Regardless of your computer background, you will likely need a word processor. You might be wondering whether you should use Microsoft Word or Pages. If you ask in the forums, a figurative holy war will likely break out. If you’ve ever opened Pages just to check it out, you might have thought it was a stripped-down toy because it hardly looks like the Microsoft software most of us are used to. I will give you an overview of the main features of Apple Pages, so that you can see how powerful the software really is. By the end of this article you will have a good idea of how to use Pages on iCloud, on your Mac or on your iPhone or iPad.
Getting Started with Pages in iCloud
When you use Pages for the first time in iCloud, or on any other device, you are presented with a selection of templates. You’ll find that Pages has a number of templates, if not more document types than you are likely to see in Word.
Apple offers you some great working models in these categories:
- Books, in portrait and landscape orientation
- Letters, including personal and business letters
- Flyers and posters
- Greeting cards
- Business cards
- The bills
Pick a template you like or select a blank document to get started.
Setting up your Pages document
I chose to create a business letter, and you can see that Pages automatically did some formatting and prep for me. I changed the top header, the address block at the bottom, as well as the recipient informationon and the content of the letter. Everything is very easy to use and the simplicity hides the power beneath the surface.
The first thing a lot of people will ask themselves when using Pages in iCloud is how to set the paper size and margins. Near the top right corner of your document, you’ll notice an icon that looks like a photo frame. If you hover the mouse over this icon, the “Show or hide document and section options” tooltip appears.
After clicking this icon, you will see the dialog box which helps you format your document. You can change the paper size, page orientation, and document margins. You can also configure your document to use facing pages, like in a book, and configure your letter’s header and footer.
Make a Pages document elegant with paragraph styles
To exit document options when using Pages in iCloud, click the brush icon right next to the document and section icon. This simple looking tool sidebar will let you change any paragraph formatting options you could want.
You can choose your preferred font, the characteristics of this font such as size, color, bold, italics, etc. You can also set various text alignment and indentation options, change your line spacing, and configure bullets and lists. If you’re working on a book or other document that might need a stylistic “oomph”, choose the Drop Cap option and really spice things up.
Write and edit your document in Pages in iCloud
Once you’re set up, just start typing. Pages will check the spelling of your document on the fly, highlighting words in red when misspelled. You can click on the underlined word and then click on the suggested spelling that you want to use or type a new word on the misspelled word. You can also add the spelling to your custom dictionary, if you know Apple is wrong and you are right.
The only area where Pages lacks, compared to Microsoft Word, is grammar checking. Although Pages offers a great spell checker, it does little to help with grammatical errors.
Enhancement of paginated documents
Once you’ve finished writing your magnum opus, it’s time to put the finishing touches. You can add tables, charts, text boxes, shapes and lines, and images to your letter or report. You’ll find these options as pretty self-explanatory icons near the top middle of the window. If you need to insert a bulleted or numbered list, this icon is also quite clearly visible, to the left of the main group of insert icons.
Just as easy is creating links to email addresses and web pages. Just type in the link and Pages turns it into a hyperlink. Edit the link as needed by right-clicking and choosing Edit link.
Work and play well with others in the pages
Pages also doesn’t require you to work in stand-alone mode. It offers great collaboration tools, including comments and the ability to review, accept, or reject changes to your document. If you use Pages in iCloud, you can easily invite other people to help you with your document.
You can even see your team’s changes as they make them, if two or more of you are working on the document at the same time. Select a name from the list of collaborators, and you’ll even jump right to where they placed their cursor, anywhere in the document.
You’ll find that Pages works essentially the same whether you’re on iCloud or using the app on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
How to use pages in iCloud to print or publish your document
Once you’re done, you’ll need to know how to use Pages in iCloud for printing and publishing. Like everything else in this software, it is both simple and powerful. Just click on the wrench icon next to the collaborate button and you’ll see your options.
You can print your letter, CV, report, book or whatever, save it as a Microsoft Word or PDF document, and even publish it to Apple Books. You can also save your document, download it (if you’re using Pages in iCloud), print it, or set a password. Try doing this in Microsoft Word or Microsoft 365!