Last-modified: September 4, 1995
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Frequently Asked Questions about Macintosh Application Software =============================================================== comp.sys.mac.faq, part 4: comp.sys.mac.apps Copyright 1993,1994,1995 by Elliotte Harold Please see section 5.8 of the general FAQ if you wish to redistribute, revise or republish this document in any way. Archive-name: macintosh/apps-faq Version: 2.4.0 Last-modified: September 4, 1995 Address comments to email@example.com What's new in version 2.3.4: ---------------------------- 1.1: What's the best text editor? PlainText and Tex-Edit are becoming full-blown editors. There's a better emacs port available than microEmacs, and vim is better vi port than Stevie. Alpha is $30 shareware (up from $25). 1.3: What's the best genealogy software? soc.roots has become soc.genealogy.computing Table of Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------- I. What's the Best... 1. Text editor 2. Word processor 3. Genealogy software 4. TeX/LaTeX 5. Integrated application 6. Spreadsheet 7. JPEG Viewer 8. Electronic publishing software 9. Drawing application 10. Typing tutor? 11. OCR software? II. Microsoft Word 1. How can I assign styles to characters in Word 5.x? 2. How can I automatically generate cross-references in Word 5.x? 3. How can I change a Word document to TeX? and vice-versa? 4. How can I depersonalize Word? Excel? 5. Where can I get more information? III. TeachText 1. How can I change the font in TeachText? 2. How do I place a picture in a TeachText file? 3. How do I make a TeachText document read-only? RETRIEVING THE ENTIRE FAQ ========================= This is the FOURTH part of this FAQ. The first part is also posted to this newsgroup under the subject heading "Introductory Macintosh frequently asked questions (FAQ)" and includes a complete table of contents for the entire document as well as information on where to post, ftp, file decompression, trouble-shooting, preventive maintenance and conditions for reproduction, posting and use of this document outside of Usenet. The second, third, fifth and sixth parts are posted every two weeks in comp.sys.mac.system, comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.wanted and comp.sys.mac.hardware respectively. Please familiarize yourself with all six sections of this document before posting. All pieces are available for anonymous ftp from <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/> Except for the introductory FAQ which appears in multiple newsgroups and is stored as general-faq, the name of each file has the format of the last part of the group name followed by "-faq", e.g the FAQ for comp.sys.mac.system is stored as system-faq. You can also have these files mailed to you by sending an E-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the line: send pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/name in the body text where "name" is the name of the file you want as specified above (e.g. general-faq). You can also send this server a message with the subject "help" for more detailed instructions. For access via the Web use <URL:http://www.macfaq.com/faqs.html> ========================= WHAT'S THE BEST... (1.0) ========================= TEXT EDITOR? (1.1) ------------------- Available shareware and freeware text editors that can handle more than 32K of text include PlainText, McSink, Tex-Edit Plus, BBEdit Lite, Edit II (with grep style searching), Alpha (particularly nice for working with TeX files), and vim (for fans of vi). The feature sets of these editors overlap somewhat but are not identical. Since all are available via anonymous FTP, there's no reason not to try them all and find the one you like best. See I use Rich Siegel's BBEdit Lite for the FAQ because it can word wrap to a specific number of characters and indent lines with spaces. (You didn't think I did all this nice formatting by hand, did you?) It's also a very nice programmer's editor. BBEdit has an extensive interface for adding custom externals written in Think C so if you need a feature that's not built-in you can add it. Some others may also miss a macro language that's easier to use than writing code externals in C which brings us to my second choice. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Alpha ($30 shareware) is a text editor that includes a full featured implementation of the tcl scripting language and extensive search and replace capabilities. Emacs users will feel at home with this powerful program. It's System 7 dependent. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> The other feature conspicuously absent from BBEdit Lite is soft word wrapping. Many people who need this prefer PlainText, a freeware editor from that can also handle linefeed and smart quote conversion as well as a lot of the other annoyances of cross-platform work. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Edit II has a grep style multi-file search and replace that's incredibly useful when your boss tells you he wants to change the format of the copyright notice in 250 HTML files spread out over thirteen nested folders. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> vim is vi-workalike for the Mac. I don't know why you'd want to use a twenty-year old modal editor on the Mac, but if you do you can. