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Keyboard shortcut for columns in Affinity Publisher?

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I have keyboard shortcuts for just about everything when doing a newspaper. Affinity is proving itself very capable as we have switched over our newspaper from Indesign after 17 years. 

There is one thing (of several) that I would love to know, or if not be added, and that is the ability to change the number of columns in a text frame with a keyboard modifier such as command + up arrow or down arrow when a frame is selected. I cannot seem to figure it out what it is or how to make a modifier to do it. 


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31 minutes ago, Bryce said:

I cannot seem to figure it out what it is or how to make a modifier to do it.

I may be - not surprisingly - wrong, but I think there is no keyboard shortcut for this. But what about using the mouse scroll wheel when you are over the field for the column number?

Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 32 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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5 hours ago, Bryce said:

Hopefully there is a way

On Mac, there is:
AppleScript's System Events

The "Columns" value field in the context toolbar is a UI element that is "visible" to the MacOS Accessibility framework, thus it is scriptable. The script can be wrapped as an Automator Service plugin, and those can be executed by keyboard shortcuts. Alternatively, scripts can be also executed by 3rd party macro utilities like Keyboard Maestro.

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5 hours ago, Bryce said:

Hopefully there is a way.

You might create several text frames, one each in the typical number of columns you need, and save each as an Asset. Then when you need a text frame with, e.g., 4 columns you just pop over to the Assets panel, double-click on the "4 column text frame" asset, and then draw it where you need it and the size you need.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0..3  and beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.3

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