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Extend Mac OS X's Screenshots

Mac OS X has a variety of built in screenshot methods. Here's a look at a few that offer more versatility than the basic full-screen capture (Command-Shift-3):

• Press Command-Shift-4 and you'll get a crosshair cursor with which you can drag to select and capture a certain area of the screen.

• Press Command-Shift-4-Space to select the entire window that the cursor is over, clicking on the window will then capture it. The resulting screenshot will even get a nice drop shadow.

• Hold down the Space bar after dragging out a selection window to move your selection rectangle around on the screen.

• Hold down Shift after dragging out a selection to constrain the selection in either horizontal or vertical orientation, depending on the direction of your drag.

• Hold down Option after dragging out a selection to expand the selection window around a center point.

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Look! Nook Took Books

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Look! A book. A book Nook! Nook took books. Books! Look.

Barnes & Noble has changed the name of its ebook-reading software for iOS from eReader to Nook. Nook is also the name of its separate ebook reading device, and, as with Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble has realized that it should brand the entire ecosystem with the same name. This brings its iPhone/iPod touch-compatible app in harmony with the separate Nook for iPad app, also updated with the new name.

Download the new Nook app, and log in with your Barnes & Noble credentials. You can then download titles again that you want locally, and set up the appearance of book pages once more. The revised app supports fast-app switching (see "What is Fast App Switching?," 23 June 2010), and renders details at the iPhone 4's higher resolution.

In testing, I found the Nook app to offer substantially more choice than iBooks and Kindle in setting up the appearance of a page, without providing too many or poor options. Barnes & Noble made excellent choices in the fonts offered for onscreen display.

You can also set the margins of a page (nearly flush to the four edges or indented), and choose colors for particular elements instead of picking from preset colors.

The revised iOS app is a separate download from the previous eReader app. You can remove the old app, but you will lose all annotations, highlights, and notes. Barnes & Noble (at least in the eReader release) didn't synchronize such information with a central server, unlike Apple with iBooks and Amazon with Kindle.

You also lose any custom themes you set up in eReader - specific combinations of background color, font, and type size. If you want to keep notes and settings, retain the old app.


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Comments about Look! Nook Took Books
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Norbert E Fuchs  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2010-08-18 11:31
Alas, only available in the US App Store.