Develop iWork Plugin? (Like MathType?)

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by ArtOfWarfare, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. ArtOfWarfare, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Does anyone know how I can learn how to write a plugin for iWork like MathType? I can't imagine Apple is actually giving some kind of special opportunity to a company that makes such ugly plugins...
  2. macrumors 6502

    Madd the Sane

    Nov 8, 2010
    There is a plug-in for Keynote that lets you use the LinkBack framework. Try looking at that code and go from there.

    The LinkBack framework is developed by the Omni Group and is on their GitHub page.
  3. thread starter macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    That sounds very promising. I'll look into it - thanks for the pointer!
  4. thread starter macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I thought I'd share where that led to...

    I sent an email to Nisus software enquiring about the LinkBack plugin in keynote and this is what I got back:

    So that appears to have ended in a dead end.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
  6. thread starter macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    The second thread suggested using AppleScript. I've done some with it - not much, but it seems to me that AppleScript wouldn't be capable of doing all the things MathType does...

    My understanding is that the iWork suite uses a file format that's meant to be easy to extend with plugins... Originally it wasn't going to be a suite, but a single application that just had a canvas you could drop any media elements into, and that any elements it didn't understand out of the box could have plugins written for them. Was that idea just scrapped entirely, or has Apple just failed to release any documentation on how it works?
  7. thread starter macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    MathType seems to be broken as of Pages 5.1... it'll launch fine, but it doesn't actually insert anything but a gray box in your documents. I believe I found the developer of that LinkBack plugin on Twitter and LinkedIn - I'm trying to contact him via those avenues.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2009
    I think you can write a plugin with SIMBL [EasySIMBL 10.7+] for non-extendable Cocoa Apps.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    There's nothing at all broken about MathType -- it's Pages ( that causes MathType to seem like it's broken. But it's not.

    If you have MathType open when you try to insert a new equation in Pages or edit an old one, it works fine. This was broken when Apple released the products, and other than making our customers aware of it, there's really nothing we can do about it. We have documented it in 2 articles on our website:!target=apple_pages_mac

    Bob Mathews
    Design Science
  10. ArtOfWarfare, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

    thread starter macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Hi Bob,

    It's interesting that you've responded to my email, responded to a thread I started a year ago, and responded to my StackOverflow question all on the same day… I don't think I even led you to this thread in any way.

    Thanks for the information about Apple having paid your company to have MathType link with their iWork applications.

    I haven't heard of that before, but I'll look into it. Thanks!

    Edit: I've looked into SIMBL a bit, and it looks incredibly promising.

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