How to Prevent Pages SpellCheck from Underlining all Words

Published November 4, 2022

Since I’ve transitioned to iPad, I decided to give Google Docs a rest and give the Pages app a try. After all, if I’m going to transition to the iOS environment, I might as well go all the way.

While Pages has its pluses, it’s also got a few quirks that I just can’t seem to figure out. One of them is the spell-check feature. For some reason, it marks just about every other word as either incorrect or it doesn’t recognize it. It’s annoying. And, as a poor speller, I cannot and will not rely on my ability to spell words correctly.

Pages SpellCheck

The funny thing is, I’ve got both the iPad Pro and the iPad Air and this problem only shows itself on the Pro. Go figure!

Pages Quirk #1: Fixing the SpellCheck Problem

Initially, I turned off the spell-check feature. Instead of relying on Pages to keep my words properly spelled, I used the free version of Grammarly. After writing my piece, I’d copy and paste it into Grammarly and let Grammarly fix my spelling errors (among other errors, but that’s the subject of another post).

I soon grew resentful of the extra steps so I decided to dig in to find out what was going on. I searched the Interweb and couldn’t find an answer, so I experimented with the device, and here’s what I found. It had something to do with the keyboard. Not sure how things got crazy but here’s my workaround:

  • Go to Settings - Keyboard
  • Tap Hardware Keyboard
  • Change the keyboard option from whatever it is to something else
Switching Keyboards

In my case, I had the keyboard setting at English U.S. I changed it to ABC and all of the red dots went away. Unfortunately, when I close the app and open it again, the red dots are back. So, I go into settings and switch back to the English U.S. keyboard and they disappear again. It’s an annoying workaround, but less annoying than the red dots.

I thought it was a problem because I use a Magic Keyboard, but no. It happens without the Magic Keyboard.

Pages Quirk #2: Setting Margins Globally

My other issue with Pages, which is minor in comparison to the red dots, is the page margins. I find the margins to be too wide. The fix is easy but cumbersome, just adjust the margins. To do so tap Pages - Document Options - Document Setup - scroll down to More Options then manually move the left and right margins to the desired width.

Setting Margins in Pages

Unfortunately, just like the red dots, I’ve got to adjust the margins for each and every document I write. I cannot find a way to globally adjust the left and right margins to default to 1.5”. If you have figured it out, please help this sista out! (help[at]ipadsandme[dot]com).

Pages Quirk#3: Printing Sections of a Document

My least favorite quirk is the printing quirk. The printing issue I have is not a Pages problem, I think it’s an iPad “feature”. There are times when I highlight a section of a page for printing. Unfortunately, unless I copy and paste that section into a new document, I have to print the entire page. That wouldn’t be a problem if the entire page were all text. However, sometimes there are ink-hogging images on the page that I’d rather not print. So, I copy the section, paste it into Notes and print it from there. A bit of a time waste, but it saves on ink.

Pages: Going Forward

I’ll continue using Pages at least 90% of the time. There are times when I’ve got to fall back and use Google Docs.

Writing with Pages

I mainly use Pages to write web articles. After writing them in Pages, I go to Grammarly to correct the grammar and obvious usage errors. Then, once satisfied there, I transfer the content into Textastic to add the HTML markup code to place it here on the Interweb.

Since I’m not writing major documents such as e-books, term papers, or anything else that requires intense formatting, cross-referencing, footnotes, bibliographies, etc., Pages meets my needs most of the time.

Update: I no longer use Pages. I now use Microsoft Word.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

Last Modified: 3 September 2023

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