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How MacMono Works

Tuesday February 17th, 2004, par Rich Hopkins

Already I have discussed the fact that a special screen font must be created for the computer so that the "counting" process can be implemented by a word processing program. There is a second key software component to MacMono the matcase layout which, in a sense, is a second "font." It must correlate precisely to the first font which provides information for the word processor and the computer screen. This second "font" assigns a mat case position to every character in the first font and in turn, is utilized by MacMono to drive the proper air valves to select the proper matrix and its associated set width at the Monotype caster. Starting the program is a simple process of opening it,

(1) designating the line length in picas,

(2) designating the set width of the font being utilized,

(3) designating whether the text is justified, rag right, or rag, and then telling the program the source of input (a text file or the keyboard). For ragged composition, you also may designate the width of the word space as a given number of Monotype units.


If you select "keyboard," the program opens the screen to await input from the Mac keyboard. It is not able to pre-calculate width of the line, but if you already have knowledge of whether the text will justify, this is a nifty way of setting one-line cor- rections to a manuscript already typeset, or for testing operation of the computer interface and the caster.

Text file

If you select "text file," the computer opens this file and proceeds at a very rapid pace to process every line of the text file, with the text and other infomation scrolling across the screen so quickly you can read nothing. If a line should come out over measure, it will stop and alert you to this fact. Occasionally this sort of error does occur, but more often I find the text to be a bit "loose" (too-large word spaces). This is because computer word processors start with a minimum word space closer to a 3-em space, instead of the Monotype’s 4-em space.

Monroe has created a "demo" mode for the software so that you can process the entire text file and then return to a simple text editor to make revisions before running the caster. I often do this and frequently re-wrap lines that are appearing too loose (or too full). This sort of problem is most prevalent when you are working with short measures. If the line length is sufficient for an average of 5 or more word spaces, proper justification become far less of a problem. To assure error-free operation of the interface when it’s driving the caster, I always pre-process every file through the "demo" mode and re-edit the file to eliminate all errors before running the caster. It takes only a minute or two to do this. Once MacMono has read the entire file, it gives you a report that there are 138 lines in the file. It pauses momentarily, and then begins to dump the text to the Monotype one letter at a time, the last letter being the first sent, just as with the Monotype Keyboard ribbon. The computer will not proceed with this process unless the caster is operating, for there is a "stepping sensor" actuated by the paper tower operating cam lever which tells the computer the machine has made a revolution and is now ready to receive the next code. Whenever the caster stops, the computer stops dumping code because it is paced by this stepping sensor.

If (as often is the case) there comes a problem with the caster, you can click a "stop" option available on the software screen. This action immediately turns off the pump mechanism and comes up with the message "do you want to re-cast?" At the same time, it tells you it was working on "line 48" of the job when you stopped it. You may instruct MacMono to start over again or move to any designated line in the file. Gen- erally if I have a nozzle freeze-up or want to re-start for any other reason, I tell it to re-start three or four lines back, so that these lines will be re-cast and the proper mold temperature re-established. The duplicate lines, of course, are discarded. By doing this, and since there are never any "kill lines" in the work, the mold temperature is very constant and justification of all the lines is amazingly consistent far more consistent than I ever accomplished with Monotype keyboarding (and I boast I am a fairly good and accurate Monotype keyboarder). When MacMono gets to the beginning of a file (thus ending the work), it turns off the pump, and continues to allow the caster to cycle while posting on the screen the question "do you want to re-do any lines in the job or terminate the program?" At this stage, if I see that line 18 was in small caps and they didn’t cast too well because of oil residue in these lesser-used matrices, I can ask it to re-cast line 18 or any other line or lines in the file.



Dans la même rubrique :
Overview of How Files Are Prepared
Macro Substitutions
Physical Changes to the Caster
Technical Computer Details
Text Formatting Macros
Overview of the Composition Caster
Getting A Bit More Technical
The MacMono Interface

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