How I typecast

The photo shows the following typewritten text. Friday, May 10, 2019. Smith—Corona 5T Silent—Super. My typecast workflow. Someone asked me about the stepsrequired to create a typecast, so that’s what I’m going to explain here. By the way, none of this is original to me. I gleaned most of these from Joe Van Cleave, Richard Polt, and The Rt. Rev. Theodore Munk. OK, the steps. 1 — I first think about what I’m going to write about but I don't cogitate  too much because I want everything to be as spontaneous as possible. 2 — I choose which typewriter to use: Smith—Corona Silent—Super pica, Smith-Corona Silent—Super elite, Canon Typestar 5 electronic typewriter, or Hermes 3000 (1968 model) Techno Pica.	 3 — I photograph the typewritten page using my smartphone’s camera, then create a 1,000-pixel wide, 72 ppi version. 4 — I open the photo in an OCR app, convert the text and export to Microsoft Word. In Word, I clean up the results and then insert the words into the alt attribute of my post’s image. This allows visitors who are employing assistive technology to read the post too. This text also can be indexed by search engines. 5 — I then post the image and amended HTML. Once or twice I used a scanning app instead of a plain photo, but I like the raw look and feel  of a photo. And look and feel are essential to  a typecast, right? Note: Minor corrections added by hand.


5 thoughts on “How I typecast

  1. Wow! You OCR your typed text and put it in the alt tags, that’s so cool! I had the idea to do this, maybe even automate it at some point, but was too lazy to follow through. 🙂 Just this morning, however, I went back and hand-entered the text in the first image of the typecast on my blog, so that the snippet on master blogroll would be sensible text and not just the filenames of the images.

    My typewriter nerd hat is off to you, sir, well done! 🙂


    • This also improves SEO, since you’re describing the image — any image — for the visually impaired or those who choose not to download photos and graphics. Sort of like the supplementary audio on TV and movies.


    • Until I figured out how to streamline the process with OCR, I retyped the text and only did so for short typecasts.


  2. The photos are really nice. You get more of the quality of the paper in the photo.

    The alt text is really nice. I didn’t know you did this! You could also do the trick that some webcomics employ—setting the title tag in the title tag of the image, so when you roll your mouse over the image, another set of text appears. I’d imagine that might be obnoxious with the full text. Webcomics use this to add a little extra Easter egg. is really good at that.


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