Create ePub files in Pages

Learn how to use Pages to create digital books in the ePub format.

Choose your format

ePub is an open digital book (ebook) standard from the International Digital Publishing Forum. Pages lets you export your documents in ePub format. This means that you can read them with iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

iBooks supports both ePub and PDF file formats, and you can export your documents to both formats from Pages. You can't edit exported ePub or PDF files in Pages, so keep your original Pages document if you think you might need to make additional edits later. Use these guidelines to help you decide if you want to export your document to ePub, PDF, or both.

When to use ePub format

Use ePub format when text is the most important part of your document. Use it when you create a book, report, paper, thesis, or classroom reading material.

If you set a document to page layout format, you can’t export it in ePub format.

Supported features

ePub format includes:

  • Changes in text size, font, and orientation (rotating your device between landscape or portrait).
  • Videos embedded in a document. Video you add in Pages for Mac is converted into a compatible format for the iBooks Store when you export your ePub. Video you add in Pages for iOS that isn’t already in a compatible format is converted to a still image.
  • iBooks notes.

ePub documents can be offered for sale or download on the iBooks store.

Removed from ePub exports

Some content isn't supported by ePub format. These elements are removed from your document when you export to ePub:

  • Smart-fields
  • Master/Background objects
  • Headers and footers
  • Floating graphics are converted to inline graphics
  • Footnotes are converted to endnotes
  • Columns
  • Comments
  • Some image effects (like shadows)
  • Images greater than 3.2 megapixels


When to use PDF format

PDF format is a great choice when you create layout-based documents. These include brochures, flyers, and manuals that have lots of illustrations.

Supported features

Here are some of the benefits of using PDF format:

  • Preserves all content, formatting, and fonts as you intended – users can't change fonts or font sizes when viewing a PDF.
  • Documents are formatted as either portrait or landscape – PDF documents don't reflow when switching the orientation of your device.
  • PDF format is the only way to get Pages documents with floating graphics to iBooks.
  • PDF format is available for both word processing and page layout documents.

Unsupported features

Some content isn't supported by PDF format:

  • Readers can't change the document’s orientation when they rotate their device between landscape and portrait.
  • You can’t export video files into PDF format.
  • Readers can't add iBooks notes to PDF files.
  • Comments aren't available.

Prepare a document

You can export any Pages word processing document to ePub format for reading in an ePub reader, like iBooks for iOS or Mac. For best results, you should use paragraph styles and inline images when building your document to make sure it will work as an ePub. You can insert a table of contents that appears in the pages of your book as well as in the iBooks menu. If you don't insert a table of contents, one is automatically created based on the paragraph styles you used and only appears in the iBooks menu. 

Use the Digital Book (ePub) template

Pages for Mac v5.6 and later includes a "Digital Book (ePub)" template in the template chooser that can help you get started. If you're using Pages for iOS or Pages for iCloud you can download a similar sample document.

Use the template or sample document to learn more about how Pages documents might appear when exported to ePub format. After reading the guidelines and instructions within the document, you can use the document as a template to create your own document.

Pages for Mac

  1. Choose File > New.
  2. In the template chooser, click Miscellaneous.
  3. Select the "Digital Book (ePub)" template, then click Choose.

Pages for iOS and iCloud

  1. Download the sample document.
  2. Open the sample document in Pages and use it to create your book.

If you don't want to download the sample document each time you want to create a book, duplicate the file before you edit it. Use the new, duplicate copy to create your book.

Add a book cover

You can use the first page of your document as the book cover. If you select this option, a thumbnail image of the document’s first page appears as the icon for this book in your iBooks library. And, the contents of your book 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, your book uses the generic icon in your iBooks library.

You can select this option upon export of your book.

Use paragraph styles

Documents you export to ePub format can look different from your original Pages document. For the best consistency between your Pages document and ePub file, use paragraph styles and other formatting attributes allowed in an ePub file.

Learn about paragraph styles for Pages on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

Make images inline objects

For best results, reformat any images, shapes, or other objects in your document to make them inline objects.

  1. Select or insert an object.
  2. Open or tap the Format inspector.
  3. Click or tap Arrange.
  4. Choose or turn on Move with Text.
  5. Choose Inline with Text.

Use a table of contents

If you haven't inserted a table of contents into your Pages document before you export to ePub format, one will be automatically be generated based on the paragraph styles you use. iBooks users can view this table of contents by choosing View > Show Table of Contents on Mac, or tapping  on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

If you want a custom table of contents to appear in the text of your book instead, use the steps below to create it.

Create a custom table of contents with Pages for Mac

  1. From the Insert Menu, choose Table of Contents > Document. For each entry you want in your table of contents, make sure it has an appropriate paragraph style.
  2. With the table of contents selected, open the Format inspector. 
  3. In the Table of Contents pane, select all the paragraph styles that you want to appear in the table of contents. 
  4. Remove or add items by selecting or deselecting paragraph styles in the Table of Contents pane. 

Create a custom table of contents with Pages for iOS or Pages for iCloud

You can't create or edit a table of contents in Pages for iOS or Pages for iCloud. To change which styles appear in the table of contents, open your document in Pages for Mac and follow the Pages for Mac instructions above.


Chapters are automatically determined based on where chapter styles are used and a page break will be inserted. For example, in the ePub template, use the Chapter Name style to designate where your chapters should be split.

Text sizes

When you view your ePub file in iBooks, the book font is set to the font you selected in iBooks settings. Text sizes you specify in your Pages document are converted to small, medium, or large in your book. Readers can select the size they prefer while reading the book in iBooks. Colors in the book might not be identical to those in your Pages document.

Export your document to ePub format

If you've 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. 

Pages for Mac

  1. Open your document in Pages for Mac.
  2. Choose File > Export To > ePub.
  3. Type in the Title and Author.
  4. Select a Primary Category for your book.
  5. Click Advanced options, then choose a Language. You can also select the option to "Use the first page as the book cover image".
  6. Click Next.
  7. Enter a name for your ePub file, then click Export.
  8. After you export your file, add it to iBooks to view it.

Pages for iOS

  1. Open your document in Pages for iOS.
  2. Tap  .
  3. Tap Send a Copy.
  4. Choose ePub.
  5. Type the Title and Author.
  6. Choose a Genre and Language for your book. 
  7. If you want you want to use the first page as the book cover image, turn on Advanced > Book Cover Image. Tap Back.
  8. Tap Send to share your ePub.

Pages for iCloud

  1. Open your document in Pages for iCloud.
  2. Click , then choose "Send a Copy."
  3. Click ePub in the download window that appears.
  4. Type in the Title and Author.
  5. Choose a Genre and Language for your book. You can also select the option to "Use the first page as the book cover image".
  6. Click Next, then click Email to share your document.

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