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Robin Williams (writer)

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Robin Patricia Williams
Born (1953-10-09) October 9, 1953 (age 70)
Berkeley, California
OccupationNon-fiction writer; graphic designer; teacher; lecturer on Shakespeare
Period1989 – present
SubjectComputers; graphic design; Shakespeare

Robin Patricia Williams (born October 9, 1953)[1] is an American educator who has authored many computer-related books, as well as the book Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?. Among her computer books are manuals of style The Mac is Not a Typewriter and numerous manuals for various macOS operating systems and applications, including The Little Mac Book.[2][3][4]



Williams was born in Berkeley, California.[5] She grew up in San Jose and Fremont, California and graduated from Washington High School in Fremont. After high school, she worked in hospitals and then traveled to Europe for two years.[5] She moved to Santa Rosa, California to attend a graphic design program at Santa Rosa Junior College, and began teaching graphic design at the college in 1981.[5][6] In 2011, she received an MA degree from Brunel University, London, in Shakespeare Authorship studies, and in 2014 she completed a doctoral dissertation for the same university; her doctorate is on the history (and future) of reading Shakespeare—out loud and in community, with an emphasis on editorial practice.

Williams is a graphic designer, typographer, author, college instructor, and lecturer. She began writing in the 1980s, after teaching graphic design and a course about the Mac computer at a California community college.[7] She has taught Shakespeare at Santa Fe Community College[8] and leads the Shakespeare Close Readers reading and discussion groups about individual plays.[9] She has been a leader in the New Mexico Internet Professionals Association and the Santa Fe Mac Users Group.[10][11] She is a founder of the Mary Sidney Society[12] and iReadShakespeare.[13][14]

She has three children she raised as a single mother, including while working as a part-time instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College.[15]



She has written, designed, indexed, and produced more than seventy computer-related books,[16] and by 2005, many of her books had been translated into twenty-three languages.[5] Some of her early works include The Little Mac Book and The Mac is Not a Typewriter.[17][18][19][20][21] By 2002, The Little Mac Book had published its eighth edition.[15] By 2005, she had published 51 books about Mac computers.[5]

Williams has spent years studying William Shakespeare,[8][22] and in 2006 issued her book Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare? in which she presented evidence in support of the theory that the writer Mary Sidney is the author of Shakespeare's work.[8][23][24][25][26] Mary Sidney was first proposed as an authorship candidate as part of a group theory by Gilbert Slater in 1931.[27][28]





Williams is creating a line of Shakespeare plays called the Readers' Editions, edited and designed specifically for reading aloud in a Shakespeare reading group,[29] independently published as part of iReadShakespeare.org.

  • Williams, Robin P. Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?. USA: Wilton Circle Press; 2006. ISBN 978-0-321-42640-6

Williams has written more than 70 books, published by Peachpit Press, Berkeley, CA.[16]

Titles by Williams, Robin (writing alone under that name, except as noted).

  • The Non-Designer's Presentation Book
  • The Little Mac Book, Leopard Edition[30]
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Peachpit Learning Series, Adobe ReaderDownload
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Peachpit Learning Series
  • Non-Designer's Design and Type Books, Deluxe Edition, The
  • Non-Designer's Collection, The
  • Non-Designer's Type Book, The, 2nd Edition
  • Little Mac Book, Tiger Edition, The
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Peachpit Learning Series
  • The Little Mac Book, Panther Edition[31]
  • The Mac OS X Book, Panther Edition
  • The Non-Designer's Design Book[32][33][34][35][36]
  • Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, Jaguar Edition[37]
  • The Little Mac OS X Book
  • The Little Mac Book, 6th Ed. ISBN 0-20135-433-0[38]
  • How to Boss Your Fonts Around ISBN 1-56609-102-0[39]
  • The Mac is Not a Typewriter, 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-201-78263-4[40][41]
  • The Little iMac Book, 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-20170-446-3[38]
  • The Little iBook ISBN 0-201-70093-X[42]

Titles by Williams, Robin, writing with Tollett, John (and, as noted, others).

