I'm trying to create a nice looking header and footer graphic for all documents I deliver to my clients. Can someone give me some tips for doing so? I know that's a general question but I can't find any good tutorials on how to do so. I though I could just whip something up in Photoshop and import it into Pages (I use Apple's iWork suite) but I'm running into problems. Here's a couple of the issues I've had so far:

1) When I create a new Photoshop document I'm specifying a 7.5 inch wide image but when I import it into Pages the image doesn't fill the whole width of the page (which shows 7.5 inches when I view the Pages ruler). Why does this happen? I had to futz with the Photoshop width to get it to fill the width of the Pages document.

2) No matter what anti-aliasing I choose for text it is blurry when imported to the Pages document. Why is this?

Is Photoshop the right tool for this? Should I be using Illustrator instead? Any tips that can get me on the right path would be much appreciated.



1 Answer 1


I'm not familiar with Pages, but I can give you a general tip: when you create something in Photoshop that contains text and/or vector information, save to PDF before you place it in another application. PDF preserves the vector and font information. Although PSD also (obviously) contains the same information, other applications read only the flattened composite image that is saved inside the document, not the native Photoshop file.

A jpeg, png or tiff similarly contains only single-layer raster information as far as your word processing application is concerned, and Pages, like Word, may have a restricted number of formats it's willing to import, so you may be stuck with one of those. In that case, try a 300 ppi full scale image. My choice would be png.

From your description, it sounds as if Pages messes with incoming image information in a similar way to Word, maybe worse. Word actually does a half-way decent job with png, tiff or jpeg if you set the image up to the exact size and import it as a background at 100% scale. I occasionally supply Word templates to clients with the entire letterhead as a background png this way, with the template margins set to restrict typing to the right parts of the page.

You may be better off creating the letterhead in Illustrator and save that out as PDF, but if Pages doesn't recognize PDF as an importable format it likely won't make any difference.

An alternative approach would be to print the letterhead ahead of time and use it as you would any preprinted stationery: create a template in Pages that keeps your text in the right place (typically all you need do is set the top and bottom margins), load your already-printed stationery, and print your document.

  • Since his text is blurry, you're right: Pages must be resizing it.
    – citelao
    Jul 15, 2011 at 1:35
  • 1
    Yes. Word does the same thing unless you have it well trained and threaten to throw it to the Open Source wolves... :-) Jul 15, 2011 at 5:10
  • Thanks for the info, Alan. I switched to Illustrator and used a 300 dpi document instead. I didn't see a save to PDF option so I tried EPS and it is much, much better. Pages is still resizing it I think but it is still as sharp and crisp as it looks in Illustrator. Jul 15, 2011 at 12:22
  • Cheers! That's why we're all here. Glad to know it worked out well. Jul 16, 2011 at 0:15

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