print & pdf

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Create Scaled PDFs Outside Acrobat

October 5, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I frequently get asked by training clients how they can create a scaled PDF from QuarkXPress or InDesign; and occasionally from Word or any other program that has an Export/Save As/Convert to PDF option.

Scaling is normally done in a program's Page Setup dialog, but the trend with modern software, especially in Adobe and Quark, is to roll Page Setup functions into the Print dialog.

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Why Photoshop PDFs Rule

July 7, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 4 Comments | Add new

Most designers are aware that for the past few years, Photoshop has had the ability to keep track of vector data (crisp PostScript paths for live text and shapes) as well as raster data (pixels from regular paint layers) in the same file. When you print your layered .psd file from Photoshop, it sends the vector info along with the raster info to your printer, resulting in sharp type even at very small sizes.

Did you know the same thing is true of Photoshop PDFs? Even after being being imported into another program and printed/exported from there?

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Update PDFs Without Losing Links

June 29, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 2 Comments | Add new
The problem with interactive PDFs — ones with bookmarks, hyperlinks, and/or form fields — is that usually, the "interactive" part of them resides in Acrobat, not in the program you used to design the document.

You spend 80% of your time creating the file in an authoring program like QuarkXPress, InDesign, Word, etc.; then export it to PDF and spend 20% of your time in Acrobat adding links to other documents, tweaking bookmarks and creating buttons and form fields.

So if you find a tiny error in the finished PDF, you feel compelled to tweak what you can right in Acrobat. Change a letter here, nudge an image there, that kind of thing. That way you don't have to redo any links.more >

Quark 6.1 Projects vs. Layouts

May 27, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

The first concept new Quark 6.1 users need to get their heads around is this program's unique (as far as I know) ability to combine multiple client projects in one file.

The file that you create in 6.1 by going to "File -> New" is called a Project (a project can contain multiple projects?) which doesn't help. :-)

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Great PostScript Error References

May 27, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new
Multiple layouts, transparency support, embedded vectors, PDF workflows … whatever the newest bell or whistle or workflow paradigm may be, it all comes down to PostScript in the end.

If you've ever wondered what those cryptic error messages mean ("dictstackunderflow" ???) when Distiller balks, or when you open a flaky EPS in Illustrator, or that your printer spits out at you, here's a great reference:

About PostScript Errors

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Make a Quality PDF Without Owning Acrobat

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

I was at a colleague's design studio the other day, and she was a little stressed out. She needed to send a PDF of a Quark 4 document to a client asap, but she didn't own Acrobat.

Normally that wouldn't be a problem for my friend — her lead designer, who works out of his home, has Acrobat and does all the PDFing for the studio — but he wasn't around. And the client needed the PDF *now*.

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Printing Fix for InDesign Spoolitis

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

Having problems with your InDesign documents getting stuck in print spooler limbo whenever you try to print them?

Try this: In the Print dialog, click the Graphics category on the left, and then in the Graphics settings panel on the right, change the default method of downloading your fonts to your printer from "Complete" to "Subset."

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Printing Finder Windows in OS X

January 14, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

No version of OS X to date has included the ability to print the contents of a Finder window as we had in OS 9. I have no idea why this is apparently such a tough nut for the wizard programmers at Apple.

Many workarounds abound, but none achieve the simplicity of making a window active, pressing Command-P, and getting a printout of the entire contents of the window, including what was hidden in the scroll bars, and including all the columns (date, size, etc.).

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Photoshop 7 Batch Renaming Tip

December 17, 2003 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Fans of Photoshop's Browse window know that one of its most useful features is the ability to automatically rename a selection of image files based on a naming pattern you specify. Being able to rename a pile of digital camera images from "DCS083.jpg, DCS084.jpg," etc. to "2003_Thanksgiving_01.jpg, "2003_Thanksgiving_02.jpg," etc. in a matter of seconds is a joy.

(In Photoshop 7, the Batch Rename… command is in the Browse palette's fly-out menu; in Photoshop CS it's in the File Browser's own menu bar, under Automate.)

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