Why, as displays are becoming wider, are blog designers and content providers squeezing text into ridiculously narrow columns?

If you want the text from a web page — just the text — in a format that’s screen-friendly, there’s a great solution for users of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4).

1) Get version 2.0a2 or later of Tofu

2) In Apple’s Script Editor application, create a new script with these few lines:

on open these_items
tell application "Tofu"
open these_items
end tell
end open

3) Save the script as an application, to one of the following locations

  • ~/Library/PDF Services
  • /Library/PDF Services
  • /Network/Library/PDF Services *

4) Name your application open PDF in Tofu

5) Quit from Script Editor

6) From your web browser (or any print-enabled application), Print

7) From the PDF drop-down menu, open PDF in Tofu.

Perrin performs 5’6″ standing ovation to Amar Sagoo.

Ah, Tofu. Delicious. PDF with no papery aftertaste.

Web content, flushed free of bloody aggravating adverts. Two mouse clicks and down, down the pan they go. Yes, that’s right, now pull the chain. Smile, and ponder the coriolis effect. Have a bath, if you’re suddenly inspired to do so. Sit up straight. Go to bed early. Thank various funding organisations for the oblique ways in which innovations occur. Lick my Apple Cinema Display and weep.

If you’re feeling clever, why not write an AppleScript or workflow and somehow associate it with a key combination so that all three (PrintPDFin Tofu) can be done in a flash. I ain’t that clever and I ain’t that bothered but someone, somewhere must be.

* If you’re a Mac OS X Server administrator, this path can make your scripted application available to all users.


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