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How to reveal hidden search options in Pages

They’re a little tucked away, but they can help you find individual words or whole documents

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One of Pages’ greatest advantages is the way it syncs your documents between Mac and iOS, but if you have a lot of them then they become difficult to manage. It’s even more apparent on iPad because you can only fit eight thumbnails on the document chooser screen, and when you start accumulating dozens of letters, reports, essays and articles then swiping through them is a chore.

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Luckily, the last update to Pages introduced a document search feature. Pair this with the Find and Replace feature that enables you to search for individual words and automatically change them if necessary, and you can get to the exact sentence you need in seconds. We’ve detailed exactly how it works over the following tutorial.

Step-by-step: Search for words and documents

 

1 Pull down for search

Launch the Pages app and then, while on the main document chooser, pull down on the screen to reveal a search bar, just like Spotlight on your main home screen.

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2 Order your documents

Tap the Date and Name fields beside the search bar to see your documents ordered either chronologically or alphabetically. Title your documents to take advantage of the Name filter.

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3 Search document names

If you have lots of documents saved to iCloud, it’s quicker to use the search bar. Input a term and hits will appear as you type. This only searches for document names, though.

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4 Search inside documents

To search within your documents, open one up and then tap the Tools icon at the top-right (the wrench). Tap Find, at the top of the list, and then type in a word.

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5 Edit found words

One you’ve inputted a word, its first occurrence in the document will be highlighted in yellow (others are in white). You can manually edit that word using your keyboard, which will pop up.

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6 Browse found words

To find the next occurrence of the word, or to go back to the previous one, use the orange arrow keys to the right of the search field to navigate through your search hits.

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7 Replace words

Tap the settings icon to the left of the search field and then Find and Replace to add a Replace field. Type a word into it and tap Replace to change highlighted occurrences.

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8 Get exact matches

Enable Match Case through the search settings menu to make your search stricter – you’ll only have hits if exactly the same lower and upper case characters are used.

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9 Stop partial hits

Enable Whole Words to make sure that you don’t get hits for words that are part of larger ones – for example, getting ‘photography’ when you’re trying to search for ‘photo’.

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In-depth: Manage documents

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