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The Lost Art of Clipping

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications.) By Jeremy Wagstaff One of the lingering peculiarities of the web is that it’s not easy to save any of it. This is somewhat weird. You’d think we’d have figured out that this was something people wanted to do quite a lot: If you like something you see or read, surely it’s a natural enough thing to do to want to keep a copy of it somewhere? Back in the days of newspapers, we’d be clipping things all the time. We had a whole department at the BBCContinue readingThe Lost Art of Clipping

Serial Number Killers

I’ve been mulling the issue of registering and activating software of late, and while I feel users generally are less averse to the process of having to enter a serial number or activating a program before they can use it than before, I think there’s still a lot of frustration out there. And I know from clients that it’s a balancing act between upsetting users and not encouraging those who seem unable or unwilling to pay to have a free ride. It seems to me to boil down to this: Users who have paid for software expect to be able to use it out ofContinue readingSerial Number Killers

Confessions of a PDF Hater

There’s a lot of discussion about the ongoing spat between Microsoft and Adobe over whether Microsoft will be able to install PDF/Acrobat support in its next version of Office. This should be as straightforward as PDF support in OpenOffice — where you can choose to save (well, print, technically speaking) a file as an Acrobat PDF. But it’s not. Allowing a niche, free, office suite like OpenOffice to add this for free is one thing, but for the market giant Microsoft — who are preparing a PDF rival, XPS — to do it is another. So as things stand at the moment, Office users willContinue readingConfessions of a PDF Hater

Social Acrobats

You’ve got social bookmark sharing, photo sharing, now you’ve got social Acrobat file sharing: Yummy! Personal PDF Library. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it might have its uses. I just can’t think of any right now. Oh, and it’s brought to you by the guys behind Print(fu), which will turn a PDF file into printed book.

Another Way To Clean Up Text

I’m a huge fan of Text Monkey, a small program which allows you to clean up text copied from elsewhere. It’s a godsend, but it’s not the only one out there. Text Cleanup does the same thing, but also cleans up Acrobat PDF files, particularly all the extra line breaks that Acrobat puts in, and restor[ing] the paragraphs to what they were originally. Text Cleanup costs $25. Text Monkey Pro costs $30 but also comes in a lite version for free, with many of the features of the fully paid up version.

The PaperPort View

Further to my column in this week’s WSJ.com/AWSJ on PaperPort Pro and PaperMaster Pro, here are some e-mailed answers from Bob Anderson (ScanSoft Regional Director Asia Pacific and Japan) in response to my questions about PaperPort Pro: 1) What are the improvements in version 10 (PaperPort Professional 10) over previous versions? A) Faster and easier folder navigation with Bookmark Workspaces and Split Desktop. Bookmark Workspaces allow you to bookmark your most widely used folders and quickly jump back to them when you need them. Using the Split Desktop you can also look into two folders at once to move files quickly and easily between them orContinue readingThe PaperPort View

Adobe Opens The Door A Crack?

Wired reports that the upcoming version of Adobe Acrobat Reader — the free version of its authoring software that lets folk read the resulting Portable Document Format, or PDF files — will let “users make comments or editing changes for the first time, if the original creator of the document uses Acrobat 7.0 and authorizes it”. A more carefully worded version is on Adobe’s website that says that “when enabled by Acrobat 7.0 Professional authors, you can now leverage robust commenting tools and actively participate in document reviews.” What “leverage” means here is anyone’s guess, but it sounds like a weasel word that doesn’t quiteContinue readingAdobe Opens The Door A Crack?

Acrobat Converting Software

Here’s a list of services and products that create documents in Adobe’s  “Portable Document Format” (PDF). (Much of this is drawn from Merle’s article on WebProNews) Software that creates PDF files from other files PDFMoto: A Web publishing system that converts documents you create in any Windows application into PDF. They offer several different versions, so pricing varies, but they do offer a free version that is limited to 50 documents. PDF995 : Free software that allows you to create PDF documents as easily as hitting the “print” key from within any application. The free version has an advertising splash page that comes up everytime youContinue readingAcrobat Converting Software

Going To PDF And Back

Here’s a list of services and products that create documents in Adobe’s Acrobat “Portable Document Format” (PDF). (Much of this is drawn from Merle’s article on WebProNews) (This list will be expanded on and updated at loose wire cache, this blog’s more permanent library.) Software to convert files to PDF Software that creates PDF files from other files: PDFMoto: A Web publishing system that converts documents you create in any Windows application into PDF. They offer several different versions, so pricing varies, but they do offer a free version that is limited to 50 documents. PDF995 : Free software that allows you to create PDF documents asContinue readingGoing To PDF And Back

News: The Free Version Of Office Is Out

 The free, open source Office suite, OpenOffice, is now officially into version 1.1, including enhancements such as “revolutionary” XML file format, one-click PDF (Adobe Acrobat) export and Macromedia Flash export for presentations and drawings, according to The Register.     There is is enhanced MS Office file compatibility, accessibility support and a faster load times. Supported languages include English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (simplified & traditional), Korean and Japanese. Of course, it’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris.

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