How To Simulate Dark Mode In Pages

Dark Mode is coming in macOS Mojave, but it doesn't give you a way to write in that kind of environment. You can get that now in Pages if you simply set the background of your document to black and the text to white. Doing this requires the use of Section Masters, a shape, and changing the style for the text. You can then revert to regular colors, or copy and paste text from a dark mode document to a normal one.

Video Transcript
There's been a lot of talk recently about Dark Mode. That's going to be a new feature in the next version of Mac OS later this year that will allow you to have dark backgrounds like black backgrounds and light features like light buttons, white text, things like that.

Using dark mode for writing can be very useful but this new system-wide dark mode won't get you there. If you want to have dark mode in Pages you kind of have to do it yourself. You can do it now or even in any recent version of Pages. It's pretty easy. It takes about a minute to setup but it can create an environment that's better for some people to write in. If you have a lot of writing to do, a novel, a long report, that kind of thing, you might want to try doing this.

So here's how we're going to do it. The first thing I want to do is I want to create a dark background. So let me change the zoom here to 50% so I can see the entire page. I'm going to insert a shape, select a square shape, and move it to the upper left hand corner and drag it's bottom right hand corner to take over the entire page. It locks into place really nicely so it's easy to fill the page exactly. Notice how it has pushed the text there to a second page. Don't worry about that because you're going to see that's not going to be a problem in a minute.

I'm going to change the color here to black and you may want to use a very dark grey and a very light grey for the text but I'll use just pure black right here. Now the next thing I want to do is I want to have that in the background of every page so I'm going to go to Arrange, Section Masters, and Move Object to Section Master. It's important that I actually have that black background selected. That box selected.

Once I do that you can see that the text in the second page disappeared because now they're back here. As a matter of fact I can select them, there. I can use Command A to make sure that everything is selected. So let's zoom back in to 125% and you can see there is the text. So it's black text on a black background. So I want to go and change the text now, with everything selected, to white. In order to kind of keep that throughout the entire document I'm going to hit this Update button next to Body Text. So I'm going to update the body text style so all body text is now white. So now I can type in white text on a black background.

Now this kind of doesn't complete it. I still have lots of white elements here. So let's go, you know I can go to full screen mode, so let me do that. Now I'm going to go and change the zoom amount here to fit width so it goes all the way across the screen. So that way I don't have any of the that kind of light grey on the sides. I can get rid of the toolbar if I really want to. I can go to View, Hide Toolbar. It still comes up when I move my cursor there. Before I do View, Hide Toolbar I can actually click the Format button to get rid of the Format Bar there and now I can do the Hide Toolbar. Now all I have is white text on a black background.

So the idea here is to keep writing and use this as kind of a nice writing environment. I can always get back to the Menu Bar by going to the top of the screen with my cursor and when I'm ready to undo it all, it's pretty quick to undo. Just show the Toolbar first. Maybe bring up the Format Bar here. I can go ahead and in the menus here, let me go out of full screen mode, in the menu here I can go to Arrange, Section Masters, and Make Master Object Selectable. So I can select this black background by selecting kind of off to the edge here you can see it grabbed it and Delete it. Let me turn that off. I can go and select my text. You can see it's a white text now on a white background. Change to black. I'll update Body Text. There I go. I'm back where I was.

Another way to do that is simply to use Copy and Paste instead. So I can go back. If I've got white text in a black background. If I go to a new Pages document and I paste it in, of course I'm going to get white text. But if instead I say Paste in Matched Style I'll get black text because I'm pasting just the text into the current style which is regular body text. So it's another way to do it there. You kind of have a dark bode writing environment that you can use and then Copy and Paste the text into whatever document you're actually working on.

Comments: 2 Responses to “How To Simulate Dark Mode In Pages”

    Bert Mullemeister
    7/13/18 @ 2:57 am

    You would not want to print pages with black background as it would empty your black ink cartridge in no time

    jasper robinson
    7/30/18 @ 12:06 pm

    You can reverse the whole screen’s colours using ⌃ + ⌥ + ⌘ + 8. So for a white page with black writing, you’d get the same effect: white writing on a black page.

    This just toggles on/off

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