8/22/229:00 am Better Than Multiple Selections In Pages You Can't Select Multiple Non-Contiguous Portions Of Text In Mac Pages. But Most Of The Time People Want To Do This It Is To Apply A Style On Those Portions Of Text. Learn How To Do This More Efficiently Using Character Styles In Pages. 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. You can't select multiple pieces of text in Pages but you can do something better. 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 often I'm asked the question how can I select multiple pieces of text in Pages. The answer is you can't. But that is probably not the problem you're trying to solve anyway. Most of the time when people ask me this I ask more questions and find out what they really want to do is to be able to change the styling for multiple pieces of text throughout their document. They think the right way to do this is to select multiple pieces of text throughout the document and then make the change on all of them at once. This is a classic XY problem. An XY problem is when you have a problem, you think you know the solution, so you ask for how to perform the solution instead of stating the original problem. In this case you may think that the right way to change the formatting of multiple pieces of text is to first select all the pieces of text but you can't figure out how to do that so you ask how do you select multiple pieces of text. But in fact what you really want to do, and the real problem, is how to change the formatting for multiple pieces of text. You can read more about the XY problem here at this wikipedia page. So let's say you have a document like this and let's say I want to change multiple pieces of text to be some sort of style, like say Bold or a certain color. Let's say I want to change this piece of text right here, this piece of text here, this piece of text here, and so on. But there's no way for me to select all of these pieces of text at once. I can only select one contiguous piece of text at a time. So if selecting multiple pieces of text isn't going to work, how can you make it easier to change the formatting for all those pieces of text. Well, you use something called Character Styles in Pages which is different than paragraph styles. Paragraph styles are the main styles that you see here. For instance this paragraph is set to Body Text. If I were to change it to something else, like maybe make it a slightly larger font, you can see it is now Body Text with an asterisk there telling you that it is altered Body Text. Now Paragraph Styling works on the entire paragraph at one time. So this is a whole paragraph, this is a whole paragraph. You just want to change one word or a set of characters inside of a paragraph. That is done with Character Styling. That's further down here in the Format Sidebar. It's here under Character Styles. You could see here this text selected has the Character Styling None applied to it. That's the Default. You could see all of the text has None applied to it. But if I were to change the styling here, let's simply make this Bold, now you can see it is None with an asterisk. Meaning it is None but altered. I can now click here and then Click the Plus + Button to add a new Character Style. Notice there are already some default Character Styles here that you can use. Let's create a completely new one. I'll hit Plus. It will create a new one there. I'll type some name for it. Let's call it Name and you can see how it even represents the styling here. It is Bold rather than plain. These other default styles are shown in their style as well. So the steps were to change the styling first of selected text and then add it as a new Character Style with the text still selected. Now let's select another piece of text here. I could make that Bold as well. But instead I'm just going change the Character Styling to Name. So this is just as many steps as making it Bold but say if I change it to Bold and Italic and made it a color and made it a slightly different size I would have to change four things to make this one match this. But with Character Styles I just select the Character Style and applied all of that. Now you can also setup a shortcut. If I go here and click you can see I can define a shortcut for it and I can use one of the F keys. So I'm going to use F1 for this. So now I can go to the next place where I want to change the style. Say right here. I can press the F1 key. Now you may need to hold down the fn key and press F1. It depends on your settings in System Preferences under Keyboard and then look at this checkbox right here and depending upon how you have that toggled you may need to use fn plus F1 or just F1. So now it is super easy to change any future text by just using that shortcut key right there. So it's different than selecting everything first and then setting the style. Here you select one thing, you set the style, select another thing you set the style. You still have to go through your text just like you would if you were selecting multiple items BUT here's where the real power comes in. Suppose later on you want to change this. You decide being Bold isn't enough. You want to change the color as well. If you were doing multiple selections you would need to reselect everything again. Once you got it all perfectly selected change the style. But now that you have set these to a Character Style you don't need to do that anymore. Just select anyone of these. I'm going to select the second one. I'm going to change the text color to a blue. Now that I've done that notice that it shows me Character Style's is Name and an asterisk. If I click here notice there is an Update button. If I Update right now with the blue text selected it will update the Character Style applying the update to everything using that Character Style. So watch all of the other words. See how they all change now. They are all linked together because they're using the same Character Style so it is easy for me to now change it throughout the document. So this can be useful if you change your mind later on and want to use a different style. It's also useful if you don't know what style you want to use when you start creating the document. You can simply set a Character Style to whatever you want. Make sure you use Character Style throughout. Then when you're done you can decide exactly what style you want and quickly apply it throughout the document. Hopefully you know that you're going to do this while you're writing the document. So instead of having to find all the places where you are applying this you can actually change the style as you're writing. So, for instance, if you're writing some materials for a class that you are teaching and want to have certain words marked because they are part of a glossary or something like that. Then you can simply apply that Character Style to all of those words as you go along and then create a unique style when you're done that's applied to all of them. Maybe even change your mind at the last minute and change the style easily. You can even remove the style entirely. So I can go here and say, yeah okay not Bold and you know what not any special color, just black, and now I'm going to apply that and you could see now it's the same even though all of these still have the special style applied not None. So I could leave this as looking exactly the same as the rest of the text and anybody reading it wouldn't know the difference. But since I do have a Character Style applied I can now go and change something. Let's change the Font to something else. Make it Bold, make it Underlined, change the color, change the size and now apply that to all of those. I want to leave you with one last tip. A lot of times, maybe most of the time you do this, it's not always going to be the same word or group of words that you're going to be using. Maybe it's different names here or maybe it is different words entirely, like glossary words or things like that. But if it is the case where you do want to actually look for the same word and set it to that styling you can do that pretty quickly by searching for the word. So let's start here at the beginning and I'm going to do Command F, find Alice, Return and it's going to find the next one. Now let me dismiss that and notice if you go to Edit and Find that Find Next is Command G. So let's just do Command G and you could see it finds each one. As soon as it will find one that I haven't applied the Character Style to I can now press F1 and apply it. Command G, F1. Command G, F1. You can do that throughout your document pretty quickly. It comes in handy if you create the document without knowing about Character Styles and now want to apply it. Even if I wanted to do it for all of the names in this story here I could do it for one name and then when I find the next name I can use a quick Command F and then Command G's to find each occurrence of that word later on and quickly change its style. Character Styles is so useful. It is definitely one of the tools that you should know about and use if you are using Pages to create documents. I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Pages (208 videos) Related Video Tutorials: Writing With Multiple Languages In Pages and Other Apps ― Things You Can Do With PDF Selections in Preview Comments: 5 Responses to “Better Than Multiple Selections In Pages” Dennis 1 year ago Excellent! I have been using the Paragraph style vs. the Character Style, and wondered why it didn't work. Thanks, and a timely lesson! Graeme Creed 1 year ago Is there a "find" and "replace" option ? Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Graeme: Yes. Just use Edit, Find. There is a Replace option there. Thomas Greenbank 1 year ago What a time-saver! I'm self-taught on the Mac and there's always something new to learn. I've only recently discovered your helpful site. I'm an author and I've just started using Pages to format my books. This method will make standardising my chapter titles and so on much easier. May I ask an unrelated question? I recently submitted an EPUB to Draft2Digital and they rejected it as they said it was encrypted. I didn't see an option to encrypt or not. Can you suggest a fix for this? Thanks. Gary Rosenzweig 1 year ago Thomas: I don't think you can create an encrypted ePub document in Pages. You'll need to work with them to figure out the problem. Comments Closed.