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OS X Guidebook 1.1 released System
Now at version 1.1, the Mac OS X Solutions Guidebook has been converted from the original AppleWorks source into a Word v.X source. This major conversion allowed me to tackle the other important issue I wished to address - replacing all the screenshots with higher resolution versions. This was the single biggest request I had after the release of the first version, and I agree - the original screenshots looked bad and printed worse. Please note that this change does not affect the requirements for using the Guidebook - it is distributed as a PDF file, but it lives as a Word document on my machine now.

The downside of higher quality images is much larger file sizes. So there are now actually two versions of the book available. The high quality version is a 5.5mb download; the medium quality version is 2.9mb. Both offer significantly nicer graphics than did the first release, and the high quality version is especially suitable for printing.

There are also about 10 new hints, a number of modified hints, a new three-page overview of the OS X folder structure, a "command line vs. GUI" comparison table, and another dozen or so online resources.

So if you didn't like the image quality in the first version of the guide, download the new and improved version.

December 11 Update: I invested in Acrobat 5.0 tonight, so there's a new copy of the guidebook online. The version number is the same, and there's no new content, but all the URLs and email addresses are now functional links, and there's a rudimentary bookmarks section to quickly jump from chapter to chapter. Sorry for the rapid update, but I thought the bookmarks and links were worth it.
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OS X Guidebook 1.1 released | 16 comments | Create New Account
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Source vs. distribution
Authored by: robg on Dec 11, '01 09:24:18AM

Just so everyone is clear, it's just the source that has been updated from AppleWorks to Word. Both downloads are, indeed, PDF files. I've added that bit to the original article just to make sure it's clear ;-).

As for the technical reasons for the switch, there are two huge ones. The first is that AppleWorks does not handle floating images very well. It will do them, but when an image floats, if you then insert a paragraph or line above the image, the image remains 'floating' in the exact same physical spot on the page. In other words, if the image was floating 1" from the top and 2" from the left, that's where it stays. This makes it virtually impossible to use floating images in any document that's going to be revised, as you have to re-set all images by hand every time you change any text.

The other big problem is that AppleWorks seems to have a bug (or feature, depending on who you ask) that converts all imported images to 72dpi, making it very hard to do any high-res graphics in the program. Perhaps it was user error, but I could not get AW to print any of the high-res TIFFs; it downsampled them all to 72dpi.

That's why I moved the source to Word, but kept the public version in PDF. I'm not forcing anyone to buy Office if they don't want to ;-).

-rob.



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Source vs. distribution
Authored by: sputnik on Dec 11, '01 10:32:35AM
>That's why I moved the source to Word, but kept the public version in PDF. >I'm not forcing anyone to buy Office if they don't want to ;-). Speaking of source, wouldn't you have even more control over your layout, if you started using *tex? TexShop really is quite nice. -- whee, my first post :)

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Looks impressive...
Authored by: robg on Dec 11, '01 11:11:51AM

But all I wanted was inline image control and no down-sampling of hi-res images :-). I suppose if I ever wanted to publish the Guidebook, I'd have to get more serious about layout. For now, Word seems to fit my needs quite nicely, but TeXShop looks pretty cool for more advanced control over layout.

-rob.



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Looks impressive...[off topic]
Authored by: sputnik on Dec 11, '01 11:45:01AM

Well. For some time I was stuck with a pdf version of Bruce Eckels "Thinking in Java" because the University Bookshop was out of it. The problem for me was, that Bruce choose to export the pdf file directly from Word with left aligned text.

It was a free download, but rather painfull to read though.

I ended up buying the bloody thing only to discover that the book was also left aligned allover :(

Sometimes I wish that writers would pay more attention to little stuff like that.



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Looks impressive...[off topic]
Authored by: greggomer on Dec 11, '01 03:09:50PM

I'm confused, what's wrong with left aligned text. Are most print items left aligned?

Thanks,

Greg



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Looks impressive...[off topic]
Authored by: sputnik on Dec 12, '01 04:23:53AM
Well, I think it is a personal issue. But a good example of something you just might not want to read onscreen is here. It is a zipped pdf of one of our text books at this semester. Since I had to wait two months before fresh copies made it to my university, this was what I was stuck with. Given that I don't have a printer at home and printing is sorta expensive here, you might get an idea of my pain if you download the file.

