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Mac Pages: A Guide On How To Use This Writing Tool From An Author's Perspective

BY Sarah Rexford | Oct 25, 2022 | Reviews, Writing

Getting those words down is a crucial part of the writing process. Yes, of course, there is planning (if you aren’t a pantser!), research, compiling the information, etc., but the actual writing is what takes you from idea to manuscript. 

Of course, then there’s the marketing side of writing: Sending mail, composing invites, printing flyers, tracking social media analytics, and more. 

Today, most writers use Microsoft Word, Google Docs, a type of writing program (such as Scrivener), or Mac Pages to craft their stories. With Apple products used by many writers, it’s important to lay out a brief guide on how to use this writing tool. 

While Microsoft Word is the industry standard when it comes to traditional publishing, there are some major pros to using Pages that should be noted. After all, you can always draft your story in Pages and simply paste it into Word at the end, if necessary.

In this article, we answer:

If you just bought your first Macbook or simply want a refresher on this special tool, this article is for you. Let’s get into it. 

What Is Mac Pages?

The writing tool, Pages, is a word processor that helps you create multiple types of documents. If you’ve purchased an Apple product in the past, Pages was likely included with your purchase. 

There are many perks to using this word processor, and one is simply the fact that it comes with your device purchase. When you open your new product, Pages will likely be a free option you can begin using immediately. 

So, if your computer crashed, you bought a new one, and want to pick up where you left off without installing a word processor, Pages is your answer. More than this convenience, Pages has various pros you may not realize. 

What Are The Pros?

There are many pros to using Mac Pages, some of which combine the best of other writing software all into one. 

Pages Pros:

  • Allows you to collaborate in real-time with your team whether they are on an Apple product or a use a PC
  • Personalizes your look, font, text style, and graphics 
  • Offers over 90 templates so you can customize Pages for your personal needs 
  • Includes the option for you to build interactive digital books 
  • Like Microsoft Word, includes Track Changes
  • Automatically saves changes 

For the graphic designer who chooses to use Pages, you can: 

  • Design engaging text with color gradients
  • Incorporate images and add photos or galleries
  • Layer in audio clips, video, math equations, or charts
  • Choose from over 700 customizable shapes. 

In addition, if you want to go from your Mac to an iPad or iPhone it’s no problem at all, as Pages syncs across devices. Apple even says that, “With Screen View on iPhone, your content will be optimized to fit the screen — making reading and editing on the go a breeze.” 

8 Bonuses To Using Pages

The above pros help you understand what Apple includes with Pages and the myriad of ways in which you can use it. However, there are eight additional bonuses to be aware of. 

#1 – Need Design Inspiration? Start With A Template

While traditionally we may think of pages as a platform for drafting your manuscript, you can use its many templates to create invitations for your next book signing, a coding certificate for your next book sale, or use a card template for an intimate book cover reveal party. 

#2 – Want To Save Time? Use Batch Mail.

Pages offers a unique option with mail merge. This allows you to create that letter or even envelop within Pages and then insert your specific copy or address via your Contacts app or Numbers spreadsheet.

#3 – Want To View Your Documents On iPhone? Use Screen View.

This view allows you to not only read but also edit your documents on your phone. Apple says, “Turn it on and text, images, and tables are optimized to fit your screen. Turn it off to see the full layout.”

#4 – Translate Copy In No Time.

Are you taking a foreign language class? Select the text you need translated and Pages will help you get the job done. 

#5 – Use Your Own Handwriting.

Use Scribble for iPadOS and Apple Pencil to write in real time while your Pages converts your handwriting into typed text. This allows you to write your book freehand, but saves you the time of later converting your handwriting into Pages. 

#6 – Make Your Monday Less Stressful.

If you’ve ever opened your computer and felt a wave of anxiety wash over you, just know you’re not the only one who dislikes staring at the blinking cursor. Pages includes report templates so you no longer need to deal with a blank page. Just choose a template and get started on your book proposal, social media report, or whatever else your book needs. 

#7 – Embrace Your Humanity While Interacting With Technology.

Ever wanted to skim your document and wished you could interact with it like you can a sheet of paper? The good news is, if you use your iPhone and iPad you can actually interact with your writing via zooming in and out and you don’t need to worry about making changes you don’t intend to. 

#8 – Conduct Research Without Leaving Pages.

Most of us have likely experienced intending to get an hour of research in, and then realizing we lost three hours down a YouTube rabbit hole of epic fail videos or comedy snippets. Pages lets you watch both YouTube and Vimeo videos without opening a new web browser. Find the link you want to watch, add it, and then watch it within your document. 

Why Use Pages?

If you want free writing software that allows you to interact with your text, insert images, watch videos within your document, and even create marketing material for your book, Pages is worth checking into. 

Not only does it allow you to track your changes and work collaboratively with your editor or marketing team (wherever they are in the world), but if you purchased an Apple product in the past, it’s likely sitting ready-to-use on your Mac or iPhone. 

Pages is a great start to your writing process, allows you to engage with beta readers, and doesn’t keep you from the possibility of simply pasting your copy into a Microsoft Word document, if necessary further down the road. 

If you already have a Macbook or desktop computer, consider giving Pages a try and seeing how it works for you. Whether you need to write that first sentence and want to track your first round of edits, or need to mail your book to endorsers and use mail merge to make it easier, Pages can help alleviate stress. 

Writing a book is a tremendous task. If you can get a jump start, for free, and lessen some of the workload, why not? Let us know what you think about Pages and how it compares to the other word processors you’ve used! What’s your favorite one, and why? Let us know in the comments! 

Sarah Rexford

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