Selective Reading

Selective Reading

Selective Reading

Policy made plain.
May 29 1999 3:30 AM

Selective Reading

Subscribers who receive our weekly printer-friendly text edition, Slate on Paper, should have received by now an e-mail message containing the MySlate tool, a k a "the Wasserman." It is named after Rich Wasserman of Kirkland, Wash., a Slate subscriber who took up the challenge of producing a way to print out selected articles from Slate on Paper rather than the whole thing. The tool comes as a Word document with an Install button and simple instructions. Once it's installed, whenever you have Slate on Paper on your screen you can call up a menu of articles with check boxes to pick the ones you want. (You can even choose between all the items in a multi-item department like "Chatterbox" or only some of them.) Then the tool will print out your personal edition of Slate, formatted in two columns for 8 1/2-by-11 paper, with its own table of contents, containing just the stuff you want. Note: This gizmo only works with Word 97. But if you've got the right word processor--and if, for some reason, you don't wish to consume every word of Slate--the Wasserman is pretty cool. Thanks, Rich.

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Slate on Paper itself is readable and printable by any version of Word (6.0 or later), by recent versions of most other major word processors, or by Word Viewer, a free bit of software (which you may already have as part of Windows 95 or 98). There's also a version for Adobe Acrobat or a free Acrobat viewer. Slate on Paper is available, at no extra charge, to Slate subscribers only. (To subscribe, at $19.95 a year, including a free Slate umbrella, click here. We give you the umbrella, in case that's not clear.)

We now offer a lavish, not to say bewildering, variety of ways to access the splendors of Slate, and more are on the way. Here is a summary:

  • Read Slate online at slate.com. Current contents and recent (four weeks) archives are free. Most older stuff is for subscribers only.
  • Listen to Slate through Audible.com. "Today's Papers" and several other Slate features are now available in audio versions, for listening through your computer, through a Windows CE device, or through a portable proprietary gizmo that lets you listen on headphones or through your car radio. You must subscribe to this service through Audible.com.
  • Get Slate's three daily e-mail deliveries. The morning delivery includes Today's Papers and other features. If you sign up for all three deliveries you will get most of Slate's current content soon after it appears on the site. Subscribers only. Click here to sign up.
  • Get the weekly Slate on Paper Word document by e-mail, containing all of Slate's contents for the week specially formatted for printing out. Subscribers only. Click here to sign up.
  • DownloadSlate on Paper directly from our site, in Word or Adobe Acrobat format. (You can also download the MySlate selective printout tool here, as well as free viewers for Word or Acrobat.) Subscribers only. Click here to sign up.
  • E-mail any individual Slate article to yourself or a friend. Just click on the icon at the beginning of each article. E-mailing yourself is a good way to save an article for future reading or to get a compact, text-only version for printing out. This service is free. You don't have to be a Slate subscriber.
  • HP Instant Delivery. Using this free software from Hewlett-Packard, you can have Slate's Today's Papers waiting at your printer every morning. Or (if you don't want to leave your computer and printer on all night) it will automatically connect to the Internet, fetch and print Today's Papers when you turn your machine on in the morning. We've made it easy to get Today's Papers in the morning, in a printer-friendly version, but with a bit of effort this software can also be used to fetch and print any other page on Slate or other Web sites at any time. Click here to set it up.
  • Slate on Paper on Paper. If you really want a paper version of Slate, we will send you a weekly 44-page edition by U.S. Mail, for $70 a year (our cost). Call (800) 706-3330 to subscribe.
  • Coming soon: Direct printer-friendly printouts of individual Slate articles, Slate on your PalmPilot or Windows CE device, Slate on your e-book.

Also: Slate inscribed on a loaf of bread; Slate beamed into your head while you sleep; Slate recited to you by Ralph the talking dog; Topiary Slate (Slate articles carved into your shrubbery); Slate-by-Massage ("Moneybox" communicated through seven secret pressure points on your body--subscribers only); the Slate Ballet ("Keeping Tabs" reinterpreted for the dance); the Emperor's New Slate (we pretend to publish it, you pretend to read it--subscribers only); and much more.

Michael Kinsley is a columnist, and the founding editor of Slate.