Pages and merged business cards

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Reader Maarten Jan Heesen would like to create a new business card. He writes:

I have a question about Pages. Is it also possible to create business card templates with the program?

Yes, but to make the most of Pages’ power, you’ll want to do more than simply draw some lines on a page and enter the same text and graphics into each card.

In Pages you’ll find the very useful Merge tab within the Links portion of Page’s Inspector. To make good use of it in a business card template, create fields for first and last name, job title, company name, work address, and work phone, fax, and email. Enter dummy text in each of these fields and, as you do, select the text, move to the Merge pane, enable the Enable as an Address Book Field option, and, from the pop-up menus below, tell Pages what kind of field is highlighted—Type is Name and Field is First, for example. Make sure the Recipient File option is enabled.

When you have things arranged to your satisfaction, open Address Book, select a contact that you’d like to create a business card for, and drag it into one of the fields. In a flash, the fields will be filled in with the corresponding Address Book data.

To tart up that business card a bit more, create a graphics box, select it, access the Inspector’s Metrics pane, and enable the Constrain Proportions option. Drag your business’ logo or the picture from your Address Book card into this box.

Duplicate the cards to create multiple copies on the page. If later you wish to update the information on the cards, just drag an Address Book contact into any of the fields and all of them will update with the appropriate information. (Regrettably, there’s currently no way to merge the pictures that appear in Address Book so you’ll have to add a graphic file to each card individually.)

If you’d prefer that someone do the work for you, visit iWork Community, which offers just under 100 free Pages templates (including some for creating business cards).

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