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>Apple Keynote 4 does not support soft hyphens

>Currently, Apple’s Keynote (v4.0.2) does not support soft hyphens. When a soft hyphen is inserted, it is treated as a normal (breaking) hyphen: even if the word is no split over 2 lines, the hyphen is still shown.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. create a new Keynote document
  2. create a text field
  3. add a long word in it
  4. move the cursos to the middle of the word
  5. go to Edit > Special characters…
  6. in the dialog that appears, enter “SOFT HYPHEN” in the search box
  7. double-click on “SOFT HYPHEN” in the list that appears
  8. click on button labeled “Insert”
  9. resize the text field so it is large enough to show the word without breaking

Expected behaviour:

  • the soft hyphen does not show

Actual behaviour:

  • the soft hyphen shows, in the middle of the word
 
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Posted by on 10 March 2008 in apple, iwork, keynote

 

>Keynote ’08 [updated x2]

>
Just today I fetched the trial version of Apple‘s iWork ’08, after ordering it on-line. At 468.9 MB, the download is quite substantial.

First of all, the iWork ’08 trial installation does not affect my (purchased) iWork ’06. That’s a good start, this will allow you to try it out with the possibility to rollback to iWork ’06 easily.

Pages and Numbers don’t really interest me, but Keynote is to me a fundamental tool for creating stunning presentations (to re-use Steve Job’s marketing terminology) and even for creating website designs.

Below are my first findings. Bear with me, I’ve just tested it for an hour or so. Missing another feature? Drop a comment.

So what’s new in Keynote ’08?

  • An alpha filter wizard, which works kind-of OK. It works well when there are clear edges between the image and the background. This may increase my productivity slightly, though, since I will have to go out to GIMP (my image editor program) less often.
  • More transition- and text-effects, of which only a few, like blur will be useful to me, since I need to be careful with the eye-candy to keep my presentations looking professional.
  • Actions that allow you to move, rotate, enlarge and otherwise manipulate your objects in an animation. This is to me the most compelling feature of Keynote ’08. It will allow me to build more advanced presentations, with professional animations that will once again make PowerPoint-users wonder what software is used, cause it’s definitely not theirs.
  • Export to Flash seems to have improved, more features are now supported than in Keynote ’06.

What do I miss in Keynote ’08?

  • Reflections on any objects, not just on images. Why not also allow it on text and on groups of objects?
  • Proper scaling, so that two adjecent objects, that have no space in between do not suddenly show a line when the presentation is shown at a higher than standard resolution.
  • More image formats to export to. Preview already supports a lot more, so why restrict Keynote to just TIFF, JPEG and PNG?
  • Export sheet transitions to Flash, this was not supported in Keynote ’06 either.
  • Bugfix for polygons in Flash export. Some free form objects (polygons) look distorted when exported to Flash. This is a long-outstanding bug.
  • Rich Web 2.0 export, like the new iPhoto supports with the web gallery feature. The Flash export feature is nice, but looks ancient compared to the new iPhoto ’08 possibilities. For example, it doesn’t scale at all; and the same applies to the HTML-export.
  • Bugfix for color distortion in PDF export. When you have a simple transparent PNG in your Keynote presentation, you may find that when you export to PDF, the colors have changed quite a bit. This was a problem in Keynote ’06 already, and persists in Keynote ’08.

Conclusion
My conclusion: Keynote ’08 offers a relatively small number of features. But although there are just a few, these make Keynote even more powerful than it was, while keeping usability at an outstanding level.
Perhaps some bugs were squashed, but not the ones I reported. Close interaction with customers is definitely an area where Apple can (and should) make improvements.

Updated (August 13): Here’s some more feedback:

  • good: the Office 2007 file formats are supported;
  • bad: the OpenDocument file formats are not supported;
  • bad: Keynote ’08 seems quite a bit slower at saving big presentations than Keynote ’06.

Updated (August 15): Some more:

  • good: zooming is faster than in iWork ’06;
  • bad: reflections of overlapping images do not overlap, they blend;
  • bad: properties cannot be set on grouped objects, even if the properties apply to all contained objects;
  • bad: image clipping cannot be triggered with a key press (for rotation this is possible by using the Cmd-key on a corner handle);
  • bad: when setting a radius (e.g. for a shadow) by using the mouse-controlled widget, it typically skips the most logical settings (45, 90, 135, 180, etc. degrees);
  • very bad: when adjusting an image, the preview is not exactly the same as the end result – this is a regression since iWork ’06.
 
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Posted by on 8 August 2007 in apple, iwork, keynote, mac, macos, macosx, numbers, osx, pages

 

>Open-source iWork

>The Mac OS X application suite iWork consists of two programs: Pages and Keynote.

Pages is a simple word processing application that has good looks and is easy to work with, but comes nowhere near OpenOffice.org Writer or Microsoft Word in terms of features.

