HOW TO | mod­ify and man­age styles

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Mod­ify ex­ist­ing styles

There are two ways to edit ex­ist­ing styles in Pages. If you’re chang­ing one or two el­e­ments the sim­plest thing to do is se­lect a piece of text, open the For­mat In­spec­tor and se­lect the style you wish to edit from the Text tab. Now use the Style, Lay­out and More sec­tions to make the changes you wish – as you do, you’ll see an as­terisk ap­pear next to the style name at the top of the screen with a con­ve­niently placed Up­date but­ton next to it. Click the Up­date but­ton at any time and the style it­self will be mod­i­fied. Any text on the page for­mat­ted with that style will be up­dated too. Use ç+Z to undo any un­wanted changes.

The other way to up­date a style is to take it from some pre­vi­ously styled text. To do this, first se­lect the text in ques­tion then click the down­wards-fac­ing arrow next to the cur­rent style name to re­veal the Para­graph Styles list. Roll your mouse over the tar­get style, click the right-fac­ing arrow and choose Re­de­fine from Se­lec­tion.

The arrow but­ton re­veals two more use­ful op­tions. Re­name Style al­lows you to give your mod­i­fied style a dif­fer­ent name, such as Para­graph Body or Box Ti­tle, while Delete Style does what it says on the tin. If you choose to delete a style cur­rently in use, you’ll be prompted to se­lect a re­place­ment style for the text us­ing it. Pick the new style from a drop­down list, click OK, and your text will up­date.


Cre­ate new styles

Pages makes it easy for you to cre­ate styles from scratch too. Any new style you cre­ated is au­to­mat­i­cally based on the cur­rently se­lected para­graph in your doc­u­ment, so if you’ve al­ready for­mat­ted text to the new style you want to de­fine, make sure the mouse cur­sor is placed some­where within this para­graph first.

Next, click the down­wards arrow next to the cur­rent style on the For­mat In­spec­tor to re­veal the Para­graph Styles list and then click +. A new style will ap­pear in the list, named af­ter the para­graph’s cur­rent style with a ‘1’ added (Body 1, for ex­am­ple). It’s pre-se­lected and high­lighted so you can quickly re­name it to some­thing more de­scrip­tive.

When cre­at­ing or mod­i­fy­ing a style, re­mem­ber a few golden rules: first, re­strict your styles to one or two fonts and use vari­a­tions, such as con­densed for cap­tions and bold or black for head­ers. Sec­ond, choose your font based on how it per­forms as body text, as this usu­ally makes up the bulk of text on any page. And fi­nally, if you’re strug­gling with tweak­ing the dif­fer­ent el­e­ments – point size, spac­ing, text align­ment and so on – a set of handy guide­lines can be found at­pog-rules.


Be­yond para­graphs

You can de­fine styles for other page el­e­ments too. List styles work with both bul­leted and num­bered lists, which can then be used to form part of a para­graph style too. Ac­cess these from the Style tab in the For­mat In­spec­tor’s Text sec­tion. Here you’ll find the Bul­lets & Lists sec­tion along with a menu sim­i­lar to the Para­graph Styles drop­down, of­fer­ing the same op­tions for mod­i­fy­ing, re­name, cre­at­ing and delet­ing list styles.

First, se­lect the bullet or num­ber style you wish to mod­ify from the drop-down menu. Next, ex­pand the sec­tion by click­ing the right-fac­ing arrow to the left of Bul­lets & Lists, to re­veal con­text-sen­si­tive op­tions based on the type of bullet or num­ber scheme you’ve se­lected. You can, for ex­am­ple, change the im­age used for an im­age bullet, or de­ter­mine the type of num­ber to dis­play along with spac­ing, colour­ing and other for­mat­ting op­tions. Once done, click the Bul­lets & Lists drop-down menu again to re­veal an Up­date but­ton next to the list type you’ve mod­i­fied. Click this to make your change.

The process is sim­i­lar for cre­at­ing your own cus­tom ta­ble styles. In this case, cre­ate a ta­ble in your doc­u­ment, then use the con­trols of­fered in the For­mat In­spec­tor to style it ac­cord­ingly. You can then ei­ther over­write an ex­ist­ing ta­ble style by right-click­ing it un­der the Ta­ble tab and choos­ing ‘Re­de­fine Style from Se­lec­tion’ or click the left-fac­ing arrow to re­veal an op­tion for cre­at­ing a new ta­ble style by click­ing +.

Last but not least, any ob­ject used in your Pages doc­u­ment can be styled in a sim­i­lar way – just look out for the con­trols of­fered on the For­mat In­spec­tor, which work in the same way as they do for ta­bles.


Build your own tem­plate

You’ve seen how Pages makes it pos­si­ble to build cus­tom styles into a doc­u­ment. When you save your doc­u­ment, those amended styles are saved with it, but you can go fur­ther and em­bed these styles into your own cus­tom tem­plates too.

Once you’ve set up your styles as you want them, open the File menu and choose Save as Tem­plate. The de­fault choice al­lows you to add the tem­plate to the Tem­plate Chooser (which also makes it avail­able to your other de­vices via your iCloud ac­count), or you can sim­ply save it to your com­puter. Now you’ll have easy ac­cess to your care­fully crafted styles when­ever you need them, sim­ply by se­lect­ing this tem­plate.

Bullet and list styles are cre­ated and edited in­de­pen­dently of para­graph styles, then linked to them.

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