Q. Is there a cheaper alternative for working with MicroSoft Word files?
A. As a matter of fact, you already have an application on your Mac. You can open MicroSoft Word files with Appleâ€™s TextEdit application. If your on a Windows PC you can use WordPad to open MS Word files.
Q. I want to buy the new Apple laptop with the Intel chip but Iâ€™ve heard that there is no software for it. Is it too early to buy these laptops?
A. Six months ago Apple announced that the Macintosh computers would be switching to Intel. The IBM/Motorola built PowerPC processor has reached its peak. The PowerPC cannot be made to run cool enough to be put into a laptop. Apple has only been able to put the fourth generation CPU into the laptops. As a result, they are falling behind the speed of the G5 Macintoshes. At MacWorld in January Apple introduced the Intel based iMac and the new MacBook Pro earlier than anticipated.
The transition to the Intel chip is going to be able to support most of the current MacOS X native applications using Rosettaâ„¢ an Apple built emulator. The Intel Macs will not be able to run â€œClassicâ€ applications. We were able to run the older MacOS 9 applications on the PowerPC Macs because of Classic â€“ which runs MacOS 9 in an emulator, but Rosetta will not run Classic applications. (In case your wondering, you will not be able to run Windows operating systems on these Macs because they are not the same as Intel PCs.) For a growing list of programs that donâ€™t run on Intel Macs visit: http://www.macintouch.com/imacintel/rosettacompat.html
So to answer the question â€“ it may be prudent to wait if you are dependant on Classic applications. Adobeâ€™s Creative Suite applications do run but with some slow downs. (www.adobe.com/ ) QuarkXpress will be shipping version 7 sometime in March. All of the Apple applications work of course â€“ so you will be able to surf the Internet and receive mail, etc. Overall, the MacBook Pro is four times faster that fastest PowerBook G4 and as time goes by more applications will become available. You should also consider that many people have already ordered the new Macs and the backorders (as I write) are considerable. If youâ€™ve wanted a laptop for a while, you can also expect that used PowerBooks will start to appear â€“ when they are usually scarce. It will be interesting to see what Apple will announce on April 1, 2006 â€“ Appleâ€™s 30th anniversary.
Q. We seem to have a lot of trouble printing PantoneÂ® colors lately. We choose two different looking colors on screen that print the same on our colour printer. We also notice that the PantoneÂ® colours are wrong in Adobe PhotoShop CS2 and donâ€™t convert to CMYK the way they did in older versions of PhotoShop. How can we reinstall the PantoneÂ® colors so that they print correctly?
A. There are a couple of issues at work here. PantoneÂ® colours are not swatches to use in design work. In fact PantoneÂ® (aka PMS colors) are ink colours to be used as â€œspecial colorsâ€ or â€œspot coloursâ€. Many colours in the PantoneÂ® library cannot be reproduced using CMYK ink combinations â€“ so the Pantone Matching System (PMS) was developed to create a standard reference for these exceptional colours. The commercial printers can then mix their own inks and print these colours in addition to CMYK combinations to achieve the look you need in your job.
When you choose colours in your designs from the PantoneÂ® libraries you application renders the colour to best match how the â€œspecialâ€ ink will look. PantoneÂ® supplies Adobe, Quark, Apple and others with the definitions of these inks. The application translates the color into RGB on your monitor. The problem is that the RGB rendering of the colours is sometimes quite different than the CMYK breakdown (also supplied by Pantone).
Here are two different PantoneÂ® colours:
Colour RGB CMYK
PantoneÂ® 110C 100% â€“ 79.2% â€“ 0% 0% – 12% – 100% – 7%
PantoneÂ® Yellow 012C 94% â€“ 61% â€“ 0% 0% – 18% – 100% – 0%
They look completely different on screen yet are very similar printed on a colour (CMYK) printer. You should convert your pantone colours into CMYK if you intend to print them â€“ so that you can see them as they will print â€“ if youâ€™re not intending to use them as spot colours on press.
The second problem you are experiencing has to do with the introduction of PantoneÂ® colours defined in the â€œLabâ€ colour space in Adobe PhotoShop CS2. Lab is a device independent colour space where colours are defined as measured scientifically. Lab colours will then have to be converted into RGB or CMYK based on settings defined in your working environment. The monitor you use, the ambient light in your office, the ink profile of your printers, the colour or your printing substrate and several and other factors can influnce the way that a particular color will be separated and rendered.
If you need to use the old definitions, Adobe and Pantone have supplied a separate library in PhotoShop called â€œSolid to Processâ€ which have already been defined in CMYK. Itâ€™s only a matter of time before Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and QuarkXpress also adopt the Lab defined PantoneÂ® colours.
Q. I have a client file I need to upload by FTP and cannot seem to figure it out… could you possibly guide me through the process?
A. The first thing you should do is download “Interarchy”. (Search for the software on www.versiontracker.com – they will provide a link to the download). You can use Interarchy in demo mode for 30 days – it costs about $39 USD and it’s well worth it.
If you’re uploading then I assume you have the information on the server (address, username and password). If you’re using Interarchy – Press “Apple – E” and you’ll be able to see where to put the login info. Once you’re connected, you can drag your file(s) into the window that opens. That’s the easiest way on a Mac.
If you have more than one file, you can create a zip by highlighting the files or folder in the Finder and holding the Control key and clicking the mouse. A contextual menu will open and you will see “Create archive” among the choices. This will create a zip archive that you can drag onto the ftp site.
If you’re more comfortable with DropStuff (which doesn’t come with MacOS 10.4) then you can download a free version from www.allume.com