Unlock the power of Pages across Mac, iOS, and iCloud platforms!

Take Control of

Second Edition
Michael E. Cohen

Discover how to make the most out of Pages! In this fully revised second edition, Michael E. Cohen digs deep into Pages, unearthing the nuggets of knowledge you need to make your work shine. Learn what has changed since the book’s last edition, including the many Pages enhancements and expanded capabilities that work seamlessly across Mac, iOS, and iCloud platforms.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Apple’s Pages word processor is a big, rich app with hundreds of features tucked away in nooks and crannies, making Michael E. Cohen’s comprehensive book an essential resource for newbies and experts alike. Whether you prefer to dive into the details or get quick help with a particular feature, this book has got you covered.

In this all-new revision to the second edition, Michael expands his already extensive guide, detailing all the extensive changes Apple has made to Pages since the last version of the book was released, including support for macOS 10.14 Mojave and iOS 12. Learn about publishing an ebook from Pages directly to the Apple Books Store; adding colors and images to backgrounds in page layout documents on all platforms; using Dark Mode and Continuity Camera in Mojave; recording, editing, and playing audio directly on a page on your Mac and in iOS; and many other new or updated features.

With Michael’s help, you can navigate Pages like a pro. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Find where the tools you need lie, whether on the Mac, in iOS, or in the web app
  • Do everyday word processing, including working with fonts, tabs, indents, rulers, search and replace, spell checking, and more
  • Format longer, more complex documents, with customized headers, footers, page numbers, tables of content, footnotes, and section breaks
  • Manage styles, including paragraph styles, character styles, list styles, and object styles
  • Create your own templates, complete with master objects
  • Master the many multi-touch gestures on iOS that give you pinpoint control over page elements
  • Include complex tables and charts and make them look exactly the way you want
  • Customize layout and manipulate graphics like a pro
  • Collaborate with others in real time using iCloud
  • Share your documents across devices, using Mac, iOS, or almost any web browser
Michael Cohen

About Michael E. Cohen

Michael E. Cohen has taught English composition, worked as a programmer for NASA’s Deep Space Network, helped develop the first commercial ebooks at the Voyager Company, and co-founded a major university’s Humanities computing center. He has authored several books, including Apple Interface Mysteries, Take Control of PDFpen, Take Control of Pages, Take Control of iBooks Author, and Take Control of TextExpander.

This update incorporates the new and changed features of all three Pages apps released between the last book update (mid-June 2019) and August 2019. This includes Pages 8.1 in macOS 10.14 Mojave and Pages for iOS 5.1 in iOS 12. You can find a quick overview of the new material covered in “What’s New in Pages.” Note that the latest versions of the Pages apps currently require at least macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11, and some features require macOS 10.14 Mojave and iOS 12. (If you’re not running exactly these versions, see the sidebar “A Note on the Transient Nature of Software.”)

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Pages Quick Start
  • Get Started
  • Where Is Everything?
  • Manage Your Styles
  • Organize Your Work
  • Learn Layout Possibilities
  • Add All Sorts of Objects
  • Try Templates
  • Be a Collaborator
  • Import and Export Your Work
  • About This Book
  • Latest Updates to Pages Bring Welcome Enhancements

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on June 13, 2017

    Apple has released new versions of its Pages apps, which is good news for everyone except me and my publisher, because we now have to find time to revise the just-recently revised Second Edition and put an update into production. But it’s worth doing, because a lot of good stuff got added to Pages:

    • Remember linked text boxes? After having gone missing with the release of Pages 5.0, this powerful feature is finally back, and it is better than ever. See Add linked text boxes in Pages.

    • When you use comments in your documents as you collaborate with others, you’ll find you can now carry on comment conversations by using the new comment reply feature, as described in Add and reply to comments in iWork.

    • Apple has vastly expanded the library of shapes you can add to documents, including many shapes, such as the map of Europe, that can be broken apart into their constituent shapes. Get started with shapes provides details.

