Pages 3.0: Now supports table borders thinner than 1 pt

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Pages
September 19th, 2007 • 2:15 pm

By default, when you insert a new table in a Pages document, its borders are 1 pt thick. That is pretty thick, especially in print.

The previous versions of Pages had a pretty weird behaviour where, if you selected a table and then went to the drawing inspector and chose a stroke thickness of less than 1 pt (like 0.5 pt or 0.25 pt, which were available as options), instead of changing the table borders to a thinner stroke, Pages would actually change the black 1 pt-thick borders to… 1 pt-thick borders in a gradually lighter shade of grey.

As a substitute for borders thinner than 1 pt, this was a pretty insulting behaviour. Apple prides itself on designing intuitive applications that produce professional-quality documents, but this was one particular situation where Apple’s word processor really failed to deliver. There are all kinds of situations that require table borders that are thinner than 1 pt, and even the most basic laser or ink-jet printer is capable of printing perfectly good-looking 0.5 pt or 0.25 pt borders.

I suspect there must have been some technical limitation explaining this very weird engineering choice in early versions of Pages—but I was really disappointed when Pages 2.0 came out and I saw that Apple had not addressed the issue.

Well, I am pleased to report that Pages 3.0 finally does the right thing and lets you use black table borders that are thinner than 1 pt. There is a “Thin” option in the table inspector, in the pop-up menu for the stroke style, or you can adjust the border thickness number manually.

There are still some weird remnants of the old behaviour, though. If you insert a new table (1 pt borders by default), then select the table and change the stroke style to “Thin,” and then change the stroke style back to the normal stroke, Pages actually changes to a thin stroke in a light grey—leaving the value of the thickness to 0.25 pt. You can go back to the normal black 1 pt thickness by changing the value back to 1 pt.

So it looks like “Thin” is the option to use to get a thin 0.25 pt table border in black, whereas if you use the regular stroke option and change the thickness value to 0.25 pt, you now get a thin grey border. Mmm.

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