Customizing Word 2008: Fix Page Up and Page Down with AppleScript and Keyboard Maestro

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
May 12th, 2010 • 4:53 pm

Early in 2009, I wrote a post about my attempts to fix the stupid default behaviour of the Page Up and Page Down keys in Microsoft Word 2008, which don’t just scroll the document up or down, but also move the cursor (insertion point) at the same time.

At the time, I wrote that, since Word 2008 does not support custom keyboard shortcuts for AppleScript scripts and AppleScript scripts are the only way to try and fix the default behaviour of the Page Up and Page Down commands in Microsoft Word 2008, that means that the only way to assign keyboard shortcuts to those scripts is to use Mac OS X’s built-in keyboard shortcuts feature, in the “Keyboard” preference pane in System Preferences.

Unfortunately, that Mac OS X feature is limited to keyboard shortcuts that involve either function keys or modifier keys. So it is not possible to use it to redirect the Page Up and Page Down keys to the appropriate AppleScript scripts instead of Word’s own built-in behaviour.

Today, however, I am an avid user of Keyboard Maestro, and I am pleased to report that, unlike Mac OS X’s “Keyboard Shortcuts” feature, Keyboard Maestro does allow you to intercept any key stroke in any application. This means that Keyboard Maestro can intercept the Page Up and Page Down keys in Word 2008 and use them to trigger my custom Page Up and Page Down scripts, which scroll the document up and down without moving the insertion point.

(For more information on those scripts, see the original post about Word 2008.)

And so today, thanks to Keyboard Maestro, I am once again able to bypass Word 2008’s own stupid behaviour and force it to scroll without moving the insertion point when I use the Page Up and Page Down keys in a Word document.

Of course, the next version of Microsoft Word will supposedly bring back support for Visual Basic macro commands, and one assumes that it will also bring back the ability to assign keyboard shortcuts to those macros within Word, including shortcuts that involve the Page Up and Page Down keys. But with Microsoft, you never know. I wouldn’t be surprised if the restored support for Visual Basic turned out to be somewhat crippled and incomplete.

And even if it is complete and satisfactory, you don’t need to wait until that new version is out. You can fix Word 2008 today with Keyboard Maestro.

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