Pages templates

Question for any Pages users out there: I want to move text from Ulysses to Pages. I do this by opening the export into another app from Ulysses and selecting Pages. This, unfortunately results in a pages document with some of the fugliest styles I can possibly imagine.

I have a beautiful template with all the styles I like that I created in Pages, but I cannot apply the template to an existing document, which is what the exported Ulysses file is.

I could do a copy-paste into the Pages template, but then I need to literally go though paragraph by paragraph and apply the styles, and that’s tedious in a document with 150K words. To make matters worse, even if I do apply a style to a paragraph, character styles like italics do not carry over, so after I apply the style to the paragraph, I then need to apply the character style to each and every word I want to have that style.

The whole thing feels like it should have an easier way of doing it.

Does anyone have any helpful hints?

Hi Machei
When trying to clean messy styles from one text format into another i generally paste the txt into BB Edit which effectively loses the styles. Open the (e.g.) pages or MSWord document with the right formatting ready, and paste the BB edited text into it.
This may not solve your problem, but it works for me. Yhe paste command you use is not CTRL-V but the one which pastes without any formatting. CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-V? (I am not at my mac at the moment so cannot be more precise)

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Yeah, Pages is pretty terrible with styles - they aren’t exposed in the AppleScript dictionary at all, too, so there’s not really a way to roll your own solution. I had the same problem a few months ago and gave up. And I’m not really fond of messing around in the CSS-based styling that Ulysses uses.

In contrast, Nisus Writer Pro has a style library and macros to convert Markdown to RTF with named styles. So you can either export from Ulysses as Markdown and do the conversion in Nisus, or export as Word and open in Nisus, and then in Nisus, import the styles from your template in the style library.

Or you can use Word and the Organizer but it’s rather more convoluted.

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Wow, this does seem very complicated, given it feels like it should be an easy thing. Ulysses tags everything with the usual “H1”, “H2” etc tags, so it should be trivial to call up Pages and have the appropriate style at the ready based on paragraph style type.

Thank you to you both for responding. I get that I can strip the styles and clean it up, but that then still leaves me the task of re-designating all styles manually, and worse removes the character styles so I wouldn’t even know which words to work with.

Seems perhaps Nisus could be a solution, although I wonder if by the time I’ve figured out that walk in the park if I would have simply done my work manually applying the styles. Alas.

This is the frustrating thing about desktop processing–apps don’t play nice together, and never have. I like the environment Ulysses has for writing, but the publish out, unless you’re doing straight to HTML is sorta crappy, and definitely not user-friendly by way of tweakability. It feels like the only solution is to write in Pages in the first place, which defeats the purpose of a raw text editor that can easily house and store all my text-based work.

Maybe someday they’ll figure it out.

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Just as an FYI for anyone who discovers this thread, I have been playing, and found a slightly better workaround:

Select the text I want in Ulysses, export and select Text > Rich Text and then copy that text and paste it into the existing Pages template. This results in similar (although slightly less offensive) styles, but then you can go through paragraph by paragraph and apply the styles and it will do that and (importantly) maintain the character styling as well, which saves one large pain point.

The other little pro-tip (if you can call it that) is to assign the available “F” keys as shortcuts to the style. Then you can just place the cursor anywhere in the paragraph, hit the appropriate function key, and you apply the style. It’s much faster than selecting everything via mouse and drop-downs.

I’ll keep playing. If I find anything else, I will update.

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As a user of both Ulysses and Pages–this is very helpful! May I ask how you assign an F key to a style in Pages? I did not realize you could do that.


Open the styles pane and click the drop down to list your styles. When you hover the mouse over one, a chevron arrow appears at the right of the style entry:


Clicking that chevron opens up a context menu. One of the options is Shortcut. Hovering over that pulls up a sub context menu where you can assign a function key to the style.


Apple sorta cheaped out, only giving you function keys 1 through 8 as an option, but I imagine even if your document uses more than eight styles, the most used ones will come in under that number for easy application. Maybe a future version of Pages will go all the way to F12, or better still, allow you to assign as many user-selected keys to as many styles as you like.




Thanks, much appreciated!

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