What's new in Lion: fonts and text
Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:24 AM
Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:37 AM
Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:53 AM
Two of the three new fonts are easily available online for free, and Apple has still not included an industry-standard math/science font like STIX. Before I discovered STIX, I wrested for days trying to do equations in a science book with what ships with Snow Leopard and InDesign. It was impossible.
The new text features are no better. Seven of the ten that Apple lists for Lion deal with non-European languages. The three for European speakers are trivial. For instance, those who need to know already know the option key shortcuts of most accented characters.
What you mention as "styles" in TextEdit aren't really styles. They're simply for fixed and unchangeable text variations such as italic. Styles refer to named paragraph and character styles assigned to paragraph and text that allows the user to change that style and in an instant change how a book looks. I know they've been around since the late 1980s, because I worked with them on a Microsoft Press book, Working with Word. The book being about Word and created in Word.
Any decent word processing program uses named styles and they're a part of the RTF standard that Apple claims to support. But OS X's text services knows nothing of them. That means that many developers (i.e. Scrivener) don't have the resources to add them to their products.
And named styles matter immensely because we now create documents that need to display correctly on everything from a 3.5" iPhone screen to a 24" display. The only way to do that is to assign styles that have meaning to text. You can't do that with Lion's long obsolete scheme of differentiating text with specific font sizes and types.
No, sadly, OS X's text services aren't just a little out of date. They show no indication that those working on them have looked at a word processor since WordStar circa 1982. The feature set is almost identical. The appearance is even the same. I will, however, credit them with one modest improvement. I just checked. In Lion's TextEdit, you can now turn tab-delimited text into a table. Before, the only way to format text as a table was to enter it by hand, one field at a time.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:22 PM
It's worse than that. Lion (for me) repeats some characters when held down, does the accent thing for others, and laughs at me for others.
Based on how a held-down o behaves, I rather expected a held-down p to offer π (that's pi if the commenting system breaks it), but that's one of the ones which laughs at me (so do the numbers).
Shifted letters do the same as the unshifted ones. Shifted numbers repeat. Special characters repeat. Option-number repeats the Option form. Option-letter depends upon the letter.
Enjoy playing. The above was in TextEdit--samples are similar in Pages.
Posted 23 July 2011 - 03:33 PM
Comparing TextEdit to a word processor isn't revealing of its demo status, or the glaring differences with its equivalent "Notepad" (sp?) on MS Windows. It wouldn't be as comparable with Wordpad (sp?) because that is passed off as a reduced MS Word mostly for previewing documents (well, my impression).
Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:50 PM
You can buy any generic USB winmodem (less than $20) and it should work, albeit possibly without connection sounds. No driver needed.