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.

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.

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 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 and to be scaled and content repaginated according the 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 only available in Fixed Layout

These feature are only available in documents exported with Fixed Layout. 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 drawables
  • Master drawables
  • Text wrap around drawables
  • Floating drawables exported as floating, instead of converted to inline
  • Tab stops
  • Shadows / Reflections

Prepare a document

You can export any Pages page layout document to Fixed Layout, and any word processing document to Fixed Layout or Reflowable. 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

When you export your book, you can choose what type of book cover your want for your file. 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, 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

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. Choose the Cover style for your ePub. Learn more about covers.
  5. Choose your Layout style. Learn how to choose the best layout for your project. If your 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. Keep Embed Fonts checked if you want to make sure your document uses the fonts you chose. If you deselect Embed Fonts, and your chosen font defaults to the preferred front of the reader's application.
  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  .
  3. Tap Send a Copy.
  4. Choose ePub.
  5. Type the Title and Author.
  6. Tap the layout style you want to use. Learn how to choose the best layout for your project.
  7. Tap Advanced.
  8. Choose a Category and Language for your book. 
  9. Keep Embed Fonts checked if you want to make sure your document uses the fonts you chose. If you deselect Embed Fonts, and your chosen font defaults to the preferred front of the reader's application.
  10. 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.
  11. Tap Back.
  12. Tap Send to share your ePub.

Pages for iCloud

  1. Open your document in Pages for iCloud.
  2. Click , 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 your 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.

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