Author: James

Shortcut to symbols and emoji characters

Keyboard Emoji ViewerIf you didn’t know, Apple’s macOS has a built-in keyboard/character viewer (see image above) which allows you to view characters available to you such as currency symbols, punctuation, arrows, mathematical symbols, etc. It’s also where you can view all the emoji characters available.

They Keyboard & Emoji Viewer is available in the Mac’s menubar after you enable it in the System > Keyboard Preferences dialog window.

But there’s a shortcut to bring that Keyboard Viewer up without visiting the menubar—a good amount of time savings if you use it a lot or have the menubar icons hidden with an app like Bartender.

Bring the Keyboard & Emoji Viewer up simply by hitting Control+Command+Space.

The one thing that bothers me is that there’s no keyboard shortcut to make it go away. You can’t hit Command+W to close the Viewer window because the Keyboard Viewer isn’t a typical app in that the app window is never the “active” window, and you can’t force it to be.

How to make Photoshop’s 100% View actually be 100%

Ever notice that when you view a Photoshop file at 100%, it’s not actually 100%. It’s almost always larger, depending on your Mac. That’s because when Adobe coded 100% view, it was based on all screens being 72 dpi. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case in many years. Try it out. Create an 8.5 x 11 inch document in Photoshop, set the view to 100% and hold up a Letter size piece of paper and you’ll notice the difference.

The problem is that modern computers/screens are much higher resolution than 72 dpi. The key to seeing things actual size in Photoshop is to make Photoshop and your screen the same resolution. It’s a simple process.

Determining your actual screen DPI:

  1. First, go to your System Preference and click the Displays icon. Make note of your monitor’s resolution (you may have to click the Scaled radio button on modern Macs). My iMac is set to the maximum resolution of 2560×1440.
  2. PXCALC

  3. Next, visit PXCALC and enter that screen size resolution from the step above if it doesn’t automatically populate this info for you, and in the Diagonal Size box enter the physical dimensions of your screen and hit enter. In my case it’s 27 inches. (see image above)
  4. On the little screen info area to the right, you’ll see stats about your screen, the first of which is the actual dpi of your screen. In the case of my iMac it’s 108.79. (see image above)

Setting Photoshop’s screen DPI

  1. Open Photoshop’s Preferences (Command + K) and click the Rulers & Units item from the list on the left. In the dialog window, you’ll see New Document Preset Resolutions in the top right corner.
  2. Photoshop screen resolution settings

  3. In the Screen Resolution box (just below the Print Resolution box) enter the DPI you got from step 3 above. Leave the Print Resolution setting at 300, as that is the typical resolution for commercial printing. (see image above)
  4. Hit OK in the dialog box and you should be good to go.

Now when you view your Photoshop document at 100%, it should actually be an accurate 100%. Try the Letter sized paper test I mentioned at the start to see if it worked for you.

There’s one caveat though. This is for SCREEN RESOLUTION ONLY. If you want to view your 300 dpi print resolution images at actual size, you don’t set your view settings at 100%. Instead, under the View menu choose Print Size instead of 100%.

15 Free infographic PowerPoint templates

Infographic templates
If you’re often tasked with creating infographics in PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, this collection of infographic PPT templates from HubSpot are worth downloading for future use.

The collection includes 15 PowerPoint template pages, plus 5 vector art infographics—all of which you can edit to suit your needs.

Design Advice: Copyrighting your work

Binded
If you work for a company, you likely have little-to-no control over the work you create. The company generally owns the copyright on anything and everything you do. But if you’re a freelancer, it’s a whole different ballgame.

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV; so I don’t want to go down the copyright rabbit hole here. That being said, I have found a nifty service that can help you with legal copyright issues you may run into. Check out Binded: Copyright made simple.

In a nutshell, Binded allows you to upload your creative work upon creation, creating a permanent record of copyright ownership. At this point, that’s all the service is. But according to their site, they plan on doing a whole lot more—including the ability to officially register your copyright. Take a look at their FAQ page for more details.

Binded seems like a pretty cool service for creatives, particularly photographers and graphic designers.

Quickly hide objects in Adobe InDesign

InDesign CC 2017I’ve seen all manner of ways for people to “hide” things when working on their InDesign files so they can grab what’s underneath, or just edit something with no distraction. Some people Copy/Paste the object (not realizing that you lose the layering you may have done), some people Lock/Unlock (not very effective if you ask me), still others will place things on a separate layer and turn that layer off (that’s a lot of work), and some people simply move objects off to the side (requiring them to be moved back into their precise previous position).

The easier solution is to have your object(s) selected and just hit Command+3 to hide them. Command+Option+3 will bring the hidden object(s) back into view.