  • Robin Williams Cool Mac Apps: A guide to iLife 08, .Mac, and more
  • Robin Williams Design Workshop, Second Edition, Adobe Reader, 2nd EditionDownload
  • Podcasting and Blogging with GarageBand and iWeb eBookDownload
  • Podcasting and Blogging with GarageBand and iWeb
  • Robin Williams Design Workshop, 2nd Edition
  • Macs on the Go, Adobe ReaderDownload
  • Macs on the Go
  • Non-Designer's Web Book, The, 3rd Edition
  • Robin Williams Cool Mac Apps, Second Edition: A guide to iLife 05, .Mac, and more, 2nd Edition
  • Robin Williams Cool Mac Apps: A guide to iLife, Mac.com, and more
  • Little Mac iApps Book, The
  • Little iMac Book, The, 3rd Edition
  • With both Tollett and Rohr, Dave. Robin Williams Web Design Workshop
  • Robin Williams Design Workshop[43]
  • The Non-Designer's Web Book, 2nd Edition ISBN 0-201-71038-2[44]
  • A Blip in the Continuum[45]

With Cohen, Sandee.

  • Non-Designer's Scan and Print Book, The

With Steve Cummings:

  • Jargon, An Informal Dictionary of Computer Terms (1993: Peachpit Press)[46][47]

With Dave Mark:


