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Old Jan 28, 2014, 05:38 PM   #1
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AppleScript Support Comes Back to Numbers, Could Signal a Return of Power User Features




Last October, Apple angered a lot of iWork power users when it introduced new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

The new versions were rewritten from the ground up for improved usability and cross-platform compatibility across OS X, iOS and iWork in iCloud, but, as a result, some power user features didn't make it into the machine at release.

Apple promised to restore the lost features and last week's iWork update is the first step in restoring those features.

As Macworld notes, Numbers has gained significant AppleScript support, almost fully backwards compatible with previously created scripts for Numbers 2009. The iWork team has also added a number of new scripting features. It seems likely that scripting support will be added to Pages and Keynote in a future update.
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The latest update of Numbers reintroduces AppleScript support in a big way. While Apple could have taken an iterative approach, reintroducing a few commands here and there, it chose instead to go whole-hog: The entire suite of scripting terminology originally supported by Numbers in the 2009 edition of iWork has returned.

This means that, if you have Numbers scripts you used with that 2009 version, most of them should (in theory) now work with Numbers 3.1; those scripts may require tweaks, though, because some features of Numbers itself have changed.
Users with feedback for Apple regarding the iWork apps, including complaints about missing features or suggestions would be well-served to give Apple feedback on its website. With these changes to Numbers, Apple does appear to listen to its users.

Numbers is a $19.99 download from the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: AppleScript Support Comes Back to Numbers, Could Signal a Return of Power User Features
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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Good to hear! Hopefully AppleScript support will be improved in all iWork apps. There are a few obvious uses for better support in pages too, such as automatic document generation. Thought about scripting something along those lines recently, but I was shocked to find negligible AppleScript support in Pages.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 05:48 PM   #3
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Were any missing features returned?
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 05:55 PM   #4
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Were any missing features returned?
AppleScript in Numbers? I'm sure that matters to some people.

A lot more than "some" features didn't make it into the new version. More like dozens were deleted from Pages.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Focus on Pages please Apple. It isn't as if it was the best before you totally stripped it of features. But it had great potential and it would be a shame to have it all thrown away.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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Will the option to have a single or multiple inspectors servicing multiple documents return so that muscle memory and screen real estate actually count for something?

Or will it remain like Office where buttons are always on the move and duplicated in every document being edited?

Even before you consider all the lost features, this smack in the face to power users upsets me the most.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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An ability to control Numbers page margins would be a good start.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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Are people surprised?
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 08:52 PM   #9
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Apple took nothing away. (Old versions remain.) New versions have gained a new mix of features on a schedule some people don't like, but which makes good sense from a software development perspective. I wish more companies had the guts to "start fresh" more often. (Adobe: YOU!)
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 09:04 PM   #10
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Apple took nothing away. (Old versions remain.) New versions have gained a new mix of features on a schedule some people don't like, but which makes good sense from a software development perspective. I wish more companies had the guts to "start fresh" more often. (Adobe: YOU!)
The problem is people don't understand the goodness of software rewrites. Specially something like IWork which is a very old code base. Or was, this rewrite obviously is an attempt at a modern code base.

My concern is full support in IOS. If AppleScript support is only for the Mac versions Apple has already lost its way. We need feature parity across platforms.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by IJ Reilly View Post
AppleScript in Numbers? I'm sure that matters to some people.

A lot more than "some" features didn't make it into the new version. More like dozens were deleted from Pages.
They weren't deleted, they just weren't re-added yet. They did a rewrite.

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The problem is people don't understand the goodness of software rewrites. Specially something like IWork which is a very old code base. Or was, this rewrite obviously is an attempt at a modern code base.

My concern is full support in IOS. If AppleScript support is only for the Mac versions Apple has already lost its way. We need feature parity across platforms.
AppleScript will never be on iOS. I don't think iOS even has support for AppleEvents... That would be a prerequisite.

Last edited by ZOZO; Jan 28, 2014 at 09:28 PM.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 10:37 PM   #12
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HOW ABOUT BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY??

