Override Template Chooser default in Pages

Here’s a quick but handy timesaver if you’re using Pages 2, the word processing nee page layout program included in iWork ’06. As configured from Apple, Pages opens its Template Chooser every time you open a new document. At first, this is quite reassuring and lets you explore the multitude of available templates.

Over time, however, you’ll probably find there’s one template you use most of the time. You can set your preferred template to be used automatically when you open a new document via Pages’ Preferences, in the General section. Once you’ve set that preference, you’ll never see the Template Chooser again. Ah, but what to do when you do want it?

In previous versions of Pages, you did the Preferences switch—open Preferences, set the General pop-up to display the Template Chooser, close Preferences, then hit Command-N to create a new document. When done, open Preferences again and set your preferred template back as the default. Ugh.

In the new version of Pages, a hidden keyboard shortcut has made the process much simpler. And, like many of the best OS X features, it’s seemingly undocumented. Instead of mucking about with Preferences, just hold down the Option key prior to selecting File: New from the menus. Presto, instant Template Chooser! Unfortunately, you can’t further shortcut the process by using Command-Option-N; you have to use the File menu itself. And as noted, this only works in the new Pages 2. Users of the previous version are still stuck with the Preferences switcheroo.

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