Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Typecasting the Grid

Anyone interested in doing this (I'm not sure why you'd want to) can use Excel. First highlight a group of cells in a blank document of the required quantity of characters and lines, and format the cells' borders with solid lines such that they can be seen. Then highlight the group of cells, and format the column width to "0.83" and the row height to "13.5". Then under file/page setup, select the default print setup to a magnification of 91%. At least on my laser printer, this produced a grid that matches the type face and spacing of my old Underwood Universal, which types at 10 characters per inch (is that pica or elite; I can't recall?) The result: instant eye chart. Maybe I won't be doing this again, at least for a while. But it was fun. ;)


Blogger deek said...

At first that grid assaulted my eyes, but after a few lines, my nausea subsided and I got used to it:)

Very interesting irony, that some of us try and break away from rigid conformity by employing these machines to open our creativity, yet we imprison our thoughts in these tiny, invisible cells...

9:35 AM  
Blogger Strikethru said...

Several typospherians have read the Iron Whim. Personally, it kind of drove me crazy. Too academic. Not enough (ironically) about typewriters.

10:26 AM  
Blogger James Watterson said...

So wait I'm confused, how come even though the Selectric has a 10 or 12 pitch scale is it not in a grid like the rest? The only thing electronic on the machine is it's electric motor. The rest is mechanical.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Monda said...

While this one is interesting in places, I'm waiting for Olivander's book.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Joe V said...

@James: Yea, I'm taking this at face value from the book. He could be wrong; I don't have a Selectric to verify when exactly the "grid" disappeared.

This was my first typewriter book I've read; it's not intended as an exhaustive history, just a cultural overview. Flawed, but still interesting.

11:12 AM  

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