13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 22, 2007 6:00 PM by Insect
Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)
I have Word doc that I opened and saved in Pages.
It contains a table with a column of numbers.

In the Word version:
* the numbers were aligned via the decimal tab
* the last (bottom) cell contained a dollar sign plus the results of a summation formula.

In Pages, I am having difficulty recreating these two attributes.

1. The individual table cells contain a decimal tab, but the numbers are aligned left. I can add a tab (using Command-Tab) immediately to the left of the number and then number is aligned with the decimal tab. But, when I move my cursor to another cell, the tab is removed!

2. I have the SUM formula working, but I can't figure out how to place a $ immediately to left of the summation results.

Any help for this Pages newbie would be appreciated.

iMac (2.16GHz), MacBook (2.16GHz), iMac (2.8GHz), MacBook(2GHz), Mac OS X (10.4.10), Samsung CLP-550N, LAN, 20-inch ACD, 4 iPods
  • Philip Gibson Level 1 (5 points)
    I too can't work out how to get tabs to work within the cells of a table. This is most frustrating and I'd appreciate some help with this.
  • Karen Level 2 (265 points)
    Hi Dave,

    If you select the sum cell and then use the cell inspector to set the format to "Currency" then you will get the $ sign. If you want the currency symbol to appear left aligned, then select the "Accounting Style" checkbox.
  • Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)

    That makes the $ appear, but does not give me the decimal point alignment that I get with Word.
    I called Apple Support and after talking with a Level 2 support person, they said: "I [support person] need to escalate this to Engineering as this appears to not work correctly."
    I have not heard back from Support.

  • Peggy Level 8 (38,635 points)
    You can create tabs in any table cell. To enter a tab in the cell, type Option+tab.

  • Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)

    You are correct.
    But, they don't do the decimal tab align.

  • Peggy Level 8 (38,635 points)
    Sure it does. That's what I used to test creating the tab in a table before I posted. I have a terrible time double-clicking that little tab marker more than once, which only changes it to a centered tab, so I use the tab settings in the text inspector. It let me make it a decimal tab.

  • Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)

    I can not get the numbers (be they in number or currency format) to ALIGN on the decimal tab.


    P.S. Send me an email dave@marketingtactics.com and I will send both the Word and Pages documents to you.
  • Karen Level 2 (265 points)
    Hi Dave,

    I can get the decimal tabs to work - but only by:

    1. Setting "Cell format" to text
    2. Inserting a tab
    3. Changing the tab to a decimal tab (right-clicking on the tab and selecting the decimal option)
    4. Using option+tab to insert the tab in the cell
    5. Clicking on another cell to deselect the one that I was working on

    If the cell format is not text, or I hit return to exit the cell then the tab seems to be lost. I can't imagine this is how it should work - you seem to need to have things "just so" for it to do what you'd expect. If you make the cell currency before changing it to text, it retains the currency symbol.
  • Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)
    And, if the cells are formatted as Text, then you can not SUM the column.
  • Karen Level 2 (265 points)

    The only solution at the moment seems to be to right align all the cells and set the format to have enough decimal places to suit the longest such number. This will then align all decimal points in the column (more or less, depending on the font) and give you a sum at the bottom.

    I agree with you entirely though, the decimal point tab is of little use at the moment given the way it operates.
  • John Whiteside Level 2 (345 points)
    Well, the other solution is to just go back and do it in Word, which is what I did before finding this discussion thread. Much as I dislike Word, Pages seems to handle some of these things by what I'd call insane troll logic. I thought I was losing my mind, glad to know it's not me!

    It seems you can have text with decimal tabs, or you can have numbers and use formulas, but you cannot have numbers and decimal tabs, because really... who'd want that, right? Sorry if I sound sarcastic, this is just really poor.

    Has anyone seen any rhyme or reason to whether tab marks appear on the ruler, or how adding tabs to multiple table cells works? It seems completely random to me.
  • Dave Barnes Level 4 (2,975 points)
    All of which brings me to:
    AppleCare Case # 82719772
    Willem DeJong promised me a response on 21AUG2007 and I have not received one.
    I sent an email to him and it bounced.
    Oh, well.
    I am sure this "feature" will be changed in a dot release.
  • Insect Level 1 (0 points)
    Did anyone ever receive a satisfactory answer to the decimal tabs malfunction when using Table? After blowing 2 hours of time trying to get the decimal tab to work in a table, I decided to try the suggestion of changing the number entries to text in the Inspector. The decimal tab then stayed stable when switching form cell to cell (which was a change from disappearing tabs when in number format as others noted). However, a global change on multiple rows/columns cannot be made (at least by me). I have to manipulate each cell individually (although I could set a global decimal tab stop on highlighted cells using the Inspector). Anyone in Apple Software development actually read these things? I noticed the last post on this issue was ~Sept. 2nd. I really want to leave Office behind, but I have way to much data to play around with. (And I did just download the updates. I can now scroll over several cells with the mouse, which I couldn't do before the updates.)