If you could physically remove your laptop screen and hold it vertically, it would be the perfect size for reading a script. That’s the hope behind the mythical Apple tablet that always seems six months away.
But until Mr. Jobs decides we’re ready for the future, reader Douglas has a suggestion that is surprisingly close. Turn your laptop on its side, and hold it like a hardcover book.
No, really. It works much better than you’d think, particularly with one of the unibody MacBooks.
I suspect there’s a way to get the screen rotated in the proper direction on almost any laptop. But on a Mac running Snow Leopard, it’s pretty easy to get a .pdf turned the right way.
- Open the .pdf in Preview.
- Click on one of the pages, then Select All (⌘-A) to highlight all the pages.
- Choose Rotate Right (⌘-R) or Rotate Left (⌘-L).
- Choose Full Screen (Shift-⌘-F).
- Click the zoom-to-fit button.
I’ve found it more comfortable to read with the screen on the left-hand side, using my right hand to advance pages with the arrow keys. But experiment to see what works best for you.
Update: Several readers have pointed to a free utility called ReadRight which basically does steps 1-6 all at once, with some other handy options thrown in. I particularly like being able to advance pages with a click on the trackpad.
Since Preview is already included on every Mac, I’ll keep it as the general-case solution.