. So if you have a long document, like a long report that has tons of headings, instead of having to scroll through it and find things you can just click on the Table of Contents here on the left and jump around to where you want. Now perhaps the only tip out of all of these that I use every single time I'm writing in Pages is to change the line spacing, particularly the paragraph spacing. So with the cursor placed inside some body text here I'm going to go to Text, Style and go to Spacing here. Sure I can change the line spacing and you may want to make it something a little bit bigger than just 1 so you have a little more separation and you can more easily see what you're writing. But also change After Paragraph to create some spacing after the paragraph. So set it to 8 point or 12 point or something like that. Now body text has been changed. So if I Update it will update all of the rest of the body text. So notice here how the paragraphs have this nice spacing between each one. I may not want to keep that when I'm finished with my document but for writing it's really important to see exactly where you've got your paragraph breaks. Immediately see where you've got, maybe, a paragraph that's a little bit too long or a bunch of short paragraphs in a row. Now I want to show you something else with Table of Contents. Let's say you want to, every once in a while, include a note somewhere in your text. Maybe something you're not sure that you want to have in there. So you include something extra. You set this to a special style. Some I'm going to select it here and let's change it. Maybe let's make the color a little bit different. So I'm going to make it kind of an orange color there and make it italic like that. Maybe I'm even going to go to Layout here and indent it a little bit like that. Maybe this is something I might include or might not include or it's a note or something like that. I'm going to set this up as a special style. So I'm going use the Plus button here and call this a note like that. Now that's a special note and I can add another one somewhere else, like maybe further down here. Maybe I'll change this paragraph here into a note like that. So now I've got these notes that I'm adding in my text. Now I can go to Table of Contents View here and add Note as one of the things it looks for. Now notice here I've got Heading 1, Heading 2, then there's that Note, and then here's this other Note. So the Notes are now included in the Table of Contents View and I can easily jump to them. You could even go in here and under Note I could indent that a little bit. Another way to add notes is to insert either Highlights or Comments. So you can select a word or group of words or a whole paragraph and then you can go to Insert and you could either Highlight or Comment. So with a Highlight it will highlight the word there and it says there is one highlight. I can actually click here and it gives me this whole other sidebar that shows all of my Highlighted things. So I can select something else here and use the keyboard shortcut probably, Shift Command H, to add another note. So now I've got these two notes. I could add comments right here to these highlights. I can easily jump around to go to different highlights and I could Hide this if I want. You could still see the highlights in here. Now the Comments are similar but it immediately prompts you to add a comment and you have to add a comment. If you don't add a comment then it just goes away. So you need to add something. Then you could see it appears there just like a Highlight. So they are similar in a lot of ways. But Comments require a comment whereas Highlights can just be words that are highlighted with no comment added at all. Of course this is meant to be a tool that's collaborative when you're working with other people. But you can use it when you're just working on your own to add notes for yourself. Now another thing I find useful while writing is to go to View, and then Show Invisibles. This will give you a blue dot where there's a space and a paragraph mark every time you've got a return there. So, if I put an extra line there you could see this isn't spacing between paragraphs, this is actually an extra return that's in there. You also see things like Tabs and other invisible characters. For one thing it prevents me from adding multiple spaces between words because you can clearly see when you've done that. Often when we're writing you need to have a word count, either for all the words in the document or a selection. You can get a word count by going to View, Show Word Count. Then it appears at the bottom here. You can click on it and actually change it to Characters, Characters With or Without Spaces, words, paragraphs, or number of pages. Now if you have nothing selected, just the cursor blinking inside a paragraph, it's going to show you the total number of words. But if you select some text it will show you the number of words in that selection. So you can use this to see, say, how many words you've written today by selecting the text that you've written today. Finally, I think it's important to have a really clean writing environment. So you may want to get rid of a lot of the extra stuff around here when you're actually writing. You can Hide the format bar, for instance. You can, of course, Hide the sidebar here. Go with Document Only. You can go to View and then Hide the Toolbar like that. You can click the green button here to go to Full Screen. Get rid of the Menu Bar except it's still there when you go to the top. This gives me even more room here to actually zoom in even further and make the words even larger. If you want to go even more extreme you can change the font color to white and the background color for the Pages document to black to be writing white text on black. One last thing I want to show you here. Notice how because I have Spellcheck on, under Edit, Spelling and Grammar, and then Check Spelling While Typing things like names are underlined in red because Pages