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Tom Bender's Tex-Edit Plus straddles the line between a text editor and a word processor. Unlike the other editors profiled here Tex-Edit Plus includes extensive support for styled text on the level of SimpleText as well as support for text beyond SimpleText's 32K limit. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Parmet has ported Emac version 18 to the Mac. See <URL:ftp://cs.cornell.edu/pub/parmet/> McSink, $45 shareware, is the original Mac text editor. It became the commercial Vantage, and the shareware version is showing its age, but it still mostly works. However unlike most of the other editors here, it still works with System 6. And it has all the basic features you're likely to need. <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> WORD PROCESSOR? (1.2) ---------------------- Word 6.0.1 is big and powerful, and it's going to polarize the market like nothing ever seen before ( (even earlier versions of itself). Word 6.0.1 requires a 68020 Mac and System 7. It wants a 68040 or PowerPC CPU, about thirty megabytes of free hard disk space, and five free megabytes of RAM (after all extensions and the system software are loaded). On the other hand Word 6.0 is the first consumer priced product to provide all the features I need in a word processor including character based styles, auto-numbering of equations and figures, a fully programmable macro language and much, much more. Word is virtually guaranteed to have at least one feature you can't live without which just isn't available in any other word processor. For me that feature is outlining. For you it may be styles or cross-platform support or a mail merge that can be used by non-programmers. You may not need all the features in Word 6.0, but chances are good that you need some of them badly. The only significant capability missing from Word 6.0 is support for non-Roman languages. Even more importantly between the integrated outliner, fields, active assistance and the unbelievably powerful style sheets, Word is the first word processor to do more than merely treat documents as characters on a page. Contrary to the beliefs of many on the net and Microsoft's own propaganda, Word 6.0 isn't just "over 150 new features" tossed in to produce long lists of checkmarks in MacWeek feature comparison charts. It's the beginning of the first word processor that more than merely placing characters on the page actually knows what those characters mean and how they relate to each other. It is the next step that will take word processors from helping us type to helping us write. It took me a while to realize this is what Microsoft was (very quietly) up to. Noone else in the market is even close to providing this, and Microsoft doesn't want to tip off the competition. Nonetheless this is the future of word processing; this is how we will be writing documents in ten years; and this is the biggest change in the definition of what a word processor should be since the original MacWrite, and perhaps since cut and paste. Finally since Word is the market leader, there's a greater chance that it will be upgraded and supported in the future, both by Microsoft and by third parties. Many people have been burned by committing to word processors that were subsequently abandoned, leaving them with files they could neither exchange with others nor convert into better supported formats. Thus it's nice to know that anyone you send a Word file to will be able to read it, and that any program which needs to import word processing documents will import a Word file. And if there is some feature you need that Word just doesn't have (though I find it hard to imagine what) there's a very good chance a third party tool exists to provide it. For instance although the envelope feature in Word is virtually useless, you can use Easy Envelopes to replace it. On the other hand, there's no replacement for WordPerfect's imperfect outliner. Now for the bad news: In the process of creating this completely new kind of word processor, Microsoft encountered a few problems. Most glaringly Word 6.0.1 is slow on 68030 and 68020 Macs. The implementation is causing so many problems for so many people, that users are abandoning Word in droves. While the Macintosh Word team at Microsoft continues to attempt to defend their product, they're pretty much the only ones. Even Microsoft's own technical support is telling callers "We hate them," (The Mac Word programming team), and [envelope printing in Word 6] "is proof Microsoft doesn't do drug testing when they hire programmers." Finally Word's interface is more like Windows than a Macintosh. (The menu bars aren't attached to the windows yet, but I'm waiting for that.) Believe it or not, Microsoft continues to insist that this is a feature and not a bug, and that their customers want it. By this they mean that system managers who approve purchase orders for hundreds of copies of Microsoft products and oversee large, mixed-platform networks want it. This sort of person is, after all, Microsoft's real customer. Microsoft has demonstrated little concern for the individual typing at the keyboard who, after all, doesn't approve any purchase orders. While making the Windows and Macintosh versions of Word look and work identically makes technical support and training easier for management, it makes using the product harder for the individual Mac user since they essentially need to learn how to use a Windows program to use Word. Nonetheless I think Microsoft's vision of word processing is strong enough to make