Last month I wrote a letter introducing our new PDF edition. We also circulated a survey so that you could tell us which format you preferred. I want to thank each and every one of you who filled out the format survey. We know what we want, but we don’t know what you want unless you tell us. In this case, we wanted to replace the DOCMaker stand-alone edition of ATPM with the PDF version. DOCMaker was getting long in the tooth, and it was preventing us from enhancing ATPM. Response to the PDF edition was incredibly positive. However, a sizeable number of survey results favored the DOCMaker format, so we knew we couldn’t just get rid of it.
We polled the DOCMaker voters to see why they liked it, and three reasons kept showing up:
- People liked DOCMaker’s sharp text. It was easy on the eyes.
- They enjoyed being able to scroll vertically to read more of an article, or horizontally to skip over it.
- They wanted something stand-alone that they could just double-click to read, without having to open a bloated browser or PDF viewer.
Today, I’m happy to announce ATPM’s new publishing strategy, which addresses our readers’ needs (above) as well as our needs—to be able to quickly publish a high-quality publication, so that we can spend the majority of our time creating the content. At Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs completed the 2x2 grid representing Apple’s product strategy. It’s time we completed ours.
Just as Apple can’t make one, or even two Macintoshes that meet everyone’s needs, we don’t believe that everyone has the same needs in a Mac magazine. Some Mac users work tethered to the Internet, with their e-mail client set to check for mail every two minutes. Others must pay per-minute rates to use the Internet and prefer downloading an offline copy to read on-screen or print out. We believe we have something to satisfy everyone.
The Online Webzine edition is for people who want to view ATPM in their Web browser, while connected to the Internet. It provides sharp text, lots of navigation options, and live links to ATPM back issues and other Web pages. You can use Sherlock to search all of the online issues at once.
The Acrobat PDF edition is optimized for printing, but it can also be viewed on-screen, and we’ve increased the font sizes to make this easier. It may be viewed online in a browser, or downloaded and viewed in Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader on Macintosh or Windows. PDFs may be magnified to any size and searched with ease.
The Offline Webzine is a HTML version of ATPM that is formatted for viewing offline and made available in a StuffIt archive to reduce file size. The graphics, content, and navigation elements are the same as with the Online Webzine, but you can view it without being connected to the Internet. It requires a Web browser.
The eDOC edition of ATPM is a self-reading document that, like our old DOCMaker format, may be read on just about every Mac ever made, without any additional software. It features a table of contents, clickable URLs, high-quality printing, and easy magnification and searching. Oh, and it’s very fast.
We hope that these four formats will provide something for everyone. As always, be sure to let us know how we can improve your ATPM experience. Enjoy the rest of the magazine!