doesn't know the spelling of those names. If you want to get rid of those it's pretty easy. Just Control Click, right click, or two finger click on a trackpad and either choose Ignore Spelling to ignore the spelling for that, or Learn Spelling, so it adds that to the dictionary. Let's do it for here, Learn Spelling, and now that name will no longer be underlined in red throughout my entire document. So I hope you found these tips useful. Thanks for watching.Related Subjects: Pages (208 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 18 Responses to “10 Tips For Writing In Pages” Gail 2 years ago Thank you Gary. I am going to use this to create a lease template. I'll use a note style for each item that changes. As I'm doing a new lease, I'll change the note style's format match the body style so it's not noticeable, save it as a final lease. Later I can pull it up and reset the note style back to different format to find any lines for updating when the lease is renewed. Thanks again! Gail Phyllis 2 years ago When I copy using the "edit" it works...then when I am adding a new paragraph copying with edit, it is not the new copy but the old copy keeps is added no matter how many times I try. What is the problem? I find Pages very difficult to use. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Phyllis: I'll need to know more details. What, exactly, are you doing? Step-by-step, key-by-key. Paula M. 2 years ago As usual, excellent info! As usual, very fast (how DO you talk so fast!). Also: 1. I like written content for future reference (I make notes in another program). 2. Like w/Phyllis above, even after many years, I still find Pages difficult to use. Not as intuitive as Word (or as WordPerfect from long ago - best EVER!). 3. I prefer to "type&format" as I go using keyboard."Finding" the content, etc in the document afterward to re-format, easy as it is, is a pain. Personal preference. BartP 2 years ago Thanks Gary, I decided to try Pages and Numbers a year ago when I got my annual bill for Office. The learning curve has been slow for me, but this video showed me how to do some things I use to do in MS Word and that I did not know how to do in Pages. Have you made a similar video for Numbers or do you plan to do so? I have had a lot of issues adapting to Numbers. ray sacks 2 years ago Can styles be used to provide a caption facility as in Fig 1, Fig 2, Table 1, table 2 etc Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Ray: Not sure what you mean. Images already have a caption option. You can definitely use styles in the text INSIDE the caption, yes. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago BartP: I have a ton of videos on Numbers. Search the site or use https://macmost.com/video-list to see them all. Tim Murphy 2 years ago Thanks for this Gary, the use of styles is huge and so important to embrace it! I wasn’t aware of the Headings groupings in the sidebar, or I sort of recollected it but only when you addressed it; thanks for this. I think one other aspect you could explain in future is cleaning up text of invisible characters using Find & Replace. \r works but not \l nor \n - I think \i is the equivalent, but I think this is very useful to know if you paste text that has all these hidden characters. Ray 2 years ago Hi Gary, Thanks for your reply - I have been experimenting with the caption option and the use of styles in Pages. They work as expected - very well... BUT - I would have liked to see if numbering and automatic number updating can be done in Pages rather like the 'Insert Caption' option in WORD under the ribbon heading 'References'. Probably this feature is down to a Pages updates some time! Al Katz 2 years ago I'm not sure this is directly related, but is there a way to insert or import a pdf document (238 pages long) into a new Pages document? Thanks. Al Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Al: Not really. You can copy and paste the text. But the best way to do it is to get the original source document (Pages, Word, etc) and go back to that. A PDF is like a printed piece of paper. The source is what you want, not the final exported PDF. Steve 2 years ago Gary, I listened to this post on Pages - indeed helpful. However, I cannot figure out why on some Pages documents the "View" sidebar goes the length of the document top to bottom and on others it only goes up to the tool bar. When it does not go the length of the document, the "Edit" option in the "Table of Contents" view in the sidebar is not available. Called Apple - spoke with two tech guys. Neither knew how to access the top to bottom view as you demonstated in your video. Can you advise? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Steve: I can't think of why the toolbar would cover the left sidebar for you some of the time. What happens when you quit the app and launch it again? Teri Byrne 2 years ago I made a great horizontal book of nearly 90 pages with the guidance of your excellent PAGES videos. But now I need to rearrange some of those pages. For Example: Page 35 needs to become Page 42. How do I rearrange those pages? They don't seem to cooperate while trying to move them in the Page Thumbnails in the "View" screen! Any advice? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Teri: is this a Word Processing document or a Page Layout document? If Word Processing, then copy and paste the text to move it around in the body. If Page Layout, then you use the thumbnails view on the left to drag and drop the pages. Maggie 2 years ago What's the easiest way to add italics only to foreign words in my text and can I proof my document in two separate languages so that the words in each are spelled correctly? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Maggie: Do you mean automatically? There's no way for Pages to know what words you want in a different style. As for proofing, not sure what you are looking for. Do you mean spellcheck? It should do that now if you are using both languages in System Preferences. Comments Closed.