up for the bugs and the Windows interface. However that's not a strong enough argument to make up for the snail-like slowness of the product, so if you don't have a 68040 or a PowerMac with five free megabytes of RAM you need to look elsewhere. Therefore since Word doesn't run suitably quickly on my SE/30, I'm still looking for the ultimate word processor. I hoped WordPerfect 3.1 would be that program but there are still too many bugs in screen redraw, tables, and the import of Word files for me to feel comfortable using or recommending it. WordPerfect 3.1 is close to what Word 5.1 should have been and what many people wanted from Word 6.0. It's acceptably fast on 68030 Macs with as little as two free megs of RAM, has just about every feature of Word 5.1 except outlining, plus a few more commonly requested features like automatic cross-referencing and auto-numbering of figures, equations and tables, a macro language, and support for WorldScript II languages like Korean, Chinese and Japanese (though not right-to-left languages like Hebrew and Arabic). You can retrieve a demo from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> If you want to upgrade from Word 5.1 but your Mac can't handle Word 6.0 or your stomach can't handle Windows (since Word 6.0, is after all, just a Windows port) you might find WordPerfect more to your liking. However be warned that not all of its features actually work. Many of those that do are incomplete in their current incarnations. And there are distinctly non-trivial bugs in screen redraw. Finally Wordperfect Corp. no longer offers lifetime technical support (though the first 180 days of support are tollfree). As thrilled as I was to see a real competitor for Microsoft Word, I'm afraid the initial glow has worn off. I cannot recommend WordPerfect at this time, primarily because of the screen redraw problems. Users with limited disk space, 68000 CPUs, or less than four megabytes of memory may want to consider WriteNow 4.0, a word processor noted for its speed, small memory appetite, minimal disk footprint, and small price, about sixty dollars. Unlike the other products discussed here, WriteNow really is designed first and last to be a word processor, not a document formatter. It doesn't have an equation editor, text boxes, an outliner or other features more associated with desktop publishing than with writing. If all you want to do is write, WriteNow may be the choice for you. However you should be warned that after a series of mergers, acquisitions and product sales WriteNow has found itself in unfriendly corporate hands and will likely eventually die a quiet death. There are no plans for any future upgrades. Users behind the power curve and even those out in front of it may also want to consider ClarisWorks whose word processing functions are more than sufficient for basic writing. While more expensive than WriteNow, ClarisWorks also provides many other well-integrated features in a small and speedy package. Almost everyone who buys a computer immediately either buys or borrows a word processor. Certainly they get one before they get a modem and net access. Consequently the market for freeware and shareware word processors is miniscule. Nonetheless there is one. Datapak's Word Solution Engine Demo 2.2 is a full-featured free word processor. Don't let the word "Demo" fool you. What Datapak is demoing is the capabilities of the word processing engine they license to software developers, not the word processor itself which is fully functional and free. WSED supports editing files larger than memory, WorldScript, simple styles and all the standard features you'd expect in a Macintosh word processor. There's no manual or technical support, but what do you expect for free? In any case the program is simple and intuitive enough that neither should be necessary. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Among writers of technical documents that include many numbered equations, tables, and figures, FrameMaker is particularly popular. This may change now that Word offers all those features, especially since FrameMaker really is more of a desktop publishing package than a word processor, and it's priced like one. The educational discount price for FrameMaker is close to the non-educational, street price of Word 5.1 or WordPerfect; and competitive upgrades are not available. When creating a Framemaker document you need to give a lot more initial thought to the layout of the page than you would with most word processors. It's much harder to just launch FrameMaker and begin writing than it is in any of the other word processors. Finally FrameMaker requires even more RAM than Microsoft Word 6.0! All these facts convince me that FrameMaker is not well suited to general use. Many netters swear by (and at) NisusWriter from Nisus Software. If you're used to almost any other word processor, your first reaction on launching Nisus may be "What were the programmers thinking?" The answer is, "Nothing like anybody else in the market." In many ways Nisus is still trying to catch up with Word 4, not to mention Word 6; but in many other ways Nisus has been ahead of Microsoft for years. The feature set of Nisus is almost orthogonal to the feature set of everything else on the market. For instance as well as the standard Plain, Bold, Italic and Underline styles, Nisus also includes Lower Underline, Dotted Underline, Word Underline, esreveR, Strike Through, Overbar, Invert