YouTube has changed its playlist page-code again today. If you want to see the “total playlist time” on a YouTube playlist, YouTube Playlist Time Length is now the working UserScript to use. Usage: load the playlist page, then reload it to see the total time.
A useful note for magazine and journal editors who deal with those overseas. There appears to be a problem with mis-translation in translation services.
1. You send a request to a potential interviewee or contributor, perhaps in France.
2. You politely mention that your magazine or journal will have a “$5 cover-price”, and that it is not free, as something for the recipient to consider.
3. It seems that this phrase can be mis-translated as if a “cover-charge”, of the sort that you might encounter in a French restaurant. This being the price added just ‘to sit at the table’, without even ordering.
The risk is then that the speed-reading interviewee or contributor thinks they will be charged a small fee just to be in the magazine, which is not the case.
Problem: I recently had trouble getting a good PDF from a 200,000-word book. NitroPDF failed repeatedly, being very sluggish and crashing the Windows Print Spooler. And the type quality of a vanilla “Save to PDF” just was not good enough, and also randomly defaulted bits of text to bitmapping. Which messed up back-of-the-book index-building, as well as copy-paste.
Solution: the free Ghostscript Windows installer and the free CutePDF Writer (which requires Ghostscript). Install the open-source Ghostscript utility first, then CutePDF, so you don’t have any hassles caused by CutePDF’s installer needing to go online to get Ghostscript. No reboot is then required, the new printer driver is there straight away, and accessible from File | Print.
Lovely output… very fast (even though 32-bit)… great file-size… but… you then need to know how to get a 6″ x 9″ shaped save for the PDF. 6″ x 9″ inches is a most common paperback book size demanded by print-on-demand printers. And yet perversely it has no named paper-size that ships with printer software by default, for local Windows PDF printers to use. Getting 6″ x 9″ for CutePDF thus requires a bit of a workflow.
1. Windows Start Menu button | Control Panel | Devices and Printers.
2. Select the new CutePDF printer | Print Server Properties | Then set up and save a new 6″ x 9″ form, thus…
Yes it’s a gnarly setup, but you only have to do it once.
3. File | Print | CutePDF | Properties | Advanced | Set your newly created 6″ x 9″ setting | Also embed the fonts by switching to “Softfont”. For POD you may also want to set Postcript Options | Font Download | Native Truetype. OK.
4. Now you’re back in that initial CutePDF Print panel. Here there’s a further vital step. “Scale to Paper Size” | Then drag the drop-down list all the way down to the bottom | Just above the new “Postscript Custom” you see the even newer 6″ x 9″ setting | Select that.
5. OK. That should be it. Both 6″ x 9″ settings are live and aligned, and you should thus get a printed-to-file PDF that matches your 6″ x 9″ Word .DOC file.
To check the fonts embedded, have Acrobat (Reader or DC) open your PDF file. Go to File | Properties | Fonts tab. You’ll see the embedded fonts. Then check the selectability of the text, to see if anything went to bitmaps.
The only thing missing with the free CutePDF Writer is 40-bit encryption to prevent copy-paste or modification. Also, it has problems with handling semi-transparency from Microsoft Publisher.
Below are the details of the only .ePUB reader software found by my tests to adequately support ‘fixed-layout + animated pictures’ with test files, on the Windows desktop.
Sure, a PC user is not necessarily going to read a whole magazine/book from a desktop monitor. But many researchers, editors etc need to consult or flick through a fixed .ePUB while at their desk. And have it look as intended, ideally in non-clunky freeware.
1. Thorium. The best and really the only viable choice for most people, though not the ideal “only choice” to foist on readers of a magazine. Well designed. Display of small type is not as good as that in Azardi. Works back to Windows 7. In slow but active development.
2. Azardi. Does the job quite well but has several problems: i) only supports fixed layout ePUB (can’t even load re-flowable ePUBs); ii) opens files with dimmed background/overlay for the pages every time, and needs to be manually adjusted back to normal brightness; iii) it triggered a delayed virus alert for me and was thus uninstalled. No longer developed since about 2016, works back to Windows 7. Free “for personal use only”, so institutions and businesses may be wary of being hit with licencing fees from whoever currently owns it.
3. Calibre. Free. Primarily used as a conversion software, but also has a reader and ebook manager. Feels and looks old, though it isn’t. It’s just clunky. Actively developed, and has now long been “Windows 10 only”.
There is also Sigil, the dedicated ePub editor. It appears to only preview the first page of an ePub, and as such is not also a Windows reader option for the desktop.
While the DTP software Adobe InDesign can preview a document destined for a fixed ePub, to ePub standards, it cannot then re-import this output and preview it again. Nor can QuarkXpress.
Windows 10 and 11 desktop users who allow mobile-style “apps” from the Microsoft Store may perhaps find one or two ePub readers there, though they have not been tested here for ‘fixed-layout + animated picture’ support.
The new ePub-translate. A Python…
script to automatically translate an ePub using Google, AWS or DeepL API. It can output parallel text in columns.
As the guidance states, some tweaking for fit may be needed after translation. I assume it can handle fixed-layout ePubs, as well as the re-flowable sort.
Possibly useful for those making short educational screen-capture tutorials for online display or bundling alongside a .PDF file. As of February 2022 the excellent open-source freeware ScreenToGif Portable no longer requires clunky extra downloads, such as Microsoft .NET Framework or the infernal FFmpeg. Currently the 68Mb ScreenToGif.2.37.1.Portable.x64.zip is the download that most Windows people will want.
ScreenToGif can also output screen recordings to .APNG (animated PNG), which may help if your audience or environment is likely to have .GIF blockers installed. Simply manually rename to .PNG for upload to blogs etc. Web browsers will still recognise it as containing multiple frames, and play it (all major browser now support animated .PNGs). ScreenToGif can set the number of loops to show.
Or for a simple HTML solution, this works and does have them all play once (assuming one loop). Then it hands over control to the user in the form of “click to replay”.
Yes, you would add math.random here as a cache-buster, but using it appears to mess up the timings of the frames in the replay. The above works fine for reloading the same image on Chrome/Firefox-based browsers, and does not cause problems with frame slippage. You’re welcome.
Note that free WordPress blogs do not support the format, and the uploaded .PNG will there become a normal file that just shows the first frame of the animation. To host and run an animated .PNG file you need your own Web space.
Popular freeware viewers such as IrfanView can (since 2016) run animated .PNG files locally on your PC.
Sadly they can’t be embedded in PDF magazines, and still animate. They can in fixed layout ePubs, but the problem there is Windows. Basically, you have to force your readers to use Thorium, as that’s the only viable ‘fixed layout + animation’ reader choice on Windows desktops.
Research & Reports Database – Cultural Placemaking. 61 PDF reports on ‘cultural placemaking’ (community arts orgs + local tourist board, usually). It’s a new library and will likely grow, and as such I daresay they’d welcome your submissions.