Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Applespeak. A Short Glossary.

Cat with apples.

I've written several times here about the confusion some users get into because of Apple's lingusitc policy — the peculiar way Apple develops names for its applications, the wording it uses in manuals and its proclivity to avoid terms that other major computer companies use and that have long become familiar to computer users all over the world. (See this article on Preview and this on Alignment Guides/Snap to Grid.)

Here's a short glossary of Apple's terms and corresponding terms in general circulation.

Alignment guides - Snap to Grid.
Alignment guides function is in Preferences > Rulers Preferences.

Draw tool/Pen - Bezier pen.
Used to make free (custom) shapes. The word Pen does appear at the end of Insert > Shape menu)

Spacing (Character) - Kerning.
Allows to 'tighten' or 'loosen' text by shrinking or expanding the distance between letters/characters. Useful in graphic design and in getting rid of hanging lines when laying out text. In iWork, it is in the Text Inspector.

Pop-up menu - Drop-down menu.

PDF - Vector. 
PDFs are a type of vector graphics. Don't feel intimidated if you know how to make PDFs in iWork but don't know much about vector graphics in general. (See this previous article Vector. Don't panic.)

Editing points - Anchors. 
These are the red dots that appear when you make a shape editable. 

Preview on Macs is a PDF reader/creator as well as preview/quick view for files.

Bubble (or Comment Bubble) - Sticky. 
There is a small application on Macs called Stickies, small notes for jotting down reminders and quick notes. The problem is, on screen they look exactly like 'stickies' that appear on the margins of a document when you comment on it.  So, instead of sticky, the manual calls them 'comment bubbles', which may be slightly confusing because they have right angles and don't look like rounded bubbles. 

Send me confusing terms and phrases that you've noticed, I'd be glad to add them to this glossary.

Read more in my new book 'iWork for Mac OSX Cookbook' (2012), follow me on Twitter at iworkinpages, like my page I Work in Pages on Facebook and add me to your circles on Google+

Photo ©A.Anichkin. My cat Vassily with too many apples.

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