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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.

Visit Mac Production Artist Tips and Scripts

Submitted by
Greg Ledger

 

 

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Copyright Fun and Games

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In the fun category, Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University has created a video review of copyright principles. You're probably thinking, "How could anyone make a video about a legal concept even mildly entertaining?" But Faden's truly inspired video works on many levels because it consists entirely of extremely short clips (often no more than one word) from a wide variety of animated Disney movies. It's thanks in large part to Disney that copyright - which was designed to encourage creativity by giving the creator control over copying for a limited time - now lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years, or, for a work of corporate authorship, 120 years from the date of creation. But thanks to the short length of the clips, its non-profit educational nature, and the fact that it would in no way affect the potential market for the copyrighted works, Faden's video undoubtedly falls under fair use.

Moving from fun to games, the latest idiocy to emanate from the U.S. Department of Justice is a legislative proposal (in other words, something the DoJ would like Congress to turn into law) that would criminalize copyright infringement. (For a selection of entirely reasonable, real-world copyright infringements that could be criminalized by this proposal, see my article, "J.D. Lasica's Darknet: People in the Copyright Wars," 2006-06-05.) Under this proposal, the RIAA wouldn't have to settle for extracting money from citizens who may have infringed copyright; instead, they could just get the federal government to take away the miscreants' computers and throw them in prison. That's right - the DoJ wants people who even attempt to infringe copyright to be liable for property forfeiture and prison time, just like drug dealers.

And to make sure that none of these attempted copyright infringements go undetected, the DoJ wants to allow law enforcement to wiretap personal communications in copyright infringement investigations. The sheer audacity of this proposal is astonishing - it's hard to do more than sputter, "But but but!" as you read it. But what you can do is write to your elected representatives to urge them to oppose this proposal if it is introduced; the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a tool that makes it easy.

[Updated 30-May-07 to correct copyright term lengths in the first paragraph and to reference Cornell University's Copyright Protection Chart.]

 

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