Newsletter Hints and Tips


2007/06/21: Why is the newsletter formatted strangely?

The newsletter is formatted for both printing (two-column format) and online reading.  One of the problems with the two-column format is the need to scroll up and down.  To try and minimize scrolling, I try to break long articles with a separator across the middle.  If you have printed the newsletter, read across the top half of the page, then skip over the separator and continue reading across the bottom of the page. 

2007/03/26: How do I contact article authors?

In an attempt to reduce the incidence of SPAM, e-mail addresses are ‘hidden’ in recent issues. To contact an author, please open the newsletter with Adobe Reader and click on the author’s name.

2007/03/26: What is the status of the Mac Preview issue with PDF body text?

Changes have been made to the way that the PDF is created that has resolved the problem for some users.  If you are still experiencing problems with viewing newsletter issues 5.1 and later, please contact me through the e-mail link near the top of the right navigator.

Thanks to Jeanette Russell for helping test the fix!

2006/12/11: Why can I read the headings and images, but the body text is either garbled or displays as little squares?

Some versions of Mac OS Preview (image/PDF viewer) may be incompatible with the way that the PDF is created. Saving the file to disk and opening it with Adobe Reader appears to work (free download from

2006/03/27: What do I need to read the newsletter?

The newsletter is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.  You need Adobe Reader, a free application that can be downloaded from

2006/03/27: When I click on links within the newsletter, the target page is displayed in the same browser window and I lose track of where I was in the newsletter.  How can I prevent this?

Adobe Reader includes a plug-in for most browsers, downloading and automatically displaying the PDF in the browser window.  However, the plug-in does not allow you to launch links in a new window.  Most browsers allow you to right-click on the link to the newsletter and request that the PDF file be downloaded to your PC ('Save Target As...' in Internet Explorer, 'Save Link As...' in Firefox).  Launching the PDF file from disk (or opening it in Adobe Reader) allows you to have the newsletter visible in Adobe Reader while links open in a separate browser window.



2006/03/27: I am recently getting 'Block/Allow' prompts whenever I click on a web link within the PDF.  How do I stop this behaviour?

This is a new feature of Adobe Reader 7.0.5 (and higher).  You can disable it by:

  • clicking on File -> Edit -> Preferences
  • selecting 'Trust Manager' in the left navigator
  • clicking on the 'Change Site Settings' button
  • allow/deny specific sites, and define a 'Default behaviour for other site'

Thanks to Lori DeFurio for this tip. 


2006/03/27: How can I create a comment to a newsletter?

Anyone can post a comment by clicking on the Comments (#) link in the trailer of the post.  You will be prompted for your name and e-mail address.  You do not need a TypeKey/TypePad account, and you can ignore the URL information. 

Your e-mail address will not be displayed in the Weblog.  (updated 2008/12/12, thanks to feedback from Carol McClelland)

It may take a day or so for your comment to appear in the Weblog - please be patient.


2006/03/27: What is 'Creative Commons' all about?

Copyright laws were established to protect the interests of people who create content.  Current copyright laws do not provide flexibility in terms of how that content may be used.  Creative Commons was established so that content creators could specify up front how their material can be legally copied, distributed or modified.  For more information, please see the February 2004 Newsletter.

With some exceptions, material in the Biomimicry Newsletter is published under an Attributiion-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence, allowing others to use the material freely so long as they:

  • attribute the author of the material
  • do not use it for commercial purposes
  • use the same Creative Common licence on any derivative work