I paid for the new pages, having skipped '09, and now I'm screwed. Yes, I deleted the old pages and no, do not have a backup or the cd.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 10:49 PM   #13
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Apple should take advantage of the time that Microsoft is taking to release Office for the iPad and lock and attract users to the iWorks family by making Pages, numbers and keynote the "goto" programs as it should have always been...

Understand that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had an agreement about MS Office (remember that Bill Gates "worked for" Apple (kind of) in the beginning, writing software programs for Apple (and I too used them years ago). Well, MS Office was Gates "baby" though they did not develop it first, but "inquired it.." (remember Lotus 123 for all of us "old cats").

Now...it is a new era. Pages, Numbers and Keynote have the opportunity to become the main "goto" "IF" Apple decides to invest in its development since many are crossing over from the PC world into the Apple ecosystem, especially with the iPad.

Again, great opportunity to attract frustrated MS Office users. Office for iPad will probably not come out until 2015...Apple has yet "another opportunity" "IF" Apple wants to put the death blow finally to Microsoft....- one year to get this right to dominate...if they desire...
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 12:00 AM   #14
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They weren't deleted, they just weren't re-added yet. They did a rewrite..
Oh, I see. They didn't go away, they just went out for a stroll and will return before dinner.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 12:55 AM   #15
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Apple took nothing away. (Old versions remain.)
Just don't try to download those older versions from the Mac App Store if you dare to purchase a new computer, etc.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:08 AM   #16
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My concern is full support in IOS. If AppleScript support is only for the Mac versions Apple has already lost its way. We need feature parity across platforms.
I don't quite get that concern, if you choose to automate some tedious task on the Mac in Numbers, that will still result in a Numbers document you can open on iOS regardless if it was produced by hand or automated. Automation is a strength of the desktop, I say they should take advantage of that. As long as the end result is a valid iWork document, then that will be compatible with iOS regardless if it's machine or human made.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:14 AM   #17
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I wish tey would let me change vertical margins already on pages for icloud. It is stupid auch a basic feature is missing. That and allow me to input a plain text table like Word does.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 03:16 AM   #18
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I miss the inspector windows in all iWork apps. That way I can bring the inspector settings beside the content I want to edit. In Pages I want the ability to duplicate pages in a document back.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 09:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard View Post
My concern is full support in IOS. If AppleScript support is only for the Mac versions Apple has already lost its way. We need feature parity across platforms.
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
I don't quite get that concern, if you choose to automate some tedious task on the Mac in Numbers, that will still result in a Numbers document you can open on iOS regardless if it was produced by hand or automated. Automation is a strength of the desktop, I say they should take advantage of that. As long as the end result is a valid iWork document, then that will be compatible with iOS regardless if it's machine or human made.
Subsonix your answer presupposes everyone has a Mac. There are a lot of iOS only people out there. That's where I think wizard's concerns are valid regarding feature parity. I don't think Apple has lost its way though. One thing about parity, it has to cater to the lowest common denominator. iOS is that denominator. There are things in OSX that are just not possible in iOS. Something will have to give. That's where the power users are going to be frustrated.
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Last edited by 69Mustang; Jan 29, 2014 at 09:23 AM.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 09:05 AM   #20
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Are people surprised?
OMG yes! A big company did something it pinky promised.

Of course the only thing more gullible than expecting that is to expect MORE things to get updated. We're skeptical sheep now.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 11:05 AM   #21
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HOW ABOUT BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY??

I paid for the new pages, having skipped '09, and now I'm screwed. Yes, I deleted the old pages and no, do not have a backup or the cd.
You'd probably be screwed anyway. The current version of Pages '09 is 4.1. Good luck finding that version on a legacy DVD, and you won't be able to update an earlier version to 4.1 because Apple wants you to use the new, freaking bloodily useless version. The people who are so dismissive of this problem either (1) weren't heavy users of Pages before Apple made it available for free, or (2) simply don't appreciate that Apple is making longtime Pages users walk a narrow plank that may very well lead nowhere.

