iWork Automation: Numbers AppleScript Support

Now you have a powerful ally to get and stay in superb “fiscal shape” — Numbers adds AppleScript support. So doing those daily “crunches” just got a whole lot easier.

As anyone who creates or uses spreadsheets for a living can tell you, automation is an absolutely essential tool for maintaining sanity. When processes are automated, you gain:

  • Speed. It takes less time to accomplish complex multi-step procedures.
  • Accuracy. With automation, the chances of making mistakes because of human error are minimized.
  • Consistency. Automation produces data of reliable quality.
  • Scalability. If you want to do more, in a shorter time, while maintaining quality, automation is the best way to increase the productivity of your business.

Using automation frees you from the “drudge work,” to focus on the creative and analytical aspects of what you do — you know, that stuff you were actually hired and like to do! And when it comes to the world of automation, AppleScript is your best friend.

So, if you are currently using another spreadsheet application for your work and are interested in seeing what Numbers can do; or are a Numbers user who wants to take the application to the next level of functionality; automating Numbers with AppleScript is something you should explore.

What is covered in this overview of Numbers AppleScript support?

The following pages describe and demonstrate how AppleScript can be used to access, query, control, make, style, and delete the elements of the Numbers application, with specific focus on documents, sheets, and tables.

If you are familiar with AppleScript — great. If not, no problem. You can easily pick up this unique English-like scripting language from the tutorials on this website, or from reading one of the many great AppleScript books on the subject, including Apple’s own AppleScript 1-2-3 (on the iBooks Store).

And everything you need to automate Numbers with AppleScript is already installed in OS X. For starters, all of the example scripts on these pages can be viewed in the AppleScript Editor application (which can be found in your Utilities folder) automatically, by just clicking the Open in AppleScript Editor button located above each of the example scripts, that are placed inline throughout the documentation on this site.

So what are you waiting for? Use the purple navigation box on the upper right side of this page to begin the process of becoming an “uber-cruncher!”

Numbers 2009 Compatibility

The documentation provided in this section concerns the use of the Numbers 2009 Compatibility Suite provided in the Numbers 3.1 release. This scripting suite is a revision based upon the original scripting terminology of the Numbers 2009 release.

Most scripts written to work with Numbers 2009 should work with Numbers 3.1, with the exception of scripts that address features in the older version that are not in the latest version. Likewise, there are a few scripting features in the latest version that are not present in older versions of the application. These few exceptions are noted in the following documentation.