Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Pages, part of Ebook Foundations.
- [Instructor] I've mentioned Apple's Pages program a few times already in this title and I wanted to devote one video to look at it a little bit more closely 'cause it's kind of a neat program. Now, remember, Apple's Pages program is free but it only runs on Mackintoshes or the macOS, so as long as you're an Apple user, then you're cool. Now, if you want to learn more about Pages, I suggest that you take a look in the online training library where there are a few courses that talk about it in more depth, like this one, Pages 5, Essential Training and my friend Tony Harmer did a course called Creating EPUBs from a Pages Document.
Now, one caveat is that these two are actually a little out of date. The current version of Pages is Pages 6 and these are both Pages 5 and perhaps they're going to come up with a Pages 6 course at some point but I'm also running Pages 5 on this computer. Pages 6 only runs on Sierra, the most current operating system for the Mac as I record this and this computer is not running Sierra. So, we're running Pages 5 but I'll talk about some of the differences between five and six in a little bit but just keep in mind like most programs, 90% of the interface and what you can do with them is the same from version to version.
What is Pages? Pages is combination of a word processing program and a page layout program. Think of Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign. Not quite as powerful as either one but it does most of what anybody would want it to do. So, let's see how that works. Here in Pages I've chosen File, New which automatically opens the choose a template browser and I can look at all of them, just scroll through it or I could jump to reports or newsletters or miscellaneous and in miscellaneous we have an EPUB template which I'll get to in a second but let's say we that started with basic, just a blank page.
I double click it and now, and let me hide the other apps here, now we're working in a word processing document and I can type whatever and I have all of my text formatting commands on the right and there's a dropdown menu of built-in styles. There's also ways to insert text frames which I'm not going to do, so I press command Z or shapes. If I want to bring in a picture, I can click media and this would show me everything in my photos folder which is sadly empty at this point but you can also just drag and drop an image right onto the page.
Now, notice this Insert menu at the top. If I click it, it says I can insert a page break, a page number, a footnote, regular kind of word processing stuff but I could also go to the File menu and say hey, convert this to a page layout document and when I say that, I'll get a little warning that says any copy that I've already written will be deleted, so if you are actually going to do this midway through a project be sure to select all the copy and then copy it to the clipboard or cut it before you choose this and then you click Convert and now I can do things like move a text frame around and I'll type in some text here and I can create shapes.
Let's just do a star and we'll make it really large and I can put it anywhere around here. So, it's kind of like you're working in Adobe InDesign. You can go back and forth between the two modes. If I went to the File menu and it would say convert to word processing and now because I hadn't done anything layout specific only, these things could also exist in a word processing document, they would just float with the text, then they stay, so it's something that you want to get used to but realize that there are two modes to any Pages document, word processing or page layout and a quick tip is to look up here in the Insert menu and if you see page break, column break and so on that means you're in word processing mode.
I'll switch to page layout. If you go to the Insert menu and it says insert page, that means you are in page layout mode. Pages can open a Word document, so if I went to File, Open, and here we are in the exercise folder, I have a document right here, it converts our friendly English Cottage Gardens Word document and if there were any problems in the conversion, it'll give you a little warning and here it's just saying that we had some fonts that were missing and they substituted things.
Now, from here then you could export to EPUB, to a reflowable EPUB. If I went to the File menu and chose Export To, EPUB, then I can go ahead and choose a category. This is all stuff for the metadata section and advanced options I can embed the fonts that I'm using and then just click Next and click Export and put this on the desktop. And it said some things were changed. Now, Tony Harmer's title goes into much more detail about doing things like setting up chapter breaks and TOCs and so on to make sure that your converted Word doc gets exported to a proper EPUB 3.
However, you could also just go to File, New and go down to miscellaneous and open up the EPUB template and what's useful here is that you can just copy and paste your text and if you have chapter titles in a certain style like chapter name, then they automatically get added to a TOC in the front which is really cool and it has very useful styles that you can use. So, I like that. Now, here's one thing that's different between Pages 5 and Pages 6.
Let's say that I went back to one of my layout documents and this is in layout mode and I wanted to make a fixed layout EPUB. If I went to File, Export To, EPUB, it says sorry, page layout documents cannot be exported to EPUB but that's what's new in Pages 6. I actually created a Pages document with a screen shot of what the export dialog box looks like in Pages 6. So, here I have a page layout document in one of the templates or one that I created on my own and I went to Export To, EPUB and you have a choice here of either converting it to reflowable or maintaining it as fixed layout which is kind of nice.
So, if you're on a Macintosh I suggest that you check out Pages. You can't beat the price, right? And if it can do both fixed layout and reflowable EPUB, that's a great little tool have in your toolbox.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author