and more. On the other hand style sheets can't be based on each other, tables can't span more than a single page, you can't copy and paste styled text into other applications, there's no outlining to speak of and the size of the files you can open is limited by available RAM. It's almost as if someone sequestered a group of programmers in a lab for the last ten years, and forced them to develop a word processor with no knowledge of what anyone else might or might not be doing. Fancy styles are far from NisusWriter's most important unique strength. NisusWriter is the only word processor that lets you write in any or all of Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English, Russian, and more. To use non-Roman languages (except Japanese) requires a separately available ADB dongle (about $100 street); but if your writing is limited to Roman languages and Japanese, the undongled edition will serve equally well. NisusWriter is also renowned for its powerful macro language and styled-grep search and replace. I've accomplished jobs in minutes with NisusWriter that hours of AppleScript programming and WordPerfect macros weren't able to handle. If you have a lot of text that you want to reformat automatically you owe it to yourself to try NisusWriter first. If you're looking for a word processor that can do tables, multiple width snaking and newspaper style columns, import every picture format known, and in general double as a desktop publishing package, you don't want NisusWriter. On the other hand if you need to write in Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese or many other non-Roman languages you really have no other choice. You can get a demo from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> MacWrite Pro 1.5 is a solid product but has nothing special to recommend it beyond the name of the company that makes it. If MacWrite was produced by Friendly Neighborhood Software (tm) instead of Claris, it would have been eliminated from the market long ago. After years of abandonment FullWrite has returned to the hands of its original developers and from there to the retail market. As of this writing I don't have much information about it but you can retrieve a demo copy from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> What's the bottom line? In open platform competition where every program gets as fast a processor and as much RAM as it likes, there's no question that Word 6.0.1 is by far the best word processor for the Mac. The one exception is if you need to write in non-Roman languages in which case NisusWriter is the superior choice. However if we limit ourselves to 68030 Macs with less than three free megabytes of RAM the choice is a lot less obvious. Word can barely run on such a system. WordPerfect can't redraw its screen properly on any system. NisusWriter works but is missing many features users have come to depend on. All I suggest to Mac users with 68030 Macs is keep whatever you have now, be it ClarisWorks or an older version of Microsoft Word, and wait for the next round of releases before upgrading. You may not have to wait long. As I write this rumors of WordPerfect 3.5, ClarisWorks 4.0 and NisusWriter 4.1 have just been released. One thing's for sure: the Macintosh word processing market is a lot more interesting than it was a year ago. GENEALOGY SOFTWARE? (1.3) -------------------------- Leister Productions' Reunion is the most powerful, flexible, graphical, and easy-to-use Macintosh software for producing family trees and doing genealogical research. At $115 street it's also the most expensive. Reunion is available from all the usual sources of payware software. If all you want to do is chart your own family tree back a few generations, you may want to consider the less powerful and less flexible, but considerably cheaper Personal Ancestry File (PAF for short) from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons for short). It's designed primarily for easy downloading of data into the Mormons' central database so it's not as easy to use as Reunion and lacks some basic features. For instance there's no provision for children of unmarried couples. PAF is, however, only $35. It must be ordered directly from the Mormons at Salt Lake Distribution Center 1999 West 1700 South Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (800) 537-5950 The product number is #30992 (Macintosh) and an IBM version is also available. MasterCard and Visa are accepted for a $2 fee. However your card is charged for a cash advance rather than a purchase so interest will begin accruing immediately and your credit card company will probably tack on about a 2.5% cash advance fee. There are also a number of shareware genealogy programs including Heritage Genealogy, Our Family Tree, and Gene. