Thanks to the successful development of the MacTronic system, designed by Harry McIntosh, it is now possible to go direct from electronic copy to metal type

 

MACTRONIC 3

FROM COMPUTER TO CASTER

OpenOffice – LibreOffice - InDesign - Word, etc. can now be used to produce Monotype hot-metal.

YOU GET WHAT YOU SEE ON YOUR OWN SCREEN!
 

 

Harry McIntosh

SPEEDSPOOLS

385 Queensferry Road

Edinburgh EH4 7AG

Scotland

machot@supanet.com

tel +44(0)131 336 2849

 



 

Order hot-metal type over the web

For over forty years Harry McIntosh has serviced a nucleus of select customers with a fully comprehensive range of typesetting facilities and typefaces to suit all of their requirements. He has recently (2013) sold a large part of his Monotype collection, but has kept back more than enough to retain a strong presence in Monotype hot-metal typesetting – see the list below. Thanks to MacTronic, he can offer this service to everyone. Harry has been using MacTronic to produce punch-tape since 1986, and later, in 1996, direct to caster – no paper tape!

After a great deal of testing and extra features, the long-awaited Mark 3 has now arrived. It is available to all interested parties who want a well-tested, reliable, self-contained unit that is customised to their requirements – NO coding or DIY and certainly no reliance on Internet connection!

OpenOffice (as well as LibreOffice, InDesign, Word, etc.) is used to input text in conjunction with very versatile software and an easy-to-install, clamp-on unit – no paper tape and ready to go without disturbing any caster adjustments! Just think – no more reliance on worn, badly adjusted pneumatic keyboards, justification drums, sticky stopbars and keybars with all their idiosyncrasies; and, of course, no need for expensive, scarce paper tape and re-keying – mistakes and revised specifications are easily rectified with a few keystrokes. The ‘Windows’ environment is used with USB connection and, due to a long experience in computing and typecasting, there are many new features – all rigorously tested! Having abandoned the use of R-Pi/Arduino in favour of a Windows 10 tablet (Linx 1010 tablet is included and ready to go!), all tried and trusted programs can still be used – everything (including software) is in the box! If attached to a normal monitor and keyboard, the tablet can be used as a desk-top PC that will give easier viewing to rest of programs – OpenOffice, DiecaseLayout and WinJp.

This  development allows word-processor disks, data files, e-mails, or copy that can be either scanned or keyboarded into a computer to be converted into Monotype hot-metal or 31-channel punched tape. OpenOffice (as well as LibreOffice, InDesign, Word, etc.), is now used to control text input. This means complete control of accuracy, word spacing, hyphenation, line breaks, page breaks, etc. – you get what you see on your own screens!



THE ‘MACTRONIC’ SYSTEM

The MacTronic system comprises of a text output from OpenOffice (as well as LibreOffice, Indesign, Word, etc.). Special hot-metal fonts are used to control line-endings, hyphenation, etc. When a satisfactory result has been achieved, a PDF file is generated to give a hot-metal facsimile. This PDF can be sent to customer for checking, and any last-minute alterations can be done before commitment to caster. After any corrections, the file is processed through a Justification Program (including diecase) to produce a final hot-metal file with complete control of galley length by line/page and auto-generated galley lines with stop quads. This is sent to caster, through Cast Driver Program and Interface, to create perfectly justified galleys of type.

 

An extensive selection of classical Monotype typefaces have been retained for the use of the discerning publisher, press or design studio - see the list below. Traditional skills and quality control are used throughout all services. For further information regarding spool setting, typesetting, digital setting, or even letterpress printing, please contact us.

Typefaces available

Baskerville (169) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14pt
Bembo (270) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13pt
Bodoni (135) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11D, 12, 13pt
Bulmer (469) - 11, 12pt
Caslon (128) - 10, 11, 12pt
Garamond (156) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Gill Sans (262) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14pt
Gill Sans Light (362) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Grotesque Light (126) - 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13pt
Grotesque (215) - 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13pt
Helvetica (765) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 12D
Imprint (101) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11D, 12pt
Modern (1) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Modern (7) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Octavian (603) - 14pt
Old Style (2) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Old Style (151) - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Perpetua (239) - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14pt
Plantin (110) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14pt
Plantin Light (113) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Rockwell Light (390) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 12pt
Rockwell Medium (371) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 12pt
Sabon (669) - 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12D
Scotch Roman (46) - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Scotch Roman (137) - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12pt
Times (327) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14pt
Univers Light (685) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12D
Univers Medium (689) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12D
Univers Bold (693/696) - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12D

as well as Cyrillic, Greek and even Hebrew and 4-Line Maths! - and, of course, Sorts and Ornaments up to 14pt, Spoolsetting and MacTronic. I no longer have the facilities to cast display type or lead and rule.

 

Technical details

MacTronic uses OpenOffice (as well as LibreOffice, Indesign, Word, etc.) with all their text functions to produce hot-metal text that is justified, ragged left, right or centred on any Monotype composition caster. This means instant on-screen text recognition – no coding!

 

Any layout can be used (16×17, 15×17, and 15×15). Any set size; measure up to 60 ems; unit-adding, letterspacing, unit-shift; automatic high space when character in layout requires it; auto-generated ligatures; when word space in line is over wedge limits, extra spaces are auto-generated until within limits (usually in very narrow measures).

 

There are various left, hanging and right indents; also margins for hanging punctuation and short leads. The tables of the wordprocessors have been utilised to produce hot-metal tables automatically.

 

Galley line/page length control with galley lines auto-generated with stop quad and blank line through any length of file – usually per chapter.

 

Due to the limitations of matrix-case layouts, punctuation, etc. can be shared between fonts or changed to deliberate wrong characters for hand alteration. Accents, pi-characters, etc. are only limited by the capacity of the matrix-case. Any layout can be generated, and, if the caster has the unit-shift facility, even 15×15 and 15×17 layouts can be unit-shifted.

 

A ‘wrong’ normal wedge can be substituted to produce the same results as a correct wedge, utilising unit-adding and unit-shift (if available) or single justifying to obtain the correct character width.

 

This facility can be used to kern characters – plus 1-9 units, minus 1-2 units (depending on type size).

 

By using a simple text file, a sorts galley can be produced by number of lines or characters of any font, size or measure – these can even be kerned.

 

The latest capability is to mix italic, Greek, etc. from different diecases – not only of the same set, but different sizes within the limits of the wedges. This is very useful in large composition where there is only one font per diecase, or where a different size or language such as Greek, Fraktur, etc. is required throughout the text.

 

Due to the ease of creating PDFs, these ‘proofs’ can show customers how a job will look in hot-metal and enables any changes to be made before commitment to casting.


 

View MacTronic 3 in action at MacTronic.

Visit the webpage for Harry McIntosh's own Chepman & Myllar Press.

One of Harry's customers is The Old School Press.