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Looks impressive...
Authored by: BMarsh on Dec 11, '01 12:46:25PM

This is academic since you've already switched programs.

AppleWorks can do inline images, if you have the text tool selected, and paste an image, it puts it inline, it is then affected by normal text alignment rules, like center, align left, etc...

As for the DPI of the imported image, I think there is an option for higher resolution, but I can't remember how to do it off hand, if anyone really wants to do this or find out how, it should be in the manual, if it's not e-mail me at bmarsh@mac.com



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AW and images...
Authored by: robg on Dec 11, '01 01:15:51PM

Perhaps I didn't explain it well enough; you can inline an image, but you can't inline an image and control text wrap. To do that, you need it floating, and then it has the 'fixed in space' problem.

I've followed-up with you via email in more detail, as I'd love an answer to this problem if you have one.

-rob.



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Source vs. distribution
Authored by: edlake on Dec 11, '01 04:25:34PM

It looks good, but I would have done it in Quark. Word drives me crazy. Of course, it helps that I've been using Quark since about 1987. I find it works well in Classic, but there are graphic box issues regarding refershing. I generally ignore that.



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Congratulations!
Authored by: Bo Winding on Dec 12, '01 08:32:25AM

Hello Rob, Nice work!
I've been looking for it for a while, to se how came out. If I should have done it, I would have used QuarkXPress, which has an automatic Index-generator, based on the typographic styles of the different headlines. On export to Destiller this index will be transformed to bookmarks in the final PDF. Also this would give me full control over compression of highres pictures in the destiller settings, and cosequently control the final file size.
But you seem to be mastering most of the Acrobat features already.
Did you find any special PDF-features in Word-X? Or did you just do a save preview from Word?

Yours
Bo Winding



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I'm a simple person :-)
Authored by: robg on Dec 12, '01 09:25:01AM

The Guidebook is not a great testament to utilizing the full powers of Word :-). The headlines and sub-headlines actually aren't in any style; they're just text formatted and then I copied/pasted when I needed a new one. I know, I know ... a horrendous thing to do because it makes things such as TOC impossible to do ;-).

So in the end, it's just a straight Word print to PDF, then I spent about 10 minutes with each version in Acrobat adding the links (that was impressively slick!) and the bookmarks.

-rob.



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I'm a simple person :-)
Authored by: BMarsh on Dec 12, '01 01:52:12PM

I ended up not getting a chance to check out the Appleworks stuff last night, hopefully tonight...

but I did read something about a week ago in the newest MacWorld, that had tips for creating pdf's, one of which, was a tip to use EPS graphics instead of TIFF (or possibly other formats) it results in good looking print, and you can zoom in as far as you want onscreen, and it looks decent. (and I believe should result in smaller pdf files)

this may end up being difficult to impliment, but is something to keep in mind.



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^M Problem, Solution Three
Authored by: Cadre on Dec 11, '01 03:49:35PM

If you need to switch between file formats, emacs natively supports a bunch (big-5, vscii, etc), the three key ones being unix, mac, and dos.

To specify a save format type "^x RET f". The names for the three common formats are unix, mac, and dos. Quite useful if you need to convert a file back to another format for a friend.



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Foolish question on source
Authored by: DragonsBane on Dec 11, '01 09:24:42PM

1) Thank you R for this great work of art.
2) PDF's can easily be "opened".
3) Why not save the PDF as editable text so people can cut and paste your work?

I have recommended your guidebook to no less than 20 people but I would have liked to have solved their problems by quoting from it without the need to re-type or "krack" your file. Is there a reason why you do not want me to copy and paste your text?

Thank you again for the great info!!!



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RTFM
Authored by: DragonsBane on Dec 11, '01 09:28:42PM

Woops

"Registered users will receive (if they wish) the source Word document for easy editing and searching."



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Use Acrobat Reader...
Authored by: robg on Dec 11, '01 09:31:24PM

Acrobat reader can select and copy the text from the PDF file; you don't need the Word document :-).

-rob.



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