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DesignGeek #39

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June 7, 2005 - 1:00am

Dashboard Widget for Designers

Mac OS X users who've made the plunge to Tiger (10.4.X) are exploring the world of "widgets," useful little programs, that run from Tiger's new Dashboard feature:

A starter set of widgets are included with the Tiger install. They're general purpose ones like a mini-iTunes controller, a unit converter, and a translator. Cutting edge, eh?

Of course, Apple has an agenda. The point of Dashboard widgets is to create an open-source-like hook into OS X. That way the legions of design geeks out there who know a thing or two about XML, CSS and JavaScript (how widgets are written) can develop widgets on their own and release them for the benefit of all Apple-kind. Apple says, "If you know how to create a web page, then you know how to create a capable Widget." more >

Wrangling Fonts on Windows

On April 29, 2005, Adobe quietly stopped selling their font management utility, ATM Deluxe. It went out with a whimper in a TechNote:

Actually, Adobe had already announced back in 2002 that they'd stopped development of ATM Deluxe. The TechNote is the final notice that not only can't you buy it anymore, but you won't be able to get person-to-person tech support for ATM Deluxe issues after December 31, 2005.

more >

DIY Open Type Conversions

Okay, so far this issue I've written one story about fonts on Macs, and one about fonts on Windows. Let's close the circle and talk about making the twain meet: Converting your fonts so they work on both platforms in your mixed-platform workplace.

You probably already know that the answer is Open Type, right? It's the only cross-platform font format that is immune to slight kerning and tracking differences when used in the same document but different platforms. If you're not clear on exactly what Open Type is about, learn all about it on my Open Type Resources page:

Yes, you can upgrade to the Open Type versions of the True Type and Type 1 fonts you already own — assuming they're available — and benefit from the additional glyphs (characters) that are often included with them. You'll have to purchase an upgrade for each typeface family.more >