Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Type an em-dash on an iPhone

Typography and punctuation geeks rejoice! It's easy to type an em-dash on the iPhone's or iPod touch's virtual keyboard. To do so, tap the .?123 key to switch to the numeric keypad. Then touch and hold on the Hyphen key to reveal a pop-up strip showing an em-dash. Slide to the em-dash and release your finger.

Note that this basic trick works with many other keys on the virtual keyboard.

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Fall from the High Wire

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Fall from the High Wire -- Ray Davis <raydavis@wco.com> offers an excellent rebuttal to Mike Lee's view of Adobe Acrobat in NetBITS-014:

<http://db.netbits.net/article/04637>

I was disappointed to see the unqualified rave for Adobe's PDF electronic document format. In my experience, Acrobat is far more popular with print-experienced designers who rarely use the Web than it is with Web users.
For a painful example of PDF overuse, check Adobe's own Web site. The last time I visited, the company was so intent on publicizing its proprietary format that even its press releases (which by definition must be layout independent) were only available in PDF!
What most print-trained designers don't understand is that the "lack of precise layout" they complain of in HTML is one of HTML's greatest advantages. By using HTML, your documents can adjust themselves neatly to the viewer's monitor width, monitor resolution, and font choices. You can make text-only information easily available to text-only viewers (or even vision-impaired "listeners"). And, since computer users are used to vertical scrolling and use of vertical white space, you can divide your content into logical sections rather than into arbitrarily sized pages.
On the other hand, by using PDF, your documents may become illegible or unavailable. At the very least, they'll cause a break in the viewing experience and their download times will increase. PDF does make sense when precise layout of an entire document is truly required - but such occasions are far rarer on the Web than many print designers seem to believe.

 

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