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> However these programs are limited compared to PAF and the much more powerful Reunion. For instance, Our Family Tree's pedigree charts can only go back five generations as opposed to Reunion's thirty-five. For more information on all of these programs and many others you should read the FAQ list for soc.genealogy.computing, available by sending email to LISTSERV@mail.eworld.com with the words "GET FAQ MACTOSH" (no quotes) in the body of the message. TEX? (1.4) ----------- Textures from Blue Sky Research is easily the superior implementation of TeX for the Mac. It's the only TeX for the Mac that typesets and displays text and equations continuously as the TeX code describing them is typed, includes PostScript versions of the Computer Modern fonts, or allows simple copying and pasting of graphics and formatted pages between TeX and other Mac applications. If you work with TeX on a daily basis, Textures at $195 student price is worth a look. Blue Sky Research is famous on the net for technical support that should be a model for the industry. For more information send E-mail to email@example.com. Andrew Trevorrow's OzTeX is not as sophisticated or as Maclike as Textures, but OzTeX files are somewhat more easily exported to TeX systems on other platforms than are Textures files. More importantly OzTeX is only $30 shareware and available from <URL:ftp://midway.uchicago.edu/pub/OzTeX/> OzTeX is the most integrated and Maclike of the shareware TeX's. It's also the only shareware TeX with anything approaching complete documentation. It's slower than the other programs discussed here, but does allow background compilation and printing. If you only need to print or preview an occasional TeX document, get OzTeX. Tom Kiffe recently released CMacTeX 2.1, a more modular TeX for the Mac. The different pieces of this full TeX package like dvipreview, TeX, and METAFONT are all available separately. CMacTeX is available in both freeware and commercial versions. The freeware version is available for anonymous ftp at <URL:ftp://ftp.shsu.edu/tex-archive/systems/mac/cmactex/> The freeware package includes information on ordering the commercial version which costs $25 and adds the "big" TeX and Metafont packages. Both versions include METAFONT, dvips, and various other TeXie tools. However both versions require a PostScript printer. Unlike the other TeX programs CMacTeX cannot print to a QuickDraw printer. CMacTeX's documentation is somewhat lacking. Finally Wilfried Ricken maintains DirectTeX, shareware, $100 for up to three copies, $20 for each additonal copy. It can be retrieved from <URL:ftp://hadron.tp2.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/pub/directtex/> DirectTeX sits on top of and requires the payware MPW. This provides it with exceptionally strong macro abilities but makes it by far the least Maclike of the four packages. DirectTeX supports bidirectional typesetting as is needed for Hebrew and Arabic. It includes most TeX utilities such as BibTeX, METAFONT, and various tools for working with .dvi files. DirectTeX is the fastest shareware TeX and offers the most complete collection of TeX capabilities and tools. INTEGRATED APPLICATION? (1.5) ------------------------------ Most software is driven by the needs of power users. Features are added to sell into the power-user segment of the market since they're the hardest to please and spend the most dollars. Triple Omega Paperware Corp. and its competitors need to design cocktail napkins in 16,000,000 lifelike, mouthwatering colors so Big Software Inc. has its programmers spend many hours adding photorealistic color capability to Bloated Draw 7.2. Meanwhile Father O'Brian finds he needs all the hard disk space on his Color Classic and more money than he gets in the collection plate on a good Sunday just to purchase and install Bloated Draw 7.2, SuperDuperPublisher 3.8, and WhizzyWriter 9.7 so he can make a brochure with a picture of a hamburger to advertise the upcoming CYO dinner. Integrated applications provide the tools for Father O'Brien to create his brochure at a price, both in money and system resources, that won't require him to rob the poorbox. Very few Mac users really push our $200 software packages to the limit. Even people who do use Word 5.1 to the fullest may not come close to utilizing the power of Excel or Canvas, and vice-versa. An integrated package omits the 80% of features that 90% of users never touch. Thus we get the 20% of features that we actually do use in several areas for less than the price of a full featured application in any one of those areas. Integrated applications also pack these features into a smaller, faster package ideal for users with 68000 Macs or small hard disks. The basic components of an integrated package include a word processor, drawing application, spreadsheet, database, charting module, and telecommunications. Some integrated apps also include painting (ClarisWorks, WordPerfect Works, and GreatWorks), outlining (ClarisWorks, GreatWorks), and even presentation (ClarisWorks) modules. ClarisWorks is undoubtedly the best integrated package for the Mac (which of course means it's easily the best integrated package anywhere, but you knew that already. :-) ClarisWorks 1.0 did what was previously thought to be impossible. It destroyed a virtual Microsoft monopoly in a market, something no one had ever before achieved though many had tried. The virtual dethroning of market leader Microsoft Works by the upstart Claris ought to serve as a lesson to any company that thinks market dominance can substitute for solid, improving products. It also proved for the first time that even as a wholly owned Apple subsidiary Claris was capable of turning out a market leading product, something they'd never done before. With the release of version 2.0 the gap between ClarisWorks and everyone else became a chasm. Though other integrated packages like Symantec's GreatWorks and WordPerfect Works offer a few features not found in Claris Works and vice versa, (Noone agrees on exactly how much should be included in an integrated package.) none of the other packages are as well integrated, well designed, and easy to use as ClarisWorks. I strongly recommend ClarisWorks as the first software for new Mac owners, and an essential tool for PowerBook users. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> SPREADSHEET? (1.6) ------------------- The best professional's spreadsheet is undoubtedly Microsoft Excel. While there are occasional reasons one might want to use Lotus 1-2-3, Wingz or Resolve, they all fall into the "If you have to ask..." category. Since development has ceased on all three of Excel's competitors, I recommend that you do not buy any payware spreadsheet except Excel unless you absolutely must. However if you're less than a real power user of spreadsheets, you may want to take a look at two excellent demoware packages, BiPlane and Mariner which retail for about 20% of the street prices of their payware counterparts and offer the 20% of spreadsheet features 90% of spreadsheet users spend 100% of their time using. Both are available from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> You may also want to consider one of the integrated packages such as ClarisWorks. For less than the price of a full-blown spreadsheet, you get a medium-sized spreadsheet with all the basic features except macros, and a damned good word processor and graphics package to boot. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> JPEG VIEWER? (1.7) ------------------- Aaron Giles' JPEGView previews JPEG files on Macs running System 7. Kevin Mitchell's GifConverter, $45 shareware, can read and dither JPEG's on any Mac running System 6.0.5 or later. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING SOFTWARE? (1.8) -------------------------------------- Professional electronic publishers tend to swear by either QuarkXPress or Aldus Pagemaker, typically because they haven't tried the other package. The interface metaphors of the two products are quite different, and forcing your mind to switch between the two is non-trivial. However many people have made the effort to switch to Quark. Few have moved the other direction unless forced. Quark offers more control over the placement of objects on the page and various color effects than does PageMaker. This makes Quark particularly popular for advertising and other layouts that don't look like traditional books and magazines. For instance I can't imagine laying out Mondo 2000 or Spy in PageMaker. In Quark it might actually be fun. This is not to say that such things can't be done; the MacWarehouse catalog is done with Pagemaker; but Quark is certainly easier to use for this sort of free-form layout. Pagemaker fits a more traditional layout like MacWeek's where everything fits neatly into non-overlapping rectangular columns and boxes with occasional pull quotes. Aldus has been playing catch-up with Quark for several years now, and with the recent release of PageMaker 6.0 they may finally have pulled even. The two products still aren't equal (Quark's XTensions are superior to Aldus Additions; PageMaker's book publishing features like automatic indexing are non-existent in Quark.) but they are roughly comparable. PageMaker is a little more expensive, but Aldus provides much better support. For users just starting out I recommend PageMaker. Many people choose PageMaker because its simpler interface makes it easier to use for simple black and white newsletters, books, and other printed matter that doesn't push the art of electronic publishing to its limits. However if this is all you want, you may be surprised at just how well today's word processors fit your needs. With text and picture boxes, styles, multi-column capabilities, sectioning, EPS import, and many other features traditionally associated with desktop publishing, word processors like Word 6.0, WordPerfect 3.1, and even ClarisWorks can do a surprisingly professional job when producing relatively simple documents. These features may not be obvious (especially in Word 6.0) but they are present, and for considerably less money than Pagemaker. DRAWING APPLICATION? (1.9) --------------------------- For sheer artistic capability MacroMedia Freehand and Adobe Illustrator have been playing leapfrog with each other for years. As of this writing I consider the race too close to call. For day-to-day work most people feel more comfortable with whichever program they learned first since the interfaces of the two packages are somewhat different. I will note that Illustrator is by far the more popular package, at least in the New York City graphic design community, where jobs that require Illustrator vastly outnumber ones that require Freehand. Both Illustrator and Freehand are designed for tasks that would traditionally have been accomplished by freehand drawing. If your drawing tends more towards the technical than the artistic, you'll probably be happier with Canvas 3.5 which has a superior interface for object alignment and drawing to scale. Illustrator and Freehand can do pretty much anything Canvas can and vice-versa; but having the right package does make particular jobs easier. If your pictures will consist mainly of smooth curves, Illustrator or Freehand will suit you better. All of the above packages are geared toward serious artists and professional designers and are priced accordingly. For occasional drawing by non-professionals any of the integrated packages such as ClarisWorks or even the drawing modules of WordPerfect or