Create a new Photoshop document with same size

If you need a new Photoshop document the same size as the one you have open, there are two ways I know of to create one without actually checking the document size dialog box. First, you can select all and copy the background layer of the open document, then Command + N for a new document. Photoshop will automatically set the size to whatever you copied to the clipboard, which in this case was the entire background layer of the open document. The second way requires a trip to a menu, but is just as easy. When you have a document already open, hit Command + N, while the new document dialog is open, click the Window Menu in the menu bar and select the open document’s name.

Extending InDesign’s pasteboard

If you’re the type that places all your images and text onto the pasteboard before you start your design/layout work in Adobe InDesign, then this tip is for you.

id_pasteboardYou can expand the pasteboard space by hitting Command + K to open the Preferences dialog and select the Guides Panel. Simply change the Minimum Vertical Offset amount to the size you want your pasteboard to be and click OK. Now you have all the room you need!

InDesign guide snapping

Did you know that Guides in Adobe InDesign will snap to the edge of an object when you have that object selected? Pull a guide out of the rulers to the edge of a selected object and watch it snap.

Using InDesign’s page jumping feature

One of the first features you may not have noticed because it’s “hidden right in front of you” is the Jump feature. In Quark XPress, you would hit Command + J and a dialog box would come up asking you what page you wanted to jump to, then you hit the OK button. At first glance, this feature doesn’t appear to be in Adobe InDesign, you hit Command + J and no box opens. Well, that’s partially true. The feature is there, Adobe just doesn’t bother you to present a dialog box and force you to click an OK button. When you hit Command + J in ID you’ll notice the page number is highlighted in the page number box in the lower left of your document window. Simply hit the page number you want and press enter – this includes Master Pages (if you hit “A” you’ll be taken to the first Master Page, etc.)

Creative Latitude

web_creative-latitude-logoCreative Latitude is an interesting little site I came across a while back that offers a lit bit of everything. In particular, I noticed the article titled Why Freelance by Ronnie Lebow, which some of you may find interesting. The site offers a fairly nice layout, good color combinations, easy navigation and most importantly, good content. Give it a look see when you have the time, paying particular attention to the articles.

Zoom in/out with the spacebar in Illustrator and InDesign

This may be obvious to anyone who has used Illustrator and InDesign for a while, but not everyone has done so. When you’re working on a large file in Adobe InDesign, you can zoom in on an area by holding down the Command + Spacebar keys while using your mouse to select an area on the screen. Upon release of the mouse button, the area you selected will appear larger on the screen. Add the Option key to that and you can zoom out as well.This may be obvious to anyone who has used Illustrator and InDesign for a while, but not everyone has done so. When you’re working on a large file in Adobe InDesign, you can zoom in on an area by holding down the Command + Spacebar keys while using your mouse to select an area on the screen. Upon release of the mouse button, the area you selected will appear larger on the screen. Add the Option key to that and you can zoom out as well.

Bring palettes to the foreground in Photoshop

Many times, I’m in the Levels, Curves or Selective Color dialog box adjusting an image when I remember that I don’t have the Info palette open, which will show me the color readings (essential for good color correction). I used to close out the dialog box and hope that I could remember what settings I changed, but then I stumbled onto something that was right in front of my face. The Window menu is active when you’re in a dialog box such as levels, etc. Simply click the Window menu and hit the Fkey assigned to the palette you want to open, or click on the menu item itself. Any palette that isn’t already open (including ones in the palette well) should be available from the menu. The downside is that you can’t alter the palette’s position – so the info palette is usually somewhere near the edge of my screen to I can see the color readings while in an adjustment box.

Free stock photography at Absolute Vision

One of the many vital resources any designer makes use of is stock photography sites. We would all love to have the budget for a photoshoot on each job, but the reality is that 90% of the jobs out there have a budget more condusive to Royalty Free photos. The problem is, of course, that stock photos tend to get “old” quickly. You see the same photos being used everywhere. While I’m sure most designers know about Getty, Veer & Corbis, it’s the much smaller and specialized sites that can make or break your work – sites that don’t charge $500 for a single photo. The recent trend is going to the subscription model where you pay a flat fee per year for all the photos you want. One such site is AbsoluteVision which offers photos in the JPEG2000 format – which includes an alpha channel for “cutout” images, and custom drop/cast shadows for a realistic cutout photo. Did I also mention that AbsoluteVision offers a free photo download every week. You don’t even need to be a paying subscriber, just register and you’re off to build your own image library! My only “catch” is a warning to not go crazy with the royalty free photo use. Spend some time searching for just the right photo, with so many photo sites out there, I know you will eventually find it. Rushing through and picking a photo from the old PhotoDisc archives on Getty is a sure way to get people to laugh or ignore your 1970’s era photo in an add proclaiming how up-to-date your bank’s new secure deposit service is!

Move your cursor to beginning or end of InDesign text frames

When you’re working in a document in Adobe InDesign, have you ever found yourself typing a long story in multiple text blocks that are linked, perhaps even across multiple pages, and you realize you want to go back to the beginning of the story to reference something or simply want to re-read what you’ve typed? You can do this easily by hitting Command + A (to select all the text) then hit the Left Arrow key. You can also accomplish the same result by hitting Command + Home. Of course, you can also substitute the End key for the Home key to move the cursor to the end of the text.

Avoid “snapping” in Photoshop

Ever notice that when you’re dragging a guide into a Photoshop document that it “snaps” to the edge of an element on the currently active layer? Or when you’re moving a graphical element it “snaps” to the edge of the screen? Or maybe you have the grid feature turned on and you want to temporarily turn the grid snapping off. The easy way to avoid this is to begin dragging your guide or graphical element then press the Control key down. This temporarily disables the “snap” feature of Photoshop.