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.

Supported features

ePub format includes:

  • Changes in text size, font, and orientation (rotating your device between landscape or portrait) for Reflowable layouts.
  • Videos embedded in a document. When you export your ePub, Pages for Mac converts videos into a format compatible with the iBooks Store. In Pages for iOS, if the videos aren't compatible, a placeholder image is used in place of the videos.

Unsupported features

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

  • Smart-fields
  • Footnotes are converted to endnotes
  • Comments
  • Some image effects (like shadows)
  • Images greater than 4 megapixels are resized to 4 megapixels

Layout styles

When you export your ePub, you have two choices for layout style:

  • If you want your content to accommodate different devices and orientations, choose Reflowable. Reflowable ePubs allow for the text size to be scaled and content repaginated according to the reader. Reflowable is best for documents that are mostly text.
  • If you want the layout of each page in your document to stay the same, regardless of the device or orientation, choose Fixed layout. Fixed layout allows users to zoom in and out, but text and content positions are fixed and won't reflow. Fixed layout is best for image-heavy or multi-column documents.

Features available in Fixed layout only

These features are available in documents exported with Fixed layout only. Documents that include these features can still be exported as Reflowable, but these layout features won't be exported.

  • Headers and footers
  • Multiple columns
  • Page size
  • Page orientation
  • Page number and page count fields
  • Line spacing
  • Hyphenation
  • Selectable text inside shapes
  • Overlapping text and objects (for example, overlapping text with an image or shape)
  • Master objects
  • Text wrap around objects
  • Floating objects exported as floating, instead of converted to inline
  • Tab stops
  • Shadows / Reflections
  • Linked text boxes

Prepare a document

In Pages, you can export any page layout document to Fixed layout, and any word-processing document to Fixed layout or Reflowable layout. You can insert a table of contents into your book. If you haven't inserted a table of contents, one will be automatically generated based on the paragraph styles you use. 

If you want to export as a Reflowable ePub, use a word-processing docuement with inline images for best results.

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

When you export your book, you can choose the type of cover you want for your book. The cover shows up in a user's iBooks library or as the icon on their computer.

If you choose "Choose an image", you can add a cover image from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. Your cover image can be PDF, EPS, JPG, PSD, PNG, TIFF, or GIF format, but must be under 4 megapixels.

If you choose "No book cover", your book uses the generic icon in your iBooks library.

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 with the Reflowable layout style, 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 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 by tapping TOC icon 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 the 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

Pages automatically creates chapter breaks based on paragraph styles. To get started, select the name of the first chapter in your book. Then, apply a title or heading paragraph style such as Title, Heading, Heading 2, Heading 3, or Heading Red. Each time you use this style, the content that follows becomes a new chapter in the ePub. If you use the ePub template, use the Chapter Name style to designate where your chapters should break. A page break will be inserted between chapters in a Reflowable ePub.

Text sizes

When you export your ePub file as Reflowable and view it 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. Choose the type of cover for your ePub. Learn more about covers.
  5. Choose your layout style. Learn how to choose the best layout for your project. If you're using a Page Layout document, you must export with Fixed layout.
  6. Under Advanced Options, select a Primary Category and a Language for your book.
  7. To make sure the fonts you chose for your document appear in the ePub, select Embed Fonts. If you deselect Embed Fonts, your chosen font defaults to the preferred font of the reader's application. Pages can embed OpenType (OTF) and TrueType (TTF) fonts.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Enter a name for your ePub file, then click Export.
  10. 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 More icon.
  3. Tap Export.
  4. Choose ePub.
  5. Type the Title and Author.
  6. Choose the type of cover for your ePub. Learn more about covers.
  7. Tap the layout style you want to use. Learn how to choose the best layout for your project.
  8. Tap Advanced.
  9. Choose a Category and Language for your book. 
  10. To make sure the fonts you chose for your document appear in the ePub, select Embed Fonts. If you deselect Embed Fonts, your chosen font defaults to the preferred font of the reader's application. Pages can embed OpenType (OTF) and TrueType (TTF) fonts.
  11. Keep iBooks Store Compatibility turned on if you want to convert movies that aren't compatible with iBooks Store to images. If you turn off iBooks Store Compatibility, the movie might not be playable in the reader's application.
  12. Tap Back.
  13. Tap Send to share your ePub.

Pages for iCloud

  1. Open your document in Pages for iCloud.
  2. Click Wrench icon, then choose "Download a Copy."
  3. Click ePub in the download window that appears.
  4. Type in the Title and Author.
  5. Choose the Cover style for your ePub. Learn more about covers.
  6. Choose your layout style. Learn how to choose the best layout for your project. If you're using a Page Layout document, you must export with Fixed layout.
  7. In Advanced, choose a Category and Language for your book.
  8. Click Download.

Sell your ePub on iBooks

You can make your ePub book available on iBooks for free or for sale

  1. Make sure you have an iTunes Connect account for iBooks.
  2. Sign in to iTunes Producer.
  3. Enter the book’s metadata, rights, and pricing information, then add your ePub to the Files pane.
  4. Save the changes and click Submit.

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