5/13/219:00 am Working With Invisible Characters In Mac Pages When you add a space, tab or a return in Pages, you are inserting an actual character, but one you cannot normally see. By using Show Invisibles in Pages you can see these special characters and edit yoru document with precision. 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. Today let me tell you about Invisibles in Pages. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you could read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So when you create documents in Pages you're mostly typing characters, letters, numbers, symbols that you can see. But there are also invisible characters. So looking at this document in Pages you can see there are tons of invisible characters. What! You can't see them!. Of course not. They're invisible. But there is a way to make them visible. That is to go to View and then Show Invisibles. You can see the shortcut is Shift, Command i. We do that and it will reveal all the invisible characters. Here we could see the invisible characters as blue symbols. The most obvious one that you can see is, of course, the Space. Space between words are characters just like any letter or number and usually they're completely invisible. But you can see them because they create a space between the characters around them. Now you can see them as a blue dot. Right away you can see how this is useful because if I accidentally insert an extra space between two words you can see that there are two dots. So this can help you find the situation where you put too many spaces between words and easily get rid of them and make sure you just have one. There are actually nine invisible characters and a few other things that show up when you use View, Show Invisibles. Three of these are standard characters that appear in text. Six of them are what's known as breaks. So for the standard characters the first one of course is the Space. Another one is the Tab which you can see here. It's simply generated whenever you use the Tab key on the keyboard. So a lot of people may not use Tab at all. But if you've been typing for a long time then you probably are just using Tab out of habit from using a typewriter. If you use Tab here it tabs things over and of course you can set custom tabs. But you can see the Tab characters as a right facing arrow and easily select them, delete them, and work with them thanks to Show Invisibles. The other character is what's called a Non-breaking space. So, for instance, say these two words belong together. Like they're really one word but usually there's a space between them. But you don't want it to wrap from one line to the next. So instead of a space here I can delete that space, see how easy it is using using invisibles and it knows exactly what I'm doing, and I can use Option Space and that will insert a different looking space here. You can see a dot with a little hat on top of it. That's a non-breaking space. A non-breaking space means that this is considered one word and it won't wrap from line to line. Now the rest of the invisible characters are breaks. The most used break is a Paragraph Break of sometimes called a Line Break. You could see it right here. That's actually a paragraph mark, the same mark that has been used for a longtime for editors working with documents. Way before computers. The shows you wherever you hit return. So, for instance, if I were to insert a new paragraph right here I could easily delete this space, I don't have to leave it behind. If I hit Return you could see it places the paragraph symbol, or Paragraph Break, invisible character there. Another kind of break that you often see is a Page Break. We can see one down here at the end of Page 2. Now at the end of Page 2 you can see a lot of blank space. Sometimes people ask me why is there a lot of blank space and how can I get rid of it at the end of this page. Why does the next page always start here. Well, it's probably because you inserted a page break. You do that using Insert, Page Break. A Page Break looks like this. It gives you a long line and then a little page symbol there at the end. It's actually a character between this period here and the first letter of the next paragraph. If I want to delete it I can easily select it, like that, and delete it. You could see now there's no character between the period and the M and I can insert a return. If I want to have a page break here I could just insert Page Break. Notice it leaves behind the paragraph break there. You can leave that there if you want. It won't really get in the way or you can easily use the invisible characters. Use the right arrow on the keyboard to go forward one and you can see I'm between the paragraph break and the page break and delete. You could see it really looks the same if I turn Off invisibles. Now in addition to a Page Break there's also a Section Break. So let's say at the beginning of this paragraph here I'm going to start a new section. I can use Insert, Section Break. This acts very much like a Page Break except that sections in Pages can have different properties. So when I go to Document, Section you could see things like the background and the page numbering and properties of Headers and Footers. They can be different on a Section by Section basis. So if I merely did a Page Break between these two pages here then they would be part of the same section and have these same properties. But a section break allows me to have different properties between these two pages and all the pages that are part of this Section and all the pages that are part of this Section. You could also have a Column Break. So I'm going to go and select all the text, Command A, and then I'm going to go to Format and Text Layout and add a column. So now I have two columns here. Now suppose I wanted to do a Page Break. Instead of starting on the next page I simply wanted it to start on the next column. I could go to the beginning of this paragraph right here and insert a Column Break. You could see now it leaves the rest of this column empty. It gives me this invisible character here, this Column Break, and it starts on the next column. A Page Break would have made this start at the beginning of the next page instead. So another invisible character is called a Line Break. This is very much like a Paragraph Break except it won't actually break the paragraph. It just insert a new line in the same paragraph. So, for instance, I've got these two paragraphs here. Notice I have spacing set so that there is a ten-point break after each paragraph. Let's say I don't want to have that break here. I want this to all be one paragraph. But I do want a new line to start after this period. So what I can do is go here and delete the Paragraph Break and insert a Line Break. I can do that right here. I could also use Shift Return. You could see instead