Create a Beautiful Recipe Book with iWork Pages

Still hunting for that unique gift idea for your friends and family this season?
Why not create a custom recipe book with iWork Pages and print it through MagCloud?

If you are Mac user looking to do some basic design without spending a ton, check out Pages, (Apple’s design tool that comes in their iWork productivity suite–and retails for just $79 at

*PC users: check out yesterday’s post about using a Microsoft Word template, or Tuesday’s post about using InDesign to create your own recipe book!

But enough of that… let’s get started!

Open a New File
You can DOWNLOAD the template I use in my demo here, the Pages 2008 version here,
or if you are feeling inspired, design your own from scratch!


Deciding on a layout:
To save yourself a lot of time and effort, do some extra planning ahead.  You’ll want to determine how many pages your recipe book is going to be,  and the order of the recipes before you start entering your content.

This is because the pages are specifically designed for right and left pages, and changing the order will be difficult after you have assigned content to a left or right page. The template has 15 built-in designs to use, so that every page doesn’t have to look identical. Though that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. In my sample recipe book, you’ll notice that I modified the template for a very clean result.

The whole idea is to play around with the template so that it fits your own personal style.

Changing Fonts and Colors:
Nothing transforms a print project more than changing up the fonts. Whether you want to go with a traditional serif font, or a contemporary sans serif font, or even a whimsical handwritten font, you can easily change this template to your preferences.

To adjust the paragraph styles, you’ll first want to expose the “Font Window” by selecting the “A” icon in the Toolbar (If for some reason you don’t see the toolbar at the top of your application frame, then Select VIEW >> Show Toolbar, then select the “A” icon)

You’ll also need your “Styles Drawer” handy, which you can expose by going to VIEW >> “Show Styles Drawer” (or with  “SHIFT + cmnd + T”)

Now that you have your tools handy, it’s time to make some changes. You can repeat the following steps for each font style that you wish to modify:

1. Select a block of text that you wish to change

2. Make desired changes to font, size, weight and color using the “Font Window.” As you make selections, you should see the font change on the page.

3. Select the block of text again–notice how it highlights the selected style in the “Styles Drawer.”

4. Update your paragraph style sheet so that all of the subsequent uses of this style reflect the style changes. You can do this by either “right-clicking” or “ctrl+ click” on the name of the font style in your “Styles Drawer”, then select “Redefine Style from Selection.”

Adding your own photos:
Swapping in your own photos is almost as easy as “drag and drop.”

Simply select the photo you want to replace by clicking on the image once. Then, with the “Media Browser” open (VIEW >> Show Media Browser), locate the photo you would like to replace it with and just drag it over the original image. It should pop right into place.

To adjust the framing of the image, or the image size, double-click on the image to toggle between the size adjustment and the mask adjustment.

(Tip: If you are inserting a new image that doesn’t already have a mask, you can create a mask on any image by going to FORMAT >> “Mask with Shape.”)

Save your file as a “Template” for future uses

If you plan to create another recipe book, or like the style of the template and want to use it for another type of document, be sure to save your file as a template. It’s easy to do, just select “File> Save as Template.” This puts a copy of your file into the Pages Template Chooser so you can find it easily next time you launch the application.

Tip: Because your using a template to create your recipe book, and have the power of HP MagCloud’s digital printing, there’s no reason you can’t personalize each copy… Perhaps change the cover image for friends vs. family… Or create a recipe book for a school fundraiser, or one for your colleagues at work… it’s up to you!

You’re done designing? Yay!
This part couldn’t be easier! Simply select “FILE>> Export.”
Leave the default settings for PDF (image quality = BEST) and save your file.


Apple’s Pages ’09 site

Apple Store: iWork $79

26 thoughts on “Create a Beautiful Recipe Book with iWork Pages

  1. Kevin Cullis 25 Dec 2010 / 2:13 PM

    I just finished publishing my first book, How to Start a Business: Mac Version using Pages Now that I know about Magcloud, I can use it to now make a magazine. Totally sweet!! Thanks

  2. Rachel Adams 18 Jan 2011 / 6:53 AM

    Is there any way you can save this template file to be compatible with Pages ’08 (v. 3.0.3)? I am just beginning to create an updated family recipe book, and would love some guidance from a template or two! Was really bummed to discover that your download won’t work with my version of iWork…

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

    • Lauren 19 Jan 2011 / 10:50 AM

      Hi Rachel,

      I swapped out the template for an earlier version, so you should be able to use it now. Enjoy!


