Category: Illustrator

OS X Mavericks and Adobe CS6 / Creative Cloud

The official statement from Adobe is that Mavericks and Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud play nice together. In fact, they claim compatibility back to CS3.

I had to re-enter username & password for the Creative Cloud app after upgrading to Mavericks, InDesign runs horribly, and Adobe Illustrator opens on an old MacBook Air, but not on a brand new iMac with the exact same apps & fonts installed. Previously, Creative Cloud was running perfectly fine.

I’ve also come across dozens of other apps that are now broken, such as two different screen capture apps.

I would say if you haven’t installed Mavericks on your main rig, don’t do it yet.

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Quickly access Open dialog box in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

Photoshop tip

If you want to spare every key click you possibly can, you can quickly access the Open Dialog Box in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator with nothing but your mouse – and you don’t even have to make a trip to the File menu!

With no documents open, simply double-click an empty space in the Application Frame (the space normally taken up by a document window. The catch of course, is that you have to have the Application Frame active and no document open.

This is a tip I posted back in 2012, but it’s a great shortcut so I thought I might repost it.
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Two handy Adobe Illustrator selection shortcuts

Layer object selectionI love keyboard shortcuts, but I must admit that while I use the heck out of them in InDesign and Photoshop, I’m not as fluent in Illustrator. Here are two handy shortcuts for selecting objects in your Adobe Illustrator document that I do use quite often.

To select all the objects on a layer in Illustrator, you can do one of two things. You can Option + Click on the layer in the layers panel, or click the tiny circle to the right of the layer name in the layers panel (as seen in the screenshot). Either way, only the objects on that layer will be selected.

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Quickly find the CMYK equivalent of a Pantone color in Photoshop or Illustrator

Many times you are asked to find the CMYK equivalent of a particular Pantone color. If you don’t have a ridiculously overpriced Pantone to Process conversion guide available, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

There are a lot of theories out there as to how you can get the most accurate CMYK values (some area quite complex, such as first converting to LAB color before converting to process colors, etc.). But if you’re a pro you already realize that no Pantone color is going to match 100% in process printing anyway and the Pantone Color Bridge guide is the best and most accurate conversion method.

The Pantone Color Bridge Guide is expensive, so these are the fastest ways that I’ve come across that give the best results. (more…)

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Increase/decrease transparency with this Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcut

Illustrator transparency shortcut

For some odd reason Adobe removed the slider for the Transparency panel some time ago, and replaced it with a mostly useless drop-down menu of 10% increments. While many users certainly aren’t happy about this, they probably don’t know that you can adjust transparency more precisely than the drop-down menu allows using keyboard shortcuts.

With the object(s) you want to adjust selected, click in the Transparency panel’s amount input box and use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 1% = Up or Down Arrow Keys
  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 2% = Option + Up or Down Arrow Key
  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 10% = Shift + Up or Down Arrow Key
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Common myths about Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

I get a lot of emails about Adobe Creative Cloud and whether it’s right for people. A lot of the questions have been answered by Adobe, but they’re hard to find.

I came across The 10 Most Common Myths About Creative Cloud at ProDesignTools that answers many of the most common questions. By far, the most asked concern seems to be about having a constant Internet connection in order to use the Creative Suite applications. This simply isn’t true. In fact, you only have to be connected once per month for the software to ping the Adobe license server in order to verify your subscription.

Other than the way you pay for the Creative Suite Master Collection, there is no difference between Creative Cloud and the standard perpetual license versions we’ve been buying for decades. Well, other than Adobe will send black helicopters to your office to remove the software from your computer if you stop paying for it.

Disclaimer: I don’t know if Adobe owns any black helicopters, but I’m pretty sure I made that part up about coming to your office.

Another question I get is why Adobe has chosen to offer freebies to Creative Cloud subscribers that aren’t available to standard license users. The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Of course it’s a great way to entice users to subscribe to the Creative Cloud, but the reality is that the accounting methods used by software companies to claim income don’t allow Adobe to “add value features” to standard license users. You can read more about the situation here.

As for my take on Adobe Creative Cloud; I think it’s the future. Adobe wasn’t the first company to offer software on a subscription basis, but it was probably the first (and certainly the largest) in the design industry to do so. Microsoft has since announced Office 365, a subscription-based Office Suite. It won’t be long before all major software is offered as subscription only.

Got an opinion about Creative Cloud? Share it in the comments below.

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