Do more with styles in Pages
Make your documents more consistently readable with text styles
When it comes to good design, less has always been more, with simplicity and clarity the watchwords to follow. That applies to more than just the physical layout of your pages – it’s also critical when deciding what text styles to use.
Typography is more than simply choosing the right font to use too. You need to remember to apply a consistent size, style and spacing to each text element, so readers aren’t left confused by unexpected changes to the way your pages look. There’s more as well – should long words be hyphenated at the end of lines, for example? And how should text be aligned when displayed in columns: left or justified?
Finding your style
It’s hard enough determining what these rules should be, but enforcing them would be practically impossible if you had to manually check these elements each time you created a new document or typed a new block of text. Thankfully, Pages makes it easy to manage typography through the use of styles, which enable you to build up a collection of typographical elements for each section of your document.
Every document comes with styles in place, which originate from the original template. There are three broad types, the key one being paragraph styles, which affect how your text is styled. There is also specialised styles for lists (bulleted and numbered), while styles can also be applied to other objects, such as charts and tables.
Take Pages’ blank A4 template as an example: this comes with 12 paragraph styles, ranging from body text, title and sub-title to caption, footnote and label. You can view these by opening the Format Inspector and switching to the Text tab – here you’ll find each style’s attributes are split into three sections.
The first is Style, which details the style’s font, including its size, colour and character style, such as italics or underlined. It also includes detail on how text is aligned on the page and how large the spacing is between each line. There’s also an option for including a bulleted or numbered list style as part of the paragraph style.
The Layout section comes with options covering text indentation, tabulation and text box borders. Finally, the More section allows you to set rules for pagination breaks, hyphenations and ligatures, plus define what style the following paragraph should use (you could have body copy follow from a sub heading, or sub-title follow from a title, for example).
Defining all these elements under a single style makes it easy to ensure each separate part of your document looks the same, which you can then extend to other styles, and your entire document.
Styles save you time while ensuring consistent and professional documents
The joy of text
When you start to type into a document for the first time, the paragraph style is likely to be set to body text. You can style this text in the usual way – italicise certain parts or underline others, for example – to allow you to make minor changes to individual words or sections. If you want to switch to a completely different style, then it’s a case of choosing the appropriate style from the Format Inspector.
Speed things up here by allocating keyboard shortcuts to commonly used styles. To do so, click the downwards facing arrow next to the current style name to reveal the Paragraph Styles dropdown menu. Then roll your mouse over the target style and click the rightfacing arrow to reveal a flyout. Select Shortcut to assign one of the function keys, from to to this style.
With the basics now in place, read on to find out how to start modifying and managing styles in Pages to meet your own ends. Nick Peers
When you create a new style it’s automatically based on the currently selected text.
You can apply styles to any object, allowing you to build your own page furniture.