Line and paragraph spacing in iWork Pages

When we begin to work on documents in Pages, it automatically applies a paragraph style that is part of the blank document template. The body style doesn’t have much formatting information apart from the font, font size, style and basic line spacing. We can adjust this paragraph style and the changes will be updated across our document.

In this example I have a document with two columns, text and graphics. We don’t need to have much content to update the body paragraph style. A few lines of text will do but it would be better if you have at least a couple of paragraphs.




We’ll select one word to get a visual for the changes we are going to make.


In the format panel we’ll change the font from 11 point to 13 point. We can change other font options too.


In the selected text, we can see the result of our changes.


To update the rest of the text we’ll need to update the body paragraph style. At the top of the format panel we have the paragraph style selector. There is an asterisk next to the body style to let us know that text that uses this style has been modified.


Click on the pull down menu and this will reveal the other available paragraph styles.


Go down to the body style but don’t click on the style. Move your mouse over to the right of the style where there is an arrow and click on the arrow.


An options menu for this style will open. Click the option to redefine from selection.


Looking back at our example, we see that all the text has updated to match our font change.


In this example we will be using block style paragraphs. Block style paragraphs need additional space between them. We’ll leave the text selected in our paragraph and head over to the format panel. In the format panel we have a spacing section.


This publication will be distributed electronically and will also be read electronically. The changes we need to make to this document will make it easier for readers using screens like monitors or tablets. The spacing between lines of text is set to 1.2. This increase in line spacing means we will need to increase the spacing between paragraphs. The spacing after paragraphs will be set to 13 points. The paragraph will update to give us visual feedback.


We will go back to the body paragraph style to update it with the changes.


The line spacing between text and between paragraphs is now at what we need it to be for our electronic document.

Using paragraph styles makes it very easy for us to update the formatting of our document and keep it consistent. Learn more about paragraph styles by reading my lessons on paragraph styles in Pages.

Posted in iWork, Pages.