Microsoft Word will likely serve well for a substantially smaller investment of time, money, and disk space. TYPING TUTOR? (1.10) --------------------- Almost everyone agrees that Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing ($34 street) is the best typing tutor program though some, including myself, would qualify that by noting that it's the best of a bad lot. It includes all the standard bells and whistles one would expect from a typing tutor including statistics, typing games, and practice text plus a few extras like a Dvorak mode and a manual that's considerably more interesting and fun than the program itself. Mavis Beacon has its flaws (It expects you to type two spaces at the end of a sentence, and its Dvorak mode doesn't work with a genuine Dvorak keyboard.) but these are shared by the competitors as well. Two Hypercard typing tutors are available from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> These aren't the equal of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, but if price is your only concern download them and try them out. OCR SOFTWARE (1.11) -------------------- OmniPage Professional ($500 street) is far and away the best optical character recognition package for the Mac. However for considerably less money ($75 street) Xerox TextBridge does a perfectly adequate job of basic recognition without all the bells and whistles of OmniPage Pro. ===================== MICROSOFT WORD (2.0) ===================== HOW CAN I ASSIGN STYLES TO CHARACTERS IN WORD 5.x? (2.1) --------------------------------------------------------- Once you've used character based styles it's almost impossible to imagine document formatting without them. After all, just because you want equations to be formatted in 10 point I Times Italic or references to menu choices in 12 point Chicago doesn't mean you want the entire paragraph in that font; but that seems to be the only choice Word 5.1 and earlier offer. (Word 6 has true character based styles.) It's truly a shame that a program that makes working with styles so easy via its ribbon bar and customizable command key equivalents that can be attached to common styles doesn't let the user attach styles to less than a paragraph of text at a time. There is, however, a work-around. Unless you're one of the fifteen people who actually use color text, you've got six unused character formats called Blue, Cyan, Green, Magenta, Red, and Yellow available in the Format Character dialog box and via user-assignable Command-Keys. (There's also Black and White but using those two will mess with the normal appearance of your document.) Pick a color for each different character-based style you want to use and mark your text with the appropriate color. Then, before saving the document, do a global Find and Replace for each color; i.e. find the color and replace with the style attributes like font and font size. HOW CAN I AUTOMATICALLY GENERATE CROSS-REFERENCES IN WORD 5.x? (2.2) --------------------------------------------------------------------- Matthew Nodine's WordRef 1.4.1 (shareware, $25) uses some truly inspired hacks to make cross-referencing and auto-numbering of figures, tables, sections, equations or whatever else you might care to count almost simple. (It gets genuinely simple in Word 6.0 where these features are built directly into Word.) WordRef will also automatically generate BibTeX style bibliographies. The writer defines variables for each reference or number series while writing. These variables can be operated on by various arithmetic and logical operators (so a little programming experience is helpful though not absolutely necessary.) When you're ready to prepare a draft, WordRef will resolve all references and citations into Word PrintMerge variables. Then PrintMerge produces the final output. The procedure is more complicated than it would be if Microsoft incorporated these features into Word, but for the moment WordRef should serve most users' cross-referencing needs well. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> HOW CAN I CHANGE A WORD DOCUMENT TO TEX? AND VICE-VERSA? (2.3) ---------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Jefferies of the University of New South Wales has written the program RTF->TeX to convert files Word files saved in RTF format into plain TeX files. RTF->TeX is less than robust. Among other deficiencies it ignores paragraph and character formatting and will not handle equations written with the Equation Editor (though it will try to convert equations written in Word's built-in formula setting language.) However RTF->TeX is a useful tool to handle a lot of the grunt work of preprocessing documents before finishing the conversion by hand. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/>TeX.sit.bin> Erwin Wechtl and Alex Viskovatoff have written a similar though less polished tool called rtf2LaTeX for converting RTF files to LaTeX. