Sunday, February 10, 2019

Christian Fish sign.

We were talking about early Christians.

A friend, who is well-versed in Bible and Biblical stories, told me how they used the Fish sign as a secret password to recognise each other when Christianity was still considered a dangerous extremist sect and Christians were persecuted. I've always thought of it simply as a reference to the bread and fish miracle. But it turns out there's more to it.

You meet someone who you think might be one of yours. You put a dot in the sand with a big toe. The person standing opposite you would look at it and draw a curving line around the dot. You look at it and, with his foot, draw another curving line. They join up near the dot and cross at the other and, thus forming a representation of the Fish.

I decided to try it in Pages and here is what I got.

Click on the Shapes menu in the Toolbar of your document and choose the circle from the menu. Reduce it to the size of a dot.  
Click on the Shapes menu in the Toolbar of your document and choose the pen tool in the top right corner. 
Draw the first line by clicking in the document, then drag, let go to make the second dot, then drag again, let go and double-click on the last dot to finish the line. 
Adjust the curve as you like by dragging the midpoints, they appear automatically as you hover the cursor over the line. 
In the Inspector side pane make it thicker, change colour (here it is Mocha), and add shadow. 

Repeat the above to draw the second line. And you get a lovely looking Fish sign. 

Keep it in your document, make a screenshot or export to PDF to reuse elsewhere.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Mac OSX Japanese problem.

When you use several languages on your computer, there is a curious problem in OSX 10.13.6 High Sierra, that I haven’t experienced before. With Japanese as one of the languages selected as ‘input sources’, my Mac begins to behave in an unstable way.

The symptoms include 
very slow or no response to keyboard commands; 
unexpected delay in response
and repeated keyboard strokes when non were executed by myself. 
Sometimes the Mac stalls completely with or without the ‘wheel of death’.

It is so bizarre that at first I thought I was being hacked or some virus took over my machine. 

After some discussions with fellow macusers and research I found that it was not just my machine. Many others have this problem as well.

Apparently this issue occurs when a language which uses many accents, like French in my case, clashes with Japanese kotoeri input system (you type with Latin characters and the computer changes them into Japanese characters).

So, the solution 
is to remove either Japanese, or the other language from input sources. 

To do that, go to System Preferences > Language & Region and click/tap on Japanese/Nihongo. 
Then, click on the minus symbol below the languages side-panel. 

Then, restart the computer and it will come back to its usual stable behaviour.

If you need Japanese rather than French, try removing French. I use Japanese only occasionally, so I can’t vouch for this. But removing Japanese has worked for me.

Meanwhile, we should wait for the Apple wiz-people to sort the problem. Ahh, well.

See this article for a slightly different description of the same problem and similar solution.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Where is my document data?

29 jan 2019

We have many different reasons to want to look up the document data — word count, type, ownership-copyright status, who commented on it and when. 

For me, one of the main reasons is to remember when I wrote (created it). When I work I get loads of side ideas that I want to scribble down quickly to develop later. Sometimes it’s a full sentence, sometimes just a couple of key words. Sometimes I put the words into the name of the document leaving the body itself blank.

Suppose it’s a reference to a news event of the day, or a radio programme? I need the date! How do I find out? Document properties, of course.

For some reason, the current version of Pages  (7.3) doesn’t make it as easy as it used to be. In older version you could look up the Pages document under the File menu. Now it’s no longer there.

So, where do we find data on our Pages document? 

Collapse the document, click or tap on it once in Finder or in the folder where you keep it. 

Press Command and type i (letter i for ‘information’). The old-style Inspector window will open showing you lots of information about your document, including the day it was created and when it was opened and modified. 

After selecting (clicking once your file) you can also go to the File menu in Finder and select Get Info.

And a third, even smarter for some, way of opening that window is to Control-click the Pages doc, which opens a pop-up menu with a Get Info option right over the file icon.   

That’s it!

Friday, January 04, 2019

Saving photos in Pages documents — and extracting them back.

It's been a while, but only recently I realised that I often put photos in Pages documents to save them for use later in a project or to keep text and illustrations together.

And it makes sense. You can only put very brief description of the photo in the name of the file, but in a text document you can give it a full description, place it in a context, format and edit it. And still keep it in the full original beauty.

One stumbling block that I encountered years ago when I started using Pages was how to get the photo back from the document if for some reason you want it back as a separate file. There is a simple trick that isn't obvious unless you know it.

In the Pages document click on photo to select it.

In the Inspector side-panel click on Image. You will see a small icon with the name of the file.

Click on the icon and hold.

Drag it to the Desktop — that's it, that will be the original photo file.

Now you can share it, use with a different document, upload it to the Internet etc.

(If you can't see the side-panel, go to the View menu, slide down to Inspector and choose Show Inspector).


Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Year Greetings, a card.

Happy New Year to all I Work in Pages readers!

It took me less than an hour to draw this card almost entirely with Pages Draw Pen (you can see it in the top right corner of the Shapes menu in the current Pages version (7.3). The Robin on Snowman's hand is from my previous design. The handle of the bucket is a line with end-points.

Enjoy graphic design in Pages!

This image shows all the separate elements highlighted:

And here you can see the Snowman's body with the dots I used when drawing him:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Word Count Revisited — Pages 7.2

For word (character) count, go to the View Menu and slide down to Show/Hide word character count. It will appear at the bottom left corner of your document in Pages.

The current version of Pages (7.2) allows you to select easily a word, character lines or paragraphs count. Just click/tap on the drop-down menu there and select what you need.

Readers of this blog often ask how to subtract the endnotes or footnotes from the overall word count.

This is fairly easy: press the Command key (next to the Space bar) and tap A. This highlights the whole of the text but leaves out the footnotes. Note the word count and click/tap away. That's it!

The screenshot below shows a character count of the thesis I am currently working on without the footnotes.

See also this post on the same subject, and enjoy Pages!
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