Stuff on the Web

Who owns what? With all the Yahoo! takeover talk going around, I went about to find out just how many things would get screwed up if Microsoft ended up buying Yahoo!. Amy Webb has a nifty PDF chart to break down who owns what toys in the Web sandbox. Who is your Internet neighbor? For those on shared hosting plans such as HostMonster Dreamhost or iPower, myIPneighbors IP search is a great way to find out if your Web site is packed into a crowded host with hundreds of other sites, and just who those neighboring sites are. DIY digital photography Digital camera lovers, here’s a little DIY fun for the weekend. It’s a video tutorial of how to make an image stabilizer to reduce camera shake. All you need is some string, a bolt and a washer (or some other small weight). Electric Photoshop Add some electrifying energy beams to your subject with this great Photoshop tutorial at Free online Faxing Every once in a great while you may find yourself needing to send a quick Fax, you remember those, right? If you don’t have a fax machine, you’ll have to run down to the nearest copy shop and pay for it… or, you can just use FaxZero. FaxZero will allow you to send a paper fax from your PDF or text document to any fax number in the U.S. or Canada for free (of course, they add an advertisement on the cover sheet).

Avoiding the white box around shadows in your PDFs

“I have an issue with drop shadows and spot colors in Adobe InDesign. When I use a drop shadow in front of a spot color background it looks fine in InDesign, and prints properly as spot color separations. But a white box shows up around the image in Acrobat when I make a PDF to show the client. Is there a way around this problem?”

An excellent question, and one that comes up a lot for designers working with spot color. There are several ways to make sure your spot color jobs preview properly in Adobe Acrobat. My friends over at CreativeTechs have the scoop on avoiding the white box around shadows in Adobe InDesign.

Change Time Machine’s backup interval

If you’re running Leopard and you’re using Time Machine to backup your Mac to an external hard drive, you may become frustrated with how often Time Machine backs up your drive. This is especially true if you save or create a lot of files. When Time Machine is doing it’s work, your drive may become unresponsive, and at the very least, your backup drive can fill up quick. You could hack the .plist file to alter the intervals of Time Machine, but an easier way is to use TimeMachineEditor. TME provides a simple way for you to set the time(s) at which Time Machine does it’s thing.

Making dynamic text wrap permanent in Adobe InDesign

InDesign offers a number of ways to wrap text around objects. You can wrap around an entire object container, around the edges of your placed object, or even select an alpha channel (transparency) of a placed Photoshop file. It’s quite handy not having to draw another shape and fill it with "none" just to wrap text. However, Anne-Marie Concepcion at InDesign Secrets points out something you must watch-out for when using the transparency of a placed object to wrap your text, and how to quickly fix it, in this article titled Making dynamic text wraper permanent.

Reset your InDesign tracking & kerning with a keyboard shortcut

Adobe InDesignWhen you have a lot of text selected which you have kerned and/or tracked out and you simply want to reset all of it to zero, you can either go to the tracking and kerning input boxes in the Control Bar and do it manually, or you can do it the easy way. With all your text selected, simply hit Command (Apple) + Option + Q. All your kerning will return to normal. Don’t you just love keyboard shortcuts! This works in Adobe CS2 and CS3.

Add Adobe Kuler feature to OSX Leopard applications

Lithoglyph’s Mondrianum is a powerful plug-in for OSX Leopard that enables Mac applications to leverage the resources of Adobe Kuler. Adobe kuler is an online community where you can explore, create, and share color themes. Once installed, Mondrianum acts like a built-in, system-wide color picker, available in any Mac application that supports this feature of Mac OS X. Apple’s own iWork and iLife suites, Adobe Photoshop, and other applications like Coda, CSSEdit, and many more, all work well with Mondrianum. Mondrianum combines the best of the community content on Kuler and the nativeness of Mac applications. If you work with colors on a Mac, be sure to check it out!< Thanks to Ivan at CreativeBits for pointing out this great tool for OSX.

Set default character styles in Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesignMany InDesign users know you can set the default colors displayed in the Color panel by setting them without a document open. I’ve recently realized that you can do the same thing with Character Styles. Open InDesign, but don’t open a document (that part is important). Now go to your Character or Paragraph Styles panel and set all your preferred styles like font choice, point size, kerning settings, indents & spacing and a keyboard shortcut. Now just hit OK to commit the settings to InDesign’s memory. From now on, whenever you start up InDesign and/or create a new document, those Character styles will already be set up and available.

Create chrome and plastic text effects in Photoshop

Very seldom do I come across a Photoshop tutorial that doesn’t assume some artistic eyes to complete the effect shown in the tutorial. When I came across this tutorial, I was skeptical as to how detailed it would be, and how easy it would be to repeat the effect. Well worry not. Photoshop Roadmap has nailed it with this tutorial titled Realistic Chrome and Glossy Plastic Text Effect. The tutorial is both simple and detailed, requiring no special filters and only a simple download of a small preset file (if you want to avoid any guess work).

Create your Web site Favicon easily

Love them or hate them, Favicons are a visual business card for your Web site in other people’s bookmark bar. Creating them requires the use of an image editor and an application that can save files as a Windows icon (.ico file). Virtually anyone can find an image editor to design their own favicon, but saving them as an .ico file isn’t always so easy to find. I decided to skip the part about finding an app to save The Graphic Mac favicon as an .ico file and instead used GenFavicon, a simple Web site who’s only purpose is to generate Favicons for you simply. You link to, or upload the graphic you wish to use as a Favicon, crop it with the handy cropping tool, choose which size you wish to output the file as (most browsers use a 16×16 pixel icon in the location bar), then wait a few seconds for your Favicon to become available. It’s that simple. You can download your file as either an .ico Favicon or a .gif file.