Author: James

Free Automator scripts for Apple’s new Photos app

Photos + Automator

This Automator Action collection for Apple’s new Photos app in Mac OS X Yosemite makes your photography workflow a much more efficient and smoother process. In particular, I love the Import image into a specific Album action file. This allows me to quickly add desktop wallpapers and other images I’ve acquired online to a specific Photos album without actually going through the process manually.

There are a ton of other fantastic Automator Actions available at MacOSXAutomation. Be sure to check them all out to see if there’s something else you can use.

How to deal with disappearing white text & objects when printing

White overprint

Your design is done and you’re printing your file. Then you see it. Some white object or text simply refuses to print. You’ve tried printing directly from Adobe Illustrator, you’ve placed the object into InDesign and printing from there, and you’ve even tried saving it as a PDF. But no luck, that object still won’t print. I’ve seen this happen a ton of times. In almost every case, it’s an object created in Adobe Illustrator—usually a logo.

More often than not, the problem is simply that the object is set to overprint in Illustrator. To fix the problem, select the object in Illustrator, open the Attributes Panel, and make sure the Overprint Fill (and/or Overprint Stroke) checkbox is NOT ticked.

Overprint fill checkbox

It happens for a variety of reasons, and it’s easily missed. If you’re working in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, you can check to see if you’ll have the problem by turning on the Preview Overprint feature found under the View menu in both apps.

10 Tips for working with PDF files

Working with PDF files

If you’re a designer, you most likely have a copy of Acrobat Pro (or the new Acrobat DC). But it’s quite likely that your clients do not. If you want to be a hero to your client in need of help with their PDF files, you can share some of the tips found in this excellent article from Hongkiat for working with PDF files when you don’t have a copy of Acrobat Pro.

The tips include converting documents, extracting text to other file formats, opening PDF files with passwords (which I’ve covered here), merging PDF files, and more.

Guy quits job at Apple—rants about it. Whatever.

Apple Campus 2

There’s two sides to every story. Ben Farrell has posted a lengthy screed about what it’s like to work at Apple, and why he quit. IF his story is 100% true and not over-dramatized out of bitterness, it’s a sad story. However, I’m not sure this was the best way to leave a job, even if it is accurate. At least Mr. Farrell was classy about it, not calling-out anyone by name or title.

Photoshop Smart Objects: linked vs. embedded

Using Photoshop Smart Objects is a great way to work non-destructively. You can embed a Smart Object directly in a Photoshop file or link to a separate file and update it and reuse it in multiple projects.

I recently had a co-worker ask what they were and why I use them. I had a difficult time explaining it, so when I came across this video tutorial, I quickly fired-off a link. It’s a great walk-through for those who’ve never used them.

I’m all Apple Watch(ed) out…

I'm all Apple Watch(ed) out...

All the hullabaloo over the Apple Watch has absolutely worn me out the last few days. Of all the products Apple has ever released, the Apple Watch is the one product I believe is worth waiting for the next version. Too many unanswered questions!

Master bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign

InDesign's bullet list feature

Maybe it’s just a sign of our shortening attention spans, but these days we seem to want more and more of our information in quickly-digestible bullet points. And then there’s our insatiable need to quantify. We absolutely love lists: the Top Ten this, the 100 Greatest that, 50 ways to leave your lover, and so on.

So with all these lists to work with, we can be thankful that InDesign has robust tools for creating bulleted and numbered lists. If you’re not familiar with using bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign, this article from CreativePro will make you a “list-master” in short order.