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Ever have to recreate a document from an Acrobat PDF? You can find out most everything about the text by using the Object Inspector, except the leading. Well, here's a cheesy way to figure it out. Open the PDF in Illustrator (you just need one page). Release any and all clipping masks. Draw a guide at the baseline of the first line of text, and one on the line below. Now, Option-drag the first line to make a copy, and position it exactly next to the original first line at baseline. Then put a return anywhere in the copied line. Now adjust leading of the copied lines, so that the second line of copy rests on the baseline of the second line of the original. Now you know your leading.

Or you could buy expensive software to find the leading. Your choice.

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Let’s Sing Connects People by Voice

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I was a musical-theatre nerd in high school and still sing in the shower — and at my sometimes-unwilling children. The new Let’s Sing app channels my singing bug. It’s a game that requires me to sing, whistle, or hum the melody of a song I want my partner to guess. The app, which comes in ad-supported free and paid ($4.99) versions, comes from friends-of-TidBITS Lex Friedman and Marco Tabini, both of whom have contributed to our fine publication.

To play, you connect with friends through your contacts or Facebook, or by entering an email address or username. You can also request a random opponent. Pick among three songs offered from simplest (mostly kids’ tunes) to hardest (contemporary pop) associated with in-game coin values that correspond to the level of difficulty. Record a snippet of up to 30 seconds, and send to your partner. If you don’t know the song or need to jog your memory, listen to a preview or even purchase the song in iTunes.

Your buddy sees a screen that has a series of squares and spaces corresponding to the letters in the song’s title that he or she needs to fill out. If your partner guesses correctly, you both earn the same number of coins. Each round alternates between players.

If you can’t figure out the song title, you can cash in coins to show the artist’s name or fill in vowels. Passing is also allowed, although that breaks a “streak,” or the count of continuous successful turns between you and that partner. (You can buy coins, too, which is part of the game’s business model, starting at 1,000 coins for 99¢.)

TidBITS Publisher Adam Engst reacted in horror to the description of the game, having never seen the attraction of singing badly (in public or private), or listening to others do so. On the other hand, as an exhibitionist who never liked karaoke, I find Let’s Sing charming, and I love both hearing the voices of friends and sharing my own attempts to hit the high notes on “Dream On.”


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Comments about Let’s Sing Connects People by Voice

Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-05-22 15:52
My singing is restricted to "Happy Birthday" and the occasional Christmas carol (sometimes with made-up lyrics). I can't imagine subjecting my friends to my singing voice (or lack thereof, and no, I never, ever sing in the shower), or wanting to listen to them, in or out of the context of a game. :-)

Of course, I'm probably just musically declined - I never get earworms (music stuck in the head) either.

But to each his own!
Jon Doty  2012-05-29 09:02
Thanks for pointing out this app! Although the app is rough around the edges, it's the only one I've seen like this. It's a lot of fun!