Friday, January 29, 2016

Numbers 3.6.1 for Mac Review

Rob Griffiths:

Beyond this one change, however, Numbers 3.6.1 looks much like Numbers 3.0. There’s still no formatting bar below the customizable toolbar, so everything is still controlled by the context-sensitive right-hand panel. And while this cleans up the look a lot, it leads to lots of clicking between tabs in the panel for many common tasks.

Another annoyance that remains from version 3.0 is the lack of an editable formula bar. To edit a formula, you have to double-click the formula, which pops up a tiny editing box. This box can be both resized and moved, but for no reason I can discern, these changes aren’t permanent, so you have to resize and move the formula box every time you use it (assuming you don’t like its size/location).

AppleScript, which vanished in 3.0, has also returned from the dead, to the relief of scripters everywhere. (It’s even gained a couple new options for PDF and Excel export.) Macros, which didn’t exist before, still don’t exist. I expect them to continue to not exist in all future versions, so macro users should look elsewhere.

This version of Numbers also returns Help to the app, sort of: Numbers no longer opens a webpage when you open help, but the in-app help viewer still requires an Internet connection.

He reports some big performance improvements. My 2013 test of opening a CSV file now takes 44s in Numbers 3.6.1 (down from 3m25s) vs. 3s (up from 2s) for Excel 2016.

Update (2016-02-02): I’ve found that, although some AppleScript features were restored, at least one property was removed/renamed, which broke my scripts.

Update (2016-02-05): The AppleScript support doesn’t seem to actually work. There is a dictionary, but nothing shows up in Script Debugger’s explorer. And basic scripts such as:

tell application "Numbers"
    get document 1
end tell

fail with error -1,728.

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[…] of the original El Capitan bugs. And I’m continuing to run into new issues. This week it was AppleScript in Numbers, AirDrop no longer working between my Macs, and the Xcode 7.2.1 update that broke the Bots […]

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