Pages ’09: Focus bug after hiding application

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Pages
January 28th, 2009 • 3:20 pm

Like most x.0 versions, Pages ’09 (technically Pages 4.0) suffers from a few unfortunate bugs that obviously weren’t caught or fixed during the beta testing process. Here’s one that may appear minor, but affects users who make heavy use of keyboard shortcuts.

Say you have two document windows open in Pages ’09, Window A and Window B. Obviously at any given time one of them is going to be in the foreground in Pages and the other one is going to be in the background.

Now bring Window B to the foreground and use “Select All” (command-A) to select its contents. (This procedure actually works with any selection. It’s just more obvious when you select the entire document.)

Then bring Window A back to the foreground, either by clicking on it or by using the “Cycle through Windows” keyboard shortcut (a universal shortcut in Mac OS X which is very handy to quickly cycle through all available windows in a given application; on my Canadian French – CSA keyboard, the shortcut is command-Ù; I use it all the time).

Then use command-H or the “Hide” command in the application menu to hide the foreground application, i.e. Pages ’09. This will hide all the application’s windows, i.e. both Window A and Window B, with Window A still in the foreground and Window B in the background within the application itself.

Then use command-Tab or Pages ’09’s Dock icon to switch back to Pages, which will show the hidden windows. Of course the foreground window will still be Window A, and Window B will still be in the background within Pages, with its selection highlighted in grey (the background selection highlighting colour).

Finally, use the “Cycle through Windows” shortcut to bring Window B to the foreground. (It’s important to use the shortcut here and not to click on the document window with the mouse.)

Normally, this should simply bring Window B to the foreground, with the selection now highlighted in the foreground selection highlighting colour and the document ready to respond to keyboard input.

Unfortunately, in Pages ’09, instead of this, we have a bug that causes Pages to deselect the contents of the document window and somehow prevents further keyboard input in the document. Window B is in the foreground, but for some reason its content is deselected and inaccessible with the keyboard. The only way to regain control of the document is to click on it with the mouse.

It’s clearly a bug, and I don’t remember ever noticing it in previous versions of Pages. Unfortunately, it’s a bug that primarily affects people who work with a lot of document windows (and have to hide things on a regular basis) and frequently use keyboard shortcuts such as the “Cycle through Windows” shortcut. In other words, it’s probably a minority of users, which means that the bug is unlikely to garner much attention and get fixed very quickly.

So if it bothers you as much as it bothers me (or even if it doesn’t and if you just feel like lending your support), please submit a bug report through Bug Reporter, like I just did. Maybe it will help get it fixed sooner rather than later.

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