Category: Adobe 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.

How to recover a missing image link from an Adobe Illustrator file

Recover missing images from Illustrator
Have you ever received an Adobe Illustrator file that when opened offers the dreaded “Could not find the linked file” message seen above? The designer who provided the file to you forgot to either embed the image in the file, or send the linked image along with the Illustrator file. Worse yet, you need that image file now, and the clueless dolt who sent you the file is nowhere to be found, presumably hiding from you under a rock somewhere!

Fear not. There is a way to recover that missing image for use not only in the Illustrator file, but any other application as well. Now before I tell you how, just be warned that A) The image quality may not be quite as good as the original. And B) The method described below assumes that the image originally linked to in the Illustrator file was high-resolution enough to begin with. (more…)

Building the ultimate contact sheet using InDesign

InDesign contact sheet

There are lots of ways to build a contact sheet of a folder full of images. Despite what many people think, you can still use Adobe Bridge, but it requires downloading and installing an older add-on. Instead, you can use Adobe InDesign’s built-in ImageCatalog script to build thumbnails of a folder full of images, including the file name, image dimensions, and more.

InDesignSecrets has a great walk-through showing you how to build the ultimate contact sheet. I’ve always used Bridge, which you can still do after downloading and installing the old Output Module. But when I came across this old post detailing how to do it using InDesign, I immediately fell in love with the method because it offers a little more flexibility, and the ability to edit it after the fact.