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See Me, Hear Me

April 25, 2007 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Back in November, Adobe asked me if I'd be interested in recording a bunch of video tutorials on InDesign CS3. Well, not Adobe itself; but a nice woman who *worked* for Adobe asked me.

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Adobe Creative Suite 3 Info

March 30, 2007 - 12:02pm ||| 0 Comments | Add new

The big news this week in the world of digital design has to be Adobe's announcement of their new line-up of Creative Suite applications, dubbed CS3. I watched the live webcast of their launch shindig in New York City this week, even sat through the unplanned 20-minute "we're pausing for technical difficulties" portion when they were having A/V problems.

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How to Crop a Raster in Illustrator

February 7, 2007 - 1:38pm ||| 9 Comments | Add new

A lot of Illustrator users like to incorporate raster (paint/pixel-based) images into their illustrations via the File > Place command. After an image is placed into the Illustrator file, though, it’s seemingly impossible to crop out the parts you don’t want shown, especially if the user is more familiar with page layout programs like QuarkXPress or InDesign. Dragging on an image frame’s “handle” as you would in a page layout program just scales the image.

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Free Software at Adobe Labs

February 7, 2007 - 11:48am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

If you're deeply into the field of digital design for print, web, mobile devices, or anything in-between, you should be visiting the Adobe Labs site regularly:

Adobe Labs

What's the Adobe Labs page about? Why, click the About page, dear: "Adobe Labs provides you with the opportunity to experience and evaluate new and emerging innovations, technologies, and products from Adobe."

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Raster Resolution Tips in Illustrator

November 14, 2006 - 2:00am ||| 5 Comments | Add new
I think most Illustrator users have learned that there's a deceptively innocuous little command in the Effects menu that can ruin high-res output if not attended to: Document Raster Effects Settings. Artists who've been burned once by its default 72 ppi setting will never allow that to happen again.

Yet I think few users realize that the settings in this dialog box govern some other rasters generated by Illustrator, not just the ones from the Effect menu.more >

InDesign's Hidden "Save for Web"

November 14, 2006 - 2:00am ||| 2 Comments | Add new

Last week during the InDesign Conference: Master Class in Seattle, one of the seminars I presented was called "Repurposing: Print to Web." If there ever was an exercise in frustration, it was trying to come up with content for this seminar. I spent weeks fretting about it, scouring the web for an answer that wasn't there.

How do you get content that's sitting in a regular InDesign layout file out onto a web site? Other than making a downloadable PDF? Or copying and pasting text from frames to text editors?

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More "Telling" Interview Questions from Readers

September 27, 2006 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

In the last issue of DesignGeek (#56), I wrote about a design studio owner friend of mine who used "telling" questions during interviews as a spot check for quality designers.

For example, in the middle of the interview, my friend Joe would sometimes point at one of the chartreuse walls in the studio and ask the applicant, "What would be the CMYK mix for that color, do you think?"

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Mastering Illustrator's Gradient Mesh

September 27, 2006 - 1:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new
When was the Gradient Mesh tool added to Adobe Illustrator, would you guess? Are you thinking with CS (version 11)? Nope. Version 10? Still way off! The Gradient Mesh tool was introduced with Illustrator EIGHT (when was that, back in 1964?) along with the new-fangled Bounding Box and the "enhanced pencil tool"!

Yet for all its longevity, I've yet to meet a person face-to-face who knows how to use the feature.more >

What's Different about this File?

May 24, 2006 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

The other day I was looking at a custom keyboard shortcut set I had made in Illustrator (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts) and trying to remember what changes I had made to the default keyboard shortcuts that caused me to save this custom set in the first place. What was different about this keyboard shortcut set? Which commands had I thought important enough to change?

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Illustrator CS2's Gray Box from Hell

April 12, 2006 - 5:39pm ||| 1 Comment | Add new

Recently, a lengthy and at times very funny thread on the Illustrator User-to-User forum (at had people chiming in about how aggravating Illustrator's new Gray Box from Hell feature is, with a small number of Illustrator mavens arguing for the defense.

I'm referring to the gray box outline that Illustrator CS2 automatically puts around a group (items you've previously selected and grouped together via Object > Group) when you double-click any item in the group with the Selection tool.

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