Microsoft

With classes over I got around to upgrading my software last week and was pleasantly surprised by a couple of things that may interest other phonolobloggers:

a) Times New Roman, as packaged with Microsoft Office 2007, now comes with most (if not all?) Unicode phonetic symbols, and (still) allows diacritic stacking. I’ve tried converting a few papers from various Unicode fonts (esp. SIL ones like Charis and Doulos) into Times, and so far so good. Times is über-ubiquitous (journals; academia, business, government, etc. ), so this is good news for working phonologists, and long overdue! (Ironically, Microsoft has replaced Times New Roman with Calibri (stress, anyone?), as the default font in Office 2007; the new guard is sans-serif but also sans-IPA.)

b) I draw a lot in Word (feature geometry, prosodic structure), so I’m happy that lines and curves now stay where you draw them, and line movement is fully gradient (pace phonology).

c) Windows Vista has a snipping tool (under Accessories) that lets you capture (and edit) anything on the screen which makes it even easier to copy spectrograms from Praat or data sets or tableaux from articles into class handouts, etc. 

11 thoughts on “Microsoft

  1. Maria

    Line movement is gradient in older versions of Word, too–you have to select the line, then press “Ctrl” (PC) or “Alt” (Mac) and use the arrow keys to move the line around.

  2. Rob Hagiwara

    Please, people, please. Just ‘cuz you can paste in your pretty pictures doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to add proper scales and unjaggy labels and whatnot. If I see another paper with with screen captures masquerading as proper figures, I won’t be held accountable.

  3. Rob Hagiwara

    Oh, there will be no mystery about it, mon frere. ;-)

    Seriously, people often ask me how I get things to look ‘professional’, and are disappointed when I tell them to redraw everything. Good figures take a certain amount of effort, and forethought. Keep your scales straight, use vector graphics as appropriate (for grids, scales, ellipses, and text) and do all of your graphics all at once, not piecemeal. That way you can keep certain decisions (like line widths, scales, transparency effects, whether the transcription goes over or under the pitch track, etc.) constant over a paper. Keep your captures are large and clean as possible, and add anything you need later. And whatever you do, don’t start resizing things in the middle of a job. Grr.

  4. josué

    how would one “stack” diacritics? i’ve been trying to figure this out for a while, but i can’t seem to figure out the right google terms to use.

  5. Darin Flynn

    Type a grapheme in Times, say i, in double-spacing (to give room for diacritics), then go to insert symbol (alt+i, s). Select “Combining Diacritical Marks” from the Subset dropdown menu, then try inserting various diacritics. You can stack a couple of diacritics above the grapheme, and up to six below it!

  6. Michael Maxwell

    I’m late, but: how do the diacritics come out in PowerPoint?

    Someone was trying to type in some Vietnamese with stacked diacritics in PP2003. The diacritics were all over the place, i.e. wrong. We copied and pasted the strings into Word2003, and they were fine.

    Clearly PowerPoint 2003, unlike Word, does not know how to deal with Unicode fonts. So is it any better in the 2007 version?

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