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Overview of How Files Are Prepared

Tuesday February 17th, 2004, par Rich Hopkins

Initial work is done on the PC utilizing Microsoft Word. One also must have font-making software because it is necessary to create a custom font for MacMono to represent everything that’s in the matrix case. This custom font takes on an unusual dimension because within a single computer font one must include roman, italic, and small capitals, along with ligatures,fixed-unit spaces, etc., just as found in the common 15x15 Monotype matrix case. A standard computer font theoretically allows for 255 different positions, and the 15x15 Monotype mat case allows for 225. Thus, in theory it should be easy to mimic a Mono mat casem with a single computer font layout. The software was built to accommodate only the 15x15 layout and thus, extended capabilities offered by Monotype 15x17 and 16x17 layouts cannot be exploited. Two essentials are accomplished with the computer font. (1) it gives you a visual representation of what the font characters look like on the screen, and (2) it incorporates character widths to precisely match those assigned in the Monotype matrix case layout. Character size is not relevant and thus, one is able to select a size which gives a "big letter" view on the computer screen. The difficulty in making a font to mimic the Monotype matrix case will be addressed later.

One may open an existing word processing file, or create an altogether new file. The first step is to convert the entire file to utilize the MacMono font you have created for this purpose. The second step is to establish line length. This has little relevance to line lengths as created within the word processing program. First, you read your Monotype line-length scales to determine how many ems and units will be included in your designated line length. At the very beginning of your file, you keyboard a row of ems as previously determined; remaining units are designated either by keying fixed-unit spaces of needed value, or by keying a standard character of a like value. After this line is keyed in, adjustments are made within the word processing program to set right and left-hand margins tightly against this line of ems (but not so tight as to force the line to break into two lines). Once the margins are set, the "measure" line may be deleted if desired, and file processing ensues.

Proficiency in using search-and-change routines within the word processing software is most helpful. For example, searching for all "hard returns" (paragraph endings) and replacing them with a hard returned followed by fixed-unit spaces (such as an EM quad) as determined to be the paragraph indent. (Of course, you must eliminate automatic paragraph indentation as generally accomplished in the word processor automatically, because this automatic function will not carry forward to the Monotype caster. You need fixed spaces for paragraph indents!)

With margins properly established, the word processor automatically re-wraps the text to the new measure. Automatic hyphenation, spell-check, and similar word processing capabilities can and should be utilized. That includes designating italics (or boldfaces) and small capitals wherever they are desired so they’re visible within the text. The file next should be reviewed for the presence of bad widow lines, loose lines, etc. You gain a great advantage here, for your text may be edited to eliminate widow lines, reduce or expand line count, etc., to make the text fit a layout preciselyˇand all is accomplished before any type is cast! Sometimes I purpose- fully re-break lines to avoid rows of hyphens, rivers of white, etc., all of which is visible on the screen, especially if you are utilizing a larger screen font. I prefer to work with my text in a "ragged right" fashion even if the finished work is going to be justified. The rag-right makes short lines quickly detected. But since it’s only a couple of keystrokes, I often switch my work to be "justified" so I may see rivers of white,etc., which are only visible when the job is shown on the screen as justified.



Dans la même rubrique :
Physical Changes to the Caster
Getting A Bit More Technical
Technical Computer Details
Text Formatting Macros
Macro Substitutions
Overview of the Composition Caster
How MacMono Works
The MacMono Interface

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