Create and open a document

Every Pages document begins with a template, a predesigned layout that includes placeholder text, images, and other elements with specific styles—colors, borders, shadows, and so on—applied to them. Placeholder elements give you an idea of what a document created with the template might look like when you use its text and object styles. After you choose a template, you can replace the placeholder elements with your own content, including text, photos, shapes, and more, then modify their styles however you like.

Templates are designed for either word processing (documents that are mainly text, like a letter or report) or page layout (documents with graphic elements, like a flyer or poster).

You can also use Pages to open and edit Microsoft Word documents (docx), and export a Pages document to another format, such as Word, PDF, and ePub.

Create a new document

  1. Open Pages, then click New Document at the bottom of the Pages—Documents dialog.

    If you don’t see the Pages—Documents dialog, choose File > New (from the File menu at the top of your computer screen).

  2. Double-click a template to open it.

    To view templates organized by document type, click a category on the left.

  3. When the new document opens, do one of the following:

    • For a blank template: Begin typing.

    • For a template with placeholder text and images: Click placeholder text, then type your own. Click Media button on images to replace placeholder images with your own.

      Tip: To undo your recent changes, Choose Edit > Undo or Edit > Redo (from the Edit menu at the top of your computer screen).

      Placeholder text and images.
  4. When you’re ready to close the document, click the close button in the upper-left corner of the window, then type a name and choose a location for your document.

    If iCloud is set up on your Mac, Pages saves to iCloud by default, but you can save it to your Mac instead. You can change the document’s location at any time.

Open an existing document

You can open Pages documents saved on your Mac or in iCloud.

Do any of the following:

  • Double-click a Pages document on your Mac.

  • Choose File > Open Recent (from the File menu at the top of your computer screen), then choose the document. Pages shows the last ten documents you opened.

  • Drag a document onto the Pages icon in the Dock or in the Applications folder.

  • Choose File > Open, click iCloud or On My Mac, then double-click the document.

    You can use the buttons at the bottom of the window to switch between thumbnail and list view. If a document is dimmed and can’t be selected, it can’t be opened by Pages.

    The Open window with Pages documents listed.

Documents saved to iCloud aren’t stored on your computer. For more information about using iCloud, see Use iCloud with Pages.

Always create new documents from a specific template

You can set a preference in Pages to always open a new document in a particular template instead of from the template chooser.

  1. In Pages, choose Pages > Preferences (from the Pages menu at the top of your computer screen).

  2. Click General, then select the “Use template” radio button.

    The first time you set this preference, the Blank template is selected. If you changed this setting before, the last template you chose is selected.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Close the preferences window to use the currently selected template.

    • Click Change Template, choose a template, click Choose, then close the preferences window.

Even when this preference is set, you can still choose a different template for a new document. Hold down the Option key, then choose File > New From Template Chooser (from the File menu at the top of the computer screen).

After you choose a template and begin to edit it, you can’t choose a different template for the document. If you decide not to use the template you opened, close the template (if you made any changes to it, click Delete in the dialog), then open another one.

If you start with one type of template and then change your mind, you can convert the template from one type to the other.