Creating ePub files with Pages

Learn how to create ePub files with Pages.

ePub is an open ebook standard produced by the International Digital Publishing Forum. Pages ’09 lets you export your documents in ePub format for reading with iBooks on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iBooks supports both ePub and PDF file formats, and you can export both from Pages.

When to use ePub or PDF

  • Use ePub when text is the most important part of your document, for example when you create a book, a report, a paper, a thesis, or classroom reading material.
  • More details on using ePub

    • Optimized for iBooks features such as changes in text size, font, and orientation (rotating your device between landscape or portrait).
    • Support for video embedded in a document.
    • Support for iBooks notes.
    • Navigation using an automatically generated Table of Contents.
    • Note that some content is not supported by the ePub file format standard and will be removed from your document when exporting to ePub:
      • Smart-fields.
      • Master/Background objects.
      • Headers and footers.
      • Floating graphics.
      • Footnotes (converted to endnotes).
      • Columns.
      • Comments.
      • Some image effects such as shadows.
      • Images beyond the 11MB of un-encoded image data allocation per chapter.
    • Only available for Pages word processing documents.
  • Use PDF when layout is the most important part of your document, for example when you create a brochure, a flyer, or a manual with multiple illustrations.
  • More details on using PDF

    • Preserves all content, formatting, and fonts as you intended.
    • Documents are formatted as either portrait or landscape and do not change.
    • PDF does not reflow when switching the orientation of your device.
    • Users can not change fonts or font size.
    • Available for either Pages word processing or Page Layout documents.
    • The only way to get Pages documents with floating graphics to iBooks.
    • No support for video.
    • No support for iBooks notes.


Creating an ePub Document to Read in iBooks

You can export any Pages word processing document to the ePub file format for reading in an ePub reader, such as the iBooks application on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Documents created in page layout templates can’t be exported to the ePub format.

Documents exported to ePub format will look different than their Pages counterparts. If you want to get the best document fidelity between the Pages and ePub formats, style your Pages document with paragraph styles and other formatting attributes allowed in an ePub file. A sample document is provided on the Apple Support site that features styles and guidelines to help you create a Pages document that’s optimized for export to the ePub file format, which you can use as a template or a guide. To learn more about using paragraph styles in Pages, see the topics under the heading “Working with Styles” in the Pages built-in help.

To read your ePub document in iBooks on your mobile device, you must transfer the ePub file that you create onto your device.

To use the “ePub Best Practices” sample document

To learn more about using the ePub format and get a better feel for how a Pages document might appear as a book in iBooks, it’s a good idea to download the “ePub Best Practices” sample document. After reading the guidelines and instructions within the document, you can use it as a template to create your own document. You can also import the styles from the sample document into a new document you create. 

  1. Download the “ePub Best Practices” sample document at the following web address:
  2. Do either of the following:

    Use the sample document as a template.

    1. Create a copy of the sample document file.
    2. Delete the contents of the sample document copy and type in (or paste in) your own content. 
    3. Apply paragraph styles as described in the “ePub Best Practices” sample document.

    Import the paragraph styles from the sample document into a new or existing Pages document.

    1. Open the Pages document to which you want to import the styles.
    2. From the Format menu, choose Import Styles.
    3. Locate and select the ePub Best Practices sample document and then click Open. 
    4. Click Select All.
    5. Enable the checkbox “Replace duplicates” and then click OK.
    6. Review your document to be certain that each paragraph style from the sample document is appropriately applied to all blocks of text in your document, and correct any misapplications of the styles.
  3. Export the document you create to ePub format to see how it looks in iBooks.


Preparing an existing Pages document for export to ePub format

Documents exported to the ePub format automatically appear with page breaks before every chapter. A table of contents is automatically generated, which allows readers to jump quickly to any chapter title, heading, or subheading in the book. In order to create a meaningful table of contents, it’s important to apply appropriate styles within your document. The ePub reader uses the paragraph styles to determine which items should appear in the table of contents for your book.

Note: The Pages document must have been created using a word processing template. 

Review your document to be certain that appropriate paragraph styles are applied to all chapters, titles, headings, and subheadings in your document.

If you want additional items to appear in the table of contents generated by the ePub file, make sure they are also styled with the correct paragraph style. Then open the Document inspector and click TOC (table of contents). Select all of the paragraph styles that you want to appear in the TOC, and then click Update. For more information about creating a table of contents, see “Creating and Updating a Table of Contents” in the Pages Help.

Generate a table of contents in the current document, to verify that it lists only what you expect it to (for example, chapter titles, headings, and subheadings). Correct any issues by selecting or deselecting paragraph styles in the TOC view of the Document inspector (as described above).

Reformat any images, shapes, or other objects in your document to make them inline objects. To learn about inline objects, see “What Are Floating and Inline Objects?” in the Pages Help.


Exporting your document to ePub format

If you have tracked changes in the document you want to export, accept or reject any changes and stop tracking changes before you export. Tracked changes are automatically accepted if no specific action is taken. (See “Accepting and Rejecting Changes” in the Pages Help).

  1. Choose Share > Export.
  2. Select “ePub” from the options shown at the top of the Export window.
  3. Fill out the following fields:
  4. Title: Type the name of the book.

    Author: Type the author’s name.

    Genre: Select a genre for the book from the pop-up menu, or type a new genre into the Genre field.

  5. Select the checkbox “Use first page as book cover image” if you want to use a thumbnail image of the document’s first page as the icon for this book in your iBooks library. If you select this option, the book’s content will start from the document’s second page. The cover image is also visible opposite the book’s table of contents. If you leave this checkbox deselected, the book uses the generic icon in your iBooks library.

    You won’t be able to open the ePub file in Pages. The file can only be opened as a book in an ePub reader. In iBooks, the book font is set to the font you choose from within the iBooks application. All the text sizes in the book are displayed only as small, medium, or large, and you can select which size within iBooks. Colors in the book may not be identical to those in its Pages counterpart.


Transferring your ePub document to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Make sure you’ve downloaded the iBooks application from the App Store onto your device. 
  2. Connect your device to your computer, and then open iTunes on your computer. 
  3. Drag the ePub file to Books, listed on the left side of the iTunes window, under Library. 
  4. Sync your device with iTunes.

    For information about connecting your mobile device to your computer, syncing it with iTunes, and using the iBooks app, see the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch documentation.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Dec 5, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Dec 5, 2013
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