Category: Adobe Apps

Easily compare 2 InDesign documents for changes

InDesignHere’s the problem: You have two InDesign documents of the same job which are filled with text – but you don’t know which one to use. You could spend a lot of time reading page after page of text trying to determine which document is the one you want, but there’s an easier way. I picked-up this tip from Anne-Marie Concepción over at InDesign Magazine some time ago and it’s fantastic for comparing two InDesign documents to find the differences. Obviously, this tip is most useful for documents containing a LOT of text. Read on to see how easy it is. (more…)

Quickly replace photos & graphics in your InDesign document

InDesign offers a plethora of ways to place new photos and graphics into your document. Adobe has also made it simple to replace an existing image or graphic with a new one. To replace an existing photo or graphic, simply hit Command + D (Place) and choose your image as normal. But when you’re ready to replace the existing image, hold down the Option key and click the photo or graphic you wish to replace. The new image will be placed inside the original image container. This is especially useful when you load your Place cursor with more than one image at a time to replace several existing images. If you only wish to replace a single photo or graphic, simply select the existing image first, then go through the normal method of placing an image.

Hanging punctuation in Adobe Photoshop

Hanging punctuation in PhotoshopIf you’ve spent any amount of time setting type in Adobe InDesign, you’ve no-doubt turned on hanging punctuation via the Story panel — at least, you should have it on. Hanging punctuation floats quote marks, bullet points, periods, commas and other punctuation just outside the text container to make justified type look better. For those times when InDesign isn’t the primary app for doing your design work in (such as Web and multi-media graphics work), Adobe Photoshop also offers hanging punctuation capability. You can turn it on by visiting the Paragraph panel’s fly-out menu and choosing Roman Hanging Punctuation. Large blocks of type (particularly when justified) will look much cleaner when turning on this option!

Batch convert Illustrator files to JPG, PNG or SVG format

If you’ve ever needed to batch convert a folder full of Illustrator or .eps files to a bitmap format such as PNG or JPG, you know the frustration of doing it manually (one at a time) with Illustrator’s export function. You could set up a batch action in Photoshop, but that’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. Pongo is a tiny application that does only one thing, convert vector-based Illustrator files to either PNG, JPG or SVG format, with a single click of a button. You simply drag your file(s) onto the Pongo Icon, and choose which format you want to save the files as. Pongo actually uses Adobe Illustrator to do the work, so you will have to have Illustrator installed, but it does its job in the background. Pongo requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, and is completely free – though donations are accepted.

Changing Illustrator CS4 artboard orientation

IllustratorI recently received an email from a fellow Mac user asking how you go about changing the orientation of an Adobe Illustrator document once you’ve already created it. Previously, you could do it in the Document Setup dialog box, but with CS4 that has changed – probably due to multiple artboard support being added to Illustrator CS4. Below I’ve outlined how you change the various aspects of your document, including orientation, size, etc. (more…)

“Blow Up” your images in style

Enlarging photos appears to be a simple and mundane task for the average user. But as a pro, you understand the ramifications of firing up Photoshop and just using the Image Size dialog box, or worse yet, just stretching an image in your page layout application. Blow Up 2, from Alien Skin Software, is a Photoshop plugin that produces high-quality image enlargements by using an algorithm which temporarily converts pixels in your photo to vectors. The results are a sharper, more detailed enlargement. Read my full review of Blow Up 2 at Macworld. Blow Up 2 isn’t for everyone, but if you do a lot of image enlargements from low resolution or small high resolution images, Alien Skin has a pretty good solution with Blow Up.

Creating cool 3D springs in Adobe Illustrator

In this excellent tutorial at VectorTuts, you’ll learn how to easily create 3D springs in Adobe Illustrator using little more than a simple shape and the 3D Revolve Effect. The finished results look complex and time consuming, but the actual technique really isn’t at all. You may not have cause to create a spring in the near future, but the technique is quite handy to learn – you never know when you can apply it to something else you’re working on.

Image-placing shortcuts in Adobe InDesign

InDesignOne of the things I love about Adobe InDesign is that there’s usually more than one way to accomplish virtually any task. Take placing images in your document. InDesign offers a plethora of options to improve productivity in this area, thanks to keyboard shortcuts. In my Image-placing shortcuts in Adobe InDesign article at Macworld’s Creative Notes blog, I show you some handy shortcuts for placing single and multiple images into your document using InDesign.

Free InDesign style sheet template

If you have a long text document to format and aren’t quite familiar with setting up Style Sheets in Adobe InDesign, this free pre-made Style Sheet template is just for you. The template is based on an OpenType mix of two fonts fonts (Meta Serif/Sans Pro), but can easily be changed to another pair of fonts. Besides directly using modifying the styles, exploring the file will give you some great ideas of how to achieve different looks through the use of paragraph and character styles. The download includes the following styles and more:

  • Semantically named paragraph and character styles
  • 3 subheading levels, with and without automatic numbering
  • Bullet and numbered lists in 2 levels
  • Paragraph with and without indents
  • Drop cap paragraph
  • Quote
  • Table style
  • Text box styles
  • Caption
  • Text formatting styles
  • Footnote layout

The article from InDesigning.net explains how to load and use the styles in your InDesign document, as well as provides a PDF file showing off the styles in a sample document. The document was created in InDesign CS4, and is quite handy because it saves you the time of setting up a style sheet from scratch – allowing you to simply edit an existing one.

Creating rounded corner rectangles in Illustrator

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as the old saying goes. There’s also more than one way to create rounded corner rectangles in Adobe Illustrator. The Rounded Rectangle Tool in Illustrator is handy, but it’s limited in that once you create the rectangle, you can’t go back and alter the amount of the rounded corners later on if you need to. Fortunately, Illustrator offers another, more flexible method to accomplish the task. To get around this limitation, create a normal squared-edge rectangle. With the rectangle selected, go to Effect>Stylize>Round Corners… in the menubar. The Round Corners dialog box allows you to set a custom Radius to your rectangle, and tick the Preview box so you can see what your rectangle will look like. But here’s where the handy part comes into play. When you create the round corners this way, you can go back and adjust the radius amount at any time later on in your design process because the round corners are a live effect, just like fill, stroke, opacity, etc. To do that, select the rectangle and simply visit the Appearance Panel. You’ll see the Round Corners effect listed in the panel along with any other attributes applied to the rectangle. Double-click the effect and you can edit the radius of your rounded corners.