Category: General

General creative topics

The absolute worst things to do with PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint mistakes
I know how to read, goddammit—and I can read the slide faster than you can read it to me. Not to mention, you sound like an uninformed idiot that had an intern copy & paste text from Google into a slide.
In Worst Ways to Use PowerPoint, you’ll pick-up a few tips to make your PowerPoint/Keynote presentations much better. While most designers learn these tips early on in their career, sometimes we need a little reminder. But mostly I hope this gives you ammunition to share with a client or boss that thinks “more is better.”

Apple FINALLY releases full size wireless keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard
This is the best thing to come out of WWDC yesterday, if you ask me. It took forever, but Apple has FINALLY released a full-sized wireless keyboard. I’ve wanted one since the original wireless keyboard was released, but I could never get used to the location of the Function key.

The only down side to Apple’s Magic Keyboard is that you lose the two USB ports the old (and now discontinued) wired version included.

You can grab the Magic Keyboard for $129 and is available immediately.

How to add a box around a paragraph in your InDesign document

InDesign Paragraph Rules trick

If you’ve ever wanted to place a box around a paragraph in the middle of a container of text, you know what a pain it can be.

Keith Gilbert shared a way to do this using paragraph rules. It is a multi-step procedure to set up this trick, but once you’ve created it and saved it in a paragraph style, it is effortless to use.

If you only need to do this once or twice in a brochure or pamphlet, it’s probably easier to just place a separate text container inside the existing text container where you want it. But if you plan on applying this effect fairly often in a long document of text (such as an annual report, magazine, or instruction manual), this is probably going to be a real time saver.

This tip is a few years old, but still works. I’m actually surprised Adobe didn’t add a feature that does this automatically back when they added Paragraph Shading; another effect we used to manually create using InDesign’s Paragraph Rules feature.

The Disappearing Computer: Past, present & future

Walt Mossberg with Steve Jobs

Original uploader was Joi at English Wikipedia – Transferred to Commons., CC BY 2.0, Link

Tech was once always in your way. Soon, it will be almost invisible.

Walt Mossberg’s final article. It’s the end of an era, for sure. While many of his articles were a bit “beneath” my technical knowledge, I always loved reading his reviews of tech products from the perspective of the typical user. There’s a lot of tech in my life that I don’t know a lot about, and don’t care to know. I just want to know the quick & easy explanation of it to decide if it’s worth more research or use. Walt always made it easy—and that’s the highest compliment I can pay him.

In his last article, Walt takes a look at the past, present and future of tech. It’s a great read.

Apple Park 1 Year Recap (Video)

Construction of the Apple Park in the last year. While so much has been done in the last year, it still appears that there’s a whole lot of work left.

Google JPG is 35% smaller/higher-quality – but you’ll never use it

Google has come up with an algorithm that reduces JPGs by 35%, or maintains existing file sizes but dramatically improves quality. The new JPG is 100% compatible with existing programs and web browsers on all platforms. It’s 100% open-source and compatible with the current JPG standard.

And not a single person will ever use it.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m sure some people at Google will use it. And probably a few geeks who like to tinker, but don’t rely on producing visual graphics for income.

Just because it’s free, or offers the end-user a better user experience, doesn’t mean it’ll actually be popular. Unless Google can convince EVERY LAST IMAGE EDITOR ON THE PLANET to use it by DEFAULT, it’s not going to matter. Google Maps is better than Apple’s iOS Maps. Wanna guess which map app is more popular on the iPhone despite that? Convenience trumps everything.

One has to wonder what the point is. Coming from Google, the angle they take is faster website loading.

I’m sorry, but having a 100kb JPG be reduced by 35% means absolutely nothing. The site is not going to load faster, because a 100kb JPG loads instantly to begin with. Ridding a site of Javascript for tracking and ad-serving is the only thing that’s going to speed up a website (something we know Google is never going to do). Heck, I get emails with 1MB animated GIF images in them that load virtually instantly.

But if Google can convince Adobe to use the algorithm as the default in Photoshop when saving JPGs, I’ll be happy to re-save a ton of old JPGs that are still 30MB in size due to their massive size and PPI settings.