A number of high profile scientific institutions joined together last week to announce the Encyclopedia of Life, a global project to document on a Web site every one of the 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other organisms. In essence, the Encyclopedia of Life will run along some of the same lines as the Wikipedia, although contributions may be limited to scientists with expertise in the subject, a restriction that may both slow the growth of the project and avoid some of the errors and argumentativeness that exist in Wikipedia. But from the standpoint of those who need information about living organisms, the Encyclopedia of Life's demonstration pages look extremely promising, bringing together written information, photos, video, audio, maps, and more, and presenting it all in an interface that can be scaled to the reader's level of experience. There isn't any live information yet, but it's worth viewing the demo pages, reading the FAQs, and watching the video on the main page.
Find Text Leading from Acrobat PDF
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.
Published in TidBITS 879.
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