3 underused features in Apple's Pages word processing app
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic
If you’re an Apple Pages for Mac user, you may have developed habits about how you use the word processing app. For instance, you likely create files the same way, and you probably have an editing routine. The following tips detail three ways to make the most of the program.
1: Pre-formatted templates
Odds are you speed straight to opening Pages, clicking the New Document button, and double-clicking the blank template. Did you know that Apple’s developers have created numerous templates to assist users in drafting eye-catching documents that boast professional designs, pleasing layouts, and bold colors?
The next time you need to create a document, proposal, report, letter, note, envelope, card, resume, flyer, newsletter, or brochure, scroll through all the templates Apple’s developers have already created for you. You’ll see a variety of categories in the left side of the window, while thumbnail previews of individual templates appear in the window’s right side. The predefined templates provide attractive samples that are easily customized to match your specific needs.
Leverage the creative energy you save configuring margins, styles, colors, and layouts and direct it into the subject of your document.
2: Comments and track changes
By using comments and track changes, teams can better leverage Pages’ integrated collaboration features. Drafting and editing documents is easier when you track the changes an editor is making to the material another user authored. Adding comments further assists cross-team collaboration.
To begin tracking changes within a document, select Edit from the menu bar, and then click Track Changes. Pages will begin highlighting the changes you make, simplifying the task of identifying material written by the original author vs. changes suggested by an editor.
To accept another user’s changes, right-click the change and select Accept Change. Alternatively, you can deny a recommended edit by right-clicking a highlighted change and selecting Reject Change.
You can disable change tracking by clicking Edit and selecting Turn Off Tracking. If unresolved changes still exist within the document, Pages will prompt the user to accept or reject the remaining changes.
When editing larger documents, users may wish to enable the the Comments & Changes pane by selecting View and clicking Show Comments & Changes Pane. A new view opens on Pages’ left side, enabling users to individually accept or reject each edit, while also providing a quick and elegant interactive link to the respective change within the document.
Authors and editors can add comments to a document by placing the cursor wherever the user intends for the comment to appear and clicking the Comment icon from Pages’ toolbar. The comment text is added within Pages’ left-side pane by default where subsequent authors or editors can review the comments users provide. Deleting comments is simple — just select the comment, and then click the word Delete that appears when mousing over the comment text.
3: Built-in charts
I used to believe charts that will be inserted into a document must be built in a spreadsheet and then transferred using clunky cut-and-paste or import processes. That’s not so with Pages. Apple built the ability to create and edit attractive charts directly within Pages.
To create a chart in Pages, click Insert, and then select Chart. Numerous options appear within the corresponding menu, including 2D Column, 2D Pie, and 3D Bar. Select the chart you wish to create, and Pages will place the new chart within your document.
Editing a chart’s data is simple. Clicking the chart prompts Pages to display an Edit Chart Data button, which you should click to access the chart’s data. You can manipulate the chart’s data within the corresponding table.
Other Pages tips?
Do you have favorite Pages tips you believe would benefit others? If so, submit your preferred shortcuts in the discussion.