Learn how to use InDesign’s Liquid Layout rules to simplify cross-platform design

When you live in the modern-day design world, it’s not often that you design a piece destined for print that won’t eventually be found online. To truly create a piece that can live in both worlds, you have to format the file to work in print, as well as multiple mobile screen sizes. This is where Adobe InDesign’s Alternate & Liquid Layout features can help.

I offer you two great articles over at CreativePro that cover the use of InDesign’s Alternate/Liquid Layouts.

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.

Alternate Layouts lets you have multiple layouts—of different sizes and orientations—all contained in one single document. What’s that you say…you don’t create digital publications? Not to fear! Alternate Layouts are a great way to create multiple layouts—destined for print or digital or a little of each—that share the same text and images. Maybe you have a campaign that includes posters, postcards, table tents, and door hangers that all share common elements. Or maybe you have a print version and a digital version of your client’s novel and you want to avoid having to maintain two documents when the editorial changes start rolling in. This is a job for Alternate Layouts!

Adobe discontinues Photoshop Touch

Adobe is getting to be a bit like Google in the way they introduce and subsequently kill new products. Photoshop Touch for iOS and Android will cease to receive any support as of May 28th, and is the latest of a handful of mobile apps Adobe killed off after a short life. Of all their mobile attempts, Photoshop Touch was probably the most useful.

The good news is Adobe is planning on releasing a new app to replace Photoshop Touch codenamed Project Rigel later this year.

How to use the Apple Watch font in Mac OS X Yosemite right now

Rumor has it that Apple will be switching the default system fault from Helvetica Neue to their own proprietary SanFrancisco font, currently used on the Apple Watch, with the next Mac OS X Yosemite update.

SanFrancisco font for Yosemite

If you love tinkering with your Mac, you can download the SanFrancisco font (direct link) and place the font files in your /Library/Fonts (that’s the Library folder at the top level of your Mac’s storage drive, not the one in your Users or System folder). Now log out and log back in to your Mac to activate the new font system-wide.

I recently installed SanFrancisco font as the default and I love it. I’ve also used other Yosemite font replacements like Fira, Source Sans, Input Sans, and even the old OS X Mavericks default, Lucida Grande.

You can patch any font you wish to be a system replacement font yourself. Unfortunately, it requires some geeky wet-work with the Terminal.

Moving stylized text from Word to InDesign

Creative Pro writer, Jamie McKee, shares the ins-and-outs of getting stylized text from MS Word to Adobe InDesign without a lot of fuss.*

We all get MS Word files from a client for placement in a brochure, booklet, newsletter, or magazine. We end up having to reformat the text by hand more often than not. But there is a better way, which Jamie goes into.

MS Word to InDesign conversion

*That being said, I find Jamie’s solution to be more trouble than it’s worth by an order of magnitude. The problems with his methods are:
A) you have to go through the trouble of setting up the style sheets in word, being careful to name them the same as the ones you’re using in InDesign.
B) you have to do that for every Word file, because…
C) your client isn’t going to bother using your stupid Word file anyway

Now don’t get me wrong, his solution will work if you have a technically savvy client, or you work in an in-house design shop such as a magazine, etc. But the real-world realities are that it’s rare that you’ll find a client that will not make a mess out of this otherwise simple process.

But take a look at the article, because it’s quite informative. Even if your client refuses to use your perfectly stylized Word file, it’ll show you how to at least take some of the work out of the manual stylizing process.

Solve the age-old question of “What’s filling up my storage drive?”

“What the hell is filling up my hard drive?” It’s a question we all have after a year or so of downloading files and storing work documents on our Macs. A cluttered storage disk can lead to all sorts of problems, not the least of which is making your Mac run slow.

CleverFiles has a fairly new app for Mac OS X that can help you analyze your storage drive and remove large files and folders easily. Disk Cartography maps your drive data and lists the space-hogging files in an easy-to-read list, and allows you to delete the unwanted files/folders with the click of a button.

Upon launching Disk Cartography, it scans your chosen disk and displays a tree-like folder-structure which you can use to evaluate what’s taking up space, as well as where it is on your drive.

Disk Cartography window

You can manually or automatically filter what is shown by setting parameters such as minimum file size, or whether or not to show System files, etc. The minimum file size feature is particularly useful because it allows you to view your file folder list without the thousands of files taking up so little space that it’s not worth seeing. You can see an example in the image above. Those “Filtered Objects” folders contain all the files on my drive that don’t meet my minimum filter requirements of a minimum of 128MB in size.

Scanning my drive took only a few minutes, and the app displays the data in a clear and simple interface. I also liked that I can right-click on a file or folder to ‘show it in the Finder.’

Disk Cartography isn’t the only app out there that does this, and it certainly doesn’t have the most luscious user interface of them. But I like the simplicity of the app.

There is no dedicated web page for Disk Cartography as of this writing, but you can buy it directly from the Mac App Store here.

You can grab your copy for $1.99 until May 18th when the promo ends.