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Fernando Dorner and Andreas Granzer have written a UNIX based program to go in the other direction. See <URL:ftp://ftp.vmars.tuwien.ac.at/pub/misc/> Design Science's MathType, the payware from which Word's Equation Editor is derived can convert Equation Editor equations into TeX (though it can't convert the rest of the document). Call Design Science at (310) 433-0685 for ordering info. HOW CAN I DEPERSONALIZE WORD? EXCEL? (2.4) ------------------------------------------- BEFORE installing any software you should lock all the master disks, make a backup of all the master disks, and install from the backups. Since some installers now check for specific bits on the installer floppy, use DiskCopy to make the backup of the master disks. DiskCopy also copies floppies more quickly on a one-floppy system than the Finder. This is especially true for recent Microsoft applications like Word and Excel that write personalization info on the master disks. If you need to do multiple installs such as from the single set of disks Microsoft sends with its site licenses, you don't need to make a backup for every computer you'll be installing on. Instead just copy the original, pre-personalization Installer application onto your hard drive and replace the one on the floppy with the clean copy from your hard drive after every install. If the disks have already been personalized, get the freeware program Anonymity 1.2 from <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> Make a copy of Word on your hard drive and then "Zap" it with Anonymity. This removes the personalization information. The next time Word is launched it will prompt you for the personalization information. If you're using Word 5.0 or 5.1 you'll then be asked to insert the "Install" disk. Don't! Instead click Cancel. Word will now display a dialog telling you how nice it's being for letting you use your software even though you're obviously a nasty, evil pirate. Click OK. Then quit Word. Launch Word again, cancel out of the dialog asking for the Install floppy again, acknowledge the anti-piracy message again, and quit Word again. Repeat this three more times. The sixth time you launch Word it should have given up on ever getting you to give it the master Install floppy and will stop asking for it. Depersonalizing Excel 4.0 is a little trickier. You'll need copies of the master disks to do this. You'll also need Anonymity and some utility like ResEdit or FileTyper that can change file types. Make a copy of the first installer floppy. Use your file-typing utility to change the type of the *installer document* on the new floppy to "APPL" from its original type of bbkr. (four letters, all caps, no quotes). Then run Anonymity to depersonalize the installer document. Next change the filetype of the installer document back to "bbkr" (four letters, no caps, no quotes). The new floppy should now be fully depersonalized. This process can also be use to depersonalize Word 5.x's installer floppies should that ever be necessary. You can still depersonalize Excel 4.0 even if you don't have the master disks. To do this you'll need a copy of ResEdit including the Code Editor. First make a copy of the Excel application. You're going to perform some pretty nasty hacks on this and you want a backup if anything goes wrong. Then launch Excel, and check the serial number (in the About Box). Write this number down. Quit Excel and then open it in ResEdit. Open the pcod resources and open pcod resource 2. Select Find ASCII... from the Find menu and search for the serial number. It's stored there, unencrypted. The user and company names are stored just above this, encrypted. The encryption algorithm isn't obvious to me, but it is one-to-one, e.g. 86 (hex) is always a space. By permuting the finite number of possible values you can create a chart mapping the actual characters to their coded hex equivalents, and then use this chart to write out the personalization info you want. ================ TEACHTEXT (3.0) ================ HOW CAN I CHANGE THE FONT IN TEACHTEXT? (3.1) ---------------------------------------------- Make a copy of TeachText 7.0 and open the COPY with ResEdit. Open CODE resource 1. You'll probably be warned that the resource is stored compressed and that opening it will irreversibly decompress it. Click OK. Scroll down to address 4A88. You should see the hex string "0001 A887". A887 is the call to TextFont(). The four hex digits preceding it (0001) are the font ID. Change this number to the ID (in hexadecimal) of the font you want. Monaco would be 0004. (It may be something else if Monaco has been renumbered on your system.) To change the size go to the next line (4A90) and look for "000C A88A" A88A is the call to TextSize(). The four hex digits preceding it are the size of the font to be used. Change "000C" to the size (in hex) you want. For instance 0009 is nine-point, 0010 would be sixteen point. Changing the font and size can adversely affect the way TeachText displays embedded pictures which most commonly occur in read-only TeachText documents (the ones with the little newspaper icons) so you may want to finish your modifications by deleting FREF resource 130 to prevent your modified TeachText from opening those files. Save your changes and quit. HOW DO I PLACE A PICTURE IN A TEACHTEXT FILE? (3.2) ---------------------------------------------------- I recommend the shareware program Belgian Postcards by AIGS and Karl Pottie. While the interface is not very well thought out, it does make placing pictures in TeachText documents easier than any other utility or technique. See <URL:ftp://rever.nmsu.edu/pub/macfaq/> HOW DO I MAKE A TEACH-TEXT DOCUMENT READ ONLY? (3.3) ----------------------------------------------------- Use ResEdit or any other file typer utility to change the file's type to 'ttro.' The above-mentioned Belgian Postcards will also save (and edit) files in this format. -- Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ..