Fancy Type

As a long-time Macintosh user, I have used AppleWorks for years. For those who are not familiar with it, in addition to word processing, Appleworks also contains several other modules including both draw and paint.

Now that Apple has issued an End-of-Life for AppleWorks, it is time to learn how to do some of those special projects in the iWork suite.

My project for today is to make a decorative heading for MacMousecalls.
As a long-time Macintosh user, I have used AppleWorks for years. For those who are not familiar with it, in addition to word processing, Appleworks also contains several other modules including both draw and paint.

Now that Apple has issued an End-of-Life for AppleWorks, it is time to learn how to do some of those special projects in the iWork suite.

My project for today is to make a decorative heading for MacMousecalls.



Although I own the Adobe Creative Suite, Premium Edition, I know that most users do not own programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, so let's see how to make the heading in Pages.

First, I will be using Pages from iWork '08. If you do not own it, you may want to take a look on the Apple web site to learn about the suite and what it offers. As Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has said in several columns and interviews, iWork '08 is a must have program. While there have been major improvements to Pages which is a Microsoft Word replacement, and while Keynote is even better than PowerPoint, the addition of Numbers to the suite to provide some of the functionality of Excel, makes the iWork a real rival to Microfsoft Office for the home and small business user.

New to Pages are two different work styles. If you are going to do simple word processing, use that option. However, if you document will include a large amount of formatting and graphics, use the Page Layout portion of the application.



This window is accessed by going to the File menu:



The first step will be to make a text box. You will find this command in the toolbar of Pages. It is a part of the Objects group.



You will then see this item on your page:



Oh, dear, the problems are starting already!



First of all, what is that red dotted line under MacMousecalls? It indicates that my computer thinks that the spelling of MacMousecalls is incorrect. So, every time I enter it, I receive the warning.

To tell your computer that the spelling of a word is correct, put your cursor in the middle of the word and press the Control key.



You will then see a pop-up contextual menu. Choose Learn Spelling. If you have a multiple button mouse, or if you have a Apple Mighty Mouse that has been configured for a left click, then you can also reveal the contextual menu using the left click button:



Now it is time to choose a "better" font and change the size.

One of the nicest things about Mac OS X is the tools that Apple provides developers to allow common interface elements throughout the Macintosh. One of most useful of those elements is the Fonts inspector. It is available in many applications and it always works the same way. It can also remember your favorite fonts and it allows you to make font groupings that appear in any application that uses the Font inspector. Oh dear, I could do a whole blog entry just on the Font inspector! I have it on my list for a future entry.

To access the Font inspector, click on this symbol in the Pages toolbar:



You will then see this:



Yours may look slightly different than mine. If you are missing columns, Use the Enlarge area in the lower left corner of the window to reveal more columns. If you cannot see a sample of the font, click and drag down on the small dot near the top of the window:



First, lets make the text larger so that we can better see the changes we will be making. We would like our text to be about 1/2" tall. Choosing 36 in the size column will accomplish that. However, since I am trying to get as much content as possible into this blog entry, you can choose a size in between the listed ones by typing it into the small box at the top of the size column. In this case, I have typed in 40 and then pressed Return to have it accepted.




Now you can choose the different fonts in the Family column and the name of the font will be shown in that typeface at the top of the Inspector. While some fonts will have several different styles in the Typeface column, others will have no choices other than Regular.

On my computer there are several hundred fonts in the list and cycling through them can be daunting (and boring). The Collections column will have several sets listed such as Calligraphy, Classic and Fixed Width. You can even make your own Collections by dragging fonts from the Family column into Favorites in the Collections column, or by clicking the add (+) button in the lower left corner of the window.

Another way to narrow your choices is to type a few letters into the Search area at the center bottom of the window.



The font that I have chosen to use is Rockwell Extra Bold. Now, I need to choose a color. There is another Inspector for Colors.



Note the red circle around Colors in the Toolbar. Click on it to bring up the Colors Inspector Window. Your window may show a different color picker. For this blog entry, we will use the crayon box which is the last one in the row. I have chosen Tangerine (look for my cursor in the fourth row of crayons. To write your word in a the color, choose a color before you begin typing. If you have typed a word and want to change its color, highlight the word and then choose a color.

Now we have a Text Box with MacMousecalls written in our selected size, type and color. Unfortunately, it is a bit flat and very ordinary looking, so let's spice it up.



The box around our word means that it is selected. To make changes to something, it must be selected. In this case we want to make a copy of the text box. Go to the Edit menu and choose Copy. An easier way is to use the shortcut, Command - C. To paste the new copy, either use the Edit menu paste command or choose Command - V.



You pasted copy will probably overlap the original. If so, drag them apart until you can see both copies.






Now use the Color Inspector to change the color of the copy. I chose a medium gray called Steel in the crayons. We also want to make this gray version shadowed. That is done by checking the Shadow box in the Pages toolbar.



It is time to stack the two versions of MacMousecalls together. Drag the orange version on top of the gray one. You may find that they do not align quite the way you want them to and you need to be able to move them in small increments. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the box in tiny steps.

You have created two objects and you have stacked them on top of each other. To be able to see this, click in the white area to the lower left of your words and drag to draw a box that ends above them to the upper right. You should now be able to see both boxes.



When you are satisfied with the look of your words, it is a good idea to group the two text boxes together as one so that they stay in place. This is done using the Group command in the Arrange Window.





I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and have found it easy to follow along. I talked with Chuck Joiner on Episode #796 of the MacVoices podcast about MacMousecalls. Listen to find out more about what is planned.

While I have plans for many more tutorials in the coming months, you don't have to wait until I cover the topic you want to learn about. We do private one-on-one tutorials at Bob LeVitus Consulting. The cost is $60.00 per hour and we can cover just what you want to learn. We will even make screen shots of the important parts of your lesson. Contact me by leaving a message at boblevitus.com or by calling us at (408) 627-7577.

© Pat Fauquet

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