iWork Automation: Pages AppleScript Support

For emerging and established creatives alike, Pages is the “go-to” app in a “go-go” world. It’s versatile, powerful, and its documents are multi-platform and collaborative. And now it’s even more productive with the built-in power of AppleScript automation.

As anyone who succeeds in the world of office and creative productivity 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 word-processing application for your work and are interested in seeing what Pages can do; or are a Pages user who wants to take the application to the next level of functionality; automating Pages with AppleScript is something you should explore.

What is covered in this overview of Pages 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 Pages application, with specific focus on documents and page elements.

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 Pages 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 “the potentate of productivity!”

Pages 2009 Compatibility

The current implementation of Pages scripting support does not contain a Compatibility Suite for Pages 2009. The integrated object scripting support currently in the dictionary (that is shared by all iWork applications), is new to Pages and was not included in the Pages 2009 scripting implementation.