print & pdf

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Acrobat X (v10) Rants and Tips

January 6, 2011 - 11:58am ||| 28 Comments | Add new

My latest title for the the online video tutorial company,, covers the newly-released Acrobat Pro “X” (meaning “10”). Be sure and pronounce it “ten” otherwise Adobe people are authorized to slap you.

Acrobat X Essential Training
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2011 Print & ePublishing Conference in DC

January 6, 2011 - 11:50am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

What are you doing the week before Memorial Day this year? I hope you’ll be joining me in the conference that I not only speak at, but co-produce (with my partner, David Blatner), the Print & ePublishing Conference.  You may remember that we did our first one back in May of 2010, at the Adobe headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It was a ton of fun and a great success with over 200 people in attendance. The majority of attendees and members voted for Washington, DC, to be the next location for the conference, and we aim to please!
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Acrobat Portfolio Better than Merge

August 25, 2009 - 8:29am ||| 1 Comment | Add new

I have a love/hate relationship with PDF portfolios, the Acrobat 9 PDF format that turns a PDF into a handy ZIP container with a slick front end. I love the interface for customizing it, because it makes me feel like I'm a programmer. "Hmmm, the interface should present thumbnails of the enclosed files on the bottom that you can flick left and right; and a Flash movie should be on the "home" page, with a "Fall leaves" color theme. Or wait … let me arrange them in list order like the Finder."

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The Six Patron Saints of Graphic Design

July 27, 2006 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

According to San Francisco graphic designer W. Lynn Garrett, Saint Pixela, the patron saint of "Retouching and Comfy Chairs," spent her twilight years living in peaceful solitude near the Lake of Saint Vector.more >

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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Acrobat's Own Special Browser

August 10, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

With all this brouhaha (2 points for using "brouhaha") about CS2's new workflow management program, Adobe Bridge, and all the cool things it can do and if it's a good or bad thing that it's replaced Photoshop's File Browser and yadda yadda, I find it interesting that few people mention how Acrobat 7 Pro has been left out of the party, even though it's part of the Creative Suite 2 Premium package.

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Capture Web Sites as PDFs

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

Recent vintages of Acrobat Pro offer the ability to convert live web sites to multiple-page PDFs, but hardly any web designer I've worked with knows about it. In my studio, we've been using the feature for years to archive iterations of client's sites, and to have a convenient "web site on a CD" to carry around for reference.

You don't need to know a web server password or anything; if you can see it in your browser, you can capture it in a PDF. During the seminar I captured the first two levels of Apple's site and a few pages of eBay as well … cool!

With each new version of Acrobat, the feature gets better and better. It captures drop-down menus in forms, translates "includes" into page content, understands CSS, keeps links intact and can even grab GIF animations, Flash interfaces and Quicktime movies.more >

Bad PDFs from Quark 6.x? Disable OPI XT

March 30, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

QuarkXPress 6.x users, have you noticed that its optional OPI XTension is installed and turned on by default? If you're trying to troubleshoot random, bizarre problems with your PDFs or printouts, this could be the culprit.

The OPI XT is only needed if you're a worker bee in an OPI workflow, the kind where you're using low-res images in your layouts (for speed's sake), while their high-res versions are automatically substituted when you output to print or PDF or do a Collect for Output . A big fat OPI image server and OPI software on your network runs the whole shebang. It's not really that common these days except for large publishers with lots of huge images.

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llustrator's "Flatten This Transparency Now" Command

February 22, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

When I'm helping new InDesign users understand exactly what "flattening transparency" means, I like to show them a concrete example. One way is to export the same simple InDesign file (containing a few overlapping transparent objects) to PDF twice: Once as an Acrobat 4-compatible (PDF 1.3) PDF, which flattens transparent objects, often splitting them up into "atomic regions;" and again as an Acrobat 5-compatible (PDF 1.4) PDF, which supports transparency and thus doesn't flatten.

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InDesign CS's Auto-Trapping

November 2, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

A friend of mine, a meticulous designer (and a relative newbie to ID) e-mailed me two simple questions a few days ago: Does InDesign automatically trap, like Quark? And can you see those traps when you preview separations (in Window -> Output Preview -> Separations)?

The answer to the first question is yes. Sort of.

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