Via Remote Management (VNC) I am connecting to a virtual display on a Mac running Lion. VNC is working as expected, except Pages '09 documents show up blank. If, however VNC connects to the Mac and controls the physical display then Pages documents show up as expected.

Is it possible to use Pages using a virtual display over VNC?

VNC Clients that I've tested are: TightVNC & RealVNC running on Windows, or Apple's Screen Sharing app on Lion.

  • 1
    What sort of computer are you VNCing from and what app are you using to do so? What version of OS X is running on the Mac that is running Pages? What version of Pages is it?
    – Cajunluke
    Feb 14, 2012 at 20:55
  • Clarifications added. The behavior seems like Pages is limiting it's use to the physical display only.
    – Josh
    Feb 14, 2012 at 21:21
  • What do you mean by a "virtual display"? I've used Pages over VNC before, but only with the laptop open and Pages on the physical display.
    – Cajunluke
    Feb 14, 2012 at 21:29
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    "Virtual display" is new in Lion, it allows a remote user to login into a separate session and not take over the local user's physical display. This page from Apple in the section named "Lion Screen Sharing" provides some information support.apple.com/kb/HT4715
    – Josh
    Feb 14, 2012 at 22:28
  • Huh. Cool feature I'd never heard of. It sounds like a bug in Pages's rendering. Does any other app do that, too, particularly Keynote or Numbers?
    – Cajunluke
    Feb 14, 2012 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


Excuse the large picture, but I have used Screen Sharing to share the screen of an iMac running Lion and Pages '09 over the virtual display, and it works just fine. I suspect that the assumed problem of with pages inability to work over a virtual VNC connection is not accurate, but there is something more local to your machine that needs attention.


  • I have tried using several of our Mac's in the office. We are running iWork that was purchased from physical media instead of the app store. Other than changing that I can't think of any configuration changes. How are you establishing the connection, simply Finder Share screen?
    – Josh
    Mar 18, 2012 at 22:10
  • Exactly that. Also using CD versions of iWork. Computers, eh!?
    – stuffe
    Mar 18, 2012 at 22:13

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