Pages 3.0: Keyboard navigation problems in tables actually related

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Pages
December 12th, 2007 • 11:09 pm

With further testing, I have just realized that the two problems that I described earlier today when it comes to editing text in table cells in Pages 3.0 are actually related.

My first post mentioned that shift-option-Up and shift-option-Down were used as shortcuts for adding rows to the table, instead of working as expected as shortcuts for extending the selection up or down within the cell.

While this is true, I have just realized that Pages 3.0 also suffers from the same problem horizontally. shift-option-Left and shift-option-Right can also have the equivalent effect of adding columns to the table (to the right or to the left). But it only happens if you are trying to extend the selection beyond the first or last word of the current cell—which of course means that it actually happens when you are trying to extend your text selection within the cell and you accidentally overshoot by a word or two.

This is similar to what I described in my other post today, about the Up and Down keys causing Pages to exit text edit mode and move to the cell above/below.

Well, it turns out that this other post was incomplete as well, because the same problem happens if you press Left when your insertion point is already before the very first character in the cell, or Right when your insertion point is already after the last character in the cell.

So all these behaviours are obviously interconnected. The only peculiar thing I noticed was that shift-option-Up and shift-option-Down always add rows, regardless of where the insertion point is within the cell, even if there are multiple paragraphs of text in the cell and the insertion point is somewhere in the middle, where you would expect the shortcuts, if Apple’s implementation of this new “feature” were consistent, to still work for extending the text selection within the cell.

In other words, not only has Apple introduced a behaviour that causes the text selection shortcuts not to work properly when used in table cells, but on top of that even their implementation of this new “feature” is not consistent.

It’s all very disappointing, and suggests that Apple really does not have much respect for Mac users who use keyboard shortcuts for text navigation and selection in Mac OS X applications.

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