Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up


OS X Pages - set up shortcut, macro, or Quicksilver trigger

Posted on 2009-06-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I am using Pages for a document that is formatted with many sections, with each section looking like this:

    1. point-one
    2. point-two
        a. sub-point

I am frequently inserting new sections in the document. Note that the intent is to always restart each sections points with the number 1.

I have styles set up that makes this pretty easy to manage, with one exception. That is, every time I create a new section, and start at the place in the above example shown as "1. point-one", instead of starting the numbering at 1 as shown, the numbering continues from where it left off at the previous section. That is, it might look like this:

    8. point-one
    9. point-two
        a. sub-point

Pages has the ability to define a "following style." However it lacks the ability when it is a numbered list, to also set the "restart numbering at" attribute. What I would really like is for some way to enable this. However, I do not believe this is possible.

So my second choice is to have a workaround that is better than my current workaround. The current workaround is the following multi-keystoke sequence: open the Inspector if not open, change to the Text panel if not open, click on "Start at".

I am really looking for a single-keystroke that would be able to change the "Start at" option.

As a point of interest, the same issue exists in Microsoft Word. However, there is a solution, but it is quite elaborate to set up and involves features not present in Pages. The Word solution is really obscure because Word 2003 has infuriating bugs in its implementation of numbered lists, and the solution not only needs to handle the restarting of numbering, but prevent the lists from becoming hopeless mangled. But that solution once implemented is quite bulletproof. In any case, this "point of interest" is beside the point.
Question by:jasimon9
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24728453
Use these techniques to add and indent items in your list:
To add a new topic at the current indent level, press Return.
To create an unnumbered paragraph within a topic, press Return while holding down the Shift key.
To enter a new topic at the next lower indent level, press Tab. To enter a new topic at the next higher level, press Shift-Tab. You can also click and hold a number, and then drag to the right, to the left, down and to the right, or down and to the left.
To return to regular text at the end of your list, press Return and choose No Bullets from the Bullets & Numbering pop-up menu. You may also need to adjust the indent level.
To add an existing paragraph to a numbered list, click the paragraph, choose a numbering style, and click Continue from previous.
To start a new numbered sequence in a list, click Start at and specify the number you want the sequence to begin with.
If you want items in your list to have labeled subtopics (like in an outline), use an ordered list instead of a numbered list.
To learn about modifying list styles or creating your own list style, see Modifying and Creating New List Styles.

Author Comment

ID: 24728468
Thank you for your quick response.

Unfortunately, it does not address the question, but rather gives instructions on how to use the various features.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24728539
would putting new lists in new boxes be a pain.
What version of pages are you running?
Get 10% Off Your First Squarespace Website

Ready to showcase your work, publish content or promote your business online? With Squarespace’s award-winning templates and 24/7 customer service, getting started is simple. Head to and use offer code ‘EXPERTS’ to get 10% off your first purchase.


Author Comment

ID: 24728906

Please note - the one-keystroke solution is all I am hoping for.
LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 24738171
Have you looked at QuickKeys ( or Automator to record/perform the keystroke sequence?

The Automator "Watch Me Do" function (under Utilities) can record a sequence of keystrokes.

Author Comment

ID: 24739756
I have Quicksilver installed and I would think that might be able to do it. As a result of your comment, I played briefly with Automator, but it was not too smooth. I would probably need to build up more familiarity with the use of this tool to get it right.

After creating a simple "watch me do" script, I had the following problems with automator:

1. You can click on the Inspector button in pages, but if it is already open, that closes it, and thus the rest of the procedure will not work.

2. Some issue with a variable <fill in title>.

3. Got some error messages and funny behavior.

Not that I really tried it enough to get over these issues, but that might have to wait until I have some time.
LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 25058642
I'd recommend a close as there are answers although not as the Asker may wish.

He acknowledges that his requirement is a function not available in Pages by default.
The ONLY way to achieve it is using some form of keystroke recorder either QuickKeys, Automator or an AppleScript.

Unfortunately  I don't have time to troubleshoot his Automator Script ..

Below is a short AppleScript that will click the relevant radio button.

It assumes that the Inspector is Open, that it is already displaying the Text tab and the Lists subsection ..
He could save this script and run it within Automator or directly within Pages via a key command.

If jasimon9 wants the script to check if the Inspector is open .. switch to the Text Tab and Lists subsection then the script will clearly be more complex.

tell application "Pages"
end tell
tell application "System Events"
	tell process "Pages"
		click radio button "Start at:" of radio group 1 of group 1 of tab group 1 of group 1 of window "Text"
	end tell
end tell

Open in new window


Accepted Solution

jasimon9 earned 0 total points
ID: 25062537
The problem with making sure that Inspector is open -- not a problem, except that it is only a one-keystroke chore at that point (assuming the right pane is open too. So not much of a savings.

In the meantime I have gotten used to just manually doing it.

As I pointed out, I simply got used the the MS Word capability which I had for years, which automatically restarted numbering without any action on my part other than the _VERY_ complex set up, which is quite elaborate, but once having done it, "it just works." (TM)

So not sure what to do at this point. I am inclined to say that my "just to it manually" is the accepted solution, but to award points for contributions. Not sure that e-e likes that approach though.

Featured Post

Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Today, still in the boom of Apple, PC's and products, nearly 50% of the computer users use Windows as graphical operating systems. If you are among those users who love windows, but are grappling to keep the system's hard drive optimized, then you s…
This is a tech scam I recently helped my parents through.
Users will learn how resize a batch of photos from a single command in Photoshop via Photoshop's Image Processor. Open up an Image you'd like to resize in Adobe Photoshop: Adjust the image size according to your preferences. Image > Adjustments > …
This Micro Tutorial hows how you can integrate  Mac OSX to a Windows Active Directory Domain. Apple has made it easy to allow users to bind their macs to a windows domain with relative ease. The following video show how to bind OSX Mavericks to …

607 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question