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A Beginner’s Guide to Pages

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Mac for Beginners.
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Apple announced, recently, that iWork is now available free of charge with every Mac purchased after October 1st, enabling new users to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations without having to spend any additional money.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create and format a text document using Pages, as well as how to insert a table, chart, shape and media such as image, video and audio.


Pages Explained

Pages is a word processing application developed by Apple. It is part of a productivity suite called iWork along with both Keynote and Numbers, and is recognised for its user-friendly, intuitive interface.

With Pages, you can create professional-looking documents that are compatible with other word processing software such as Microsoft Word and OpenOffice. Additionally, each and every document that you create is automatically saved to iCloud and can be wirelessly shared between iDevices for easy access.


Create a New Document

Your first port of call is to create a new document in which to type. Pages includes many different templates designed to help you get started, ranging from invoices, resumes, posters and more.

Step 1: Launch Pages

Click the Pages icon.
Click the Pages icon.

Click the Pages icon in the Dock.

Step 2: Choose a Template

Select a template.
Select a template.

Select a template from the list and then click Choose. For the purpose of this tutorial, I have chosen Blank.

Step 3: Compose

Compose your document.
Compose your document.

Pages is now ready for you to compose your document.


Format Text

Formatting is used to transform a large blocks of text into a more legible format, making your document appealing to the reader.

Step 1: Highlight

Highlight the text by clicking Edit and then Select All.
Highlight the text by clicking Edit and then Select All.

Highlight all text by clicking Edit on the toolbar running along the top of the screen, and then Select All. Alternatively, press and A simultaneously on your keyboard. You can also highlight a single word by double-clicking on that word, or multiple words by clicking and dragging your mouse across the text you wish to highlight.

Step 2: Format

Introducing the formatting sidebar.
Introducing the Format sidebar.

On the right-hand side of the application, you will see the Format sidebar. From here, you can format your document to your specification.

Click the Font drop-down menu to change the font.
Click the Font drop-down menu to change the font.

If you would like to change the font, click the Font drop-down menu on the sidebar and select a different font from the list.

Enter your desired font size.
Enter your desired font size.

Click or to increase or decrease the size of the font, or manually enter a value.

Click Bold, Italics or Underline.
Click Bold, Italics or Underline.

Click Bold, Italics, or Underline to emphasise text.

Select your alignment preference.
Select your alignment preference.

Align text by clicking Left, Centre, Right or Justify.

Choose a line spacing.
Choose a line spacing.

Choose a line spacing by selecting an option from the Spacing drop-down menu.

Change the colour of the font by selecting a colour from the palette.
Change the colour of the font by selecting a colour from the palette.

Change the colour of the font by selecting a colour from the palette.

Your font will then change colour.
Your font will then change colour.

Once selected, the font will then change to the specified colour.

Tip: Pages will automatically spellcheck your work and display a red, dashed line under any possible misspelling. Right-click misspelt words to select a correct spelling from the list, or press Ignore Spelling to ignore.


Create a Table

Tables are used to display data in a neat and orderly fashion, and Pages includes several table templates to suit every need.

Step 1: Insert

Click Table.
Click Table.

Click Table and then select the type of table you would like to insert into your document.

Your selected table will then be inserted into your document.
Your selected table will then be inserted into your document.

Your selected table will then be inserted into the body of your document, ready to be edited.

Step 2: Edit

Insert data.
Insert data.

Insert data into the table by clicking on a cell and typing.

Modify your table further by visiting the Format sidebar.
Modify your table further by visiting the Format sidebar.

You can modify the table further by visiting the Format sidebar on the right-hand side of the application.


Create a Chart

Display a graphical representation of your data by creating a 2D, 3D or interactive chart.

Step 1: Insert

Click Chart.
Click Chart.

Click Chart and then select a chart type.

Step 2: Edit

Click Edit Chart Data.
Click Edit Chart Data.

Click Edit Chart Data to edit the chart's data.

Input data.
Input data.

Input data into the chart and press the Return key on your keyboard to update.

Edit the chart further by visiting the Format sidebar.
Edit the chart further by visiting the Format sidebar.

You can modify the chart further by visiting the Format sidebar on the right-hand side of the application.


Insert Media

Insert an image, video or audio file to enhance your document further. Pages will automatically display your entire iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes and Aperture libraries for you to browse, categorised by type.

Step 1: Insert

Click Media.
Click Media.

Click Media and then select a file. Double-click the file to insert it into your document.

Your selected media will then appear in your document.
Your selected media will then appear in your document.

Your selected media will then appear in the body of your document and may be moved by clicking the file and dragging it into position.

Step 2: Edit

Edit media by visiting the Format sidebar.
Edit media by visiting the Format sidebar.

You can modify inserted media further by visiting the Format sidebar on the right-hand side of the application.


Insert Shape

Shapes can be used to create a drawing or logo, or to simply spice up an otherwise plain-looking document.

Click Shape.
Click Shape.

Click Shape and then select a shape from the list, or click Draw With Pen to draw your own.

Your chosen shape will then be inserted into your document.
Your chosen shape will then be inserted into your document.

Your chosen shape will then be inserted into your document, ready to be moved or resized.


Save Document

Saving your document will ensure that your work is kept safe and secure, and be accessed at a later date.

Step 1: File

Click File and then Save.
Click File and then Save.

Click File and then Save.

Step 2: Save

Enter the desired name of your document.
Enter the desired name of your document.

Enter the desired name of your document in the Save As field, add a tag (optional), and then choose a location in which to save your file. Click Save.

Tip: If you would like to change your document to a different format, click File > Export To and then select a new format from the menu.


Wrapping Up

In this tutorial, I have shown you how to create and format a text document using Pages, as well as how to insert a table, chart, shape and media. Did you find this tutorial helpful? Feel free to ask a question if you are unsure about anything in particular.

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