Do you use Preview? It’s the bundled app that OS X uses by default when you double-click on a PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF file, and probably other formats. Now, most designer/publisher types (including myself) changed the file associations long ago so that PDFs automatically open in Reader or Acrobat, and the image files open in Photoshop or Fireworks or similar.
Through the good graces of Parallels and VMWare, I’ve been running both Mac and Windows on the same Mac laptop for a few years now. The Windows equivalent of the Finder is called Windows Explorer (not “Internet Explorer” … that’s the browser we all love to hate), or “Explorer” for short. When you open the My Documents window, you’re soaking in it.
Speaking of keywords …
Apple and Microsoft have been beefing up their OS's to accommodate the Google approach to file management — at least as it applies to hard drive searches — for a while now. You can apply keywords to any file in OS X by adding them to the Spotlight Comments area in a file's Get Info dialog box. (Select the file in the Finder and choose File > Get Info.) Both Spotlight and the Finder's basic Find command can include keywords in searches.more >
If you're an experienced Mac user who is now the proud owner of an Intel-based laptop, especially if you used to use a "regular" Mac laptop (a PowerBook or an iBook), you may not have bothered to read the User Guide that came with your new baby. What's to learn, right? It's faster and it can run Windows. The end. Let's start loading software!more >
One thing that drives me buggy about my otherwise-beloved OS X is how it loses document windows.
Designers typically have a lot of programs and documents open at once, so I'm sure you've seen this. Sometimes the document windows start to stack weirdly, especially if you're the type who clicks on visible portions of document windows to bring them (and their application) to the front instead of choosing the application icon from the Dock or Command-Tabbing to it.
You're reading a web page in Safari, for example, and right behind that window is an InDesign document, behind that are two Apple Mail windows, behind those are two more Safari windows, and way in the back is another InDesign (document) window or two. It's hard to tell which window belongs to which application because you can see only a portion of the ones in the back.
An "alert reader" (apologies to Dave Barry) e-mailed me a few days ago about an out-of-date link on my Managing OS X Fonts resources page on my web site:
He said that the link I titled "World's Best Forum Post: How to Prune Unnecessary OS X Fonts," which I found last year on an Apple Discussions board, had been updated by the author with info on Tiger and moved to a new location on Apple's web site. more >
My assistant, Sherri, and I just wrapped up a months-long effort of updating the content in DesignGeek Central, the section of my web site that contains my software resource pages (as well as DesignGeek back issues):
Check out the resource pages for Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign and Illustrator, especially; as we found great new books and a sheaf of new Adobe white papers (in-depth guides in PDF form) for each of these programs, which were buried in various places on Adobe's web site. Also of note, the OpenType Resources page has links to new Type 1 to OpenType conversion guides and glyph charts, and I added two new resource pages, one for Adobe Bridge and one for Version Cue.
As before, each resource page contains links, artwork, and pithy commentary about what I consider to be the best information available for the program or topic in question, and best of all, many of the resources are free. A typical resource page includes links to relevant DesignGeek articles, best books and magazines, Adobe/Quark/Apple white papers and tutorials, user groups, mailing lists, forums, video and on-line training, third-party web sites, blogs, podcasts, plug-ins, actions, XTensions, and kitchen sinks.more >
Almost a full year ago, I wrote a DesignGeek story about how to edit screen font suitcases in OS X:
I said there were two choices: Morrison Software's FontDoctor, and <ack> Font/DA Mover 4.1, old old Macintosh system software that runs in Classic.
Both solutions are still viable … but let's leave Font/DA Mover behind, shall we? I can't remember the last time I booted Classic. Luckily, FontDoctor is up to version 7 and is available for Windows, too. The Mac version costs $69.99 and the Windows version only $49.99, for some reason:
But what I find exciting is that Insider Software, the makers of the highly-regarded font management utility, FontAgent Pro, came out with their own Suitcase Editor a couple weeks ago: more >
So often on any of the design- or prepress-related listservs and forums I participate in, when someone posts a question, someone else answers, "You could probably script this," especially if the questioner is using a Mac. It can get quite aggravating after awhile.
AppleScript is purportedly so easy for normal people (non-programmers) to learn, it sometimes feels like software developers leave off features on purpose, knowing that the user can write a script for it if they really want it. And I am so jealous of those that know how to do this … I've never been able to get AppleScript to sink in my poor brain, though I've sat down with tutorials more than twice.
Tiger's Automator is supposed to help end users figure out AppleScripting, and it already has many adherents, especially among left-brained designers. For example, the top download on the Automator World web site is Photoshop CS Automator Actions (a CS2 version is also available):
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, once again it's time to clean out some of the backlog of sites I've bookmarked as fodder for DesignGeek articles. If you're a relatively new subscriber, you might have missed the first time I did this:
The First Occasional Bookmarks Issue (#32, 11/24/04):
The basic idea is that instead of spending a lot of time developing a DesignGeek article on one or two of these sites, I'm just going to list a bunch of them with a few notes explaining why I thought it was bookmark-worthy. Then I can delete it from my bookmarks utility and move on.more >