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First Occasional DesignGeek Bookmarks Issue

November 23, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Every day in my normal workflow, as I come across interesting web sites that may be worthy of a DesignGeek story, I add them to an ever-growing list of URLs I maintain just for this purpose. I've been collecting these URLS over a year now — the dropdown menu for them goes way beyond the bottom of my screen — and really only about 10% of them ever make it into an article.

So much content, so little time.

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Underlines in Illustrator

October 20, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Bear with me for a second while I give you the back story.

Last week at the huge Graph Expo at Chicago's McCormick Place, I had the novel experience of donning an official Adobe trade show shirt and helping them at their booth. (Well, not "helping" as in "volunteering," I was more of a hired geek. I got to send them an invoice too, which was a refreshing change from sending a check.)

For much of the four days of the show, I was ensconced in a little free-standing wet-bar-like structure in a corner of Adobe's booth, facing out into a busy intersection on the show floor, with the words "Ask the Expert" plastered across the fronts-piece high above my head where everyone could see.

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Simpler Handling of MS Word Art

September 14, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

In the last issue of DesignGeek I described two ways of extracting Word art from Word files that clients might give you. Soon afterwards I received a couple replies from readers wondering why I was doing things the hard way.

Dave Haglund of Cygnus Media put it best. In fact I'm thinking of hiring him … LOL.

He's given me permission to reprint his e-mail here:

Hi Anne-Marie,

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Multiple-page PDFs from Illustrator

May 12, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 7 Comments | Add new


A few weeks ago I travelled to beautiful Cincinnatti, Ohio to provide a two-day training session in Illustrator CS for about twenty students. As this was a large pre-press packaging firm (the "back end," the people in charge of taking designer's files and trapping/separating them out to something that will print), these pros and their management had some <ahem> concerns about Illustrator CS that I don't usually encounter with my usual training clients, the "front end" designers and layout production types.

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Concatenating Point Type in Illustrator

May 12, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new

A huge issue with moving to Illustrator CS is what happens to the type when you need to "save it back" to an earlier Illustrator format. Since CS has a different type engine … the same one shared by all the Adobe CS apps … the text gets broken up into "point type" when you Export to a previous version of Illustrator or EPS and need to edit it. That's the only way it can maintain the new kerning, for example.

Much more on the new type engine here, by the way:
"Let's Talk About the new type engine" (Adobe Illustrator CS Forum thread)
<//www [dot] adobeforums [dot] com/cgi-bin/webx?13 [at] 166 [dot] CPTYcSJfvP6.0@.2ccdcea3/191" target="_blank">http://www [dot] adobeforums [dot] com/cgi-bin/webx?13 [at] 166 [dot] CPTYcSJfvP6.0@.2ccdcea3/191>

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Centering Yourself

April 26, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

The need to center something on page is so common, you'd think design software would have a command for it. But most don't.

Sure, there's usually an Align palette or command hidden someplace, with a Center Align option, but that's for aligning two or more things you've created; not for aligning one thing with the page itself.

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Guide to Adobe CS's Free Fonts

March 24, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 2 Comments | Add new

While the press releases and hoopla have died out to a great extent, many companies are just now getting around to updating to the Adobe Creative Suite.

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Reducing Bloated Illustrator Files

March 11, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Each new version of Adobe Illustrator adds at least a few new palettes, each with its own presets to get you started, like the ones in Graphic Styles, Symbols and Brushes. Unless you explicitly delete those presets before you save your Illustrator file, the default options come along for the ride, increasing file sizes and leading to the malady known as Illustrator Bloat.

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Add Your (Vector) Logo to a Photoshop Menu

February 19, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to add your logo's shape in vector format (crisp, sharp edges at any size) to your Photoshop files right from a menu in Photoshop? Here's how.

(Actually, this works with any vector artwork, but logos seem a particularly useful application.)

1. Open up your logo in Adobe Illustrator. Check Illy's preferences, in the Clipboard options, and make sure that AICB format is enabled. Doing this allows you to maintain vector path information in your clipboard.

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What's the Resolution, Kenneth: Figuring Out What They Embedded In That Illy File

September 23, 2003 - 2:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new

You probably already know that you can add raster images (such as scans or artwork from paint programs) to your vector-based Illustrator artwork. When you use Illustrator's File—>Place menu item to do this, the Place dialog lets you choose whether you'd like to Embed the raster image in your file, or just Link to it.

Let me briefly explain those two options first before I get to the tip.

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