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Take Control News/22-May-06

Ultimate Guide to Fonts in Mac OS X Now Available — Wrangling fonts in Mac OS X can be difficult. What with six different types of fonts – some of which can contains thousands of characters – and more than six possible locations for font storage, it’s tough to stay organized and work efficiently, and it’s maddening when something goes wrong with your fonts and eats an entire afternoon.

We know all about how hard it can be, both from hair-pulling experience and because we’ve now spent over nine months writing, testing, and polishing a pair of ebooks about how to take control of fonts in Mac OS X. Both ebooks were written by Sharon Zardetto Aker, a veteran Macintosh author best known for her work in the early years of Macworld and MacUser, and on "The Macintosh Bible." Her first ebook, the 255-page "Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X," helps you organize existing fonts, install new ones successfully, and use fonts like a pro (or more to the point, like a pro who knows fonts inside and out!), and it comes with over $80 worth of coupons for discounts on font-related products. Sharon’s second ebook, the 120-page "Take Control of Font Problems in Mac OS X" helps you troubleshoot general font issues and solve specific problems with ease.

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"Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X" starts with a look at where fonts are stored, why they are there, and how you can organize them to achieve harmony and useful Font menus. Special attention is paid to legacy fonts from Mac OS 9, fonts installed by Adobe and Microsoft applications, and fonts from iWork and iLife. Once that’s under control, you’ll learn where to find cheap new fonts and the ins and outs of a variety of font installation methods. Then Sharon turns her attention to using the fonts: how to find them in menus, type on a foreign language keyboard, and take advantage of the wealth of cool special characters hidden in modern Unicode fonts. She wraps things up with font-related advice for sharing documents with others, particularly people using Windows applications.

"Take Control of Font Problems in Mac OS X" begins with a look at the different types of fonts you may find on your Mac and where they are stored, gives you advice on preventative measures and a roundup of useful problem-solving tools, and gets you going by teaching you how to perform basic troubleshooting measures. Once that’s out of the way, the ebook presents you with a table that helps you determine if you have a specific sort of problem or a general one. You’ll find lots of solutions to specific problems, as well as a colorful flowchart that gives a visual overview of how to proceed with troubleshooting a general problem (you can also download the flowchart as a stand-alone flier; feel free to share it with friends). The flowchart links to specific instructions for carrying out each troubleshooting step. If you have a font problem, know people who have font problems, or want to be sure you’ll be on top of things if a problem crops up, this ebook is for you. We expect that most people will want both ebooks, but if you plan to pick up only this one, note that it assumes you understand the basics of managing fonts and working in Font Book.

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The ebooks are available separately for $20 and $10 respectively, or you can save $5 by buying them bundled together. We realize they’re a bit more expensive than our other titles, but we feel the price is warranted given their technical depth and size (over 350 pages combined!) and the vast amount of work that went into them, and the coupons could easily be worth more than the purchase price. More to the point, this isn’t a trend – the sheer amount of content we had required proportionally more effort than anticipated and caused troubles with our technology that don’t occur with our shorter books, so our next few ebooks will return to the normal size and price range.

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