Word Processing

Taming the Fonts List

One of my favorite things about the Mac is the way it handles fonts. I find the “Show Fonts” menu item that is almost always under the Format menu in each application to be invaluable.

show_fonts

At least it was working until I did some graphic projects on my Silhouette Cameo. Somehow there were a lot of weird fonts showing up in my Favorites List--ones that certainly aren’t my favorites:

favorites

I will admit I had used them--but they were cluttering up my nice, clean Favorites list--the one I expect to use when I work on the Dr. Mac Consulting Newsletter. Although I could easily figure out how to add a favorite…

add_favorites

…getting them out of that list was not so easy! I did some logical deduction. If I want to remove something from the dock, I just drag it out. Yes, just grab the fonts you don’t want in the list and drag them out! My list was clean!

cleaned Favorits

That worked, but let’s do this even better! If I click the + sign in the lower left corner, I can make a new collection, name it whatever I want and then add fonts to that collection.

dr_mac

That’s not quite how it works. I can get a list of fonts and it will include the faces like bold and italic--but I don’t get that nice list like the Favorites List.

All is not lost! In many Apple applications there is a menu item under the application’s name called Provide_______Feedback. It is not available in all apps, but take a look around and you will find one.

provide_feedback

Just make sure it includes the feature you want to complain about.

feedback_form

Does it work? I have never gotten a direct answer back from Apple, but I have noticed that some things that I reported have changed! I have a friend who is a Product Manager at Apple. He says that at each meeting for their product, a stack of feedback forms is waiting for him. He distributes them to his team. His team is expected to respond to Apple in some way for each feedback form. So, yes someone reads them and someone is tasked with deciding if the issue needs to be fixed. It’s really heartening when you see your request in a future Apple update.

--Pat

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Need an Editor? You Have One - Part 2

In the last blog post I discussed Services, a technology that allows applications to interact to share common dictionaries and tasks. While that post dealt with grammar and spell checking turned on through the Preferences in TextEdit, there are far more Services that can be shared between applications.

Under each application’s menu is a sub-menu called Services. Click here to read more...
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Need an Editor? You Have One - Part 1

There have been lots of Twitter tweets in the past two days about editing writings. While some of the comments have been about correct word usage, other comments have been wishes for someone to be an instant editor--always available to do a quick check of what has been written.

As the mother of five children I had built-in readers for many years. Now, they are all off on their own and I can’t for them to come home to read my writings. My husband is usually available in the evening, but that is seldom convenient. I need an in-home editor – and I have one! Click here to read more...
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Paragraphs, Tabs and Lists

I wrote a blog entry back in November in which I talked about formatting documents. For that entry I used TextEdit. That entry focuses on the differences between word processing and using a typewriter. I worked with a client this week who uses Pages, a part of Apple’s iWork suite. Since the tools for paragraph setup in Pages are a bit different from those in TextEdit, let’s take a look at the tools in Pages. In the coming weeks I will try to do blog entries about the process in Microsoft Word and even AppleWorks. Click here to read more...
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How to indent paragraphs

Far too many of us learned to format our writing using paper and a pencil. Remember learning to write in kindergarten – or maybe first grade? My teacher taught us to put our index finger at the left border of the paper, then to start writing beside it.

When I took typing in high school, my teacher told us it press the space bar 5 times, and then begin typing. If we were using one of the fancier typewriters, there might be a tab key. It automatically skipped forward five spaces… Click here to read more...
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Just what size is it?

Paper and envelope sizes confuse me! While I know that US letter paper is 8.5 x 11”, and US Legal paper is 8.5 x 14”, that is only the start of the sizes that can appear in a print dialog box.

Of course, just where to select a paper size in a Macintosh application is also undergoing changes. In TextEdit, paper size is selected in File -> Page Setup. The size choice will look similar to this if you have not selected a specific printer:…
Click here to read more...
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The case for using TextEdit as your word processor, Part 1

We have a new client. He bought a new iMac and somehow, the person who helped him install his new computer managed not to move any of his files or old applications such as AppleWorks.

That technician should be drawn and quartered! There are always things that need to be moved to a new computer and leaving a client without his "past" is cruel and heartless!

One of the things this gentleman is missing are his templates as they were called in AppleWorks or his stationary pads, as they are called in Mac OS X.

Are you still using AppleWorks? It will run in Mac OS X Leopard, but it is so ancient that it is probably past time to put it out to pasture. It must be run in Rosetta these days, and that makes your newer computer work much harder. Newer products take advantage of the features built into Mac OS X such as the ability to search a document using Spotlight and to view a document in the finder without opening the application itself. Applications that run natively in Mac OS X use common interface elements such as FontBook and the ColorPicker as well as Inspectors which make it much simpler to use advanced commands and features. Click here to read more...
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Does your computer do strange things?

One of the listservs that I read each day is the MacRogues On-Line Mac User Group and OS X DISCUSSION LIST. I while occasionally provide an answer, I am often frustrated that the all-text listserv format does not make it easy to "show" someone how to fix a problem. The topic that caused me to want to "show" the answer this time is the problem of screen flashing on Macs.

The message writer said "The screen will freeze before flashing a solid blue and then return to normal." Several people responded, most suggesting a hardware problem. Click here to read more...
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iWork '08 vs Microsoft Office 2008

Tomorrow morning I will be half of the presenting team that will do a presentation comparing Microsoft Office 2008 and iWork '08. I will be needing to share a lot of links with my friends from Washington Apple Pi, a Macintosh User Group that serves Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

In looking for ways to present a lot of material in a very short time, I finally decided to let some others do the work for me!

First, let's take a look at the two applications and what they provide.

No none can speak better for office than the Microsoft Mac Business Unit. Head on over to view a comparison of the three versions of Office 2008: Click here to read more...
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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks - Part 2: Aligning Paragraphs

I recently helped a newcomer to the world of word processing. Her techniques were definitely rooted in the days of the typewriter and applying the rules for document layout that she had learned so many years ago definitely made editing her documents difficult!

The first problem was centering a title. In typewriter days students were taught to position the carriage in the center of the platen and then to spell out their title in their head, pressing the space bar once for every two letters in the title. Gosh, that sounds like a bunch of techno-babble. I am not even going to try to explain it. Instead, lets take a look at the modern universal sign for line placement. This screen shot is from TextEdit.
Click here to read more...
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