Customizing Pages ’09: Real Page Up/Down with Keyboard Maestro

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Pages
March 1st, 2011 • 2:09 pm

The default behaviour of the Page Up and Page Down keys in Pages ’09 has one rather irritating aspect. Say you have a multiple-page document open in Pages ’09. You scroll back to the very beginning of the document and then you select the “Fit Page” option in the zoom menu in the bottom-left corner of the document window:

Fit Page

Now you have a document window that displays the first page of the document in full. Since the zoom setting is such that a whole page fits exactly in the document window, you’d expect the Page Down key to simply cause Pages to scroll down by one full page and display the second page in full in the same document window, wouldn’t you?

Sadly, that is not what happens. Instead of doing the expected, Pages ’09 scrolls down by slightly less than one full page, so that a small portion of the bottom of the first page is still visible at the top of the window (and the corresponding portion of the bottom of the second page is missing at the bottom of the window):

Fit Page - One Page Down

Why does it do this? Your guess is as good as mine. (For what it’s worth, Microsoft Word does the exact opposite and scrolls down slightly too far. Word used to have a “Print Preview” view mode that did not do this and scrolled down page by page correctly, but I can no longer find this view mode in Word 2011.)

Unfortunately, the cumulative effect is pretty bad. Since the scrolling is slightly off for each Page Down action, after 10 pages or so, the offset is pretty significant and Pages has strayed pretty far from the original intent, which was to display full pages of the document.

There is a simple solution in Pages ’09 to avoid this cumulative effect, but it involves using the mouse. At the bottom of the document window, there are two blue triangles that are buttons that can be used for scrolling page by page:

Scroll to next page

There is no keyboard equivalent for these buttons, though — unless you are willing to resort to third-party software to customize your work environment in Pages ’09.

I use Keyboard Maestro for this, and it’s pretty easy to create KM macros that mimic clicks on these two triangles. Here’s the macro that I use to mimic a click on the button for scrolling to the next page. I call it “Real Page Down”:

Real Page Down

I’ve assigned the shift-Page Down shortcut to it. And I use a similar macro with the shortcut shift-Page Up to perform what I call a “real Page Up.” It works like a charm. (The mouse coordinates are relative to the bottom-left corner of the document window, so even if you move or resize your document window, the macros will still work, because the two triangles have not moved relatively to the bottom-left corner.)

Thanks to the author of this hint at Mac OS X Hints for the inspiration!

PS: It might be possible to achieve something similar in Word 2011 using a VBA macro, but I don’t have any time for that piece of junk.

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