Cool Web site: Montage-a-Google

web_montagoogle Montage-a-Google is one of those sites that isn’t immediately apparent how fun & useful it can be, but that should change fairly quick. Of course you could do this sort of thing manually, this Web-based application written by Grant Robinson makes it a bit more fun, and a little less work. As you can see by the sample above, I used the keyword “bikini” – a favorite subject matter of mine! I can think of a few projects I could have used this for, simply for a background image. Just remember, you don’t own the images used in the montage, it’s perfectly legal to use the images for personal use, but you might want to avoid using them in an ad for a national client!

Align guides to ruler tick-marks in Photoshop

Ever have difficulty getting a guide to line up with a tick mark on the ruler while working in Photoshop? Or see that it appears to line up, only to find out when you zoom in that it really doesn’t? Fortunately there’s an easy way to do what you want. Hold the Shift key down while you drag a guide to exactly the tick mark you wish. The guide will “snap” to each tick mark on the ruler.

Snap Photoshop palettes to screen edge

Snap your Photoshop CS & CS2 palettes to the nearest screen edge by Shift-dragging them or Shift-clicking on their titlebars. This seems like a silly tip, but it drives me nuts to see palettes that aren’t perfectly aligned!

InDesign font selection shortcut

Getting control of the Font menu can be a daunting task if you have a lot of fonts activated. Adobe has made their apps somewhat easy in that they group fonts by family, but it can still be a long list to scroll through. When you’re working in Adobe InDesign, you can click in the font field in either the Character palette or Control bar and type a letter of the font you’re looking for, which will automatically select the first font using that letter. So if you type the letter “T” you will most likely end up at a font named Tahoma. Once you have the first font by that letter in the menu, you can click the font popup menu and select the actual font you want. Another way is to simply start typing the font you are looking for and InDesign will select the font as you type.

Disposable email addresses to combat Spam

In an effort to combat SPAM, I came across a disposable e-mail address site. SpamBob offers a free email address that you can use for registering with Web sites that you don’t really want to give out your real address to. While these Web sites offer what appears to be valuable services in the war against spam, I urge you to take caution when using them. Some sites may or may not be a front for spammers to begin with.

Selection options in Photoshop

You have a lot of options in working with your selections in Photoshop. Try holding the Spacebar down before you let go of a selection you are making. It will allow you to re-position your selection. Now, make a selction, go to the Select>Transform Selection menu item. Now hold down the Command key and grab the control points and move them around a bit. Starting to see the convenience of this tip yet?

Selecting burried objects in Adobe InDesign

To select objects hidden behind other objects or simply below a larger object, Command + Click until the object you want is selected. Each click selects the object below the previous top object. When you reach the object you want, you can move the object by dragging it while the mouse button is still held down, or drag it from the object’s center point. This is a handy tip, but I’ve found it easier, and more beneficial to make heavy use of Layers. I put text on one layer, borders on another, photos on yet another… it makes it MUCH easier to change things later if I need to.