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The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition Paperback – April 21, 2003

ISBN-13: 078-5342782639 ISBN-10: 0201782634 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2 edition (April 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201782634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201782639
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-- Using 19 short lessons, this concise, simple style manual directs a Macintosh user on how to produce professional quality manuscripts. Punctuation and grammar hints are coupled with instructions for manipulating the Mac to the writer's advantage. It is aimed at desktop publishers as well as novice writers seeking a polished look for term papers.

Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

One of the most popular Macintosh books ever published, The Mac is Not a Typewriter has been referred to as the "Strunk and White of typography." The revised edition continues in the tradition of the original by providing simple, logical principles for using type to produce beautiful, professional documents. It's updated to include a revised chapter on fonts and also reflects changes in software and hardware since the original edition published in 1990. Some topics include: real vs. generic quotation marks, en and em dashes, tabs and indents, kerning, leading, white space, widows and orphans, and hanging punctuation. Anyone who needs to prepare documents for print will find this guide indispensable. It's a primer that novices can pick up quickly, and that pros can keep going back to.


More About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, The Little Mac Book, The Non-Designer's Design Book, Robin Williams Design Workshop, and Web Design Workshop. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has influenced a generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, desktop publishing, the Mac, and the World Wide Web.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Robin Williams if the premier author of Macintosh books, and of books on design.
J. Colletti
At first, I thought this book was a waste of money, until I read it, and it does give a lot of handy and helpful advices on designing.
gitboxnat
I had forgotten what a great, useful, overview of basic typographic principles this "little gem" is.
Mari Hulick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Lanning on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The reviewer identified as "sonpraises" says: "What is important for the non professional typist to know (use "smart" quotes, don't space twice after a period, italicize instead of underlining, create a long (em) dash by typing shift + option + -) are widely discussed in other places."
They are widely discussed because Robin Williams brought them to the world's attention with the first edition of this book.
Robin said elsewhere that the Macintosh brought about the greatest revolution in printing since Gutenberg. She was in the forefront of this printing revolution, giving people information once known and used primarily by printers, teaching graphic design and typography to the newly developed industry of desktop publishing.
Some day we won't need Robin's book, because people will have forgotten the conventions used on a typewriter to show emphasis and the limitations of a typewriter's keyboard and mono-spaced type, and their computers will automatically provide smart quotes and em dashes. Until then, The Mac Is Not a Typewriter (and its twin, The PC Is Not a Typewriter) needs to be read and shared.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Concerned Reader on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I started using this book years ago for my own work, and I don't think mine is all that bad! I have been using it as a text (and even its companion volume "The PC is not a Typewriter") for about 9 years in various university-level courses.
I find that the material is highly relevant and well presented. I find it quite easy to discuss how to implement the ideas in our current software, and a quick spell in the computer lab with a real assignment gets the fundamentals into the students' minds. Very few of my students know beforehand the basic rules Williams sets out, and their work does improve as a result of this text. Roll on the revised edition in November, 2001!
Yes, Williams was one of the earliest writers to produce a quality, informative book on this subject for beginners. Yes, the information is available in other places, but this is one of the most compact and well-presented places to find it. Combing through MacWorld and Adobe magazines is not the simplest way of finding the information, and 'Looking Good in Print' is a rather massive alternative source. Yes, the details of individual software packages are dated, but the fundamental ideas are not, and what sort of a teacher would I be if I couldn't figure out how to apply the ideas to our current software.
Finally, at under ..., this is great value. Compare the less well-formatted, self-typeset, C programming standard text by Kernighan and Ritchie, with somewhat more pages and just two editions in 23 years, that is still ..., and see which might be better value. I use and love them both, but have few qualms about using Williams' book as a required text, compared to K&R.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
The information in this particular book is indispensible to ANYONE who prepares documents for print, whether it is a newsletter, a poster, or a simple business letter. Even things as simple as pointing out how to create an em dash will make all your documents look better. Robin Williams has an excellent writing style that lends itself to repeated readings. She has written many books since, many of which elaborate on the points in this book, but this is still the one I recommend to people who want to know more about type. I gave this book to someone who was producing a school newsletter, and the publication went from ransom note to cohesive publication overnight! If I was teaching a "Word Processing 101" course, I'd use this as the textbook.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "mccnow" on November 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a must have book. Why? Because a Mac and the typographic capabilities built right into it allow you, a regular person to create professional level documents and you need to learn a new set of rules. The typewriter is a horse of a completely different color. This books explains what your Mac can do, how to make your documents better and the rules of the road when it comes to creating much better documents. All in a fun and easy to read way. Enjoy your Mac even more with this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Schilling on September 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Much has changed in the desktop publishing world in the eight years since the first edition of The Mac is Not a Typewriter but the basic rules for creating professional-level type have not. Prolific Mac writer Robin Williams updated her style manual to remind all of us of the importance of proper style in professional and personal communications. With only 80 pages, it is a quick read of common problems and mistakes including line spacing, quotation marks, apostrophes, dashes, underlining, capitals, tabs, spacing, justified text and includes two appendices summarizing rules and shortcuts. Inclusion of the history of typesetting and manuscript styling and her sense of humor transforms a rather dry, textbook-like subject into an interesting and fun read. Who doesn't use their computer to prepare documents? Though the title might not grab the attention of some readers, don't be fooled. Everyone can benefit from this style manual.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ALM on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
For first time mac users, this book is a must! It has great pointers and tips to understand some things most people don't know. It shows you differences in symbols, and shows you key commands that are useful and helpful. I learned a lot from this book.
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