While there are numerous programs that will allow you to build fancy-looking documents, both from scratch and by using templates, few can match Pages for sheer flexibility. This powerful app enables you to format documents in sophisticated ways only normally seen in complex graphic design programs. Even using it as a basic word processor will allow you to transform conventional letters and flyers into documents that pop. Central to this is the way that the touchscreen functionality offers up precision editing of page elements with screen taps.
In the case of something like a newsletter, it’s both quick and easy to add content to a blank page and then turn it into a stylish work of art that will grab attention. Making your content match and thereby ensure consistency is another area of designing documents that needs plenty of care and attention. Thankfully, though, Pages does much of the editing hard work for you. Producing text that’s perfectly formatted with streamlined headings, body text and captions can all be controlled from the Styles pane in the toolbar. And, with these preformatting tools stored inside the menu system, you can add the same flourishes to every element on your page.
Pages can work with text from most sources, so if you have another document with a dated design but useful words, simply select and copy it. This is then added to the memory of the iPad and can be pasted into a pre-formatted area on your page.
Time required: 30 mins
What you need:
iOS 5.1 or later
Step 1: Get the text
It’s fine using a blank document, but things are far easier with templates. In this example, double-tap the body text and then paste in your own words after copying them from another source. Alternatively, just type straight into the document while retaining the formatting.
Step 2: Working with words
Editing text is a key part of the design process, and fonts can be selected and manipulated using the pull-down formatting bar along the top of your screen. The blue arrow to the right of the font name offers up additional styling options, such as regular, bold, italic and so on.
Step 3: Get a heading
If you need to flag up some areas of text more than others, tap to highlight the words and pick a formatting option such as heading, subtitle or body text, and the selected words will match that style. The bonus is that you can tweak these predefined styles for a more efficient workflow.
Step 4: Bullet storm
Bullet points can help to make selected text stand out and draw the reader through the information you’re presenting. Using the option from the Tools panel, it’s easy to add images, letters or numbers in place of these bullet points and make the layout attractive as well as informative.
Step 5: Columns and spacing
While you’re editing text on the page, call on the services of the Layout menu option. This allows you to pick the number of columns within your document, along with the spacing of the text on the page. This means you’ve got real desktop publishing control at your fingertips.
Step 6: Wrap it up
The Wrap feature is another tool that enables control of lines and other shapes on the page. The default option means text will ‘run around’ (flow around the edge of) the other content automatically. Or you can specify how you want things to work by selecting Around or Above and Below.