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Issue #116: A note from the PowerPoint mines


You up for a horror story? That’s how I feel about this, currently, and I’ve got the Oura data to prove it – nightmare style. Here’s a letter from the PowerPoint mines.

As always, read below, or in the member’s area if you prefer.


A letter from the PowerPoint mines

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I meant to write about the upcoming Freeform app in this issue, but I’m afraid the workload has been, well, terrible. While I enjoy doing some print design occasionally, fixing another agency’s crap isn’t my favorite pastime. Add to that some interesting adventures in PowerPoint (!), and you have my past 72 hours. The latter, at least, provides me more information for the iPad office toolkit I’m working on, so that’s intriguing.

As a side-note, while I understand plenty of people swear by PowerPoint, I can’t begin to tell you how horrible it is in comparison to Keynote. This is a user’s nightmare, which is why it landed on my table in the first place. I generally don’t do this sort of thing, but you don’t say no to some clients (for the right reasons, don’t worry), so here we are. Everything I remembered about PowerPoint has, somehow, gotten worse. It’s like a snapshot of the past, with a new interface, and yet, it’s still horrible.

No, I don’t like PowerPoint. Go figure?

Anyway, said print design would’ve been great for the new Affinity Publisher iPad app. Alas, I started it before it was announced (on a Mac, obviously, as there was no Publisher app for iPad back then) and the deadline is too tight for any potential compatibility issues, or otherwise. So, I’ve yet to launch Publisher for iPad, which is a shame. I’m excited about a closer look at these V2 Affinity apps, and intend to write something about them before Switch to iPad closes shop.

Yeah, that’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re still here, especially since this is one of those more informal member posts. You know, when I ramble on about things that I’m struggling with, and end up with something insightful (maybe) on iPad usage.

This time, I’ve got nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I wrote about my love of plain text files some time ago, and that still stands. I’ve also written about the joys (well…) of starting from scratch when you get a new iPad, and I’m using an M1 11″ iPad Pro as my primary device currently, so I’m in that position right now.

I’ve also talked about why Switch to iPad is getting sunsetted, which, of course, is due to my renewed focus on writing fiction.

This is where it comes together, I hope. You see, I’m a big fan of outlining app Zavala (reviewed here). It’s pretty much plain text, in outline, or hierarchical bullet list, form. I’ve been working on the outline for my follow-up to Automatonen, the fantasy novel (in Swedish, sorry) that comes out in the New Year, and Zavala is my starting point.

Except, due to previously mentioned PowerPoint woes, I’ve been spending some time using a Windows PC. I’ve had downtime, and rather than writing on my iPhone (no iPad in sight), I reverted to plain text. Writing in Markdown, it all transitioned just fine to iA Writer on my iPad, as expected.

There’s really something to be said about open file formats. It just works, as opposed to so many other things in today’s world.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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