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



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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.

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Greg Ledger


New Take Control Book Provides Easy, Comprehensive Backup Advice

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I think it’s telling that our best-selling ebook of all time has been Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups.” Quite simply, there is no more important topic for anyone who, like us, relies on a Mac for business, for important communication, or for irreplaceable data like personal photographs and videos. Over a hundred backup programs of every ilk vie for your attention, from Apple’s Time Machine to the simplest synchronization program. And then there are the online backup services, each promising more than the next. Through all this, Joe is the only person who has made a systematic study of the field, and his hard-won experience accounts for the popularity of his book.

Now, with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and numerous other changes in the backup world in the past year, Joe has updated all the details and distilled his various advice in “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups” and its younger sibling, “Take Control of Easy Mac Backups,” to provide a single, unified set of recommendations that will serve the needs of nearly any Mac user. The result is the 210-page “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac,” available now for $15.

In “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac,” Joe provides, as he puts it, “a modern approach to Mac backups that covers the bases but doesn’t overwhelm you with extraneous details.” Although it’s carefully designed so you can read just the parts that are important to you, the full ebook describes how to design a reliable backup system, understand backup lingo, shop for hardware, choose backup software, manage Time Machine (and determine whether Time Machine is a good option and what to do if it’s not), make backups, deal with any special backup needs, and — most importantly — recover lost data after a crash or other catastrophe.

Readers of “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac” will learn how to:

  • Understand the three components of a successful backup strategy.

  • Reassess an existing backup strategy in light of changing habits or newly available options.

  • Choose a “versioned” backup program like Time Machine, and determine what to do if Time Machine doesn’t meet your needs.

  • Shop for and prepare a backup hard drive (or drives).

  • Set up backup software to make backups work smoothly and reliably.

  • Make offsite backups in various ways, including backing up to an online service.

  • Handle special backup needs like huge quantities of photos, or backing up several Macs in a home.

  • Restore backed up data after disaster strikes!

As we have learned all too many times over the years, when a Mac breaks down it can be a major inconvenience, but when it breaks down and takes irreplaceable data with it, it’s a heart-breaking disaster. With Joe’s highly considered and time-tested guidance in “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac”, you can avoid calamity without busting your budget or wasting your time. And if you want to hear more about backups and the book, tune into Joe’s MacVoices interview with Chuck Joiner!

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Joe Kissell provides the advice you need to create a Mac backup strategy that protects your data and enables quick recovery. He compares backup software, services, and media to help you make the best choices. You'll learn to set up, test, and maintain backups, plus how to restore files after a calamity! Don't miss our new Joe of Tech comic!


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