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Writing Apps: Pages

If you want to create a document with images or charts in it, or that uses different fonts and colors, you need a more powerful app. There are a lot of good choices, but Apple makes one of the best. It’s called Pages, and you can buy it at the App Store.

If you’re planning to use your iPad to write papers for school, you’ll probably want Pages. Not only does it offer the features you’re probably used to from using programs like Microsoft Word, it has some special ones, too. For instance, it comes with document templates that allow you to write your own text while using the template’s layout to create a cooler-looking paper. It can also help you drag and drop pictures, charts, and graphs. With Pages, you have the tools to create homework that really wows your teachers.

Creating a Basic Document

To create a basic document in Pages, such as a short paper, note, or story, start by tapping the Pages icon on your iPad’s home screen to open the app and then follow these steps:

  1. Tap +.
  2. Tap Create Document to open a new document.
  3. You see a selection of templates, pre-built documents designed for different uses (there are templates for letters, papers, reports, and much more). Tap the template you want to use to create your document. If you choose any template other than “Blank,” there will be some text and images in it already that show you how to use it; replace those with your own writing or pictures. For a plain document, tap Blank. From here you can immediately begin typing into the new document.

Formatting a Document

When you’ve begun writing a document, you’ll probably want to format your text—for instance, make it bigger or smaller or change the font. Formatting can be a lot of fun and a good way to make your papers more interesting and creative looking. Be careful, though: If you’re creating a paper for school, check with your teachers about what kind of formatting they like. Some teachers have very specific rules about that.

To format your documents, you need to select the text—which was already covered in the section “Copying and Pasting Text”—and then choose from the following options:

  • Font—Tap the font button to see a list of all your font choices (the preview shows what each font looks like). Tap the arrow next to the font name to see different versions of the font. Tap the one you want to use in your document.
  • Font Size—There are two options here: Tap the number button and then select a new font size, or tap the small A to make the font smaller and the large A to make it bigger. Tap the correct A until the font is the size you want.
  • Style—Choices are bold (the B button), italic (the I button), and underlined (the U button).
  • Alignment—This controls whether the text lines up on the left, right, or center of the page. Tap the button to make your choice. You can also choose Justify if you want the edges of the text to be even on both sides.

Advanced Formatting Options

When you get to be a pro with basic formatting, you might want to try some more advanced options. To access them, tap the Paintbrush button. The menu that appears offers several options spread across three tabs:

  • Style—The default tab is Style and contains basic formatting options as well as additional styles such as strikethrough (to make text look crossed out) and pre-made styles such as title, heading, and bullet.
  • List—The List tab contains the controls for making bulleted and numbered lists. The arrow buttons control what level of the list the selected text is on, and the buttons below control whether numbers or letters are used for each item in the list.
  • Layout—The Layout tab changes how many columns your document has and how much space appears between lines (important when your teachers want a double-spaced paper).

Adding Headers and Footers

You might want to add headers and footers to the documents you create. A header is a section at the top of the page. A footer is the same thing, but at the bottom of the page. Headers are commonly used for your name or the paper’s title, and footers often show page numbers. After you’ve set them up, they’re automatically added to each page.

  1. Open the document you want to add the header or footer to. It could either be a new document or one you’ve already been working on.
  2. Tap the wrench icon.
  3. Tap Document Setup.
  4. The paper goes into Setup mode. To add a header, tap the Tap to Edit Header button and then type in the text you want to have in the header. Automatically insert a page number on every page by tapping Page Numbers and choosing the format you prefer. When you’ve created the header you want, tap the page.
  5. To add a footer, tap the Tap to Edit Footer button and add the text or page number you want in the footer. When you’ve added what you want, tap the page.
  6. When you’ve added a header or footer, tap the Done button to go back to writing your document with the new header or footer in it.

Adding Images to a Document

One of the really cool things about Pages is that it’s easy to add images to make your document look extra good. To do that, start by tapping the document you want to add an image to and then follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Plus icon.
  2. The first time you do this, you have to tap OK to give Pages access to your photos (not pictured).
  3. To add a photo, tap Media from the menu.
  4. Tap Camera Roll (or if the photo is located elsewhere in your Photos app, choose that location). You can select any image already saved on your iPad.
  5. Tap the image you want and it is added to your document.

Formatting Images and Shapes

When you add an image or shape to your document, you can change how it looks by tweaking its size and location. To do that, first tap the image or shape and then follow these steps:

  • To change the size of the image or shape, tap and hold one of the blue dots at its edge. Drag in to make the image or shape smaller; drag out to make it larger. When it’s the right size, take your finger off the screen.
  • To change the place where the image or shape is located in your document, tap its center and drag the image or shape to a new location. The text flows around it.
  • To delete the image or shape, tap it and then tap Delete from the pop-up menu.

Formatting Tables

After you’ve inserted and selected a table, choose from these options:

  • Add or remove rows (the horizontal strips that make up part of the table) by tapping the rows button and then tapping the up or down arrow to choose the number of rows the table should have. Adding or removing columns (the vertical strips in the table) works the same way.
  • To move the table, tap and hold it, then drag the table to a new location. Let it go when the table is where you want it.
  • To delete the table, tap it and then tap Delete.

Naming a Document

The documents you create in Pages are automatically given a name based on the text in them. But you can also give them names you want so it’s easier to identify them from the main Pages screen.

  1. Find the document you want to rename and tap its current name underneath its icon.
  2. Type in a new name.
  3. Tap Done and the new name is saved.

Printing a Document

To print a document in Pages, you first have to tap the document you want to print to open it. Then follow these steps:

  1. Tap the wrench icon.
  2. Tap Share and Print.
  3. Tap Print.
  4. Tap Printer to select your printer. Remember, your iPad and printer both have to be on the same Wi-Fi network for AirPrint to work—and your printer has to be AirPrint compatible.
  5. Tap the + or – button to choose the number of copies you want to print.
  6. Tap the Print button to start printing.

Emailing a Document

If you want to email a document you’ve created in Pages (for instance, to send your homework to your teacher), start by tapping the document you want to email to open it. Then follow these steps:

  1. Tap the wrench icon.
  2. Tap Share and Print.
  3. Tap Email Document.
  4. Choose what format you want to send the document in: Pages, PDF, or Word. For school papers, ask your teachers what format they want before you send. Different teachers will want you to send different formats.
  5. A blank email will open with the paper attached to it. Fill out the email like you normally would and tap Send to send it.

Deleting Documents

If you want to delete a Pages document, you first have to open Pages by tapping it on your home screen. When you see the list of all your documents, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Edit.
  2. Tap the document you want to delete. Pages highlights it with a yellow border.
  3. Tap the trash can icon.
  4. Tap Delete Document. This erases the document—permanently—from your iPad and, if the document is synced using iCloud, from all other devices where it’s synced (so be sure you really want it gone).
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