Feb 26

Here’s how to change the default font, size, colour etc of a new Pages document in Pages 4, so that every new document will have the style you want. 

  1. Open a New document
  2. Select some text in the document
  3. Change the font and color to what you want
  4. Go to View: Show Styles Drawer
  5. Click on the red arrow next to “Body” and & select “Redefine Style from Selection”
  6. Delete all the text that you typed. Otherwise that text appears every time you open a new document.
  7. Go to File: “Save As Template…” and Save the document as a name that is clear e.g. “100 black”
  8. Go to Pages: Preferences
  9. Under the General tab click the “Use template” for new Documents.
  10. Select ‘”Templates” and select the template you just saved.


Choose your own page template for new documents.

It will now use that template for new pages documents.

The Styles drawer has disappeared in Pages 5 but the steps from 6 on are the same. In Page 5 you need to press the ‘Format’ icon to open the format pane, instead of “View: Show Styles Drawer”. I’ll do updated instructions soon.

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27 Responses to “How to change the default font style in Pages”

  1. John says:

    Fab walkthrough!

    It worked fab for me!
    Just ONE problem:


    otherwise, great walkthrough

  2. Chris says:

    Whilst what you say will work it does not get over the problem of being able to change the default font. If you want to open another text box within the saved new template it will revert back to the original default font. Very annoying!

    Does anyone know if it is possible to change it permanently as you can do with windows etc.

  3. Ross says:

    You don’t need to enter any text before selecting the default font/size you want.

  4. Marg says:

    That worked for me for body text but doesn’t change table contents though – any ideas there?

  5. Lana says:

    Thank you for this.

  6. Greg says:

    Thank you for this…unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I have iWork ’08, Maybe that’s why… Why do they design it this way anyway?

  7. Michelle says:

    Brilliant. Worked perfectly- thank you very much.

  8. Ralph Z. Hallow says:

    Once again, with another new MacBook Air and a lost Microsft Word key, i find Pages an infuriatingly complicated and not very useful word processing program, woefully behind Microsoft Word in ease and utility for someone who writes for a living. Now I have to buy the whole Microsoft soft Office for Mac to get a word cruncher that’s truly useful.
    I keep buying MacBooks instead of going bak to PCs only because the Mac has apparent immunity to viruses and other contaminants.

  9. Kurt says:

    Come on Apple.. This is driving me crazy… Why not just add an option in Pages Prefs to start Pages everytime with Font XXX and Size XXX?
    This is REALLY silly!!!

    • dani says:

      Actually, just click on “Update” (it’s in blue) next to where it says “Body” under “Text” (when you open the “Format” side bar on the right, with the brush icon). That sets your font for all “Body” text to what you selected, and you can update that as many times as you want.

  10. Grandma says:

    “Why not just add an option in Pages Prefs to start Pages everytime with Font XXX and Size XXX?”

    You mean, like Appleworks did? Right now I’m finishing up converting all my 16 years’ worth of Appleworks documents into iWork or jpg versions so I can upgrade my OS. I LIKE Appleworks. But I can’t upgrade past Snow Leopard because if I do, Appleworks will be broken. I would think it would be simple to set a default font for all new documents in Pages, but what do I know?

  11. Graham says:

    set your text box as you wish, then “Format / Advanced / Set as Default Text Box Appearance”
    when you next create a text box it will have your preferred font and size.

  12. Victor Ostrower says:

    Agree with comments that this is an agonizingly labor responsive system.
    Should be able to select simple default formats and then just change when necessary.
    Should have a save and also a save as buttons on the bar above and not have to go to file.
    Apple keyboards should add a delete key to allow one key forward delete.
    Come on!

    • Wayne says:

      Agreed! This is a long workaround for something that should be built in. In fact I seem to remember that back in the ‘ClarisWorks’ days (1990’s) you could change the default font! 25 years later we’ve gone backwards.

  13. Larry says:

    Maybe this has been addressed, but still confused. I sometimes create documents in Pages on my MacBook Air with fonts I have downloaded. When I try to open the documents on my iPad, the fonts are changed to the basic fonts. None of my Mac downloaded fonts are shone. Very frustrating when I am creating a document on one devise and fine tuning it on another. Is ther a way to have all my fonts on both devises?

  14. george schroder says:

    anybody know the best way to communicate to Apple that they’re complicating themselves out of business? In the old days (just a few years ago) you could set all formatting in any word processor from its preferences tab. What happened? Does Open Office work?

  15. bruce says:

    The instructions don’t work. Menu bar selection View: does not provide access to a “style drawer,” and the style pane does not have the red arrow.

    Bad instructions.

  16. Rita says:

    there is no Styles Drawer in the version of pages I have ???

  17. Nora Steele says:

    Thank you, these weren’t quite the same for my macbook air but close enough to figure it out!!! Awesome!

  18. Annoyed >( says:

    I agree!! They need to change this- doesn’t suit apple to continue this way!

  19. sophie says:


    This does not exist under Pages -> View in osx 10.11

  20. Maggie F. says:

    For years I have published newsletters with my old Mac and Pagemaker app. So simple, so easy, so user-friendly. Since I finally upgraded to the newest iMac, I’m having a miserable time dealing with Pages. Complicated, confusing, seems like it takes 3 steps for things that used to take 1 step. “Help” is no help at all and I am constantly on the phone to AppleCare. Even the techs don’t know half the answers to my questions! I long for the days when Mac was truly THE user-friendly computer. And I confess I have kept my trusty G4 to use when I just can’t deal with Pages anymore.

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