Category: Adobe Apps

Create color themes for use in all your Adobe CC apps

Adobe Color Themes

The Adobe Creative Cloud apps have a (fairly) new panel called Adobe Color Themes, which allows you to browse, create, save and use color themes in all your Adobe apps. Formerly known as Kuler, Color Themes allows you to browse a wide selection of pre-made color themes, or create your own using the Panel’s color mixer. Once you’re happy with your color theme, you can save it to your Creative Cloud account so the theme is available in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.

You can find the Adobe Color Themes Panel under the Window menu. It’s fairly easy to figure out how to use just by playing around with it, so I won’t bother going into details here. It’s much more fun to just play around with it, but if you feel the need you can view a video tutorial here.

I don’t know how I missed this feature when it was introduced, but I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s a real time saver, and a great color inspiration tool.

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.

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.

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.

Feathering the edges of a selection along the edge of a document in Photoshop CC

In previous versions of Photoshop, if you selected an area of an image that included an edge area and then chose Select>Modify>Feather, the Feather would be added to the entire selection. While this might be desirable in some instances, in the majority of cases, it would be ideal if the feather was only applied within the image (and not to the edges). As a result, in the current version, the engineering team has changed the default behavior so that they feather is not applied at the edge (the canvas bounds) of an image.

Julieanne Kost enlightens us about this feature that I’m sure most people don’t even notice is there. Be sure to check out all her other awesome posts while you’re there, she has a lot of great information and tutorials.

Create text columns on a single Photoshop layer with this uber-cool extension

UberColumns for Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop’s text capabilities are adequate for most users, but one area that is sorely lacking is the ability to set text in columns. It’s a royal pain when you’re mocking up a website to have to set two separate text layers and align them when you want multiple columns of text.

UberColumns to the rescue! uberColumns is a simple add-on that allows you to convert a single block of text on a layer to a specified column layout, including the ability to customize the gutter width.

  1. Simply use your text tool to drag a text box out and enter your text as you normally would.

  2. After committing the text, click the layer icon for your text so the layer is active.
  3. Open the Columns panel from Window>Extensions>Columns. Type the number of columns in the box on the left, and the amount of gutter space in the box on the right, and hit OK.

Your text should now be converted to columns. You will likely have to adjust the overall width by using your text tool to adjust the width of the text box. And that’s the beauty of UberColumns, you can adjust the columns simply by adjusting the text box as you normally would.

UberColumns is 100% free, and works with Adobe Photoshop CC, and CC2014. I absolutely LOVE this extension!

Free Adobe InDesign templates

Free InDesign template downloads

Sometimes you just don’t know where to start on a new project. Particularly newsletters or magazine layouts. Inspiration is everywhere, but often times having a pre-made template is a great way to start your layouts.

BestInDesignTemplates has several Adobe InDesign templates you can download and use for free, including: flyers, newsletters, catalogs, and a 20-page magazine layout. Obviously you would want to use these as a starting-point, rather than a finished design.