In my last 3 guides, I described how easy it is to create a document in Pages that looks aesthetically pleasing to a sighted user. If you have been following the series, you have learned pages is an extremely powerful word processor for the Mac. You can produce everything from letters, to flyers to fully laid out books that are ready for electronic or print publishing.
The last 3 guides focused on the basics of formatting, using styles, adding keyboard shortcuts and using the formatter to make changes to text. This guide will get into more specific areas of the app as well as describe how you can add the final polish to get your documents looking ready for print.
Adding Horizontal Lines
There are times when it’s necessary to add a horizontal line to your document, such as separating sections of a page or marking one area of the page for images or other graphic content. These look like a solid line from one side of the document to the other and should not be confused with underlining. To make one, simply press Shift-Return on a new line. VoiceOver will read this aloud as “Line Separator”
Adding Page Breaks
It is sometimes a good idea to add a page break to your document so text starts on a new page, however pay attention as moving text to a new page can leave the previous one with too much white space, especially if there are only one or two lines of text on it. In situations like this, editing, controlling widows and orphans or changing the page layout can fix this so the text ends up taking up most of the page before the page break. Add a page break by pressing Command-Return.
Headers and Footers
The header is a line or two of text that appears in the same place on every page of the document. Headers can be static such as a title, chapter heading or your name and course code for school. It can also be dynamic such as a chapter number or page number. There are no rules for what goes where in a header, but the following are suggestions for laying out a sharp-looking document.
- Left header: Author’s surname, course code, project code, invoice number, date.
- Center header: Chapter title, short title for an essay/poem, section title, company name.
- Right header: Page number, page count, date, invoice number, project code.
Stop interacting with the body and VO-left until you get to the header. Interact.
Place your cursor in left, centre or right headers to make your edits. Bear in mind the header is meant to display one or two lines of text at most and be in a smaller font size. Use the same font as the body for good looking results.
Like the header, the footer appears below the document body and remains static on every page in a smaller font size. Footers usually contain things like a page number, page count or other short text to let the reader know where they are in the document. There are no rules as for what goes into a header or footer, however your school or workplace may have a standard you need to follow. For documents longer than a page or two, it’s a good idea to include a page number in the centre footer.
If you have written a very long Pages document, it may be a good idea to break the document up into sections. Typically, book authors will do this so they can use separate headers and footers for chapters, or style things differently in each section.
For example, a company report may have sections for first, second, third, fourth quarter, The Year Ahead and an appendix.
To add a section, simply choose Section from the Insert menu. The insertion point will move to the top of a new page which is the start of a new section. Note this is different than using Command-Return to start a new page. The section will be treated separately when creating a table of contents and page numbers can either start at 1 all over again or continue from the previous section.
Margins are the white borders that surround the top, bottom, left and right of your document. No text appears in the margin. Without margins, text would run right to the edge of the paper when printed. By default, Pages places 1 inch of margin around your document. It’s sometimes a good idea to change this for situations where smaller or larger margins are required such as writing broadcast scripts or screen plays which usually require a wider margin on the left.
To change margins, you will need to change the Inspector from Formatting to Document.
- Go to the View menu>Inspector>Document.
- VO-J to the Document Inspector. The Document tab will be selected.
- Interact with the Document Formatter and tab until you arrive at the input fields for margins.
Depending on your printer, you can adjust your margin sizes to a quarter-inch (0.25 in.). Be careful however as some printers won’t print that close to the edge of your paper. It’s also a good idea to leave white space for digital documents like ebooks. A half-inch (0.5 in.) to one inch should be sufficient for a decent-looking document.
Creating a Table of Contents
Making a table of contents is easy and straight forward in Pages. It’s important to mark up your document semantically with semantic headings. This means your Mac recognizes text as headings and not big, bold text that precedes a section or chapter.
For a long document, such as a collection of poetry and commentaries on each poem, you might choose to set your headings and sections up like this:
- A table of contents.
- Heading: The title of each new section including the table of contents and the title of each poem.
- Heading 2: the commentary on each poem.
- Heading 3: Subheadings within each commentary.
You can specify how deep your table of contents goes with only the first two heading levels displayed in the table. This is usually done near the end of creating your document.
To make a table of contents: Inspect your document to ensure you’ve set the heading style for your headings and that they’re at the correct heading level. Insert menu>Table of Contents>Document. You can also do this for individual sections as well. Your table of contents will be inserted at the head of your document.
The Document Inspector
The document inspector lets you format the overall appearance of your entire document. There are 3 tabs: Document, section and Bookmarks.
The document tab contains the document formatter. Here, you can adjust whether your document is displayed in portrait or landscape mode, the paper size, the margins and whether the header or footer is shown. You can turn hyphenation and ligatures on or off for an entire document and specify whether the pages are facing each other as in a printed book. This will change whether your page numbers are on the inside (near the crease) or outside (near the outside edge of each page).
The section formatter lets you control how the section appears. You can specify a background colour, whether your page numbers start over, whether the first page has no page numbers and so on. One use of the section formatter could be to specify introductory material of a book with a different page numbering system, such as roman numerals instead of standard numerals.
The bookmarks tab lets you generate bookmarks within your document. For example, in a long manual where you want to refer your reader back to a specific section, you can place a bookmark that links to a semantic heading,. Instead of showing the semantic heading, Pages will display the page number like this:
For directions on how to establish a satellite connection, refer to page 8.
Here, page 8 would b the bookmark that would refer to a heading called Setting Up Satellite Connections. If the heading moves to a different spot in your document through editing material, the page number will dynamically change to refer to the new page.
Hope you enjoyed the guide. As always, please feel free to ask questions or post comments.