If you put your memories in writing they’ll last longer,
Your life experiences may help someone else grow stronger;
Consider the challenges, troubles, decisions, success, too,
You can pass along helpfulness by writing how you got through.
Have you written something about yourself for posterity? Not yet? Will it be one exciting chapter of your own life story? Will it be a very short overview of the important events of your life? Will it be an update of something you wrote earlier as a personal remembrance? Could it be a creative piece, telling about your view of life since you turned 29 — again?
Let’s take a look at some of the helpful ways Mac will make it easy for you to write something for family and friends.
- Jot down any ideas you have on Mac. Don’t fuss with spelling, just write those words that pop into your head right now.
- Save that document. No, it’s not done! But give it a name and add “v. 1” on that name so you’ll recognize it as the first version of your brainstorm.
- Make a folder, give it a good name. I keep my most recent working-on folder on the desktop.
- You’re going to put all the versions into this same folder. Let it rest. Go do something else and let your clever brain do some silent push-ups.
- Go back to Mac and now see what you want to add to the v. 1 page. After that do Command + D to duplicate the previous page, and make additions and corrections to that new page. Name it v. 2. Save both versions.
- You are having fun. It’s creative. Picture in your mind the person or persons you’re writing this for, and this helps you formulate the vocabulary you’ll use.
- Soon you’ll figure out your target date. When does this have to be finished? How long or short do you want it to be?
- Quoting someone? Be careful. If quoting a friend or family member consider asking permission if you’re giving the finished piece to others. I like to get written permission.
- Stating facts? Check and see that you’ve got the info down correctly.
- Could this make a nice booklet? With BlueSquirrel’s ClickBook for Mac www.bluesquirrel.com I’ve made booklets of up to 32 pages. The program takes your normal-size page writing and automatically shrinks it down to various sizes. I prefer the size that’s a regular sheet of paper folded in half. There are nice envelopes just this size for mailing the finished booklet.
- Do you have photos to drag into the writing? You’re probably looking at v. 4 by now? Each new experimentation of layout I do as a separate version and keep all the previous versions in that master folder. With iPhoto you can fix your photos. Click on Edit to see the tools.
- When you look at the list of what’s on your desktop click once on the title of that folder. Do Command + “i” and you can enter key words in Spotlight Comments on the left side at the top. This will help you find the folder later when you put it in some other location on Mac!
- Time to play with fonts. Do you have Font Book listed in your applications? You’ve got LOTS of fonts there. Scroll down the list of fonts and experiment. You might like the look of Helvetica, or might think Comic Sans MS looks nice. If you are using ClickBook you’ll enlarge the size of the font one or two sizes larger because it will be automatically sized smaller to fit the layout you choose.
- Using Pages I like to click on the Inspector and scroll over the name of the story, or the poem, or the chapter’s title. Then I enlarge the font size and also do Text, and enlarge the character spacing. Sometimes I also like to add more space to the line, such as 1.1 or more.
- Also, if you’ll be using ClickBook you will want to go to Graphic Inspector to see if you want a shadow or offset, opacity, or blur on the photo. Click on Metrics and unclick Constrain proportions. If you don’t do this the people will be shrunk down to look skinny. I stretch the photos sideways to compensate for the automatic ClickBook sizing.
- Back on Pages settings: if I’m making a booklet I may resize the left & right margins smaller and also the top and bottom settings to make them smaller. Experiment.
- All along, you save the piece as you play with it. Give each version a new v. # and put it in that same master folder.
- One nifty thing that you will do before that final version is printed out = do Command + F for find, and Mac searches for any word you specify. Did you spell Cousin Frederika’s name correctly? Do a Find to find out. You can also make sure that any -- got fixed it to be —.
- How about some clever little pasted in image? Go to the Internet and do Google Images. Click to bring it up. You can scroll through lots of photos, clip art, etc. Find something and drag it off to your desktop. Make it larger or smaller. Drag sideways a little to compensate for ClickBook.
- Maybe your printer does color. Mine is b&w so I find pretty paper from OfficeMax or Staples and turn the page sideways for a booklet cover. If your writing is going to be full-page size you’ll find a lot of pretty paper.
- Staple the booklet with this useful stapler, www.bluesquirrel.com/products/staplers/ , or do 3-hole punch for a notebook, or get it spiral bound.
Let’s have fun making word clouds. You can order t-shirts, coffee cups, posters, using a word cloud that you create. I made one for the cover of a booklet I wrote a few weeks ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_clouds history, types described,
http://www.wordle.net/ try theirs
http://tagcrowd.com/ another to try
http://www.techlearning.com/default.aspx?tabid=67&entryid=364 see if you like this
http://worditout.com/ make personalized gifts FREE
http://neoformix.com/Projects/portfolio/index.html 32 nifty patterns to view
Use Mac to write: keep your fingers and your brain nimble!
This is today's PMUG handout by Elaine Hardt. See you next time?