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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She said it first
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...
Published on February 12, 2000 by Lynn Lanning

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6 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great For Professionals, Not So Great For The Rest of Us
Robin Williams knows typography, and this is a textbook in typography. For the professional creating hard copy documents this is an exceptional source. For the rest of us, it contains a lot of techincal (unimportant information.
The differences between an en dash and and an em dash are important for professionals. For the vast majority of us, it is a subtletly we...
Published on January 30, 2000 by Dave


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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She said it first, February 12, 2000
By 
Lynn Lanning (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem!, October 23, 2001
By 
Concerned Reader (Anchorage, Alaska, USA) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars All your documents will look better because of this book., August 12, 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have a Mac, you need this book., November 21, 2001
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Succinct reference for everyone., September 6, 2003
By 
Brian Schilling (Anchorage, AK USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition (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
5.0 out of 5 stars short read, great information, November 15, 2006
By 
ALM (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Great., March 21, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
I bought the first edition of this book when it came out, and I just bought this copy of the second edition because I wanted it.

This book is an extremely valuable reference book. If you follow the pricniples set forth in this book, your documents will look professional.

Robin Williams if the premier author of Macintosh books, and of books on design. All of her works are more than worth the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's still here!, March 25, 2006
This review is from: The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
I am so glad this book is still around! I had forgotten what a great, useful, overview of basic typographic principles this "little gem" is.

I teach a Graphic Design class for non-Graphic Design majors in an art college. I was stunned to see most of the students putting two spaces after periods in a book they were making in my class. I explained why this was uneccessary (and in fact wrong) with most typefaces available on the computer, and they said they had all learned this in computer classes in the various high schools they had attended.

I unearthed my copy of this book (from 1990!) and brought it in the next week. Some students went to Amazon right away and bought it. Their work improved markedly.

I will make this a required text for the class next year, and advise anyone looking to learn the basics of good, typographic layout to purchase this wonderful little book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Key reference for any graphic designer; entry level or experienced., August 9, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
This book covers important type setting principles that are key in creating professional looking typography. Do you capitalize a.m. or p.m.? Where do you put a comma when there are quotations? How do you handle fractions - and more. Highly recommend as a staple for any design studio.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for any Mac user, September 17, 2000
By 
Scott K. Brown "Mac Expert" (Columbus, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book should be included with all Macs, and, in fact, with all document processing programs. If you follow Ms. Williams sage advice, you will produce documents that look great. Don't think that you have to be a professional to follow the advice in this slim volume (unless you want your output to look amaturish). Ms. Williams knows her stuff. There is a PC version, too.
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The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition
The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Edition by Robin Williams (Paperback - April 21, 2003)
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