    • The Pages for Mac preferences have a new pane, Auto-Correction, in which you can set up text replacements, itemize words that you want spelling correction to ignore, and more. The support article Set up auto-correction and text replacement for Pages, Numbers, or Keynote spells it out for you.

    • If you use Pages to create EPUBs, you may be pleased to learn you now can export fixed layout ebooks as well as the usual flowable kind. Create ePub files in Pages, though still mis-capitalizing EPUB, tells you how it works.

    For more details, see the update articles for Pages on the Mac, iOS, and iCloud.

    The Take Control of Pages, Second Edition MacVoices Interview

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on May 25, 2017

    A few days before the new edition of my book was published, Chuck Joiner of MacVoices and I sat down for our usual new book release tête-à-tête. As is customary, Chuck asked a series of questions about what was new in the book and the apps it covered, and, as is also customary, I tried to answer them as clearly as I could while also looking for opportunities to make Chuck crack up on camera. We both succeeded in meeting our respective goals.

    Track Changes Support Changed in Pages for iCloud

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on October 21, 2015

    In the previous versions of Pages for iCloud, if you attempted to edit a Pages document that had tracked changes, Pages offered you two options: either accept all the tracked changes, or create a duplicate of the document with all tracked changes accepted. Now that Pages for iCloud is no longer in beta, you no longer have those options. Instead, you can open a document with tracked changes and view the change tracking — however, you cannot edit the document; neither can you accept the changes, nor create a duplicate with the changes accepted. So, if your workflow relies upon the ability to open and edit a change-tracked document in your browser (after accepting changes), be warned: change-tracked documents in Pages for iCloud are now view-only on that platform (though, of course, you can still edit them in Pages on iOS and Mac).

    Pages Updates for Mac, iOS, and iCloud

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on

    As Agen Schmitz noted in his TidBITS Watchlist article, “Pages 5.6, Numbers 3.6, and Keynote 6.6 for Mac,” 16 October 2015, Pages has been updated on all three platforms: Mac, iOS, and iCloud. Among the many enhancements are support for Split View in El Capitan, support for Force Touch on Macs and 3D Touch on iOS, the ability to revert to previous versions on both iOS and iCloud, and the ability to open documents created with Pages ’08 and Pages ’06. Also of interest is the removal of the “Beta” status for the iCloud version of Pages. Apple supplies a list of enhancements on its “What’s new in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote” page.

    How to Stop Doing the Same Thing Over and Over

    Posted by Tonya Engst on April 27, 2015

    Although this ebook covers many features, it doesn’t discuss scripting with Apple’s Automator and AppleScript tools to automate repetitive tasks that would be better carried out by a script than by you. To learn more about what’s possible and get started, check out the iWork & Automation portion of the Mac OS X Automation Web site.

    If you’ve never thought about creating automation on a computer before, Automator or AppleScript may be a little much to jump into, though there are helpful introductory materials on the site. For even more help, check out Take Control of Automating Your Mac, by Joe Kissell, which introduces you to the automation mindset, helps you understand a variety of common automation techniques, and helps you take those first few baby steps toward Automator or AppleScript proficiency.

    Mail Merge and Labels in Pages

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen on December 12, 2014

    When Apple introduced Pages 5.5 in October, the update included AppleScript support for mail merge, but omitted to provide a user interface for it. Rather than roll your own mail merge solution with the Script Editor, you should first check out the Pages Data Merge script application available at the iWork & Automation site.

    And if you are thinking about using mail merge in Pages to create mailing labels, you probably want to use standardized label layouts. While Pages doesn’t offer a set of Avery label templates, you can get label templates for Pages ’09 from Avery. Pages 5.5 can open and convert those templates, so you can save the ones you need to the Template Chooser in Pages 5.5.

    June 26, 2020—We are planning a new edition of this book for later in 2020, after Apple releases the next major version of the app.


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