Keynote is great presentation software. In my opinion it beats both OpenOffice.org Impress and Microsoft Powerpoint, hands tied to the back. The shows you can create with it are really impressive and in fact make a good showcase for Mac OS X’s graphics capabilities.

However, Pages has quite a few bugs and lacks important features needed for writing larger documents (e.g. cross-references). There are improvements planned for iWork ’07, but I doubt it will bring Pages to the feature level I would require for day-to-day text processing.

Both products have limited export features, with various bugs, and lacking OpenDocument support, for example.

Considering the low price of iWork, it seems the application suite is more a showcase for Mac OS X features than a real competitor to Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org.

However, this may change, if Apple decides to open-source iWork. This may boost the development of iWork, allowing the community to fix bugs and add new features. Like MySQL, Apple could decide to ask money for support. Or they could even choose a license that is free for personal use and non-profit organisations but costs money for commercial organisations. There’s all sorts of options.

Apple has experience with the open-source community, since they adapted Konqueror to become WebKit, the engine for their Safari browser. But then again, perhaps this is the reason they won’t consider it…

 

>More improvement suggestions for Keynote

>Last week I already posted some suggested improvements for Keynote. Here’s some more:

  • OpenDocument support, so files from OpenOffice.org Impress can be imported and exported.
  • On iDVD support: Export interactive sheets to DVD menus. Currently you can only export video, the interactivity is lost.

Still, I haven’t seen any program that allows me to create stunning presentations with just a small set of powerful tools. Keynote beats Powerpoint and OpenOffice Impress hands tied to the back…

 

>Converted to Apple

>About 2 weeks ago, I got converted. I now use a Mac. Before that I primarily used Windows and Linux. I’ll probably keep using Linux, but Mac OS/X is a perfect replacement for WinXP. Although most things work perfectly fine, I run into smallish issues all the time. Some of my findings are below.

My configuration: MacBook Pro 15.4″, Core 2 Duo 2.16 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS/X 10.4.8 (Tiger).

Finder:

  • When scrolling in a folder with a lot of icons, when I press and hold the scroll button in the scroll bar, then the images look distorted. When I release it, the view is corrected.

Mail 2.1.1:

  • Have a simple keyboard shortcut for sending the current message. For example Command-Enter.
  • Send attachments in Windows-compatible format by default.
  • When editing the “To:” field for a new message, I would expect the automatic completion not to propose addressees that are already in the To:, CC: or BCC: fields (nor perhaps in the From: or Reply-To: fields).
  • The End key (in fact Fn-RightArrow) does not go to the end of the line, but to the end of the message. Perhaps this is not a bug, but it is confusing and annoying, since other applications do interpret go to the end of the line.

Dashboard

  • Dashboard should not take so much time to display information the first time you start it up since the system boot. For example by remembering information it retrieved previously.

Sticky notes

  • Support the mouse scroll function.

Screen saver

  • Sometimes the following happens. The screen saver runs. I move the mouse, enter my password, it is accepted and MacOS is showing. Then within a couple of seconds the screen saver activates itself again. And I have to enter my password again. This time it doesn’t reactivate the screen saver immediately.
  • When exiting the screensaver, the normal screen quickly flashes. I would not expect this to be visible at all.

General Mac OS/X

  • Different applications have different mouse cursors, especially for the wait cursor. This is inconsistent and consequently annoying and confusing.

Expose

  • When enabling Expose, then the magic window corner for the screen saver does not work anymore, so I have to exit Expose first.

Keynote 3.0.2:

  • When editing a text field, allow the use of a keyboard shortcut to exit the text field. Preferably Esc.
  • When editing a text field, allow the use of PgDn and PgUp to move one page down or up.
  • In a text field, allow the use of Home (Fn-LeftArrow on a MacBook Pro C2D) to go to the beginning of a line. And allow the use of End (Fn-RightArrow) to go to the end of the line.
  • In the small Info window, in the Link tab, remove the checkbox (Activate as link). Instead, just have an additional option in the dropdown box that indicates there is no link, e.g. “None”. This simplifies the user interface.
  • Reflections are a very nice effect. However, they ought to be supported on normal shapes (circles, etc.) as well.
  • Export to Flash currently changes dotted lines to straight lines, though the shadow is still of a dotted line. Looks like a bug.
  • Export to Flash currently does not support sheet transformations. This would be nice to have.
  • Exported Flash file should support going back to the previous slide, somehow. For example using Backspace, PgUp and Command-LeftArrow.
  • When I start Keynote, or just switch to it while I have no document open, then it automatically creates a new document based on the default theme. I would like to be able to disable this. I find it confusing and counterproductive, because it makes me have to close that window again.
  • Text cannot be copied from a normal sheet to a template sheet. It may be a bug.