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

 

 

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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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DealBITS Drawing: BeLight's Mail Factory

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I hate mailing packages. Along with the extra trip to the post office and the fuss of finding proper packaging materials, there's the label. I've always liked the idea of printing labels rather than writing them out by hand (since my handwriting is lousy, and copying an address from an email message just feels silly). But it seems like too much effort to fire up Now Contact and create a new record (often for someone I know I'll never send anything to again) just to print a single label.

Enter BeLight Software's Mail Factory. You'll remember BeLight as the small Ukrainian company responsible for Business Card Composer, the elegant little application for creating business cards, and Mail Factory definitely follows in the same vein. It lets you create and print labels quickly, either entering data manually or connecting to Apple's Address Book, Microsoft Entourage, Eudora, or Now Contact for the source data. It knows about numerous different pre-defined label formats matching label stock, works with both normal printers and Dymo label printers, and lets you print on partially used sheets of labels. You can even design your own labels using the included clip art. Mail Factory also lets you design and print envelopes, can insert POSTNET bar codes to expedite delivery, and formats addresses according to the postal requirements of over 50 countries (I've always wondered if using the U.S. style caused delivery problems when mailing overseas addresses).

<http://www.belightsoft.com/mailfactory/>

In this week's DealBITS drawing, you can enter to win one of five electronic copies of Mail Factory, worth $29.95. Entrants who aren't among our lucky winners will receive a discount on Mail Factory, so if you're interested in the program, be sure to enter at the DealBITS page linked below. All information gathered is covered by our comprehensive privacy policy. Be careful with your spam filters, since you must be able to receive email from my address to learn if you've won.

<http://www.tidbits.com/dealbits/belight2.html>
<http://www.tidbits.com/about/privacy.html>

 

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