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The Visual QuickProject Guide that you hold in your hands offers a unique way to learn about new technologies. Instead of drowning you in theoretical possibilities and lengthy explanations, this Visual QuickProject Guide uses big, color illustrations coupled with clear, concise step-by-step instructions to show you how to complete one specific project in a matter of hours.

Our project in this book is to create collateral pieces - letterhead, a flyer, and a newsletter template – using Apple Pages. Our pieces are for an imaginary organization of neighborhood groups around an urban lake, the White Rock Organization of Neighborhood Groups (WRONG), but since the project covers all the basic techniques, you'll be able to use what you learn to create your own materials – perhaps for your own business, club, or professional association.

What You'll Create

As you work through this book you will create a letterhead template, a flyer, and a newsletter template.

In the process you'll learn to:

How this Book Works

The extra bits section at the end of some chapters contain additional tips and tricks that you might like to know – but that aren't absolutely necessary for finishing the current project.

The Web Site

You can find this book's companion site at http://www.peachpit.com/vqj/pages.

In the Asset Files section of the site, you'll find all of the files you need to complete the project in this book.

In the Completed Files section you'll find the files created in each chapter.

Explore Pages

Pages provides a simple but powerful design environment. There are four main areas of the interface – the document space, the toolbar, Inspector windows, and the application menu system.

The document space is enhanced with visual cues including layout guides that mark the sections of the page, formatting characters (Invisibles) that control text flow and placement, rulers with draggable margin controls, and context-sensitive alignment guides, and metrics pop-ups that appear as you move objects around the page.

The toolbar, found at the top of the document window, is a customizable control center that provides one-click access to many of Pages commands and controls. Depending on its definition, clicking an icon in the toolbar provides access to drop-down menus of commands, performs actions on the current selection, or launches additional windows or dialogs.

Inspector windows, with ten available control panes including document layout, text appearance, size and positioning of graphics, and much more, provide the ability to format most elements in your Pages document. Access a pane by clicking the corresponding button along the top of the window. You can have as many Inspector windows open at one time as you want or have room for.

While a number of the menu commands are reproduced in the toolbar and inspector windows, many powerful but less-used commands are found only in the application menu system. Most importantly, controls for dividing layouts and adding automatic content are found in the Insert menu and most of the controls used for creating templates are found in the Advanced sub-menu of the Format menu.

The Next Step

While this Visual QuickProject Guide gives you a good start on designing materials for an organization, there is much more that can be learned.

If you want to learn to create presentations using Keynote, the other application in the iWork suite, try Creating Keynote Presentations with iWork: Visual QuickProject Guide, by Tom Negrino. It features friendly, step-by-step instructions and large, full-color screen shots that guide you through the process of building all the components of a basic presentation.

If you want to hone your design skills to create more professional, organized, unified, and interesting documents try The Non-Designer's Design Book, by Robin Williams. This great book was written “for all the people who now need to design pages, but who have no background or formal training in design.”

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