  1. ^ Who's Who in the West (27 ed.). Marquis-Who's Who. 1999. p. 905. ISBN 9780837909240.
  2. ^ LeVitus, Bob (June 1993). "The essential Mac library". MacUser. 9 (6). ZDNet. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  3. ^ Marriott, Michel (July 30, 1998). "For Macintosh Users, the Little How-To Book That Grew". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  4. ^ Engst, Adam (February 10, 1992). "The PC is not a typewriter". Tidbits. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e Van Cleve, Emily (November 27, 2005). "Santa Fean's manuals have worldwide following". Albuquerque Journal – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Robin Williams" (access "Real Bio" via the link it anchors; no date). Retrieved on January 22, 2008.
  7. ^ Steinberg, David (November 4, 2001). "Author self-published first of successful computer books". Albuquerque Journal – via ProQuest.
  8. ^ a b c Trujillo, Ana Marie (March 14, 2007). "Author: Woman Wrote Shakespeare". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Close Readers". 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  10. ^ "Santa Fe Mac Users Group". SFMUG. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  11. ^ "SFMUG". Robin Williams. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  12. ^ "The Mary Sidney Society". 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  13. ^ "iReadShakespeare". 2015. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  14. ^ "John Tollett". Url's Internet Cafe. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  15. ^ a b Kusel, Denise (April 14, 2002). "Only in Santa Fe: The other Robin Williams speaks out". The Santa Fe New Mexican – via ProQuest.
  16. ^ a b "Robin Williams". Peachpit Press. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  17. ^ Shannon, L R. (December 4, 1990). "For Giving, Shelves of New Advice". The New York Times – via ProQuest.
  18. ^ Shannon, L.R. (February 23, 1993). "Advice to the Shopworn". The New York Times – via ProQuest.
  19. ^ von Biel, Victoria (December 1990). "Resources -- The Little Mac Book by Robin Williams / The Mac Is not a Typewriter by Robin Williams". MacUser – via ProQuest.
  20. ^ Lawrence, Stevens (March 1991). "Window Shopping -- The Mac Is not a Typewriter by Robin Williams / The Little Mac Book by Robin Williams". Macworld. p. 182 – via ProQuest.
  21. ^ Mossberg, Walter S (December 16, 1993). "Personal technology: Gentle guides to cracking open computers' mysteries". The Wall Street Journal – via ProQuest.
  22. ^ Underwood, Anne (June 28, 2004). "Was the Bard a Woman?". Newsweek – via EBSCOhost.
  23. ^ Meriam, Mary (April 25, 2013). "Was Mary Sidney Really William Shakespeare?". Ms. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  24. ^ Waller, Gary (January 2006). "Robin P. Williams. Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?". Sidney Journal. 24 (1). Sidney Society: 81–84. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  25. ^ Nott, Robert (June 2, 2006). "Maybe Shakespeare was an Avon lady". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  26. ^ Rutledge, Josh (June 21, 2006). "A Bard by any other sex .. Scholar suggests the author of 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Hamlet' was a woman". The Washington Times. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  27. ^ Hannay, Margaret; Kinnamon, Noel J; Brennan, Michael, eds. (1998). The Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke: Poems, translations, and correspondence. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-811280-8.
  28. ^ Hudson, John (15 March 2014). Shakespeare's Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier The Woman Behind Shakepeare's Plays?. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-4456-2166-1.
  29. ^ "iReadShakespeare—out loud and in community!".
  30. ^ Patton, Carol (April 2008). "The Little Mac Book, Leopard edition: Peachpit press". District Administration. 44 (5). Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  31. ^ Kapica, Jack (October 1, 2004). "The Little Mac Book: Panther Edition". The Globe and Mail – via ProQuest.
  32. ^ Andrews, Brad (August 1995). "Book reviews -- The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams". Technical Communication. 42 (3). Society for Technical Communication: 512 – via ProQuest.
  33. ^ Davidow, Ari (Winter 1995). "Livelihood -- The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams". Whole Earth Review – via ProQuest.
  34. ^ John, Hugh (March 24, 1995). "Publish and be praised -- The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams". Times Educational Supplement – via ProQuest.
  35. ^ Kuang-Hsia, Liu (December 2012). "The non-designer's design book". Journal of Textbook Research. 5 (3): 143–156 – via ProQuest.
  36. ^ Yelland, Philippa (April 20, 2004). "Keeping it simple; BOOK REVIEW". Sydney Morning Herald – via ProQuest.
  37. ^ "The Robin Williams Mac OS X Book: Jaguar Edition: Peachpit press. (new products)". District Administration. 39 (3). March 2003. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Computer Bestsellers". Publishers Weekly. December 18, 2000. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  39. ^ Engst, Tonya (May 2, 1994). "Robin Williams Shows Who's Boss". Tidbits. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  40. ^ Corder, Mary C. (February 2005). "Reviewed Work: The Mac Is Not a Typewriter. 2nd ed. by Robin Williams". Technical Communication. 52 (1). Society for Technical Communication: 81–82. JSTOR 43089170. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  41. ^ Taylor, Conrad (December 1, 2003). "Book Review: The Mac is Not a Typewriter". Journal of Audiovisual Media in Medicine. 26 (4): 179 – via Taylor & Francis.
  42. ^ Gillespie, Thom (March 1, 2000). "Easy iBook/ Mac OS 9 for Dummies/ SAMS Teach Yourself the iBook in 24 Hours... (Book Review)". Library Journal. 125 (4) – via EBSCOhost.
  43. ^ Jennings, Ann S. (February 2002). "Reviewed Work: Robin Williams Design Workshop by Robin Williams, John Tollett". Technical Communication. 49 (1). Society for Technical Communication: 100–102. JSTOR 43088912. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  44. ^ Hudak-David, Ginny (November 2001). "Reviewed Work: The Non-designer's Web Book. 2 nd ed. by Robin Williams, John Tollett". Technical Communication. 48 (4). Society for Technical Communication. JSTOR 43090472. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  45. ^ Shannon, L.R. (August 1, 1995). "Help for Picturing Pictures on Screen". The New York Times – via ProQuest.
  46. ^ Tennant, Robert L. (November 1994). "Reviewed Works: JARGON, AN INFORMAL DICTIONARY OF COMPUTER TERMS by Robin Williams, Steve Cummings; THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY. 2nd ed. by Eric S. Raymond; THE COMPUTER GLOSSARY: THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED DESK REFERENCE by Alan Freedman". Technical Communication. 41 (4). Society for Technical Communication: 726–728. JSTOR 43089758. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  47. ^ Shannon, L.R. (September 14, 1993). "For Desktop Advice, A Publishing Wizard". The New York Times – via ProQuest.
  48. ^ Engst, Tonya (November 18, 1996). "Web Authoring with Robin Williams". Tidbits. Retrieved 16 February 2022.