of a Paragraph Break I get this Line Break invisible character and I can use it just like a Paragraph Break except this is still considered one paragraph. So you won't see the spacing between paragraphs in-between these two lines. In addition to that if I were to change the style for the paragraph with the cursor in the first part of it, it will change it for the entire paragraph. So this is considered one paragraph for styles and for spacing as well. There's one more break that you can use. When you use columns you don't have to change the columns for everything. You can select one or more paragraphs. Go to Format, Layout and make this two columns. You could see this paragraph is one column. This paragraph is one column. But this paragraph is actually two columns. Here you could see an invisible character appear right there between this paragraph and this paragraph. It replaces the Paragraph Break and it's called a Layout Break. This only comes up in this situation here where you're going from different numbers of columns within the same document. Now when you use View, Show Invisibles there are two other things that can show up. One is any kind of Link. So if we were to select some text and then go to Format, Add Link and add any kind of link here, like let's add a webpage link. With Show Invisibles on you can see that the link is now in a blue box. So that's completely invisible normally. Normally a link would have an underline on it. But in this case, under Format, Text Style, I have changed the character style for a link to not include any underline. So you can see how it's completely invisible now that this is a link or a bookmark or anything like that. So I can use Show Invisibles to see where those links or bookmarks are located. The other thing is whenever you insert an image or shape or anything like that and you use a special kind of Format Arrange here, if you use Stay on Page then this is just a page element and it's not linked to the text at all. If you use Move With Text and then Inline With Text it's actually just like character in-between, you know, this character and this space right here. But if you use Move With Text and anything else, like Automatic, then when you select this you'll see the anchor point for this. It's this little lollipop looking symbol. You'll actually see that even if you have Invisibles turned Off as long as the item is selected you'll see this anchor point. So this really isn't a character. It's between say the t and the space between the t and the c here. This is just a point here and it could change depending upon where you move this. So if I move it down here you could see now that is the anchor point. If you want to figure out what page this will appear on, well the anchor point could tell you that. So let's move this all the way down here towards the bottom and you could see the anchor point is right there. If I were to add some extra lines and then continue down, as soon as that line with the anchor point is on the next page you can see this item here moves. The anchor point determines where an object set to a range, move the text and any kind of wrapping except in-line will appear. So the main point of showing invisibles is to make it easier for you to Edit your document with precision. You could see where each space is. Where there maybe extra spaces. You could see if something is a Paragraph Break, a Page Break, or a Section Break. You can select those characters either using your pointer and your mouse or trackpad, or using the arrow keys to get right after the character, hit delete to delete it, or go before it to insert something just before that special character. You can also, of course, use the arrow keys with Shift to select something. So I can go right up to this paragraph symbol here, hold Shift down and right arrow and you could see now I've selected that paragraph marker. If I go over here and I use Shift right arrow you could see I've selected that Tab. So you really act with precision within your Pages document and turn their visibility On or Off as you need. The characters are always there but you can turn On or Off the special blue symbols that show you where they are as you need using either View, and Show or Hide Invisibles or Shift, Command and I. Related Subjects: Pages (208 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 13 Responses to “Working With Invisible Characters In Mac Pages” nick 3 years ago hey Gary, can you do a Search and Replace with invisible characters? For example, look for two or more consecutive spaces, which may be not easy to spot if you have many pages of text. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago nick: Yes. You can type spaces in the search field, naturally. For other characters, you can select them in the text, copy, and then paste into the search field. Janet 3 years ago Hi Gary ... Very informative and helpful as usual! Question: will "show invisibles" help with getting rid of the extra, empty page that sometimes appears at the end of a Pages document even though the last page with content "seems" to be completely contained within the parameters of its own page? I keep thinking there must be a way to delete that empty page, but I've not yet managed a solution other than exporting the document as a pdf, then deleting the empty page in Preview. Thanks, Gary! Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Janet: Perhaps. If that page is caused by an extra Return or two, or a Page Break character, you should be able to spot that more easily. You can also just put your text cursor all the way at the bottom of the document (Command+a to select all, and then right arrow will do it too) and then Delete until those characters are gone and you are back to your last period. Janet 3 years ago Thank you very much, Gary! Robert 3 years ago Hi Gary, can you tell me if there is a way of moving the anchor point once a shape or image has been inserted. Cheers!. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Robert: Just drag it around. I show this at around 9:10 Robert 3 years ago Thanks Gary. Joe OLeary 3 years ago What is the invisible character that looks like a space dot but with a caret above it? Some other type of space?? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Joe: I answer that question in the video. Joe Oleary 3 years ago Ooops! I missed it. Non-breaking space. Thanks. kristen 2 years ago I need to find and replace some Invisibles. You talk about Invisibles, but what is the actual character you can use for searching for all of them. I know \n,\t,\r, but what are the actual characters for all the other Invisibles you mentioned in your video. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago kristen: That covers them all, I think. Space is just space. I usually select and copy from the document and then paste into the reach field. Comments Closed.