Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Calendar Improvements (and Not) in iPhoto 6.0.1

Yes, I'm still here. Just busy revising the next edition of my book. I appreciate the "is everything okay?" emails that some of you have sent.

By now, you've probably read that Apple has released maintenance updates for most of the iLife '06 programs. They're worthy updates, and you should install them.

Among other things, the iPhoto 6.0.1 update fixes a bug that I discovered while creating my first calendar in iPhoto 6.

When I made my first calendar, I wanted to include the phases of the moon in each month. iPhoto 6 can include data from iCal calendars, so my first stop was a visit to the amazing iCalShare to locate a lunar-phases calendar.

I found one and subscribed to it with iCal.

But iPhoto wouldn't cooperate. It refused to display the calendar dates on my calendar pages.

It turns out that in the particular calendar I subscribed to, each "event"—each moon phase—had the same start time and end time. iPhoto didn't like that.

In iPhoto 6.0.1, that bug is fixed. Yay!

The Bad News
I still have a couple of complaints about iPhoto 6 calendars, though. My first complaint concerns typography. When you type some custom text into a date (for example, "Sophie's Birthday"), iPhoto 6 uses those disgusting "typewriter" quotes instead of using true typographer's quotes.

Equally bothersome is that iPhoto 6 uses those disgusting typewriter quotes in all of its national holiday text (for example, "President's Day").

A minor quibble? Maybe, but the rest of the calendar designs are so beautiful that they deserve top-notch typography. You can, of course, type those quotes yourself. Press Option-Shift-right bracket (]) for a single closing quote—the kind you'd use in "President's Day."

And how did my final calendar come out? It's a mixed bag. Photos that have a lot of vibrant color (such as this one) printed beautifully. Just stunning. Black and white photos (right here) also printed beautifully.

But photos with muted tones (this one) had visible vertical striations on them—almost like what you'd see from an inkjet printer whose printhead needed cleaning.

Was the printing press having a bad day? Or is this a general characteristic of the printing process, something that tells us we should avoid using those moody shots in our calendars?

I need to buy more calendars to find out. Meantime, I'd be interested in your experiences.