Tag Archives: app

UX Write – printing troubleshooting

There are two methods which work for printing .docx documents created in UX Write.

Method 1:

  1. from the Export Menu select ‘Create PDF’ (check your typesetting is set to ‘Webkit’)
  2. once the PDF is created from the Export Menu select ‘Open in’, then select your printer app
  3. print from within the printer app

Method 2:

  1. save it into the cloud (or send it to your Windows computer)
  2. open it in Microsoft Word
  3. print it from within MS Word

Both methods work well with minimal style differences between the iOS and Windows printed versions.

UX Write and autocorrect while using an external wireless keyboard! (You heard it here!)

I can’t believe it’s true but autocorrect works while using an external keyboard with the UX Write app for iPad!! That’s right folks! For some reason this feature is not highlighted by its creator and it is nowhere to be found on the official website. Nor have I seen much mention of it in discussion forums about the impossibility of getting external keyboards to work with autocorrection even though this is exactly what everyone has been looking for. It is possibly the only writing productivity app that does this right now even in 2014.

On top of that it works in the free basic version! Wow!

Here are some of the other features which I have liked so far with the Basic Version:

  • fully .docx supported and save-able

  • Dropbox connectivity and navigation

  • Excellent cursor navigation system

One has to stunned as to why Apple’s Pages cannot do some or all of these things as well as UX Write. It may be well worth the money at $24.99 (or try for a one month subscription for $0.99). I am going to test some more before making the one-off payment. But what I have seen so far I think this one is a real winner.

List of JIS layout compatible apps for iPad

I have compiled two lists of apps which I use which are compatible and not compatible with JIS layout keyboards. It can be found here.

GoodNotes was not made for typing

I like GoodNotes for many reasons but typing isn’t one of them.

Interestingly there isn’t even a button for text input in the toolbar (update: it’s buried deep in the “+” menu). To type text you need to hold a finger down somewhere on the page and select “text” from the popup menu. What you get then is a text-box. You can type what you want then save.

But because of this the text does not “flow” on the page. It doesn’t feel like a “notepad app” which is what taking notes should feel like. In other words GoodNotes is an annotation app for PDFs and not really for taking notes by typing. This is why the handwriting input system is its focus, not it’s typing input system. One can almost say the typing input was an afterthought to GoodNotes.

IMG_0246.PNG

Because it’s handwriting input system is so good you can use that independent of any PDF and handwrite on a blank page neatly and usefully. Combined with the latest feature — handwriting recognition — and you have an infinitely more useful productive app.

More on this later.

Using GoodNotes in the classroom

Recently I have been upgrading in the apps department to match my needs for English language teaching. By far the iPad is the best thing for presentation of teaching material on the big screen (the classroom projector screen, that is).

Having held back on forking out money for apps which do similar work to free ones I thought it was high time I tried some to see what all the hype is about.

One apps which I heard recommended over and over again is GoodNotes. Particularly it is the handwriting input system which has caught all the attention. And low and behold I wasn’t disappointed. The implementation of the handwriting by zoom input and auto-shifting (or auto-scrolling, call it what you like) is fantastic. And this works really well with its Presentation Mode which hides all your actions from the students makes it ideal as a teaching tool.

For me I mostly use the projector to show the textbook and teaching material (in PDF format) while we go through it. So being able to annotate there and then is all but crucial. My students love watching the action and it certainly has made my teaching much easier to follow since I use only English to my non-native students. So any instruction tend to be lost or difficult to follow for them.

Checking the answers with students has also made it much easier and more understandable since I can show students exactly where a problem might be for them. By filling in the answers in together as if directly into their textbooks or handouts students tend to respond much better than if checking the answers verbally only.

Ironically it is this aspect of my research about the importance of embodiment which has enhanced and informed my overall teaching skills.

Solution to problem with Japanese input in Apple Pages

Equipment used in this problem: iPad Air, Apple wireless keyboard (MC184J/B), Apple Pages app (2.2.1).

This problem occurs when you are using an external keyboard like Apple’s wireless keyboard on an iPad to input Japanese text into Apple’s Pages.

When zoomed at greater than the width of the entire page text alternatives for your input is off the left side of your page as in the image below. This makes it difficult to select which input alternative you want.

keyboard only

To work around this bring up the virtual keyboard. The alternatives are then displayed at the top of this. You lose a lot of screen space but at least it works.

virtual keyboard

Not sure why Apple has not noticed this problem before or even fixed it (where do customers go to make complaints and suggestions?).

Skitch – Quick Review

hero_skitch-v2

Have you ever wanted to annotate an image to highlight something important and had to resort to low-tech techniques like using the default Paint program in Windows? Are you looking for a better alternative? Look no further. Skitch is the quick and easy way to add annotation to your images.

Overview
Skitch, by Evernote, is a free app (iOS and Android) and software (Windows and Mac) to annotate images or PDF files. You can select import images from your camera roll, snap a photo, digital maps, webpage, draw a simple diagram or PDF (purchase required) directly in the app.

You can add mosaic, various arrows, emoticon arrows, draw, add shapes and text with this tool. There are eight colours (black, white, pink, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) five pen sizes in all of the tools bar mosaic. You can even undo or clear all annotations, and crop as well as rotate your images.

Sharing in Skitch is easy also. You can make an Evernote link and publish directly to Twitter and Facebook, send in Message and Mail. You can also share directly onto your iCloud enabled Calendar to schedule as a meeting diagram.

There are various options for saving your image as well. You can do this by saving to Evernote (obviously), save to clipboard and also to your camera roll. You can also send directly via AirDrop, attach it to a contact or print via AirPrint.

And once you’re ready to save or send you can add a caption to your image.

Additional settings include linking to your Evernote account and choosing which calendar to attach to. You can also set Skitch to automatically resize your canvas, turn on quick markup in camera mode and copy to your camera roll after sharing. And if you are sending via email or SMS the Skitch promo text can be appended to the end of your message.

Quick Review
Skitch does pretty much what I need it to do specially for photo images. And it does it well – really well – even on the small iPhone screen. The design is intuitive with side swiping for your main tools.

However, more features would be welcome for annotating maps. Drawing paths and routes to take was not easy on the iPhone and had worked much better on the iPad with a stylus.

One main disappointment was that the mosaic tool is not available in the PDF markup purchase. I had specifically purchased it for this tool so that I can mosaic out students’ names for presentation on the projection screen or CALL monitors. Not only was that not written up clearly (I had to look hard to find the disclaimer) but that it seems not to be diffcult to include. Considering the iOS purchase was $2 USD it wasn’t such a big deal but still it was a disappointment.

Summary
Still I am happy with this app. The software version, compared to the app version, is a bit slow and heavy like all software on traditional computers. It is handy to have especially on web-connected devices but for me it is still a low-usage app requiring preparation rather than being a tool to be used in class on the fly where I do most of my editing. And the PDF markup feature may not be worth the $2 USD pricetag since I can do most of my same annotations on the free Adobe Reader app.

Note: This review pertains to the iOS app version only, not the Windows or MAC versions. The version used for this review was 3.2.1 (3940).