Maybe the sharply downgraded current version will, some day, be brought back up to where the old one was, but we have had no actual promise of this from Apple (fertile imaginations don't count). We also don't know if or when Apple and OSX will no longer support this legacy software, which is after all nearly five years old already.

A lot of people simply don't get it, or don't care to get it. They apparently believe that Apple did the right thing because (of course) they always do the right thing. Even when they do an obviously wrong thing.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 11:17 AM   #22
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You'd probably be screwed anyway. The current version of Pages '09 is 4.1. Good luck finding that version on a legacy DVD, and you won't be able to update an earlier version to 4.1 because Apple wants you to use the new, freaking bloodily useless version.
Actually, all it takes is a Mac running (at least temporarily) Mountain Lion. Doesn't have to be yours. Just log into the App Store and you can download 4.1. Then just copy Pages.app to the Mavericks system. Of course, keep a copy around as a backup!

IMHO, the *real* problem is that Software Update keeps insisting that you upgrade if the new version is not installed, and if the new version is installed insists on opening it by default -- You can't change the default back to the old version! Only "cure" I've found is to have Pages/Numbers/Keynote old versions launch at login, and then never shut them down (never use Cmd-Q, always Cmd-W, a good idea anyway). As long as they are running existing documents will open in them.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 11:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by nagromme View Post
Apple took nothing away. (Old versions remain.) New versions have gained a new mix of features on a schedule some people don't like, but which makes good sense from a software development perspective. I wish more companies had the guts to "start fresh" more often. (Adobe: YOU!)
I would shudder to think of what would happen if Adobe "started fresh". Take it from a professional, there's nothing good or easy about re-writing a program from scratch.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:05 PM   #24
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Actually, all it takes is a Mac running (at least temporarily) Mountain Lion. Doesn't have to be yours. Just log into the App Store and you can download 4.1. Then just copy Pages.app to the Mavericks system. Of course, keep a copy around as a backup!

IMHO, the *real* problem is that Software Update keeps insisting that you upgrade if the new version is not installed, and if the new version is installed insists on opening it by default -- You can't change the default back to the old version! Only "cure" I've found is to have Pages/Numbers/Keynote old versions launch at login, and then never shut them down (never use Cmd-Q, always Cmd-W, a good idea anyway). As long as they are running existing documents will open in them.
Have you tried this? I'm not 100% certain that the old version would be available in the App Store, even to pre-Mavericks users. Assuming it is, I'd assume you'd have to pay for it. If you'd already bought iWork, that would be a drag. In any case, it's a workaround, potentially costly and time-consuming besides, and not a place we should be as Mac users.

Fortunately I read some of the discussion here from other iWork users who "upgraded" and were horrified to discover that their documents now opened in the new apps by default, and were autosaved in the new file format. Knowing that I made a copy of a document and opened it in the new version of Pages and found that the formatting was totally hosed. I felt lucky to have heard in advance that this might happen. Not that Apple warned us in any way about this disaster. Why anyone persists in excusing Apple for this mess is a mystery to me.

I turned off the update notifications, so at least I don't get pestered daily about the updates from the Message Center. I still see the "3" bubble from the App Store in my Dock but I can ignore that. Onwards we go, into the darkness...
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:57 PM   #25
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Focus on Pages please Apple. It isn't as if it was the best before you totally stripped it of features. But it had great potential and it would be a shame to have it all thrown away.
the previous versions are still on your mac, unless you removed them. did you remove them?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgkwho View Post
HOW ABOUT BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY??

I paid for the new pages, having skipped '09, and now I'm screwed. Yes, I deleted the old pages and no, do not have a backup or the cd.
sounds like you screwed up by deleting them w/o backing them up first. what did you expect? do you want apple to have a fix for user error?

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Oh, I see. They didn't go away, they just went out for a stroll and will return before dinner.
the previous versions continue to reside on your mac, and work perfectly. unless you removed them.
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