How to Use Linked Text Boxes in Pages 7

(Michael E. Cohen) #1

Originally published at:

Linked text boxes disappeared from Apple’s Pages in 2013, but after years of wandering in the wilderness, the powerful layout feature has returned better than ever.

(Scribblings) #2

It’s great to see this feature back again. A much loved feature of ClarisWorks from ~20 years ago -:slight_smile:

(got-art) #3

Whatever, it is still the most ignorant word processing software. I can open a document in Word I made in 2007 with office 2016- with Pages no way. I have to update to a more recent version. That’s not just cloudy it’s ridiculous and nobody I know who uses a Mac uses Pages. If they would have made it backwards compatible then it would be a viable software. But as we know Apple only does things (basic word) to their convenience on many levels.

(Michael E. Cohen) #4

I just dug up an old Word .doc file of mine that was last modified in 2004 and had no problem opening it with Pages 7. I can also open files made with Pages 4 in Pages 7. The rumors of Pages’ lack of backward compatibility may be exaggerated.

(Dennis Swaney) #5

got-art, can Office 2016 open up a ClarisWorks/AppleWorks document from 2005? Pages can.

(got-art) #6

Very true Dennis -But LibreOffice a free software can also do it.

(got-art) #7

Pages 3.0.3 will not open documents created with later Pages. That’s a problem.

(Tommy Weir) #8

I use Nisus Writer Pro for all my long form documents but for my everyday word processing, from quick letters to proposal documents, I use Pages. It’s a delight. The linked text boxes was the last feature I’d been waiting on.

(Norman Cohen) #9

Hi Michael,

Does Pages support automatically updating the page that the next linked text box is on? For example, at the end of the linked text box, can you get Pages to update something like “continued on page x” or alternatively can you create an internal link that can be clicked to go to the next text box in the chain?


(Michael E. Cohen) #10

No. You have to add those “continued on page x” by hand. Pages 7 only allows internal bookmark links to the main body text, not to text in text boxes. However, while you are editing, it is easy to traverse the linked boxes: set your insertion point on the top/bottom line of one box, and then arrow up/down to get to the previous/next box.

(Bette Piacente) #11

Having used Pages since v. 1, I can say that Pages 7, is my favorite! We used to use InDesign, and before that, PageMaker, for our many insurance forms. Talk about overkill! When I discovered that Pages could handle our form design, I was thrilled and happily dropped the Adobe apps. Then came 2013 and despair. I found workarounds for the text box threading, but was not thrilled with it. When Pages 7 arrived, sighs of relief were heard around the office.

We avoid Word like the plague as it is bloated and staff just do not have the time it takes to learn all the ins and outs. Plus, Microsoft likes to make too many assumptions and frustrates casual users.

I do wish Apple had not taken 5 years to implement their current tool set, but in my estimation, it was well worth the wait.

Thank you for the quick and informative tutorial on linked text boxes. I am sharing with staff to make my life easier!

(Tommy Weir) #12

Agreed. It’s practically a competent desktop publisher at this point. Albeit one without the ability to spec bleed area or master pages with master guides and grid… but very handy for general layout work.

(Michael E. Cohen) #13

True, Pages 7 does not have master pages that include master guides and grids, but it does at least offer master pages for layout documents. Use the command Format > Advanced > Create Master from Current Page.

(Tommy Weir) #14

It does indeed and I do use that but would dearly love guides on master pages.

(Michael E. Cohen) #15

You are absolutely right, and I would like to see that feature added as well. It may not do any good, but it wouldn’t hurt to send Apple that feature request if you haven’t already done so:

(Adam Engst) #16

Probably not for hardly anyone, and for someone who it is a problem for, there are plenty of interchange formats like RTF.

It is entirely reasonable for a company to update a file format such that a very old version of an app cannot open a file created by a much newer version. Otherwise it would be impossible to add new features or take advantage of new technologies that weren’t even dreamed of when the original app came out.

(Jack Clay) #17

Speaking of opening old files… Does anyone know a program that can open ClarisWorks/AppleWorks files from way back? I’m looking at 1980’s/90’s AW/CW files created on an Apple IIgs. Yes, I still have them floating around. (Some are Pascal related documents!!)



(Alan Forkosh) #18

Can’t say for sure but try Libre Office. I’ve been able to open my most ancient MacWrite and WriteNow files using it. It’s my Swiss Army Knife for opening miscellaneous files with text.

(Dennis Swaney) #19

Jack, the “AppleWorks GS” was a rebranded product called “GSWorks” that Apple bought from an outside company. I don’t know if it saved files in the standard Apple II AW format or not. I know that LibreOffice can open ClarisWorks/AppleWorks files that have the .cwk extension.

IIRC, the early Mac versions of CW opened Apple II AW files that you then saved as a Mac file with the .cwk extension; don’t know if CW 6 retained that translator or not.


Maybe for newsletters or ring bound publications, I don’t think it has auto pagination, and probably doesn’t have color controls or the ability to finely control typography and graphics. And in InDesign, you can click on an image and it will open in Photoshop or Illustrator, and you can work on it in there. In my experience, though Word, Pages and MS Publisher could convert to PDF, the files would not be near the quality of InDesign or Quark and would never render properly on an imagesetter. It probably still has a long way to go.

A question…can Pages convert to ePUB and the other ebook formats? HTML?