    • judy palmer 5 Feb 2013 / 4:32 PM

      Lauren, I downloaded the template, but wonder if the table of contents with page numbers is automatically configured? Judy

      • Lauren 5 Feb 2013 / 6:32 PM

        Hi Judy,
        Unfortunately we didn’t leverage Apple’s TOC tool for this template because it would have required further explanation for those less-familiar with the software. You definitely can use the tool to create your own though. I’ve seen some great how-to videos online such as this one which can help you use a style to create a custom and automatically changing TOC.
        I hope that helps!

  3. mary 28 Feb 2011 / 2:45 PM

    Once I have completed the cookbook pdf file where is the best place to get the cookbook printed with a plastic spiral type binding?


  4. Miriam Griggs 23 Sep 2011 / 4:31 PM

    I am creating a recipe book from your template. I printed the first 25 pages to see how it is going to look. Although the pages appear to be filled in the the page thumbnails, when I printed on 8-1/2″x11″ paper, the pages are only about 3/4 filled. I don’t know what to change. Can you help me? Thanks, Miriam

    • Patty 17 Oct 2011 / 1:04 PM

      Miriam please send an email to our support team who would be happy to help.

  5. Sofi 7 Nov 2011 / 3:54 PM

    I downloaded the template but how do I change the text and pictures? Do I save it as some other kind of document so I can edit it? If so, how?

    • Lauren 14 Nov 2011 / 1:06 PM

      Hi Sofi,

      If you downloaded the pages template linked above, then you should be able to open the Pages file, in it’s native application. Once inside, you can click into the text areas to change text or drag images into the photo spaces to replace them. For more detailed help with iWork pages, that’s not covered above, I suggest checking out the pages help section within the software.


  6. Cheri Farris 1 Dec 2011 / 7:45 PM

    Hi Lauren,

    I’ve just downloaded your cookbook template, but haven’t started using it yet. Will it work with my ’09 version of Pages?

    Thank You!!

  7. drandreamertz 21 Jul 2012 / 12:51 PM

    Do you still have access to the template? I tried the link above but it says mobile me is closed

  8. drandreamertz 21 Jul 2012 / 12:52 PM

    Do you still have access to the template link above? I tried but it took me to a window that says Mobile Me is closed

    • Lauren 23 Jul 2012 / 5:57 PM

      Hi Andrea,
      You should be able to access it now. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  9. O_Sánchez 11 Aug 2012 / 5:14 PM

    Hi Lauren, I really hope you can help, I am interested in creating a publication, followed your steps and had no problems until I wanted to use an image covering the two sheets, I was researching and just not how. I hope you can help, greetings and thank you very much. =)

    • Lauren 13 Aug 2012 / 10:59 AM

      Hi O_Sánchez,
      In order to have an image go across two pages, you actually have to put two images in, one on one page, and the other on the other page. Then just crop them so they are aligned with one half of the image showing on the left page, and the other half showing on the right. It’s a bit challenging to get just right, but so far it’s the only work-around I have found.
      Thanks and I hope that helps!

  10. Colin 19 Aug 2012 / 3:13 AM

    I downloaded the template, but when I attempt to open it with Pages version 2.0.1 it says the template could not be opened… any ideas?

    • Lauren 20 Aug 2012 / 8:05 AM

      Hi Colin,

      Aside from the file needing to be “unzipped” after it’s download I can’t think of a reason it would be doing that without some more information. Please send an email to our support team, so we can work with you directly.

  11. Andy M 16 Sep 2012 / 4:59 PM

    We’re working up a cookbook called “African Harvest” for a nonprofit supporting education and related outreach in Africa. Sales will help support its mission. I’m a pro designer, but there’s no design budget; your lovely template saved lots of time. Thanks much!

  12. Adrienne Smith 10 Dec 2012 / 3:52 PM

    Could you put the Pages ’08 template up again? My computer is old, so I can’t upgrade to Pages ’09 : ( Thanks!!

    • Lauren 10 Dec 2012 / 4:06 PM

      Hi Adrienne, I just added it! Thanks and enjoy!

      • adriennels 20 Dec 2012 / 7:03 PM

        Thanks! My 10 year old son and I made a cookbook of his favorite recipes from cooking class as a gift he is going to give for Christmas. He is very proud!

  13. Richard P 17 May 2013 / 2:20 PM

    Hi. Is it possible to change the paper size without messing up everything. We are in the UK and are doing a charity cookbook and would like it to be A4 or smaller which is narrower than US Letter…..

    • Lauren 11 Jun 2013 / 10:03 AM

      Hi Richard,

      You are welcome to tweak and reuse our template for your own purposes, but MagCloud currently prints 8.25″ x 10.75″ publications using a letter-sized file. We currently don’t offer A4 printing.


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