HOW TO | modify and manage styles
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 at bit.ly/typog-rules.
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.