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InDesign's Hidden "Save for Web"

November 14, 2006 - 3:00am ||| 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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Mastering Illustrator's Gradient Mesh

September 27, 2006 - 2:00am ||| 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 >

Tips for Managing Web Color in Photoshop

September 14, 2006 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

You spend hours in Photoshop creating the perfect background image (or button, or photograph) for a client's web site. From the native .psd file, which you were careful to keep in RGB mode, you use Save for Web (from the File menu) to create a .jpeg, .gif or .png version of it.

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Overprinting Black in Photoshop

December 21, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 4 Comments | Add new

I know what you're thinking, "Why would you ever want to overprint black in Photoshop? Isn't that an issue for page layout or illustration software?" Well, yes, but lots of designers — even the developers themselves — are blurring the lines between what you're supposed to do in which program.

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Photoshop CS2 Layer Tips

December 5, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Unlinking One
If you've been using Photoshop CS2 at all, you've learned that linking layers (to align or distribute their contents, or transform them as a group) is slightly different than in previous versions, and takes a little getting used to.

Of course, with CS2's new ability to select multiple layers at once (by shift- or Command/Ctrl-clicking them), linking them is less necessary than before. You can align, distribute, and transform a multiple selection of layers without linking them first.

Still, if you're working with a lot of layers and repeatedly manipulating the same set of layers in unison, it's a lot easier to link them at some point. Just select them and click the Link icon at the bottom of the palette, or choose Link Layer from the palette menu or Layer menu. The link icons appear to the right of each layer that was selected. From then on, all you need to do is select one of the linked layers, do something to it, and the other layers linked to it will transform in unison. It's kind of like a Save Selection for multiple layers.more >

A Ton of New Content on DesignGeek Central

December 5, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

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 >

Speed Up Photoshop CS2 with Bigger Tiles

October 19, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

When you open an image in Photoshop (or transform or resize or basically do anything that causes Photoshop to process the image), the program processes it in small, rectangular sections — called tiles — one-by-one. The less RAM you have, the smaller the tiles it can work with (filesize-wise), meaning more tiles have to run through the processor to complete processing the entire image.

By default, Photoshop bites off tiles in chunks of 132K worth of image data at a time, at the most, regardless of how much RAM you have. If you have lots of RAM, you can get Photoshop to increase its tile size so that images are processed faster — processing four tiles would be faster than processing sixteen.

Start by opening Photoshop's Preferences dialog box and going to the Memory & Image Cache panel. Assign more RAM to the program by specifying a percentage of installed RAM it can use for image processing. If you can end up with 1GB or more of RAM devoted to Photoshop, all the better.more >

Adobe Bridge Tricks for Designers

October 4, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I confess, like a lot of graphic designers, I've been a little underwhelmed with Adobe Bridge, the free file management hub application that comes with every CS2 program. Until recently, my feelings ran along the line of "Are you kidding me? Yet another program to learn? Forget it. Let the full-time Photoshop geeks figure it out. I have publications to design."

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Second Occasional Bookmark Issue

August 23, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

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 >

Web Design Tricks in the Creative Suite

July 27, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I just came back from the first-ever Creative Suite Conference, five straight days of non-stop information, tips and techniques about every program in the Adobe Creative Suite:

My head is about to explode from information overload. In a good way.

Of course, the fact that it was held in Las Vegas — Caesar's Palace, specifically — didn't help my synapses. Unlike most of the other speakers and attendees who were able to control themselves in a mature, professional manner, picture me getting off the plane with lucky 7's instead of eyeballs … I was like, "Vegas! Five days! Oh, mama!"

I hit the tables for a couple short visits every day — after lunch, during session breaks, on the way back from dinner — it was a novel experience having a full-blown casino just an escalator ride away from sessions on Version Cue and Photoshop Smart Objects.more >